Maddie, played by Melanie Rose Wilson (right) and Cher, played by Arabella Costello, in a scene from the upcoming Telefilm Talent to Watch feature film All-in Madonna, which premieres virtually at the Whistler Film Festival on Dec. 9. (Courtesy Blue Lake Films Ltd).

Maddie, played by Melanie Rose Wilson (right) and Cher, played by Arabella Costello, in a scene from the upcoming Telefilm Talent to Watch feature film All-in Madonna, which premieres virtually at the Whistler Film Festival on Dec. 9. (Courtesy Blue Lake Films Ltd).

Saanich director’s first feature virtually premieres at Whistler Film Festival

All-in Madonna, directed by Arnold Lim, streams Dec. 9 and is available through Dec. 31

It’s not the same as watching your first feature-length film premiere in a theatre, but Arnold Lim is “super, super excited” about the virtual launch of All-in Madonna at the Whistler Film Festival.

The Saanich-based director and filmmaker, by day the executive producer of Black Press Video Networks, is joining the film’s cast, crew and supporters for a COVID-friendly online watch party on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

“I go in trying to make the best film I can make and that’s all I can do, and to get accepted at the Whistler Film Festival is amazing, I’m so grateful for it,” he says. “I never really thought that it would get in, I had no idea and no preconceived notions about where it would go.”

The festival is offering film showings and other elements virtually through Dec. 20, and all films are available to stream until Dec. 31 for $15 each. Discount rates are available for multiple films.

All-in Madonna, directed by Lim and written by Susie Winters – the two met when both attended the University of Victoria – is one of 15 nominees for the Borsos Award as Best Canadian Feature at the festival.

Although Lim didn’t write the screenplay, he sees a lot of his own experiences in the story.

RELATED STORY: Black Press videographer leads Island-made film

Shot in Victoria and up Island with a predominantly Island cast and crew, the film follows Maddie (Melanie Rose Wilson), a 17-year-old girl living in a small rural town. She learns dark secrets about her father and has to reconcile herself with the man she thought she knew and who he may actually be.

“[She] has to go through a journey to really understand herself and where she stands in this small town and where her family stands,” Lim says. “A lot of it is about identity and the cyclical aspect of who we are and what that means.”

Lim spent his early teen years in the small town of Blue River, B.C., where he was not so much “Arnold,” but “the gas station owner’s son,” or “the Korean kid.” Despite the culture shock moving from Edmonton, he began some lifelong friendships there.

While at 13 he didn’t fully understand the idea of identity, he says it impacted his idea of how one’s family legacy impacts their children, “and that’s one of the themes in the film.”

The film was made through a Telefilm Talent to Watch grant worth $125,000 and a $25,000 B.C. Arts Council grant. A short, separately produced version of All-in Madonna, used as proof of concept in the two grant applications, is just finishing its festival circuit run.

RELATED STORY: Black Press videographer to direct full-length feature, wins Telefilm grant worth $125,000

Lim is humble, often deflecting credit for his own accomplishments and talents.

As he describes the dedication, commitment and passion of those involved in creating the film, it’s clear it could not have come together without people going the extra mile and believing in the project.

“Making a feature length film of any sort is a huge endeavour and really this film wasn’t built on anything other than the sweat equity of Vancouver Island artists,” Lim said.

“There’s no way you can make a film like this when you don’t have enough money if artists aren’t willing to hustle and put in their own time and energy far beyond what they’re paid … it’s a testament to the passion that artists have for making their art as well as supporting other artists.”

To stream All-in Madonna, visit whistlerfilmfestival.com/how-to-buy.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Festivalfilm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Director Arnold Lim (centre) works behind the scenes with crew members on All-in Madonna, which premieres virtually at the Whistler Film Festival on Dec 9. (Patrick Coble/Blue Lake Films Ltd.)

Director Arnold Lim (centre) works behind the scenes with crew members on All-in Madonna, which premieres virtually at the Whistler Film Festival on Dec 9. (Patrick Coble/Blue Lake Films Ltd.)

Just Posted

My FED Farm, created by Food Eco District (FED), is aiming to help people affected by the COVID-19 grow food in their own back yard. The program is in collaboration with Sooke Region Food CHI, Transition Sooke and the Sooke Garden Club. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke backyard food program returns

The Sooke Backyard Food Program is returning for a second year. Sooke… Continue reading

Father Marinaldo Batista, who served at Catholic parishes in Saanich and Sooke, died April 1 in Brazil from complications of COVID-19. (Facebook/St. Elizabeth Church)
Brazilian priest who served in Saanich and Sooke dies from COVID-19

Father Marinaldo Batista, 53, went to Brazil to visit his parents and died there April 1

Colwood resident Maria Curcic shows off a one-of-a-kind hat that she created. Curcic is one of several artists that took part in the annual Stinking Fish Studio Tour. (Contributed - Maria Curcic)
Curtain closes on Stinking Fish Studio Tour

The Stinking Fish Studio Tour will live on through the lasting legacy… Continue reading

Colwood restaurants can use city property for patios. (Black Press Media file photo)
Temporary patios back on for Colwood restaurants

Council voted to extend temporary permits to 2022

A photograph of the real firearm beside the replica firearm seized by VicPD in the early hours of April 18. (Courtesy VicPD)
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria

Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read