Vancouver International Film Festival

Vancouver International Film Festival
Photo: viff.org
The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America. It is held every fall in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The festival runs over two weeks in late September and early October.

The Vancouver International Film Festival is operated by the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society, a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to celebrate excellence in screen-based storytelling. Alongside the annual festival, the society produces a series of screenings, talks and other events throughout the year.

The inaugural VIFF was held in 1982. Since then, it has become one of North America’s five largest film festivals, both in terms of admissions, and number of films screened (135,000 and 320 respectively in 2016). Its program includes films from about 80 countries that are screened in 10 venues. The festival’s international line-up is a mix of critically acclaimed films that have been warmly received at other major film festivals, and lesser-known films that deserve to find their audience.

VIFF provides a unique festival experience due to its three main programming platforms: VIFF is one of the world’s biggest showcases of Canadian films; VIFF offers one of the largest selections of non-fiction films outside a documentary film festival; VIFF screens the largest selection of East Asian films outside of that region.

The festival program comprises several sections (“streams”), including Panorama, Impact, M/A/D (Music, Art, Design), Ignite, Next, ALR, True North, and Gateway. Best films receive awards in several categories, each with its own jury. These categories are: the BC Spotlight Awards, the Canadian Film Awards, the Impact Awards, and the Audience Awards. Each category includes several awards.

Unlike the Toronto International Film Festival, VIFF is primarily aimed at film lovers rather than industry professionals. It’s a less high profile event, but it screens some of the best cinema from around the world. VIFF has a reputation as one of the most accessible film festivals in North America. It gives audiences and creators a chance to connect in one of Canada’s most beautiful cities.

Vancouver International Film Festival

Photo: Brandon Artis Photography



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