Cinema lovers take note: the Vancouver International Film Festival is coming. One of the largest events of its kind in North America, the festival opens on Sept. 30 and runs until Oct. 15. The international line-up features more than 350 films from 80 countries, from undiscovered gems to instant classics that have already garnered awards around the world.
This year’s line-up offers the biggest showcase of Canadian films in the world, a huge selection of East Asian films and an ambitious nonfiction program (almost half of films this year are documentaries). More than 150,000 fans are expected to attend over the course of the 16-day festival.
There are too many great films scheduled this year to pick out favorites. But here are a few to pique your interest. From French director Olivier Assayas comes Jackal, a five-hour biopic on notorious globetrotting terrorist Carlos the Jackal, played with Brando-esque mastery by Edgar Ramirez.
From Algeria, the drama Harragas traces the perilous journey undertaken by 10 Algerians trying to reach Europe. Directed by Merzak Allouache, it shows the desperation that fuels human smuggling and sheds light on issues that have recently hit home in B.C. Here’s a trailer (in French only):
And from Brazil, the drama Stolen Dreams profiles the gritty lives of three teenage girls in urban Rio. Here’s a trailer (in Portuguese only):
Films will be screened at four theatres in Vancouver, all conveniently located along the SkyTrain Canada Line: Empire Granville 7 Cinemas (at 855 Granville and Robson), Pacific Cinematheque (at 1131 Howe and Helmcken), Park Theatre (at 3440 Cambie and 18th) and Vancity Theatre (at 1181 Seymour and Davie).
Regular tickets are $12; matinee shows (before 6 p.m.) are $10. Advance tickets can be purchased online or in person at Vancity Theatre or Empire Granville 7 Cinemas. Day-of-show tickets are also available at individual venues starting 30 minutes prior to the day’s first screening. You’ll also need to buy the $2 annual VIFF membership to get into the shows. Full ticket details are on the VIFF website.
Any other can’t-miss films at this year’s festival? Please share suggestions below.