2016 Powell River Film Fest

Once again the annual February festival is coming to Powell River and as usual the lineup is incredible. This year there is a strong theme, highlighting the unique relationship between people and the land both here in Canada and around the world.

About the Powell River Film Festival

Credit: (c) Sunshine Coast Tourism

2016 marks the festival’s 15th year, bringing the finest current releases to the Sunshine Coast. Officially the Friends of Film Society of Powell River, the organization considers submissions by local filmmakers as well as international selections. Many that are chosen are recent works and include a presentation by the filmmaker at the festival in keeping with the first of the group’s mandate to raise the public’s artistic knowledge of cinematic art.

Details you need to know

Opening Night: Wednesday, February 17th
Khali Gibran’s The Prophet, the 9:45 am showing at the Evergreen Theatre welcomes students and the public.  The opening night reception kicks off at 7 p.m., and is followed by The Second Mother, a Brazilian film which explores the complex relationship between mothers and daughters, kinship, and socio-economic dynamics in modern Brazil.


Location: Most films are screened at the historic Patricia Theatre, newly restored after a 2014 flood wreaked havoc on the beautiful building.

Admission: Prices for films are between $8 and $15, plus one $2 festival membership. Festival passes to view all films are priced at $90

Hotly Anticipated Flicks

Credit: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

Two films in particular are expected to draw large audiences. The first is Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World.  The film explores the breathtaking archipelago off the British Columbia Northwest Coast and the community which is working to protect the land and sea for future generations. Following the screening movie-goers will be treated to a question-and-answer period with the film’s director, Charles Wilkinson. It’s a highlight that’s not to be missed.


The second headliner, The Lady in the Van, stars Dame Maggie Smith and closely follows the true story of a woman who parked her van in Alan Bennett’s London driveway and managed to remain there for 15 years.

Festival Highlight

5-Minute Film Contest

The always inspiring 5-Minute Film Contest winners showcase the talents of young artists in two age categories: under age 15 and ages 15 – 19.  View last year’s winners on the Powell River Film Fest YouTube channel before this year’s winners are announced on the 19th.

PRFF Schedule of Events

Credit: Ever the Land

The full schedule is as follows and complete film descriptions can be found on the website:

Wednesday, February 17th

9:45 a.m. – Khali Gibran’s The Prophet (Multinational animation, English). Exiled artist Mustafa heads toward home with his housekeeper and her daughter, evading the authorities that fear the truth in his words.

7:00 p.m. – Opening Night Reception

8:00 p.m. – Second Mother (Brazilian drama, Portuguese).  A woman spends 13 years as a nanny to a young girl in Sao Paulo, leaving her own daughter in the care of relatives – until her daughter arrives in the city.

Thursday, February 18th

9:45 a.m. –  All the Time in the World (Canadian documentary, English).  The film follows a family that left the grid to spend a winter in the Yukon wilderness.

7:00 p.m. – Tender (Australian documentary, English).  A community strives to take back a practice that is taboo for most people, the care of their dead.

Panel discussion follows presented by the Hospice Society & PR Division of Family Practice

Credit: Tender

Friday, February 19th

9:45 a.m. – Landfill Harmonic (Multinational documentary, Spanish).  The story of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay, a musical youth group that makes instruments out of garbage.

7:00 p.m. – The Anima Profile (Canadian documentary, French, English, Arabic).  A Montreal resident corresponds with an American-Syrian lesbian in Damascus who is subsequently kidnapped.

5-Minute Film Contest winners are announced

Saturday, February 20th

10:00 a.m. – Sugar Coated (Canadian documentary, English).  The filmmakers explore the campaign to hide the effects of sugar and its role in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Lunch sales at noon

1:00 p.m. – Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (Canadian documentary, English), accompanied by Claudia Medina’s short Carving Reconciliation. Scientists, farmers, artists and islanders work together to create a sustainable system for their land.

Q&A with the director follows

3:30 p.m. – Ever the Land with Dasiqox Tribal Park (New Zealand documentary, English). Exploring the bond between people and their land.

7:00 p.m. – 15th Anniversary Party

8:00 p.m. – The Lady in the Van (Drama, English).  A woman known only as Miss Shepherd parks her van in a family’s driveway temporarily – and stays for 15 years.

Credit: Lady in the Van

Sunday, February 21st

10:30 a.m. – Fresh Perspectives – Youth films (donations accepted)

1:00 p.m. – The Lady in the Van (Drama, English)

More than Movies

In addition to the Film Festival, the organization supports programming films for schools and the public, and a film camp for youth. Participants learn from professional media artists and attend seminars by directors, filmmakers and other media professionals. There is plenty of hands-on activity and collaboration with other young filmmakers, and attendees leave with a short film with which to start their portfolio.

Plan Your Visit

Telephone: 604-414-9758

Buy tickets online: prfilmfestival.ca/box-office

Buy tickets in person: Breakwater Books, 4726 Marine Ave, Powell River V8A 2L4. Tel: (604) 489-0010 or at the door.

Venue (unless otherwise noted): Patricia Theatre, 5848 Ash Ave, Powell River  V8A 4R6

Email: info@prfilmfestival.ca

Travelling to Powell River for the festival?
Let Sunshine Coast Tourism help plan your trip

Click here to enter to win a Powell River Film Festival excursion package! Includes a pair of passes for the Festival; with tickets to our 15th Anniversary party and screening of Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith on Saturday February 20, beginning at 7pm; 1 night’s accommodation at the Courthouse Inn; and return transportation for two via Pacific Coastal Airlines or  BC Ferries.

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