Vancouver Asian Film Festival celebrates diversity in film and the Asian diaspora

The Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) is pleased to announce the countdown to its much anticipated 24th annual celebration of diversity in film and the Asian diaspora, brought to you virtually from October 31 to November 8, 2020 in the comfort of your home, with a few surprises in store…

This year’s festival will run for twice as long as past festivals, allowing VAFF to bring you more exciting content than ever before, with 5 World premieres, 12 North American premieres; 13 Canadian premieres, and an additional 7 films that are Vancouver premieres. VAFF is also excited to announce that close to 60% of all films are directed by women.

Furthermore, with everyone having such a challenging year, VAFF wanted to break the mould and bring some fun to the community by presenting a Halloween Screening on Opening Night, October 31, 2020, live at the Cineplex Odeon International Village, adhering strictly to Covid-19 protocols of no more than 50 people.

VAFF’s programming continues to showcase the breadth and depth of Asian diaspora filmmaking beyond mainstream film festival offerings, with expanded programming that reflects relevant, pressing issues faced by immigrants, women, and marginalized individuals.  The VAFF 2020 lineup showcases 18 film programs of industry panels plus 46 feature-length and short films of all genres, in English and/or with English subtitles, from the local and international Asian diaspora.

The Opening Film is the North American premiere of the Korean box-office hit, “The Closet”, by Kim Kwang-bin, starring big Korean stars Ha Jung-woo (The Handmaiden), and Kim Nam-gil (Pandora), as well as Heo Yul. The horror mystery explores parental issues through the story of a missing child. The Opening Night is a celebration of excellence in Korean cinema and Halloween fun when the audience can compete for best costume in theatre or at home.

All Spotlight Features have not been seen in Canada with most being North American premieres.  To help drown out some pandemic woes, VAFF bring two comedic features that explore real universal issues.  “Secret Zoo” by Jae-gon Son is an unexpected tale about a young lawyer being suckered into running a zoo that has sold most of its animals.  “Little Miss Period” by Shunsuke Shinada takes a refreshing yet insightful look at how women deal with their monthly visitor.

Two documentaries are included in the Spotlight Series, namely The Canadian Spotlight, “Ketchup & Soya Sauce” by Zhimin Hu which is a study of five couples whose relationships are shaped by the history of mixed relationships in Canada since the 1930’s, and The Documentary Spotlight, “The Donut King” by Alice Gu about the unlikely rise of Cambodian immigrants building a donut empire in the US.

The Shorts Series showcase many award-winning works and an unprecedented number of films totalling 35 to create 3 International Shorts Programs and 4 Canadian Shorts Programs which include a special presentation of winners to our 15th Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon (MAMM15).  Vancouver audiences will see a vast range of International Shorts for the first time with most of them being Canadian or North American premieres, including a Spotlight on South Korea Shorts.

The Closing Film is a live virtual screening of “Beyond the Dream” by Kiwi Chow, starring rising stars Terrence Lau and Cecilia Choi which is a thoughtful Hong Kong film about the unlikely relationship between a recovering schizophrenic who yearns for love and a counselor with hidden secrets.

Many Video-on-Demand programs will feature exclusive interviews with filmmakers, while our live scheduling will give audiences a chance to meet filmmakers live in Filmmaker Talks.

For festival information and to buy tickets, head to



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