Reel weekend of Canadian movies

The Vogue Theatre is screening the annual Reel Canadian Film Festival.  - Photo by P. McLachlan
The Vogue Theatre is screening the annual Reel Canadian Film Festival.
— image credit: Photo by P. McLachlan

By Ezra Black

The ninth annual Reel Canadian Film Fest’s opening night will feature a screening of the made-in-BC film, Grand Unified Theory.

Writer, director and producer David Ray and two of the films lead actors Emma Grabinsky and Andrew McNee will be on hand for the screening at the Vogue Theatre followed by an opening reception gala at the (former) Central Bar next door.

Grand Unified Theory was filmed in North Vancouver. Some scenes were filmed in Ray’s childhood home.

It tells the story of a brilliant astrophysicist Albert James’ family (Scott Bellis) having a raucous weekend where each member goes through some kind of crisis that mirror the father’s radical theories of the behaviour of the universe.

“It’s about how the seemingly catastrophic events that happen in people’s lives are perhaps connected to larger and grander designs,” said Ray. “It’s also just watching a bunch of people who love each other do a bunch of crazy stuff.”

Grand Unified Theory had its Canadian premiere on Dec. 2, 2016 at Whistler Film Festival. It won Most Popular Canadian Film there.

Ray, a veteran filmmaker who gave Jay Baruchel his first leading role in a feature film, said Grand Unified Theory is his opportunity to make an indie film that explores ideas outside the confines of commercial pictures.

“I work often for other producers and in other environments where you have  to stay in your lane and stay on target,” he said. “And you’re not allowed to talk about a lot of things that are important. This movie was the chance to put every philosophy I’ve come across into a movie. It was really neat to have a diversity of perspectives and ideas.”

Ray’s bringing along Grabinsky, a Canadian actress who has appeared in Supernatural, R.L Stine’s The Haunting Hour, and Mr Hockey: the Gordie Howe Story, as well as McNee, a Vancouver based actor whose recent film appearances include Aim For The Roses and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid.

Grand Unified Theory is being screened Jan. 20.

The Reel Canadian Film Fest is being held on the weekend of January 20 – 22 and will showcase the talent and skill of the nation’s filmmakers.

In addition to Grand Unified Theory, the festival will also feature It’s Only the End of the World and Weirdos on Jan. 21 and Koneline and The Edge of Seventeen on Jan. 22.

Festival Passes and opening night film/reception tickets are available until Jan. 20 at The Arts Station.

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