Burnaby is on the silver screen this month at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
A short film featuring our very own city is onscreen as part of an evening of shorts called Close Quarters, featuring a selection of Canadian short films.
Among them is La Cartographe, by writer-director-producer Nathan Douglas – inspired by and shot entirely in North Burnaby, and specifically the Still Creek neighbourhood along Douglas Road.
“I lived just north of Lougheed Highway for four years, and the film is drawn directly from my experience of living there,” Douglas wrote in an email to the NOW.
The 34-minute film draws in particular on a running route he used for years, which ran along Douglas Road south of Lougheed, along the Still Creek bike path and then looped down Kensington and back along Norland.
“I was enchanted by this route and all of the sights that came with it – industrial buildings, bus storage lots, tranquil marsh, herons, beavers, athletic fields, and a lonely ditch close to Sprott Street that eventually captured my imagination and became a key part of the film,” said Douglas.
“For me, this captured something very specific and fleetingly beautiful about living in Burnaby in particular. There is such natural beauty in the city, but it is constantly competing with development old and new – but not development that catches attention like in Vancouver. The anonymity of the suburb plays into the feeling of living in Burnaby, even though it has its own unique history.”
Douglas was surprised to learn that a key section of his run on Douglas Road (and no, he’s no relation to the Douglas the road was named for), was built in 1864 and still follows its original route through still creek.
“The strangeness of this forgotten piece of history existing in a part of Burnaby long relegated to anonymous lots and condominium redevelopment was too much to ignore,” he said in a film press release.
Interested to see his vision? La Cartographe screens twice, as the Close Quarters evening is on Oct. 2 at 9:15 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 3:30 p.m. Both screenings are at International Village in downtown Vancouver.
For tickets and information, see www.tinyurl.com/CloseQuartersVIFF2018.