VIFF 2009 alumni special: interviews with NSI grads

They’ve gone east, now it’s time to head west – the National Screen Institute brings you alumni highlights for the upcoming Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) October 1 – 16.

Nine – count ‘em – nine films from our lovely alumni screening at VIFF – including two world premieres.

We fought the bleak Prairie landscape to chat with Danishka Esterhazy about her film Black Field, a dark historical drama set in 19th century rural Canada.

We saved up enough pocket change to call Kris Booth to ask him about his new feature At Home By Myself … With You.


Sean Garrity’s latest feature Zooey & Adam plays at VIFF. Last year Sean and Jonas Chernick did a great video interview for NSI giving hints and tips about actors working with directors.

Liz Jarvis co-produced the award-winning Amreeka, which also screens at VIFF. Check out part 2 of her video interview from our archives.

Pat Mills’ 5 Dysfunctional People in a Car and Trevor Anderson’s The Island head to the Pacific. We have their pre-TIFF audio interviews in case you missed them.

And from the vaults of Brian Linehan’s CityLightscomes a classic 1977 interview with Christopher Plummer who stars in Heath Ledger’s last film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which heads to the Vancouver screen. We’ve just posted part two.

Kris Booth interview

How did pocket change help fund Kris’ feature film and what is his favourite type of footwear? Check out our interview with NSI Features First alumnus Kris Booth as he chats with Chris Vajcner about the world premiere of his romantic comedy At Home By Myself … With You.

Kris Booth VIFF podcast

  • At Home By Myself … With You screens at VIFF Tuesday October 6 and Thursday October 8 – Agaraphobe Romy Scott finds herself in an existential crisis as romance leads her to question her fears, and even join us in laughing at them.

Danishka Esterhazy interview

Inspired by the Brontë sisters’ novels Danishka brings a traditional 1800s British setting to Manitoba in her first feature film, Black Field. Liz Hover caught up with this NSI alumna to talk about the film and find out if she prefers True Blood or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Interview with Danishka Esterhazy

  • Black Field screens at VIFF Tuesday October 13 and Wednesday October 14 – Two sisters’ lives are forever changed when a mysterious and charming man arrives at their isolated farm.
  • Black Field is featured in the latest Reel West magazine. Read the article.

Sean Garrity and Jonas Chernick interview

Get some practical tips for working with actors and directors as director (and NSI Features First alumnus) Sean Garrity and actor Jonas Chernick talk about the director-actor relationship. –> Watch Sean and Jonas

  • Zooey & Adam screens at VIFF Saturday October 3 and Sunday October 4 – A very controversial film following a couple, Adam and Zooey, who have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant for seven months. A short camping trip leads to trauma and, ultimately, pregnancy and their relationship spirals.

Liz Jarvis interview

Revisit part 2 of NSI’s interview with NSI Features First alumna Liz Jarvis. She co-produced Amreeka.  –> Watch Liz Jarvis

  • Amreeka screens at VIFF on Friday October 9 and Friday October 16 – A sensitive neo-realist re-telling of the American immigrant saga, with some important twists.

Pat Mills interview

What is Pat’s favourite movie snack and what did he used to nosh on when he was a kid? Find this out and more when Pat Mills (NSI Drama Prize and NSI Features First) talks to Chris Vajcner about his short film 5 Dysfunctional People in a Car and his career as an emerging filmmaker.

Interview with Pat Mills

  • 5 Dysfunctional People in Car screens at VIFF Sunday October 11 and Monday October 12  – A family takes their reluctant grandma to a nursing home against her wishes.

Trevor Anderson interview

When Trevor Anderson (NSI Drama Prize) received a piece of homophobic fan mail, he made a film about it. Listen to Trevor talk to Liz Hover about his short film The Island and his band The Wet Secrets.

Interview with Trevor Anderson

  • The Island plays at VIFF Sunday October 11 and Monday October 12  – Trevor considers, with the help of animation, a piece of fan mail he received which leads to an imagined “fantasy island” for gay people.

Christopher Plummer podcast

Brian Linehan chats with Christopher Plummer in this 1977 CityLights interview – Plummer has the title role in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Heath Ledger’s last film, screening Friday October 2 and Sunday October 4. –> Watch CityLights

More NSI alumni at VIFF

Check out other NSI alumni films screening at VIFF.

  • NSI Drama Prize film In Between by writer/director Nadine Valcin and producer Brigitte Boucher screens Monday October 12 and Tuesday October 13.
  • Cole (by director Carl Bessai), producer Jason James (NSI Totally Television) screens Thursday October 8 and Friday October 9.
  • A Shine of Rainbows (by Vic Sarin), associate producer John Bolton (NSI Drama Prize, NSI Totally Television) screens Thursday October 1 and Friday October 2.

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Got alumni news?

If you're an NSI graduate with news to share about your latest project, get in touch and we'll get the word out on our website in alumni news, and social channels.

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