Vancouver International Film Festival preview
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
With the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) finished this year, the stage is set for awards season. There were a lot of interesting films being shown at the festival this year, and the announcement of the film that got the Audience Choice Award predicts who will get the major awards in the Academy Awards and the Canadian Screen Awards next year.
Some of the films that were shown in TIFF this year are going to their next stop in the film festival circuit, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). TIFF has expanded in the past few years by inviting more guests, merging the festival with VIFF Industry to offer more talks, and incorporating more events and programs related to virtual reality. All of this is made possible by Jacqueline Dupuis who surprisingly announced that she will step down as the executive director of the festival.
This year’s edition of VIFF will show some of the films that everyone will be talking about in the next few months, including the world premieres of a few films. Similar to TIFF, various celebrities will be here in Vancouver to talk about their films and the current environment of the entertainment industry—and there are still more guests yet to be announced.
The opening gala this year is famous Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s next film Guest of Honour. The film is about the lives of a restaurant health inspector and his daughter dealing with the fact that his daughter is being framed for a crime that she did not commit. Egoyan will both attend the gala and do a talk on his career. Bong Joon Ho’s film Parasite, which got the Palme d’Or in the Cannes Film Festival this year, will also be screened. It is the classic poor people rob a mansion film trope with a level and style of comedy that you would expect from Bong. The film is similar to the film that got the Palme d’Or last year, Shoplifters.
An interesting film in the festival that could be the surprise hit of this year is Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. Featuring a a young Adolf Hitler who sees a future version of himself as an imaginary friend (played by Waititi). In the next film, East Vancouver is spotlighted in the Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn collaboration The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. There are two documentaries in the Sea to Sky BC movie spotlight program that will premiere in VIFF, including a documentary on Indigenous artist Robert Davidson called Haida Modern, and a documentary about the parents of a suicide victim investigating the case in The World is Bright.
Some of the other films in VIFF to highlight are Birthday which focuses on the families of the infamous Sewol Ferry sinking in 2014, Shoplifters’s actor Kirin Kiki’s last film Every Day a Good Day, and filmmaker Agnès Varda’s last film Varda by Agnès. The animated film that everyone in Japan talked about last summer Children of the Sea will also be screened and it has mind blowing animation and a theme song by the greatest Japanese male singer right now Kenshi Yonezu.
For those who are interested in the behind-the-scenes, there will be creator talks with Arianne Phillips—the costume designer of Quentin Tarantino’s recent film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Madonna’s personal stylist—three-time Oscar-winning famous sound editor Walter Murch, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator and star Rob McElhenney. With the Vancouver International Film Festival offering more events and inviting more guests, more people have opportunity to explore and appreciate film.
The Vancouver International Film Festival this year is happening September 26 to October 11.