A look at this year’s lineup
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
The Toronto International Film Festival ended last week and the awards were given out. This is the beginning of the race to the Academy Awards and the Canadian Screen Awards. While the stars have left Toronto, some of them are going to their next stop: Vancouver.
The Vancouver International Film Festival is the next big film festival in Canada. Compared to TIFF where they show a lot of highly anticipated film and famous people, VIFF has a diverse number of films to show, some of which will get attention in the long run. This year’s edition of the festival looks like it will be exciting as TIFF, with a lot of interesting films being shown with special guests and talks through their programs, which they call Streams.
The opening film in VIFF this year is local Vancouver filmmaker Mina Shum’s next film Meditation Park which talks about an affair Chinatown style. The film has Sandra Oh and Don McKellar working together again, after previously working on the hit Canadian film Last Night (1988).
There are plenty of exciting films being shown in the festival this year, including: Andy Serkis’ directorial first film about accessibility, Breathe; Michael Haneke’s next film Happy End; an indigenous hockey film, the highly anticipated Indian Horse; and Ruben Östlund’s next film about art, The Square, which got the Palme d’Or in the Cannes Film Festival this year. Interestingly, the new season of Top of the Lake: China Girl will be shown in its entirety as a six-hour film. The Netflix film Okja will also be shown in a rare theatre screening, with director Bong Joon-Ho being a special guest in the screening.
The BC Spotlight program this year has a lot of great films, and any of them could get awards. One of those films is Wayne Wapeemukwa’s first film Luk’Luk’l which talks about East Vancouver during the Winter Olympic Games in 2010. The film recently got the award for Best Canadian First Feature in TIFF this year. Also, there is Kyle Rideout’s romantic comedy Public Schooled, which talks about a home schooled student experiencing public school life for the first time, and it also has Kim’s Convenience star Andrea Bang in it. On the other hand, Bang’s sister, The Interview’s Diana Bang, is in another film in the festival with Jason James’s comedy drama Entanglement, which talks about a depressed man dating a woman. There is the documentary Shut Up and Say Something, which talks about slam poet Shane Koyczan and how he reunites with his father. It will be shown on Knowledge Network later this fall.
Another Canadian film to point out is Cory Bowles’ controversial film Black Cop, which talks about an African-Canadian cop doing a mission that could endanger his life because of his race.
The VIFF will also have talks with various people in the TV industry including Jeremy Podeswa and Greg Middleton from Game of Thrones, Emmy winner Ane Crabtree from The Handmaid’s Tale, and David Slade from the Emmy-winning show Black Mirror. The festival will end with Todd Haynes’ next film Wonderstruck, and it is unknown if Haynes will be at the screening. While some films will have special guests, it is unknown which film will do so, and you have to see a film to find out if it will have a special guest.
The festival this year will allow everyone to see films that they are excited about and to find out which ones will eventually get awards. The Vancouver International Film Festival will take place between September 28 and October 13.