Personal highlights of 2018

With 2018 coming to a close (on Monday to be exact), I figured what better way to sum up of my favourite moments of this year. There’s been so much going on, it’s been quite an exciting and fun-filled year. So here are some of the greatest things that Hollywood North Magazine has ever been a part of, as well as some of the most noteworthy reviews ever done.

Vancouver Short Film Festival 2018 – A short and simple festival that covers short films, because short films are the majority of films shot just about anywhere. They are a lot easier to work on after all. VSFF always showcases some amazing films that make you think, feel, and even freak out. This year they introduced an afterdark special for the fans of horror films. Super excited for the 2019 festival coming up this year.

DGC BC Annual Short Film Awards Pitch Session – For the first time in… ever, DGC BC hosted a pitch session for aspiring filmmakers and filmmakers who have been in the biz for quite some time. It also screened an award winning short film that took place at the Downtown Eastside, a place where only drug addicts reside. But they’ve got stories to tell (coming out on a documentary I co-created) and this short film really captures the essence of that particular landmark. There was also a chance to mingle with industry people as well. Will there be another one of these next year? Let’s hope.

Crazy 8’s 2018 – Crazy 8’s is a great way to get your short film concept off the ground and get into the industry as well. Those who work in Crazy 8’s practically have won Crazy 8’s in the past. This was one of the best events to cover. The best thing about Crazy 8’s is it’s always jampacked with excitement and good interesting films that make their way through festivals like crazy.  And as if the screening’s not enough, it gets even better with the afterparty at Science World. 

Vancouver Web Fest 2018 – I’ve been going to this for years, ever since I started out as a simple volunteer, jumping from one station to another. They were short-staffed back then. This year’s VWF was the absolute best because it managed to expand to a new venue with many more rooms. Like most film festivals, it’s a great place to make connections. Unlike most film festivals, it’s a great place to learn how to get better involved in the online community of marketing, as well as tips on how to make successful and good web series. Sadly, due to personal issues with Suzette Laqua, next year’s VWF is postponed until 2020. Here’s hoping for Suzette to make it through her surgery and to have a speedy recovery while doing so. 

Leo Awards – Hollywood North Magazine got the great opportunity to watch the amazing awards ceremony known as the Leo Awards, which is probably the most important awards ceremony ever. Guests are treated like the most expensive gold in Fort Knox with top quality gourmet meals, outstanding entertainment, and top-notch awards for so many categories such as TV shows, Movies, documentaries, and even student films. Truly an amazing event and I’m hoping for more great chances for coverage next year.

WIFTV Spotlight Gala – The best thing about the film industry is the fact that there women working in it. And they always do an incredible and creative job at any film they write, direct, and make. In fact, they do an incredible and creative job at anything in the film industry. The WIFTV Spotlight awards not only showcased some of the greatest women winning stunning awards, but audience also got treated to a delicious buffet, and Tracy Bell hosting with a wide plethora of talented impersonations. Who knows what could be in store for this year?

Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon 13 – The head starter for Vancouver Asian Film Festival, MAMM is like most short film competitions where teams are given special subjects they must cover. Slightly different from the usual short film competitions because they become part of VAFF which happens later on in the year. MAMM this year had a huge amount of teams (slightly more than average, I heard) with so many great and funny films. I could probably be on the teams for next year, but who knows if I’d still be able to cover the event? Hmm…

Review on Anthem of a Teenage Prophet – People are still liking and retweeting this review to this day. Probably because it stars Cameron Monaghan. And because it had a great concept. As you can imagine, when you have dreams that predicts the deaths of your friends and neighbours, it’s frightening when they come true. This was one of my favourites, it was a thrilling movie with a good amount of humour and it got filmed in less than a month.

Review on My Name was January – A short and well-done documentary about a trans woman in New West who had been murdered, My Name was January has extended quite a reach out to festivals in North America. When you watch this, you can’t help but feel a connection, it’s almost like January is there with you. This is probably the best documentary I’ve seen in a while.

Vancouver Asian Film Festival 2018 – This may seem a bit like cheating since I mentioned MAMM, which is technically part of VAFF, but I still enjoyed it this year because it really was something else. VAFF is what truly defines the Asian power of Vancouver, explaining the diversity of our quaint city and showcasing great Asian work from other places around the globe (There was no GPIFF this year). So many films, documentaries, and short films that were so amazing, I can’t possibly say how impressed I was with this year. Oh, they also gave seminars on making it big.

Review on Brave Little Army – One thing I liked about this film is that the whole crew consisted of women. Another thing I liked about this film is how it takes a crazy turn of events when you least expect it. When Em’s best friends discover the crazy secret about Em’s mother at a slumber party, it’s hard for them to unsee what they just saw. What did they see? You gotta watch the film to find out. But anyways, this was an exciting work of art that I enjoyed in all aspects.

Whistler Film Festival 2018 – After last year, I admit I was a bit hesitant to do it again. But I’m glad I got to cover WFF again. The festival consisted of a lot of great screeners, fun functions and networking events to hang out at, and seminars I may or not have been involved with. I’ve already made plans to attend again next year, and who knows? It could just be much more exciting.

UBCP/ACTRA Awards 2018  – Now this had to be one of the best events I ever got to be a part of. It was a chance for me to talk to Canadian celebrities, see some of the greatest awards in the UBCP/ACTRA union being given out, and great food and alcohol had been provided. I’m hoping to attend next year, and possibly bring the team along as well.

These are just a few things that made this year the best, and I’m hoping for even more highlights to make next year even better. I can’t wait.

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