Begins March 2, 2022

The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia – Take 6

Curated by Harry Killas

After a two-year COVID-era hiatus, we are pleased to reboot our series The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia” with a sixth season. 

This series began, in 2015, by looking at images of this province from the early days of cinema and television. Its focus was on B.C. films, by B.C. filmmakers, about life in B.C. Its inspiration was the Image Before Us (1986), a short documentary by poet, scholar, and filmmaker Colin Browne. In that film, Browne urged us to look behind and beyond the screen, to the ideologies presented or suggested, and to the off-screen side,” to the stories that had been excluded or untold but should be told.

We expand our scope this season by including films from B.C. filmmakers living elsewhere but making films about here; and films from B.C.-connected filmmakers that tell stories set outside our province. Victoria-raised, Toronto-based filmmaker Atom Egoyan’s B.C.-situated film The Sweet Hereafter (1997), and Vancouver-based filmmaker Mina Shum’s Quebec-situated Ninth Floor (2015), come to mind here.

We open our sixth season with a tribute to the late Phillip Owen, former mayor of Vancouver, and a screening of Fix: The Story of an Addicted City (2002), directed by Nettie Wild. Urgent themes treated in the film, such as addiction and the mean streets” of Vancouver, are threaded throughout our series this year, as are contemporary themes of ecology, land (whose land is it?), voice (who controls the narrative?), and race.

We will also salute the new wave of independent filmmakers in this province, starting, in our second program, with the recent The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019), co-directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn.

Entertaining films with a focus on arts and culture, as well as hidden gems from the vault,” will fill out our lineup this year.

While many films in this series are from the past, ultimately a film series with an historical focus invites us to ask: How can we look forward if we don’t know where we have come from? Look closely and find the connections—if you dare!

Harry Killas

Harry Killas is a Vancouver filmmaker and Associate Professor, Dynamic Media, Emily Carr University of Art + Design.


Harry Killas is grateful to Colin Browne for his curatorial assistance on this season of “The Image Before Us.”

Upcoming Screenings

  • Ninth Floor web1
  • Ninth Floor
  • Canada2015
  • Mina Shum
  • 81 DCP
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History
  • If You Are Hungry Sing web1
  • If You’re Hungry, Sing. If You Ache, Laugh + The Basketball Game
  • 65
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History
  • Is There A Picture web1
  • Is There a Picture
  • Canada2017
  • Ric Beairsto, Harry Killas
  • 95 DCP
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History
  • Al Neil web1
  • Al Neil: A Portrait + In Search of Innocence
  • 71
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History
  • Street Kids
  • From the Vault: Portraiture
  • 77
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History
  • The Rainbow Boys web1
  • The Rainbow Boys + The Railrodder + Still Gold in Them Thar Hills
  • 117
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History
  • Salmon people web2
  • Salute to Tony Westman
  • 78
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History
  • Rocco brothers web1
  • From the Vault: Archival Night – Vancouver Independents
  • 73
  • NR
  • B.C. Film History

List of Programmed Films

Date Film Title Director(s) Year Country
2022-Mar Fix: The Story of an Addicted City Nettie Wild 2002 Canada
2022-Mar The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers . . . 2019 Canada
2022-Mar The Sweet Hereafter Atom Egoyan 1997 Canada
2022-Apr Greenpeace
2022-Apr Edge of the Knife Gwaai Edenshaw . . . 2018 Canada
2022-May Turbulence + Good Stuff
2022-May Continuous Journey Ali Kazimi 2004 Canada
2022-May The Journey of Natty Gann Jeremy Kagan 1985 USA
2022-Jun Ninth Floor Mina Shum 2015 Canada
2022-Jun If You’re Hungry, Sing. If You Ache, Laugh
2022-Jun Is There a Picture Ric Beairsto . . . 2017 Canada
2022-Jun Al Neil: A Portrait + In Search of Innocence
2022-Jul From the Vault: Portraiture
2022-Jul The Rainbow Boys
2022-Jul Salute to Tony Westman
2022-Jul From the Vault