The Documentary Film Festival is presenting on Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 7pm at Fifth Avenue Cinemas in Vancouver the film Off and Running from director Nicole Opper. Off and Running has screened at Silver Docs and picked up a number of awards and this will be its Canadian premiere.
ABOUT THE MOVIE: The movie follows Avery Klein-Cloud, the African-American daughter of white Jewish lesbians, growing up in an unconventional family poses a unique set of challenges and joys. Her younger brother Zay-Zay is Korean, and her older brother Rafi is mixed-race. In Avery’s words, the Klein-Clouds are “A United Nations family.” Avery is also a hugely successful track star, with a shot a college scholarship. But when she decides to contact her birth mother, her actions have profound ramifications for the entire family.
Three years in the making, during which Avery’s life took tumultuous twists and turns, director Nicole Opper’s debut feature is a remarkable melting pot of issues including same-sex marriage, mixed-race adoption, Jewish identity, African-American culture, and sports, in this case, running.
As Avery attempts to navigate her way through the difficult terrain of teenage life, the track provides a solid touchstone, a place of strength, grace and self-reliance. But when she loses even this one constant, Avery’s young life threatens to spiral out of control.
The first film in DOXA’s series, Off and Running is not just a simple take on physical activity, but a deeply thoughtful look at how the body — skin, hair, muscle and bone — inform an entire life. The film intelligently explores not just the idea of a constructed family, but more critically, that of identity. For a young woman of colour, growing up in Obama’s America, race relations continue to be a deeply divisive and painful area. Opper’s film offers no clear resolutions to this debate, but speaks clearly to the necessity of courage, love, and patience in finding a path to understanding. Like the practice of running, growing up takes dedication, hard work and a great deal of heart.
Tickets are available online now, and will be available at Bibliophile Bookshop, Videomatica and Biz Books after Friday, October 9. For further information, call DOXA at 604.646.3200.
Winner – OUTFEST, Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary
Winner – Philadelphia’s Q Fest, Jury Prize for Best Documentary