By Hogan Short
VANCOUVER – The Vancouver International Film Festival is already in motion celebrating its 36th year. Celebrated as one of the top five film festivals in North America, VIFF is an important stop for many films to garner buzz, often on their hopeful way to the Oscars. Moonlight was essentially an unknown when it played VIFF last year and it went on to win Best Picture. BeatRoute talked with Executive Director Jacqueline Dupuis to see whats new for the festival this year, what to expect, and advice on how to approach the festival whether its your first time or 36th.
With more than 350 films playing throughout the 16 days, BeatRoute asked Jacqueline Dupuis how those films from all over the world are chosen for the festival. “We have a call for submissions and we received over 3000 this year. We work with a large team of volunteers and even previewers who go to different festivals to see which films audiences are reacting to.” With such a diligent curation process audiences can be sure to find their perfect film, whatever type of moviegoer they may be. The films screening at VIFF are chosen specifically to play different venues across the city, venues such as The Rio, The Centre for Performing Arts, the Vancouver Playhouse and more. “It is a fine art to figure out which film to best play at each venue and who it will appeal to.” So if you want to watch a film where drinking a beer feels appropriate, that has all been carefully thought out.
Like last year, VIFF has put different streams into place to make the daunting task of finding the right film or event for you a little easier to discover. “The organizational model changes each year in order to appeal to each audience as the city changes. This year we have new streams like a music, art, and design stream. For our screening series we have talks, events, and workshops. It is multi experiential for people to come out of the house for, consume content and interact with creators and fans. Our VIFF live series has live performers working with visual artists and musicians, it is a one time opportunity. Celebrating creators is one of our key values. Go and explore the various streams”.
There are so many fantastic films screening at VIFF, and some for the very first time. Jacqueline shared some insider words of wisdom to which films she might expect to be big hits at the festival this year. “I expect Wonderstruck and The Square to be big hits, winner of the Palmes’ For at Cannes this year. Lady Bird is a late edition from Greta Gerwig we expect it to do very well. Films like these are likely going to be around at the Oscars.
VIFF runs from September 28 to October 13. For more info visit www.viff.org. BeatRoute will be also be reviewing shows consistently throughout the festival so make sure to check our website for those.VIFF