The festival’s first weekend was a blast! Who else enjoyed popcorn for dinner and sprinting between venues? Here are some highlights from the weekend: Who knew Paul Weitz, the director behind American Pie, could write and direct a feminist dramedy? Grandma features the curmudgeonly Elle (Lily Tomlin), a noted lesbian poet—clearly based on punk poet Eileen Myles as Weitz opens the film with a Myles quotations: “Time passes. That’s for sure.”—dealing with life after the loss of her partner. When her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) comes to her to secure funds for an abortion, the grandma-granddaughter duo embark on a one-day quest, following a trail of old debts and exes and hawking first-edition classic feminist literature. Oh, and there’s a cameo by Laverne Cox as a rockabilly tattoo artist? Yes please. DSC_1678 DSC_1702 The screening for Grandma was packed, but rumour has it that that Rio may feature the film down the road, so stay tuned Tomlin fans!

On Saturday Woodward Atrium hosted Roller Hijinx before the Youth Gala screening of In The Turn, a documentary about Crystal, a young trans girl from Timmons, ON, who finds acceptance and empowerment through encouragement from an international queer Roller Derby team. The event-goers were treated to demonstrations from local derby heroes the Raw Meat Collective and Terminal City Girls. Aug 15 - Roller Hijinx - Behshid -43 Aug 15 - Roller Hijinx - Behshid -65 Aug 15 - Roller Hijinx - Ash -26 Next screening of In The Turn: Thu Aug 20, 9:15pm at SFU GCA

Meanwhile, the International Village Cineplex Odeon played Guidance, the debut feature from director-writer-actor Pat Mills. An odd and ballsy comedy, Guidance explores the dark side of the adult-going-back-to-high-school trope. Alcoholic and deeply closeted, David is a former child start who hatches a scheme to impersonate a guidance counselor as a last attempt bid to get his life together. On the job, he bonds with the teenage misfits and bolsters their self-esteem with shots of vodka, proffering insightful, hilarious slogans of advice. Guidance Q&A 150815_IntlVllg_Q&A_0381_high Following the screening of Guidance, Mills was present to answer questions about his debut comedy. He offered earnest guidance to young filmmakers, advising them to pursue through the failures and to learn from criticism without taking it personally. Guidance was recently released in Toronto and the US and may be released on Vancouver.

Sunday was fright night at the International Village Cineplex Odeon with Stewart Thorndike’s feature feminist horror LYLE and Jason Karman’s short thriller I REALLY LIKE YOU. In LYLE, Thorndike reworks horror from a feminist lens and, with the aid of Gaby Hoffman’s superb acting chops, presents a truly terrifying and sinister tale of lesbian motherhood in present-day Brooklyn.

Jason Karman Karman and Thorndike answered questions after the screening of their films and talked about influences, both historical and filmic. Thorndike revealed that she is at work on two more installments in her feminist-minded horror trilogy. The second film, Putney, is about a haunted TED Talk and the third will feature a love triangle between a mother, her daughter, and a witch. Stewart Thorndike Q&A

Post written by guest blogger Adèle Barclay of VanDocument Find more photos of the festival on Facebook, and on our Galleries!