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Filmmaker’s long wait over - Winnipeg Free Press - Moradabad News , Moradabad Business

Filmmaker’s long wait over – Winnipeg Free Press

<p>KRAHN COMMUNICATIONS Vivi’s Vision - directed by Leona Krahn Viviճ Vision, Krahnճ documentary following Vivi Dabee as she navigates the ups and downs of her first Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival production, was shot from February to July of 2019, tracking Dabeeճ efforts to get her work from page to stage.</p>




Leona Krahn has been waiting to watch her latest documentary on the big screen for what feels like an eternity.

In reality, it’s been about 18 months.

Vivi’s Vision, Krahn’s documentary following Vivi Dabee as she navigates the ups and downs of her first Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival production, was shot from February to July of 2019, tracking Dabee’s efforts to get her work from page to stage.

Krahn, a veteran documentarian, asked if she could tag along throughout Dabee’s creative process, and was surprised the academic-turned-playwright said yes. What followed was an illuminating look into the twists and hurdles involved with mounting a production, including an ongoing shuffle of directors and the usual troubles — stress, pressure, anxiety — which usually accompany creative work. Plus, Dabee navigated the situation from her perspective as a blind person, which highlighted some of the barriers people with different abilities face in the theatre world in order to attain success.

It was a compelling story, Krahn thought, as was the play itself, an adaptation of Passing, a 1929 novel by Nella Larson about mixed race women in Harlem. “(The film) covers the gamut of emotions,” she said. “I wouldn’t call it dark, but it’s hopefully suspenseful, intriguing, while still uplifting.”


KRAHN COMMUNICATIONS Vivi’s Vision – directed by Leona Krahn Viviճ Vision, Krahnճ documentary following Vivi Dabee as she navigates the ups and downs of her first Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival production, was shot from February to July of 2019, tracking Dabeeճ efforts to get her work from page to stage.

But the story got more complicated off-camera: a planned screening of the film was delayed by increased restrictions in the fall of 2020, and audiences instead had to watch it at home, Krahn said. It was commissioned by CBC’s Absolutely Canadian programs both provincially and nationally, and played the virtual festival circuit. Soon, it will be shown nationally on the Accessible Media Network.

Those are all terrific opportunities for the film, Krahn said, but she was still left wondering if it would ever leap from the TV to the big screen.

“There’s nothing compared to showing a film to a live audience,” she said. “You can participate, and that’s where you can really sense if your film works or not. Watching alone, you have no idea how it’s received by others.”

This coming Sunday, Jan. 23, the wait ends: Vivi’s Vision is screening at Winnipeg’s Cinematheque in a double-feature program with local film icon Guy Maddin’s 2009 short Night Mayor, starring the late local filmmaker and actor Nihad Ademi. Tickets are available at winnipegfilmgroup.com.

It’s a thrill for Krahn to have the film programmed by the Winnipeg Film Group, especially along with a film by Maddin, with whom she worked as third assistant director on the 2007 Maddin film My Winnipeg.

Equally thrilling will be that Dabee will be in the audience, along with members of Ademi’s family, said Krahn, who appreciated the support from Cinematheque in making the screening possible.

Following the screening, Krahn and Dabee will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Winnipeg writer and filmmaker Caelum Vatnsdal.

ben.waldman@winnipegfreepress.com


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Ben Waldman



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