The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is one of the five largest film festivals in North America. It is based in the sophisticated city of Vancouver, Canada. It attracts a large, passionate, interested audience. Film lovers enjoy the diverse culture, both in the selected films and the visitors. VIFF has a friendly atmosphere and is designed for those who are enthusiastic about film. VIFF is a charitable, non-profit cultural organization and also operates the Vancouver International Film Centre and Vancity Theatre, comparable to the TIFF Lightbox and the Hot Docs Bloor Cinema in Toronto.
VIFF is an annual festival held over 16 days in late September, early October. The Festival began in 1982. 33 years after the Vancouver International Film Festival was established, Leonard Schein, the founder, was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. VIFF now screens about 380 films and has approximately 150,000 attendees at the annual event. The films come from 80 countries, and are screened at multiple locations in the city. It shows more East Asian films than other North American Festivals, showcases Canadian films, and has a large non-fiction, documentary program. It combines the world’s top films with hidden gems that might otherwise be ignored. During the festival the VIFF Industry conference takes place offering professional development events for filmmakers. Sessions include finance, marketing, storytelling and audience engagement.
In 2014, audiences watched 353 films from over 65 countries, with 223 features and 130 shorts. The stellar line-up included 32 World Premieres, 38 International Premieres, 22 North American Premieres, and 47 Canadian Premieres. VIFF’s Opening Night Gala featured the much-anticipated featured Wild, staring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. The Closing Night Gala film was the Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award winner, Whiplash.
Violent, was awarded both Best Canadian Film and Best BC Film. Other VIFF award winners included Sitting on the Edge of Marlene (BC Emerging Filmmaker), Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (VIFF Impact Award) and Miss and the Doctors (Best New Director – International).
VIFF has perhaps one of the most stunning locations of all the film festivals. Vancouver is unique and friendly. Wherever visitors look, they see water or mountains. It is a modern and travel-friendly, a city with a diverse cultural mix, and a relatively mild climate. There is an energetic restaurant and nightlife scene in the city, ideal for making Vancouver an attractive location for VIFF and its visitors.