British Columbia’s Old Growth forests are virgin forests, untouched since the last ice age. They represent one of the last lines of defence against climate change, and contain scientific properties we barely understand – yet mismanagement and greed have left less than 2.6% of them standing. Only one of hundreds of valleys (outside of parks) remains entirely uncut on Vancouver Island – Fairy Creek (Ada’itsx).
An Indigenous led movement to prevent the cutting of this last Old Growth watershed has now become Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience, and the government response has been alarming. The publicly funded Royal Canadian Mounted Police are aggressively disbanding and arresting the peaceful protestors blocking industry access to these ancient forests, despite numerous recent political conservation commitments to protecting at risk Old Growth forests in B.C.
Rematriation follows concerned B.C. citizens exploring the confluence of scientific, cultural, economic and socio-political perspectives, as they take a stand to protect the last big trees from being cut down. Like peeling layers back from an onion, the lessons we take away reach far beyond the forests, permeating the very social fabric of Canadian identity.
The 2023 VIMFF Jury presents the festival’s Best Environmental Film award to Rematriation, a vital documentary feature about Ada’itsx (Fairy Creek) and the ongoing fight to protect old growth forests on southern Vancouver Island. The film’s articulate human subjects make compelling arguments for why these remaining forests are important, and important to preserve; more broadly, they remind us – if anyone needs reminding by this point! – why environmental stewardship is the central issue of our age. A wide range of social, political, cultural, historical, and, crucially, indigenous perspectives inform Rematriation’s frequently stirring 67 minutes. The film’s ravishing images underscore the urgent case being made and capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural wonders we are in such danger of squandering.
– Jim Sinclair, VIMFF 2023 Jury
Alexi’s insatiable passion for visual storytelling and social and environmental justice have led him to the directing of his award winning debut feature documentary film, Rematriation - bringing him new accomplishments in directing, cinematography and producing. His filmmaking experience ranges from producing music videos, commercials, documentaries, narrative feature and television work in a variety of creative roles, and his work can be seen online, on television and at festivals, including Netflix and Sundance Institute's co//lab. Alexi holds a BA, and a diploma with honours distinction from Capilano University’s documentary film program. He has recently founded his Vancouver based production company, Kincentric Cinema.
Single Show: $18
Feature Film: $10
Online Film Pass: $90