Film Fest Port Alberni

Winter 2023 Series

The Alberni Valley Museum is pleased to announce the Winter 2023 Series of Film Fest. The new season kicks off with “Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On”” on Sunday, January 22, 2023.

Enjoy the recliner seats but remember seating is limited and we encourage you to get your series passes and tickets early.

Tickets and Series Passes will be available at the Museum Shop:
Single tickets are $15.00
Passes are $55.00 each and are available at the Museum from Saturday, December 17 to Saturday, January 21.

Film Fest Port Alberni film series screens at the Landmark Cinemas Paramount Theatre on select Sundays at 5:00pm.


Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On
Sunday, January 22

The life, music, and activism of legendary Indigenous singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie are explored in this documentary that is as captivating as its subject, who smashed through barriers to become an inspiration to fans and fellow musicians alike. A self-taught musician with a unique sense of phrasing, Sainte-Marie quickly became established in the 1960s folk-music mecca of Greenwich Village. Bob Dylan and fellow Canadians Robbie Robertson and Joni Mitchell counted themselves among her fans. She later became the first Indigenous person to win an Oscar (Best Original Song in 1983 for “Up Where We Belong,” from An Officer and a Gentleman) and was the first recurring Indigenous guest star on Sesame Street. But Sainte-Marie is more than a great singer and songwriter. Her integrity and insistence on addressing subjects others avoid has earned her a unique kind of respect.
This well-researched film divulges many lesser-known details of Sainte-Marie’s life, and brings together an amazing collection of musicians whose love and admiration is palpable — most notably Mitchell, who beams with affection when speaking about her.
Drawing on Sainte-Marie’s strength, humility, and experience, Thomas creates a must-see documentary. Audiences will be struck by its message of love and tolerance, and by the resilience and courage of its awe-inspiring subject.
“A raw, searing portrait of an artist and activist who has been ahead of her time every step of the way.”
Country: Canada
Running Time: 90 minutes

The Last Bus
Sunday, February 26

Depicting the best — and sometimes the worst — of humankind, director Gillies Mackinnon offers a film full of compassion, sadness, and melancholy, with a strong performance by lead actor Timothy Spall.
Spall plays Tom, an aging man whose wife has just passed away. Relying only on local buses, he plans to carry her ashes all the way across the UK to Land’s End, where they originally met. For him, it’s the reverse of the journey he had taken many years before, and the path is loaded with nostalgia. In flashbacks to the 1950s, we meet a younger Tom and his wife Mary, and learn of the unbearable tragedy that made them leave their home and life behind. The present-day narrative is composed of many unique encounters: Tom makes surprising bonds, meeting several lively and supportive characters, as well as some unpleasant ones (from a mean-spirited conductor to a racist drunk). As he travels, Tom is unaware that his unconventional journey has begun to draw attention, making him a social media phenomenon in spite of himself. The Last Bus is a gentle, charming, and heartbreaking trip composed of gorgeous landscapes, uplifting encounters, and heart-tugging memories. Mackinnon avoids movie clichés about aging, and Spall brings grace, sensitivity, and dignity to the role.
“It’s a wonderful British weepy with a modern twist.”
Country: UK
Running Time: 88 minutes

Sunday, March 26

Métis writer-director-actor Gail Maurice’s feature film debut tells the story of a suddenly orphaned Indigenous girl and her newly chosen family in Montreal in the 1980s.
Rosie (Keris Hope Hill) is a sweet, headstrong six-year-old whose mother has just died. An anglophone, Rosie’s only living relative is her francophone aunt, Frédèrique (Mélanie Bray), who at 37 has trouble holding down a job. Fred’s living situation is fragile at best, and the notion of taking in a child somehow inspires her to both fight and flee. But Rosie needs Fred, and as it turns out, Fred needs Rosie too. Maurice, whom you may recognize as an actor from Cardinal, Night Raiders, and Falls Around Her, among others, crafts a charming story of unexpected connections and found families that frames its sometimes uncomfortable reality through the eyes of an innocent. The open-hearted Rosie finds warmth and adventure in everything, embracing the outsized attitude of Fred’s gender-bending friends Flo (Constant Bernard) and Mo (Alex Trahan) and even treating a night sleeping in a junkyard as a chance to watch the stars. Maurice’s film focuses on characters on the fringes of society, including a homeless Cree man , and how they’re united and transformed by Rosie’s vibrant presence in their lives. Touching on the Sixties Scoop and disconnection from Indigenous identity, ROSIE is an ode to finding your chosen family when your blood relations have been removed from the picture.
Country: Canada
Running Time: 90 minutes

The Phantom of the Open
Sunday, April 23

Based on a true story, The Phantom of the Open finds the extraordinary in the ordinary, and proves that whether our attempts are birdies or bogeys (or worse), there’s always something to be found in trying. When optimistic shipyard worker Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies) decides to follow his dreams of becoming a golfer, no one believes him when he says he’ll make it to the British Open. In 1976, he did just that, and proceeded to golf the worst recorded score in the sport’s professional history. The Phantom of the Open follows Maurice’s stunning, hilarious, and heartwarming attempts to compete at the highest level of professional golf, all without success and much to the annoyance of the elitist golfing community. But despite his failures, Maurice rises to folkloric fame, delighting fans worldwide with his sunniness rather than his skills. Laughs and lessons abound in this story about eternal optimism, the pursuit of your dreams, and the unflinching support family members can provide to one another. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water, Spencer) gives a heartrending performance as Jean Flitcroft, Maurice’s wife and biggest exponent. This story about a man-turned–cult legend will inspire you as much as it’ll make your cheeks hurt from smiling.
“Despite its light subject matter, [The Phantom of the Open] is about something more than an obscure British folk hero (although it is also that). It’s a story about following your passion, not because of the heights this path will take you to, but because it makes you happy.”
Country: UK
Running Time: 106 minutes


For Information Contact the Alberni Valley Museum 250-720-2863.
Museum Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Thursdays to 8pm

Film Fest Port Alberni is a fundraising initiative of the Alberni Valley Museum.
The Films are distributed through The Film Circuit a Division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group.
It is our intent to provide our community with quality films that would not otherwise be available to the local theatre.
Each series of three to four films will feature a Canadian and a Foreign production.
Films are shown on select Sundays at 5pm at Landmark Cinemas Paramount on Argyle Street.
Funds raised go to support museum education and out reach programs.