Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) returns February 9-19, 2023; festival passes on sale now

December 20, 2022

Whitehorse — The Yukon Film Society (YFS) announces its 21st annual Available Light Film Festival (ALFF), February 9-19, 2023. The 10-day festival will feature 100+ films, with in-cinema screenings and events at the Yukon Arts Centre and the Yukon Cinema, and online programming.

“We’re thrilled to expand this year’s festival to include more films and venues with the core of events taking place at the Yukon Cinema on Wood Street,” says Andrew Connors, Festival Director. “Our team is working hard to ensure we can offer not only the most screenings we’ve presented in the history of the festival, but also continued access to ALFF selected films on-line.”

ALFF 2023’s All Access Festival Pass, Online Passes, 10 Film and 5 Film Passes go on sale December 19th. Buy festival passes at an early bird rate until December 31st. Passes are available at this link.
Early Bird Pricing
● All Access Pass: $220
● All Access Online Pass: $75
● 10 Film Pass: $130
● 5 Film Pass: $65

Learn more about the festival, tickets, and online passes at ALFF 2023 highlights Indigenous and Circumpolar cinema alongside Canadian and International films, guests, exhibitions, an emerging filmmaker accelerator program, and the annual ALFF Industry Conference, which presents speakers and industry leaders from across Canada.

ALFF Industry will be back in person in 2023 with five days (Feb. 8 – 12) of online sessions AND live events at the Old Firehall. Designed for both emerging and established filmmakers, ALFF Industry will feature funder presentations, industry panels, one-on-ones with decision makers, and abundant networking opportunities. ALFF Industry culminates on Feb. 12 with the ever-popular ALFF Short Film Pitch Event, where filmmakers pitch their projects to an industry jury for the chance to win $10,000 in support to produce their film.

ALFF 2023 program highlights
ALFF 2023 Opening Film Eternal Spring (長春), dir. Jason Loftus, Ontario
In March 2002, a state TV signal in China gets hacked by members of the banned spiritual group Falun Gong. Their goal is to counter the government narrative about their practice. In the violent aftermath, Falun Gong practitioner and comic book illustrator Daxiong (Justice League, Star Wars) is forced to flee to North America. Combining present-day footage with 3D animation inspired by Daxiong’s art, Eternal Spring (長春) retraces the event on its 20th anniversary. This stunning animated documentary brings to life an unprecedented story of defiance told through harrowing eyewitness accounts of persecution and incredible artistry. Eternal Spring (長春) represents Canada in the race for Best International Feature Film at the 2023 Oscars.

Polaris, dir. KC Carthew, YUKON PREMIERE
A crazy Yukon-shot action film set in the year 2144: think Mad Max on skidoos. Viva Lee plays Sumi, a ten-year-old female warrior raised by a polar bear who spends a lot of time in the frozen dystopian world evading capture by a group of warriors called the Morads. It is mostly women who have survived the cataclysmic events that occurred prior to the movie. When Sumi stumbles across Frozen Girl, an unlikely friendship is forged and together they race ahead of the vindictive hunters towards the only guiding light Sumi knows - the POLARIS star.

Brother, dir. Clement Virgo, Ontario, YUKON PREMIERE
Clement Virgo (The Book of Negroes) makes a brilliant return to feature filmmaking with this propulsive adaptation of David Chariandy’s celebrated novel. Set against the backdrop of suburban Scarborough, Brother follows siblings Michael (Lamar Johnson) and Francis (Aaron Pierre) as they strive to justify the sacrifices of their devoting mother (Marsha Stephanie Blake) and realise their own ambitions: for Francis, that’s a career in hip-hop; for Michael, it’s the love of Aisha (Kiana Madeira). However, the fates have other plans for this pair and all those they hold dear.

Pleistocene Park, dir. Luke Griswold-Tergis, USA, NORTHERN CANADA PREMIERE
Fifteen years ago, Russian geophysicist Sergey Zimov published an article in the journal Science showing that frozen arctic soils contain twice as much carbon as the earth’s atmosphere. These soils are now starting to melt. Haines, Alaska filmmaker Luke Griswold-Tergis embarks on a gonzo, inexplicable, deeply embedded reportage on the Siberian climate-scientist and his son who are convinced they can reverse, or at least help prevent global warming by returning to the climate of pre-ice age times where massive grazing ungulates roamed the vast expanses of what is now the Boreal Forest.


Aftersun, dir. Charlotte Wells, UK/USA, YUKON PREMIERE
The strong resemblance and stronger rapport between Calum (Paul Mescal), 30, and Sophie (Frankie Corio), his 11-year-old daughter, has them frequently mistaken for siblings. Away on a family-of-two vacation at a discount Turkish resort, the pair often conduct themselves like impish kids playing hooky. Prone to manic spells, Calum showers Sophie with affection and whatever else his meagre budget might allow. All of this in a desperate bid to stave off a depressive episode that looms like the Sword of Damocles. As Aftersun builds to its deeply affecting finale, we’re reminded how life’s turning points often arrive without warning.

Bones of Crows, dir. Marie Clements, BC, YUKON PREMIERE
In these troubled and lopsided times, we need our storytellers to help us understand our inheritance, be it pain or privilege, and to lay the intellectual and emotional groundwork not only for reconciliation, but for reparation and restoration. Dene/Métis writer-director Marie Clements (whose previous films The Road Forward and Red Snow were both ALFF selections) squares up to the challenge with this bold, necessarily harrowing tale of oppression and resilience which spans the greater part of the 20th century.

Riceboy Sleeps, dir. Anthony Shim, BC, YUKON PREMIERE
Raising her young son Dong-hyun in Vancouver’s suburbs in the 90s, So-young, a South Korean immigrant and single mom, desperately wants to instill a sense of pride in the boy. In turn, he only wants to be considered “Canadian” in hopes of avoiding bullying at school. Wedding autobiographical elements with more universal concerns, Shim achieves an exquisite balance in this gorgeous coming-of-age drama. The film’s even pacing and gorgeous score carry the audience through both heart-breaking and uplifting drama.

More details on ALFF 2023 programming will be announced in early January 2023.

YFS gratefully acknowledges our presenting partner Canada Goose and presenting funder Telefilm Canada, ALFF premiere funders and sponsors Northwestel Community Television, Yukon Lotteries, The Edgewater Hotel, Air North, Yukon's Airline, City of Whitehorse, What's Up Yukon and Canada Media Fund. YFS gratefully acknowledges the annual support of Yukon Arts Operating Fund, Lotteries Yukon and Canada Council for the Arts.

Mahsi Cho, shäw nithan, kwanalchish to all the public funders, sponsors, community partners, artists, audiences, filmmakers, distributors, boosters, industry presenters, festival staff, venue staff and volunteers who participate and support cinema and film creation in the Yukon.
For more information, please contact Andrew Connors, ALFF festival director: or 867-393-3456.

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