The 39th Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has announced its 2020 line up of more than 100 feature films and events, including a vibrant blend of boundary-pushing Canadian work, adventurous East Asian cinema, provocative and inspiring documentaries, elevated genre cinema, festival favourites and much more.
Opening September 24, 2020, the 14-day online-primary festival, available throughout British Columbia on the new VIFF Connect streaming platform. VIFF 2020 will also feature a select number of in-cinema presentations, including the opening film and world premiere of Loretta Sarah Todd’s Monkey Beach. The adaptation of Eden Robinson’s novel will be screened at several independent cinemas throughout the province in compliance with COVID-19 capacity restrictions and the latest provincial health and safety regulations.
Those attending in-cinema showings at the newly renovated VIFF Centre, will see the result of the first major renovation in the space’s 15-year history. The $2.8 million undertaking features a new 41-seat Studio Theatre, a dedicated Education Suite, a New Media Lab and a redesigned atrium. VIFF Centre’s transformation will help nurture aspiring filmmakers and expand community outreach programs, additional theatre screenings during the festival will be held at The Cinematheque.
“Despite the roadblocks presented by the pandemic, we’ve sought out opportunities hidden within the challenges,” says Kyle Fostner, Interim Executive Director. “We have uncovered inclusive new ways to share our love of film, while building foundations that will benefit the organization for years to come. The result is an ambitious and innovative festival model firmly rooted in our identity as a ‘creator’s festival,’ boasting the best films and filmmakers in the world. Embracing the need to move the festival online, our premier streaming platform, VIFF Connect, will be available province-wide from the comfort and safety of our homes. This year’s festival aims to remind us of a world of possibilities, and hopefully for a moment, transport us somewhere we’ve never been.”
A $60 all-access subscription will bring world-class cinema and experiential programming into BC homes starting at Noon on September 24, film programming will be geo-blocked to the province, other signature programming, including VIFF Talks, VIFF AMP, Totally Indie Day and VIFF Immersed, will be available everywhere, allowing unprecedented access to filmmakers and film fans around the globe.
“At a time when we are unable to gather in large groups or venture far from our home communities, VIFF’s programmers have accomplished something extraordinary — they have assembled an astonishing collection of roughly 180 films that create shared human experiences,” says Lucille Pacey, Board Chair. “In the midst of a pandemic, the team responded with vision and fortitude to launch a remarkable digital experience and demonstrate that there is no stopping powerful storytelling.”
“The more streamlined program we’re presenting this year has allowed us to bring a greater focus to the stories we’re sharing and filmmakers we’re showcasing,” says Curtis Woloschuk, Associate Director of Programming. “While audiences will find the same quality of films, they’ll represent a greater diversity of perspectives. Of the 24 Canadian features at the festival, 14 are by female creators and 11 are by BIPOC filmmakers — including must-see works by emerging and established Indigenous directors. This commitment to representation is also demonstrated by the complement of VIFF Short Forum creators and the cohort for this year’s VIFF Catalyst mentorship program, which will offer creative development and relationship building opportunities for filmmakers from underrepresented communities.”
The 39th Vancouver International Film Festival runs September 24–October 7, 2020 in cinemas and online. For complete VIFF 2020 program details, and to purchase passes, visit viff.org