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‘Mozartballs’ rolling to Victoria Fest

Opening gala will also feature Sweet's dance pic 'Flute'

British Columbia’s second largest city and film production center will focus on Canuck films at its 10th annual film fest, running Jan. 27-Feb. 5.

The Victoria Independent Film & Video fest opens with helmer Larry Weinstein’s quirky new Mozart tribute “Mozartballs,” the successor to his “”Beethoven’s Hair,” which screened at the fest last year.

Opening gala also will feature Barbara Willis Sweet’s dance film “The Tale of the Magic Flute.”

Fest also will host the Canuck premiere of producer-director Steve Anderson’s pop doc “Fuck,” an exploration of one of the most controversial words in the English language, with contributions from Alanis Morissette, Bill Maher and Hunter S. Thompson.

Associated with the fest is a film forum that includes master classes, workshops and panels, as well as a co-production conference, a repeat of last year’s industry initiative where Canuck producers pitch their work and discuss co-production possibilities.

“This year’s Vic Independent is our most eclectic program yet,” said fest director Kathy Kay. “We will screen 70 Canadian features and an extensive range of shorts at five venues.”

Making its North American premiere here will be “Loach Is Fish Too” produced in Beijing by fest special guest Nan Guangcheng and starring one of China’s best-known female leads, Ni Ping. The love story is touted as the first feature that highlights the plight of the poor in China to be released with the approval of the Chinese government.