Feature Focus 2023

Focus on Features for Grades 4-7!


Our Feature Focus program (grades 4-7) promotes an in-depth development of media literacy and critical thinking skills. These weekday matinee screenings of thought-provoking films are followed by a Q&A with a discussant  about the film’s content, message and aesthetic. Viewing guides are provided to all participating teachers, with useful questions, activities and resources for integrating each program’s content into your classroom.

After your registration, we will contact you regarding pre-purchasing snack-packs (1 small popcorn + 1 small soda). If your students plan on purchasing popcorn or drinks at concession we highly recommend you pre-order snack packs, or arrive 30 mins early. The screening will start on time, regardless of if every student is able to purchase snacks or not.

When: Thursday, March 30 / Friday, March 3 / Thursday April 6, 2023
Where: VIFF Centre Theatre, Vancouver


COST: $7 per student (film screening + study guide)

Twelve-year-old Justine firmly believes that she will be happier once her parents divorce. Drained by the shouting and bickering that pervades their home, Justine rallies a group of her friends to hatch a plan that will convince her lawyer parents to reconsider their marriage. The kids gather research and evidence to create a publicly staged examination of the facts. A playful and at times serious look at the dynamics and importance of compassionate familial communication.

Inspired by stories that writer/director/producer Jerry Thevenet’s grandmother told him as a young boy, a courageous young Inuit girl, Sedna, is kidnapped by a duplicitous raven and held captive on a dark and secluded island. Escaping on kayak, Sedna falls into the frigid arctic waters and magically transforms into a mermaid-like goddess– the Empress of the Sea. This special animation is a light-hearted, action-adventure musical that uses comedy, metaphors and allegory to introduce young people to the concept of residential schools and their impact on Indigenous children and families.

Named Niklas at birth, 8-year old Nina will no longer hide who she really is. Today Nina has decided to wear a dress to school, regardless of what her parents, brother, or classmates think – she has always felt like a girl and now she’s ready to live as one. Traversing the stages of loss, denial, bargaining, anger, and acceptance, throughout Nina’s unflinching pursuit of self-actualization, Simply Nina centers love and tells the story of a nuanced family that sticks together when it’s needed most.

Shafa is not like most girls her age, she saves animals, defends smaller kids, and races motorcycles against the boys–refusing to abide by the cultural expectations thrust upon her. In Iran, on the Island of Singo, there is a strict hierarchy between men and women, and many unfair rules and standards. Shafa must defend what’s right, facing off against the richest man in town, Barat Khan.

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