2020 Vancouver International Film Festival preview
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
During this time last year, I went to the Vancity Theatre to pick up a copy of the program of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). After looking through it and deciding which films to watch and talks to attend, I went back to the theatre to wait in a long lineup, fill out a form with my selections, and give it to the box office to get the tickets. This year, with the coronavirus pandemic and fear of a second wave in the Lower Mainland, this edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival will mainly happen online.
Most of the major film festivals this year including the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) are held online with talks from the cast and crew of some of the highly anticipated films this year. With all film festivals, the movies that they show will only be available to those that live in the area where the festivals take place. This will be the case for VIFF where the films can only be seen in British Columbia.
This year’s edition of VIFF will happen between September 24 to October 7 mainly online with some films happening in person with safety precautions in place at the newly renovated Vancouver International Film Centre’s (VIFC) Vancity Theatre and The Cinematheque. All the content in the festival will be presented through their new streaming service VIFF Connect where year-round programming is shown during the pandemic. All the films and talks will happen at specific times which means that people can experience them as if you are at the festival in person. Some of the films will have additional content related to them such as guests and a Q&A.
Like every other edition of the festival, there will be passes and single tickets. Each pass costs $60—the same as getting tickets for a few films, plus a talk. The pass will allow you to watch as many films as you can. For full-time students, they can get the pass at half-price, and if you like to access more content and get other benefits including a year round subscription to VIFF Connect and a VIFF+ Gold membership, there is a gold festival pass for $95. Single tickets cost $9 for online and $15 for in-cinema.
While you have to experience VIFF at home this year, you will still experience the best of current world cinema.