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

Construction in Oak Bay is nearly all focused on rebuilding new single-family homes and without secondary suites. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay nears regulation of secondary suites

Preliminary report hints there’s no preferred option

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read