The Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists Society

Archive for the tag “chi”

Chi To Air on Knowledge Network

We’re so excited to announce that Anne Wheeler’s documentary, Chi,  about the end of Babz’ life will air on the Knowledge Network on February 23 at 9 pm, and again on February 24 at 12 am.

Please tune in and witness this incredibly powerful film.

For additional information, click here.


Filmmaker Anne Wheeler travels with her friend, Vancouver actress Babz Chula, to an Ayurvedic clinic in India, where Babz seeks healing from her aggressive cancer. The treatment is ultimately unsuccessful; back home, the irrepressible Babz invites Anne to continue bearing witness to her journey into the unknown.

CHI to Screen at WIWIFF14

CHI will screen on Saturday, March 8 at 1PM. The screening will begin with a special presentation by Anne (via Skype as she’ll be in Toronto for the Canadian Screen Awards).

About the film: 

Anyone who knew Babz Chula—a talented, larger-than-life performer from Canada’s West Coast—could tell you that her life force, or chi, was incredibly strong. When Chula reconnected with director Anne Wheeler in 2009, they discovered a mutual interest: India.

Wheeler accompanies her friend Chula to Kerala, India, where she is to undergo treatment by a renowned Ayurvedic healer in an effort to manage her 6-year battle with cancer.

Showing the excruciating treatments in true vérité style, Wheeler and Chula are hopeful that the bare-bones clinic will deliver and indeed, the treatment seems to provide temporary improvement, before taking a turn for the worse. Amazingly, the irrepressible Chula invites Wheeler and her camera to continue bearing witness to her journey into the unknown.

Wheeler’s up close and personal narration, as well as Chula’s darkly humorous, blatantly honest video diary offer a highly meritorious film beyond Chula’s reputation. Expect to be entertained, astonished and moved.

Tickets are on sale through Vancity Theatre and more information can be found here.
Film outreach poster_Chi

Two Films About Babz Chula at VIFF 2013

There will be two films showing at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival: one is about her, and the other is inspired by her.

The first is Down River. Written and directed by Ben Ratner, Babz’ dear friend and President of the Babz Chula LIfeline for Artists, the film follows three younger artists–women–who are mentored by an older artist. The three women were all connected to Babz in real life: Gabrielle Miller, Colleen Rennison and Jennifer Spence. The film follows the the three  as they are forced to overcome their fears and face the future without the guidance they’ve come to rely on. It is a funny film about mentorship, friendship, and living life to the fullest.

Writing the script was therapeutic for Ratner, it helped him to process his grief. The film was shot starting last year in June, and the director of cinematography was none other than Babz’ husband, Larry Lynn. It also features Jay Brazeau, Tom McBeath and Brian Markinson.

Read the article in The Courier

Down River Website

Purchase Tickets

The second film is  a documentary called Chi. Filmed by Anne Wheeler while she travelled to India seeking healing from her cancer at an Ayervidic treatment centre in the last months of her life, Chi is ultimately about hope and letting go.

You can read about Babz’ trip to India in her own words, here.

Purchase Tickets

Praise for “Chi”

In the last few months of Babz’ life, she traveled to India to an ayurvedic spa to seek treatment. She took her dear friend, Anne Wheeler, along with her, and camera crew to document the process. Babz blogged about those days, and you can see those posts here.

The footage that Anne shot has finally been edited, and is now a documentary called Chi.

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It screened recently in Toronto, and here is the review:

Canadian actress Babz Chula has been fighting cancer for a long, long time. Not knowing if she can take another round of chemotherapy, she convinces her friend (and the film’s director) to join her on a trip to India to be treated at an ayurvedic clinic. After six weeks of treatment, Babz seems transformed but returns home only to discover her cancer has spread and she only has weeks to live. Babz insists that Wheeler continue filming, if only to chronicle her last weeks, days and moments surrounded by her family.

Chi is a heartbreaking movie, but it is only heartbreaking because it is so real. The journey being taken by a deeply ill woman and her friend is the kind of intimate portrait of illness that we simply don’t get in North America. What’s more is that the way in which Babz chose to live her last days, surrounded by family and embracing the way in which she wanted to pass is nothing short of inspiring, even if the “happy” ending to this film isn’t that everyone lives happily ever after.

If you have ever been there for someone’s last breath, you know that not every passing is exactly as we would like it to be. North America deals so poorly with illness and death that we are closeted from exactly the kind of experience this film shows us. Chi shows us that not shutting down, not shutting off, can be the most healing experience of all.

This film is not easy to watch, but it should probably be watched by everyone. You will absolutely be transformed and healed by it.

Is Chi essential Hot Docs viewing?

Yes, this is absolutely essential Hot Docs viewing, but understand that you will leave sobbing, and somehow slightly lighter inside. This is also an NFB film, so if for any reason you cannot fit this into your festival schedule, you will still be able to access the film later. This is a film to be cherished.

Click here to read the entire post.

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