Ben Ratner

On Saturday, October 5, VIFF’s BC Spotlight Gala will pay tribute to the late Babz Chula through the screening of Ben Ratner’s Down River, a beautiful example of local storytelling.

Down River is the emotionally stirring story of three young women teetering on the edge between creative breakthroughs and personal breakdowns, and their connection with the older woman they rely on for guidance, support, and inspiration.

Ben Ratner is a multiple award-winning actor, writer, and director. He is best known for starring in internationally acclaimed Canadian films such as Sisters and Brothers, Fathers & Sons, Mount Pleasant, and Last Wedding.

Following the screening, the BC Spotlight Industry Party will welcome local artists from a variety of creative fields and industry sectors. Reflecting that films rely on an array of creative disciplines, this event will bring together musicians, writers, digital artists, and publishers, in addition to local film and television industry guests. This exciting night will be a unique opportunity to forge new creative connections.

Down River is also eligible for both the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award and the Best BC Film. This year, a new BC Spotlight program has been launched, inviting film lovers to preview the lineup, promote BC filmmakers, and vote on the must-see festival screenings.

There are perks in participation: you can win VIP access to VIFF screenings and special events. To learn more, visit and follow the action on Twitter using the hashtag #mustseeBC.

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