Victoriawood Feburary

The Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival started January 24th and continues through February 5th, and if you have never attended a film festival it’s really worth a look. There are films from across Canada and countries like; Japan, Chile, Morocco, India and Hungary. The Festival includes forums and workshops, most of which ran during the first weekend.

It’s all about the films though, and they continue to run till late on Sunday the 5th. To find out what is showing, you can get a program book from the Festival office in the Capital Six Building at 808 View St. or visit VIFVF.com, tickets are available at the same. Be aware that because many of these films are brought into the province for short runs, they are unrated, and therefore one needs to buy a $2 membership and needs to be over 18 years of age for any movie that one wants to see, but this is a one time purchase. Film tickets are $8.50

Reel Youth has issued a call for submissions for its young filmmakers series that will tour the west coast of BC. Filmmakers must be under 20 years of age as of March 24th, 2006. All entries must be under ten minutes in length and submitted with entry fee of $15 to the Reel Youth Film Festival office no later than March 15th. More information can be found at reelyouth.ca.

If you are submitting a film for this festival, or making any kind of video or film production on Vancouver Island, Attractions Arts & Entertainment Magazine would love to help promote it. Send information to Don McCaskill via Attractions 2626A Bridge St., Victoria, BC, V8T 4S9

To encourage film production to continue in the province, the B.C. government offers producers a tax credit. This is common lure for many territories, as production crews often have to travel and communicate back and forth with L.A. The credits are a means to draw work and income to the region and away from the over shot state of California.

The current BC credit rates were set to expire at the end of March, but the government has announced that they will extend the deal through the end of 2008. A recent study recommended that the government drop the credits to a lower rate that would have seen many film and commercials move their shooting location east to areas with bigger incentives. Factors like the strengthening Canadian dollar that reduces the appeal of all Canadian locations, and attractive offers from various US states convinced Finance Minister Carole Taylor to keep the credits and keep BC a competitive location for film production. A new study will be conducted in 2007.

This month sees the start of a new television production in Victoria. CHUM Television, owners of the local A-Channel, is shooting the first season of Canada’s Next Top Model, which is based on Americas Next Top Model hosted and produced by Super Model Tara Banks. This Canadian version will be hosted by Alberta born Tricia Helfer, recently seen in episodes of the Vancouver made Battlestar Galactica TV series.

Local Producer Sarah King was unable to give any information about the series due to confidentiality reasons when it comes to reality series. I should have some information in April before the show airs in May on CHUM’s CITY TV network

Over in Vancouver production continues on X-Men 3 and the mystery of the story has been revealed from an unusual source. The novel adaptation of the movie by Del Rey Publishers has released a description for bookstores looking to carry the 352-page book. The book by long time X-Scribe Chris Claremont and based on Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg’s script hits shelves on May 16.

"The X-Men, mutant heroes sworn to defend a world that hates and fears them, are back! This time, with the help of new recruits The Beast and Angel, they must face evolution itself in the form of their former teammate, Jean Grey! "Possessed with the cosmic power of the Dark Phoenix, the resurrected Jean Grey has become a danger to herself, her mutant comrades, and the entire planet! To stave off this imminent threat to humanity, a potential cure is discovered and processed to treat -- and ultimately eliminate -- genetic mutations, once and for all! "Now, as the battle lines are drawn, the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, must contend with both Jean Grey's world-consuming powers, as well as the malevolent Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto!"

20th Century Fox has reportedly confirmed the title for this latest film as X-Men: The Last Stand. While the title for the film sounds like an end to the series of mutant adventures, the May 26 releases in theatres across North America may just be the start of a new branch of films. As soon as filming wraps on this film, Hugh Jackman begins work on Wolverine and Ian McKellen will soon start work on the back-story of his Magneto character. Other X-Men films are on their way as it was recently discovered that Vinnie Jones, British football star turned actor playing Juggernaut, is signed for X-Men 4 and X-Men 5.

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