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

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Trish and Steve Connor of Deep Cove are stoking a friendly competition among neighbourhoods with the help of NextDoor app to help raise money for the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich entrepeneurs issue online challenge to help local food bank

Trish and Chris Connor use NextDoor app to raise funds for Saanich Lions Peninsula Food Bank

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

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)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Most Read