The 19th annual Gender Equity in Media Festival is taking place this year between March 5th and March 9th, 2024. GEMFest celebrates the talent of established and emerging women and gender-diverse filmmakers worldwide. Through narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated short and feature-length films, GEMFest showcases diversity, empowers voices, and challenges norms.

After the in-person festival wraps up at the VIFF Centre, GEMFest will continue with a virtual festival March 12th through March 26th. 37 films from 14 countries will be featured this year, with 14 of these being Canadian films.

Amongst its programming, six B.C. films are featured this year:


This feature-length documentary explores the rise and decline of an impactful feminist media movement in Canada which spanned from the 70s to the 90s. By using cutting-edge media, feminist storytellers from Halifax and Vancouver address issues ranging from violence against women to reproductive health, while dealing with cutbacks, racism, and technological shifts. ANALOGUE REVOLUTION highlights pioneers such as Bonnie Sherr Klein and Sylvia D. Hamilton, collectives such as Press Gang, and Our Lives: Black Women’s Newspaper, as well as Canada’s first women of colour film festival, first feminist newspaper, and the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre.



CHICKEN is a short film following Sam as she is forced to move back into her childhood home with her mother and disabled brother after splitting up with her partner. As Sam enters a depressive episode, her brother Emmett is doing all he can to cheer her up, inadvertently making everything worse. But when Emmett is bullied at a baseball game, Sam comes to his aid, reminding what truly matters.



This short film explores oppressive beauty standards and the joy and freedom that come from living outside of them. Bel Davis, a former model suffering from Alopecia, wears a wig to hide her condition from the world. It goes unnoticed, until one day, when she faints and her wig falls off, publicly exposing her baldness.




This hybrid documentary examines the lives of Kayah George, a young Indigenous woman, and her grandmother Ta7a, the daughter of the renowned chief Dan George. With powerful imagery infused with cultural nuances and the echoes of Indigenous-led struggles, the film delves into Kayah and Ta7a’s ancestral lineage. Kayah’s deep connection to water is highlighted, as water is revered in the Tsleil-Waututh Nation as their oldest grandmother and the birthplace of creation. Against a backdrop of local industries and politics, the film showcases the challenges faced by Indigenous youth and their efforts to reconnect with ancestral culture, water, and land.



STREETCAR is a short observational portrait of an actor as she prepares to perform new work. It delves into the complexities of shaping a persona and truly embodying a character, as the actor exposes herself to a classroom, an instructor, and her own reflection. As a space that fosters both identification and alienation, the classroom transforms into a stage that exploits genuine vulnerability in the pursuit of a fabricated truth.



The story of YAYE is told from the perspective of Aaliyah, a young Black girl who must navigate a fragile health system. Aaliyah’s life unravels due to her youth pregnancy, and the world around her ignited in chaos: her relationship with her partner becomes strained, she has encounters with the spirit world, and the number of butterflies is strangely increasing. YAYE paints a heartfelt and intimate story of the right to choose.


You can view the entire program on the GEMS website.