The Vancouver Int’l Film Fest announces opening and closing films


Organizers of the 35th Vancouver International Film Festival have announced the opening and closing films for the festival (Sept. 29-Oct 14).

This year, moviegoers can choose from over 300 films, starting with one about a Canadian artist who overcame a disability and ending with no less than the Big Bang.

Opening the festival on Sept 29 is Maudie, a Canadian co-production about real-life Nova Scotian artist Maud Lewis. English actress Sally Hawkins as Lewis, who overcame rheumatoid arthritis to become one of Canada’s most famous folk artists. Ethan Hawke co-stars. Director Aisling Walsh will be on-hand to introduce Maudie on opening night.


Sallie Hawkins as Maude Lewis.

Closing the festival is a documentary from celebrated filmmaker Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life and, most recently, Knight of Cups). Narrated by Brad Pitt, The Voyage of Time: The IMAX Documentary attempts to tell the history of the cosmos. According to press materials, The Voyage of Time has been in the making for nearly four decades (much longer if you count the subject matter). Shot in 35mm, the film “transforms the birth of the universe into pure visual spectacle.” Watch the trailer here.

The Festival has also added I, Daniel Blake, a 2016 film from British director Ken Loach, to its lineup. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman wrote of the Cannes Palme d’Or winner that, “With the right handling, the movie has a chance to connect with audiences as few Loach films ever have. It’s a work of scalding and moving relevance.”

In addition, VIFF has unveiled a sampling of the hundreds of guests that are expected to attend the festival. These include spiritual author and public speaker Eckhart Tolle, who is expected to attend the world premiere of Milton’s Secret, which is based off Tolle’s book of the same name. Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) is also expected to make an appearance, to present the drama The Other Half. Variety’s Justin Chang said that Maslany and co-star Tom Cullen “give outstanding performances as two wounded souls in this anguished love story.”

Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen star in The Other Half.

Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen star in The Other Half.

Screening tickets start at $15. Visit for tickets and more info.

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