Celebrating international and local films and more
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
It is awards season right now and everyone is talking about which films will win Academy Awards and Canadian Screen Awards next year. Many movies garnered attention this year, from those recognized in the Cannes Film Festival to those that are yet to be released.
The Lower Mainland finally gets to see some of these films in the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). Also, there will be world premieres of motion pictures, talks with various people in the film and TV industry, and music events related to film.
The spotlight is on potentially the most popular Japanese director right now, Hirokazu Kore’eda, since a lot of people are talking about his new film Shoplifters. It is a popular topic of conversation among those waiting outside the Vancity Theatre to purchase their tickets for the festival. Shoplifters, which won the Palme d’Or (highest prize) in the Cannes Film Festival this year, is about an orphan deciding between living with abusive parents or a family of shoplifters. The film did very well when it was released in Japan last summer and it might win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film next year.
It must battle another film, Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War, which was also shown in the Cannes Film Festival and will be shown in the VIFF this year. Cold War concerns Poland post-World War II. Another notable feature set to have a world premiere in the festival is It’s Boring Here, Pick Me Up, which revolves around a woman experiencing nostalgia when she goes back to her hometown.
Anime fans will be excited about the release of Mirai, the newest film from Mamoru Hosoda, which did well last summer when it was released in Japan. Hosoda is known for previous works including The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, and Wolf Children.
This year’s Canadian entries include three local films from the BC Spotlight series. The first is a tale of a cultural exchange called The Darling. Another, Edge of the Knife (Sgaaway K’uuna), is the first film spoken only in Haida dialects. Finally, Finding Big Country is the story of the search for a star amongst the Vancouver Grizzlies.
In documentaries there is Rob Stewart’s last film, Sharkwater Extinction, completed after the director’s death; Shirkers, a documentary which was thought to be lost but recently resurfaced; and a documentary about promotional musicals, Bathtubs Over Broadway.
VIFF will have many panels, including one featuring the creators of various shows such as Orphan Black’s Graeme Manson, Bones’ Hart Hanson, Cardinal’s Sarah Dodd, The Good Doctor’s David Shore, and Counterpart’s Amy Berg. There are also panels with Michael Schur (one of the creators of Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Paul Austerberry (production designer of The Shape of Water), and musician RZA. RZA will also do a live score of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, a classic martial arts film that inspired him.
The film festival this year has a lot of films to choose from and talks and events that go beyond film. VIFF will take place between September 27 and October 12.