VANCOUVER, B.C. (September 7, 2016) – At a press conference Wednesday morning, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) announced the Canadian co-production Maudie, about real-life Nova Scotian artist Maud Lewis, as its Opening Night film and the Terrence Malick IMAX documentary, The Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience as its Closing Night film. The two films exemplify both the exceptional content being produced in this country, and the ambitious artistry of today’s filmmakers bound to inspire audiences during the 35th annual VIFF, which runs from September 29 to October 14.
Maudie stars Sally Hawkins as the arthritic artist who overcame her physical disability to become one of Canada’s most famous folk artists. Ethan Hawke co-stars as her husband in this story of perseverance. Coinciding with VIFF’s 35th anniversary, The Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience took almost four decades to come to fruition and was shot in 35mm at the hands of auteur Terrence Malick. The documentary, narrated by co-producer Brad Pitt, transforms the birth of the universe into pure visual spectacle.
VIFF also added I, Daniel Blake, the Cannes Palme d’Or winner, to its lineup of special presentations.
In addition, VIFF unveiled a sampling of the hundreds of guests that are expected to attend the festival. Director Aisling Walsh will be on-hand to introduce Maudie, the festival’s opening gala on September 29. Spiritual author and public speaker Eckhart Tolle will make the world premiere of Milton’s Secret on September 30, which is based off Tolle’s book of the same name. The actors of the film, Mia Kirshner, David Sutcliffe, and William Ainscough will be joining him. On October 1, writer-director Nate Parker is expected to attend for his film, The Birth of a Nation, which he also stars in. Meanwhile, Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany is expected to present the drama The Other Half. Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, will be honoured with the Industry Builder Award for his sustainable production methods on The X-Files revival season at the Sustainable Production Forum on October 7. Finally, Canadian musician and actor John Mann will attend the BC Spotlight Awards Gala screening of Spirit Unforgettable on October 8.
Frank Giustra, founder of the Radcliffe Foundation, was on hand at the VIFF press conference to announce the finalists in the Refugee Crisis short film competition, launched by the Radcliffe Foundation and VIFF in June. With over 120 submissions, the final three films, listed below, were decided by a notable jury including Sophie Trudeau, Atom Egoyan, Sarah McLachlan, among others. The films will now be put to public vote starting September 14. Audiences can vote at refugeestories.viff.org. The winner will be announced at VIFF’s opening night gala on September 29, and will receive a $20,000 prize awarded by the Radcliffe Foundation.
Show the World – Michelé Hozer & Roxana Spicer
vimeo.com/178643120 (password: Canada)
Humanity – Zeeshan Parwez
vimeo.com/180273381 (password: refugeestories_2016)
Helpful Hand – Alexandru Nagy
vimeo.com/180274629 (password: hand)
This year’s program of films and events has been curated by a team reflective of VIFF’s strong commitment to bringing the year’s best cinema to Vancouver audiences, while incorporating new forms of storytelling. The 2016 curatorial team includes:
•Alan Franey – Director of International Programming
•PoChu AuYeung – Program Manager & Senior Programmer
•Tom Charity – International Programming Consultant
•Curtis Woloschuk – Program Logistics Manager & Altered States/Canadian Shorts Programmer
•Terry McEvoy – Canadian Images Programmer
•Adam Cook – Future//Present Programmer
•Sandy Gow – International Shorts Programmer
•Mark Peranson – Programming Associate
•Tony Rayns – Dragons & Tigers Programming Consultant
•Shelly Kraicer – Dragons & Tigers Programming Consultant
•Amy Davies – Industry Exchange + Virtual Reality Co-Curator
•Jesse Albert – Industry Exchange + Virtual Reality Co-Curator
•Zena Harris – Sustainable Production Forum Curator
•Rob Calder – Late Night at HUB Curator
•Bre Hamilton – Industry Producer
This year, festival goers can choose from more than 300 films from BC, Canada and all over the world. Beyond the collective experience of cinema, attendees will have access to an exciting slate of multi-experiential offerings in the new ‘film plus’ model of the festival. Along with industry panel sessions, parties, and workshops, VIFF is incorporating virtual reality, gaming, and music events that reflect the components integral to the dynamic nature of storytelling. VIFF 2016 will provide attendees with an immersive storytelling experience that goes beyond the screen.
Screening tickets start at $15. Passes and ticket packs are available online September 1, with single tickets available online September 8 and in-person September 15. Tickets for talks and events will also be available at this time. All tickets will be available for purchase at viff.org.
Each year VIFF relies on the hard work of more than 1,000 volunteers to assist in running the festival. Volunteer registration is now open at viff.org/volunteer
Founded in 1982, the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society is a not-for-profit cultural society and federally registered charitable organization that operates the internationally acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) and the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre. VIFF produces screenings, talks and events that act as a catalyst for a diverse community to discover, discuss and share the creativity and craft of storytelling on screen. In its 35th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 29-October 14, 2016 as it showcases the top BC, Canadian and international films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe. viff.org