On behalf of the Arts Report, Brenda Grunau (CiTR Station Manager and film lover) attended the Wide Agle Media Festival Red Carpet Gala, Friday, March 23.
The inagural Wide Angle Media Festival celebrates and presents films by artists with disabilities. Friday night was the Red Carpet Gala and the premiere of five commissioned shorts. Pre-screening speeches made by Festival Producer Siobhan [McCarthy, WAM Producer and Co-Artistic Director, Kickstart Arts] credited the Roundhouse for their support and for being the only screening venue in Vancouver to host more than four wheelchairs.
Open captions and audio description added new layers of communication to each piece. The narration added a dry and stately commentary to the films, allowing you to shut your eyes and still appreciate the film. McCarthy also thanked the sponsors for producing quality production packages, which was fully evident.
The shorts ranged from dramatic to heartwarming to hilarious. Beauty School, written and acted by David Roche, was a witty and heartwarming gem, with an unusual beautician smearing Saskatoon berry salve on a woman who’s unhappy and wants a face transplant. Will was dramatic and gritty snapshot of a soldier hallucinating in a war, while Sanity for Beginners showcases a quirky discussion on losing your marbles. Patience and Absurdity was a beautiful portrayal of a mother – daughter relationship, Penguins a light comedy. It was great to see the diverse crowd, including a row of wheelchairs and several assistance dogs.
The Wide Angle Media Festival continues through Sunday, March 25
Listen to Siobhan McCarthy talk WAM on the Arts Report, March 21st.