This year’s festival looks to be optimistic. As you may remember, last year’s festival could be considered a test pilot for the new way of doing the VIFF. They had no choice. The Granville 7–our main venue for years–closed in 2012 and a whole new system had to be created. It took finding new venues like the Vancouver Playhouse, the SFU Arts Centre, three cinemas of the International Village and the Rio Theatre and relocate their gala shows from the Vogue Theatre to the Centre for the Performing Arts. The end result was a success as it had one of the best per-screening averages. Sure there was a slight decrease in the number of films shown and the number of screenings but it payed off and kept the VIFF in a very healthy state.
There are not too many changes as far as screenings of films. One cool thing is that there will again be 11:30 showings at the Rio Theatre during certain nights. The festival promises to show 365 films from 70 countries during its duration. Some of the hot ticket films include:
- Mommy– The latest film from 25 year-old Quebec directing phenom Xavier Dolan
- Wild- A film starring Reese Witherspoon from Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee
- Maps To The Stars – A film by David Cronenberg with an excellent performance from Julianne Moore
- Whiplash– a musical drama featuring drumming phenom Miles Teller
- Welcome To Me– A dramedy starring Kristen Wiig that’s surprisingly very personal
- Clouds of Sils Maria– A humorous but personal story starring Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart
- Foxcatcher– An Olympic story directed by Bennett Miller that ends up being far from the Olympic dream
- Men, Women and Children– The latest Jason Reitman film that shows relationships of teenagers and their parents’ relationships and the complications coming with it
- The Riot Club– An intriguing look at special clubs and establishments in England in the 1800’s
- Winter Sleep– Cannes’ Palme d’Or winner this year from Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan
- Goodbye To Language 3D– The latest from Jean-Luc Godard that caught the attention of crowds at Cannes.
The biggest change would be in the case of volunteering. In the past, volunteers would be kept strictly to a single theatre throughout the running of the festival. This time they can volunteer at any theatre or theatres they want. I myself have chosen to volunteer at three theatres so far. Yesterday at the volunteer orientation, all volunteers had to learn the five different duties which they will be assigned. This was the first time ever that the VIFF has given us instruction during the volunteer orientation. Nevertheless it’s a good thing for when they have to do their duty.
Anyways the festival begins tomorrow. Expect a lot of excitement. And expect to see a good number of reviews from me. For more information or to purchase your own tickets, go to the VIFF website.