Gender Equity in Media Society announces dates and selections for 19th annual International Film Festival, GEMFest

Gender Equity in Media (Gem) Society announces dates and lineup for their 19th annual international film festival, GEMFest. The festival, which was previously called the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, will take place in-person at VIFF Centre in Vancouver from March 5-9 includes screenings, receptions, panels and more. GEMFest will have 37 films from 14 countries, made up of 14 Canadian films — with six from local BC filmmakers.

“With sincere gratitude to our supporters, this year’s festival marks a collective triumph over challenges and serves as a testament to our industry’s resilience. GEMFest is not just a festival; it is a resonant platform amplifying voices that insist on being heard, carving an indelible space in the ever-evolving narrative of cinema,” said Programs and Events Manager, Patrycja Mila Kamska.

The festival, now in its 19th year, continues to provide a platform for challenging gender imbalance and the lack of equity and diversity in the screen-based media industry. GEMS is proud to present a selection of compelling feature films that delve into pivotal moments in history and personal narratives. Highlights include Analogue Revolution: How Feminist Media Changed the World by filmmaker Marusya Bociurkiw which chronicles the labour, hurdles, and triumphs of Canadian feminist media between the 1970s-1990s, tracing the rise and fall of analogue communications preceding the MeToo era. Tautuktavuk, directed by Carol Kunnuk and Lucy Tulugarjuk, artfully blurs the line between narrative and non-fiction, offering a poignant exploration of domestic violence and substance abuse through the eyes of two Inuit women, Uyarak and Saqpinak. The film underscores the importance of community, culture, and family in their journey of recovery.

The shorts programmes include an array of narrative, documentary, and animated films. Canadian highlights include Hair or No Hair, Chicken, Yaye, Cherry, Heat Spell, Streetcar, Two One Two, The Light Is My Birthplace, Loud and Here, Sisterhood Softball, and Indigenous shorts including Nisihkason Lex, Our Grandmother The Inlet, and Redlights.

GEMFest is also proud to present a slate of in-person events and ancillary programming, including an International Women’s Day Panel on March 8th, featuring major players in diversity and inclusion efforts.

“I would like to sincerely thank our funders, sponsors, community partners, members, staff and Board of Directors for their trust and support in bringing GEMFest to fruition this year. It has been a challenging year for our BC industry, and the generous support we’ve received in spite of that speaks volumes to our local industry stakeholders’ priorities and values. This year’s GEMFest is an immense labour of dedication and care on the part of the GEMS team and our community, and I could not be more proud to have had a hand in it,” says GEMS Executive Director, Anaïsa Visser.

GEMFest is presented with support from Canadian Heritage, Canada Media Fund, BC Arts Council, Creative BC, City of Vancouver Cultural Services, Telefilm, Canadian Media Producers Association and the Director’s Guild of Canada British Columbia Branch.

The in-person portion of the festival will be followed by a virtual festival from March 12-26.


Tribune Online