Films at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
In a film festival, there are a lot of movies that will appeal to every type of audience. There are some that are highly anticipated that a lot of people will talk about. There are also some films that show places that you may not have seen before and offer different perspectives on various issues. Films that will challenge your mind and change the way that you think, and that are presented in interesting ways letting you discover new up-and-coming directors or actors.
Many of the films that will be shown in the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival this year will reflect the current situation of the pandemic. Some of these should be seen on the biggest screen that you can find in your house. One of the films that I am excited to watch in the festival this year—which is a Canadian film—is Pascal Plante’s next film Nadia, Butterfly. Directed by an actual swimmer and starring Canadian athlete Katerine Savard, the film follows an Olympic swimmer as she deals with retiring from the sport.
There are a lot of Canadian films making world premieres at the festival including first-time local BC director Loretta Sarah Todd’s indigenous ghost story Monkey Beach, and a snapshot of 1999 high school basketball in Ted Stenson’s Events Transpiring Before, During, and After a High School Basketball Game starring Kim’s Convenience’s Andrew Phung. There are also documentaries about the lost and found at the Montreal subway system with Prayer for a Lost Mitten, police shootings in Calgary with No Visible Trauma, and the sequel to All the Time in the World with First We Eat. Other documentaries that will be shown in the festival include the documentary that swept the awards at the Sundance Film Festival this year, The Reason I Jump, which adapted Naoki Higashida’s bestselling book into an exploration of autism. Another movie will look at Sean Penn’s humanitarian work in Citizen Penn, and another on Jimmy Carter being a rock and roll fan in Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President.
In international cinema, the Japanese films that they are showing tackle on the issues that are happening in Japan. An example being the comedic portrait of alcoholism in A Life Turned Upside Down: My Dad’s an Alcoholic, starring former Keyakizaka46 member Yui Imaizumi. Also showing is SABU directing Naoto, a performer of J-pop dance and vocal group Exile in Dancing Mary. More movies to look forward to is One Cut of the Dead’s Shinichiro Ueda’s follow-up with Special Actors, and the suspense thriller The Town of Headcounts. There are two films from Hong Kong that were released before what is happening in the territory right now. Also included are another take on an affair in My Prince Edward, and a mainly fictional documentary called Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down.
Finally, François Ozon’s next film which is a throwback to his childhood in the 1980s Summer of 85 will also be shown in the festival. When VIFF begins on September 24, a library of films will be available to choose from, so you can expect me and maybe the rest of the Other Press staff to cover some of these films. The Vancouver International Film Festival will happen between September 24 and October 7.