‘Unarmed Verses’ Wins Best Canadian Doc at VIFF

Unarmed Verses
Courtesy of the NFB

By Pat Mullen

The Vancouver International Film Festival announced its B.C. and Canadian winners for the 2017 edition of the festival. Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses was the big winner on the documentary front, scooping the prize for Best Canadian Documentary. This award for Officer’s film about the uncertain future of the youths in Toronto’s Villaways housing community received a $15,000 prize. The VIFF award ws the latest victory for Unarmed Verses, which won the same prize at Hot Docs where it had its world premiere earlier this year. Melanie Wood’s Shut Up and Say Something about spoken word artist Shane Koyczan received an honourable mention.

Also on the documentary front, Wayne Wapeemukwa’s hybrid fiction Luk’Luk’I won the Best BC Film Award. The award carried a $10,000 development bursary from the Harold Greenberg Fund and a $15,000 post-production services credit supplied by Encore (Deluxe Ent Services Group). Wapeemukwa’s film about residents in Vancouver’s East Side playing interpretations of their own lives won the award for Best Canadian First Feature earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival where it premiered last month.

Other docs recognized at VIFF were Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’, c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city, which received a special mention for the BC Sea to Sky Award.

Get the complete list of winners at VIFF.

Visit the POV VIFF Hub for more coverage from this year’s festival.

VIFF runs Sept. 28-Oct. 13.
Visit VIFF.org for more information on this year’s festival.