Celebrate Cinema at the Vancouver International Film Festival

VIFF Centre, Photo: Rick Chung/YVArcade

Celebrate at the movies during the city’s eleven-day cinematic showcase when the 42nd annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) kicks off from September 28 to October 8. Choose between hundreds of local, Canadian, and international films to watch.

Every year, VIFF offers entertainment beyond films with a slate of alternative programming spearheaded by a diverse group of artists and creators, including emerging forms of digital storytelling and live media coming from its VIFF Live, Creator Talks, Signals (digital), Industry, and Amp (live music) programs.

VIFF Centre, Photo: Gee Maree/VIFF


Across Vancouver, major VIFF screenings will be held at the Vancouver Playhouse and Park Theatre on South Cambie, including the opening (Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki’s tragicomedy Fallen Leaves) and closing (French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hùng’s chef romance The Pot-au-Feu) films. There will also be showings held at the Rio Theatre on Commercial Drive, The Cinematheque, International Village, SFU Woodwards, and the VIFF Centre (all located downtown).

For those eleven days, Vancouver will transform into a cultural hub, with filmgoers lining up at theatres across the city and filmmakers from around the world coming to Vancouver to visit, watch movies, and meet other cinephiles. Most of the seven festival venues are centrally located in or near downtown for easy access to great restaurants, cafés, and public spaces for breaks in between showtimes.

I’m Just Here for the Riot, Photo: Tijana Martin/ESPN Films/VIFF

Five Films

With over two hundred films screening at VIFF, it can be hard to decide what to watch. Before poring through the full program guide, check out these five recommended films:

I’m Just Here for the Riot – Co-directed by up-and-coming Vancouver filmmakers Kathleen S. Jayme and Asia Youngman, relive the infamous riots that started after the Canucks’ devastating game seven home loss in the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final.

Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe – Many of us will be nostalgic for this documentary tribute to the legendary children’s entertainer Ernie Coombs, a fixture of Canadian television for three decades.

Priscilla – Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola adapts Priscilla Presley’s memoir Elvis and Me in a tender portrait of a normal teenager plucked out of obscurity to become the bride of a rock and roll icon.

Seven Veils – Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan directs Amanda Seyfried as a young theatre director tasked with remounting the opera at the bequest of her late mentor and lover, whose original interpretation was inspired by her disturbing relationship with her father.

The Boy and the Heron – This is your chance to see the master Japanese animator and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s highly anticipated final film early before its general release later this year.

Vancouver Playhouse, Photo: Svenja Mehmke/VIFF

VIFF 2023 Facts

231 total films screening:

  • 138 features – 99 narratives / 39 documentaries
  • 93 shorts – 74 narratives / 19 documentaries
  • 70 countries represented / 76 languages represented
  • 112 female and non-binary filmmakers
  • 28 world premieres / 12 international premieres
  • 33 North American premieres / 56 Canadian premieres
  • 32 Canadian features / 50 Canadian shorts
  • 45 Canadian works by female and non-binary filmmakers – 19 features / 26 shorts
  • 4,168 total submissions

VIFF Centre, Photo: Rick Chung/YVArcade

Founded in 1982, VIFF strives to engage artistic communities, encourage dialogue, and champion local creators through the power of cinema. Beyond film exhibitions, it produces live events, conferences, and events as a catalyst to discover the creativity and craft of storytelling on screen.

To browse the full lineup and purchase tickets, visit VIFF’s website.

Tagged: , , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.