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Telus Corp (2)
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Telus to premiere two films at Vancouver Film Festival

2023-09-25 11:26 ET - News Release

Mr. Cameron Zinger reports


Telus Corp. will world premiere two highly anticipated films, Physician, Heal Thyself and Union Street, at the 42nd edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). As part of a continuing commitment to support and showcase exceptional Canadian talent, Telus originals is proud to present these locally produced and thought-provoking cinematic works that explore themes and people that are integral to the history of Vancouver communities.

"Telus originals works hard to support films that reflect the experiences of communities across Canada," says Cameron Zinger, director, Telus Local Content. "Both Physician, Heal Thyself and Union Street do this incredibly well, while also pushing audiences to reflect on the complexities of people and history alike. We're so pleased to introduce these two films and share them with the attendees of VIFF."

Physician, Heal Thyself: This film offers a searingly intimate portrait of the celebrated expert on addiction, stress and trauma, Dr. Gabor Mate. The documentary follows Dr. Mate's life's journey, from his start as a young contrarian to a contemporary icon who still struggles to manage his own painful past and complicated behaviours. After growing up in Europe during the holocaust, Dr. Mate immigrated to Vancouver postwar and has lived in Vancouver for most of his life. He has introduced many important works of literature into the continuing discussions around addiction, stress, ADHD and trauma. Physician, Heal Thyself will premiere on Oct. 5, 6 p.m. at SFU Woodwards, with a second screening on Oct. 6, 3:30 p.m. at the Rio Theatre. More information can be found on-line.

"Like a lot of people, I discovered Gabor Mate's work while confronting my own addictions," shares director Asher Penn. "Three months sober and desperate for insight I stumbled across his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, the only title I could find that addressed addiction, its cause and treatment holistically. A charismatic, tortured soul, he pulled from a diaspora of ideas far outside the lexicon of any doctor I had ever encountered. He seemed more like an artist. I kept asking myself, Who is this person? How did he come to be? What began with a two-day studio interview to answer this question has now manifested into Physician, Heal Thyself -- none of which could have happened without the hard work of an amazing team and the support of Telus originals."

Executive producer Shannon Walsh says: "The film is a fascinating look behind the curtain of this celebrated writer and speaker, which reveals a complicated and often conflicted man whom I think we can all relate to. We are incredibly grateful for the continued and fundamental support provided by Telus originals in getting this project to screen."

Union Street: Spanning across three generations, Union Street chronicles the continuing effects of racism, displacement and the cultural erasure of African Canadians, while examining the systemic mechanisms that destroyed Vancouver's historic black community in the 60s. Train porters, speakeasies, juke joints and a thriving community all existed in the black neighbourhood; and so did musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. The reverberations of this thriving community are still felt and in the face of adversity a new generation of black Vancouverites work to rebuild, facilitate black joy and redefine what it means to be African-Canadian. Union Street, expertly directed by Jamila Pomeroy, has its world premiere on Oct. 2, 8:45 p.m. at SFU Woodwards, with a second screening on Oct. 7, 3:30 p.m. at the Rio Theatre. More information can be found on-line.

"Growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver as the only black family in our neighbourhood, I found myself asking where all the black people were and why my family was treated differently," says Jamila Pomeroy, Union Street director. "I learned about Hogan's Alley and the atrocities that happened in Black Strathcona, in 2008, and the history really stuck with me. When I moved to Vancouver as a teen, I realized that my experience wasn't isolated and that so many African Canadians were experiencing the symptoms of cultural erasure and displacement. Connecting the past with the present, Union Street showcases the ongoing effects of systemic racism in Canada, while highlighting an ensemble of Black Vancouverites that, in the face of adversity, are rebuilding the historic black community that was destroyed."

Telus originals is screening an additional film, Aitamaako'tamisskapi Natosi Before the Sun, which is a multiawardwinning documentary that provides an intimate and thrilling portrait of a young Siksika woman named Logan Red Crow and the deep bonds between her father and family in the golden plains of Blackfoot territory as she prepares for one of the most dangerous horse races in the world, the Indian Relay. PR for this film will be co-ordinated through Pender PR.

About Telus originals

Telus originals support the production of compelling, locally reflective, social-purpose documentaries and documentary series that connect established, independent filmmakers in British Columbia and Alberta from diverse identities and communities to local and global audiences.

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