Music movies among VIFF 2022 highlights

Packed Vancouver film fest celebrates B.C.’s best among award winners

VANCOUVER — A packed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) wrapped up this weekend and award winners include Riceboy Sleeps (Best Canadian Film); Geographies of Solitude (Best Canadian Documentary); Until Banches Bend (Best B.C. film); and Baba (Best Canadian Short Film).

The Vanguard Award went to Other Cannibals and Charlotte Le Bon received an Emerging Canadian Director nod for Falcon Lake.

Here are three of our favourite music-related films at VIFF. They may not have picked up any awards but we think they deserve a viewing anyway. Release information on these films is still pending.


Music Pictures: New Orleans

What: Movie, 72 mins.
Genre: Documentary
Why you should watch: Beautifully shot and even more beautifully scored, this film transports viewers to New Orleans to learn about the life of the city’s soul and blues icons. It begins with the “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” Irma Thomas, a tremendously talented singer who shares her story — which includes battling racism and misogyny and losing friends in the industry — and her charming personality with viewers. Other local legends Benny Jones Sr., Little Freddie King, and Ellis and Jason Marsalis shared their histories and incredible footage of their shows, making for a stimulating and information-packed watch. Music Pictures: New Orleans is a touching portrait of the soul and blues scene in one of the most musically rich places on Earth.

Ever Deadly director Tanya Tagaq by Thomas Van DerZaag

Ever Deadly director Tanya Tagaq by Thomas Van DerZaag

Ever Deadly

What: Movie, 90 mins.
Genre: Documentary
Why you should watch: If there’s such thing as a slow-burn documentary, this is it. Any fans of Tanya Tagaq, the beloved Inuk throat singer, will relish the opportunity to watch the star in her element in this intense and emotional movie. Most of the film is Tagaq performing or reading poetry, but it also offers a behind-the-curtain look at how her creative process comes together. It shows us who she is not just as an artist but also as a mother and individual. It’s an emotional collage of family footage, interviews, shows and voiceovers to clips of nature and Tagaq’s loved ones. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls epidemic, and how it affected the artist, is also given ample screen time.

To look out for news of the film coming to your area, it’s best to follow The National Film Board (@thenfb) and/or Tanya Tagaq herself (@tagaq) on Twitter.


OKAY! (The ASD Band Film)

What: Movie, 86 mins.
Genre: Documentary
Why you should watch: I’m biased as an autistic musician, but this artfully made documentary brought smile after smile to my face. OKAY! (The ASD Band Film) follows a four-piece alternative rock band with all-autistic members as they make their first studio-recorded album, helping us learn about who they are as the story unfolds. Each of the four members are remarkably talented, and it’s refreshing to see autistic representation on screen in a way that doesn’t diminish the joy and creativity that comes from the community. If you’re not autistic, this is an important watch to get an idea of the many ways autism manifests and affects folks. Plus, the music rocks, and it’s absolutely full of catchy hooks!

Check out the directors’ Twitter accounts for updates on where and when you can watch these films.

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