Your Guide to the Vancouver International Film Festival

Same planet, different worlds

Back in town this September is the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival from September 30 – October 15.

The (VIFF) is an annual film festival held in Vancouver for two weeks in late September and early October. The festival began in 1982 and has progressed to where it is now known as one of the premier film festivals in the world – recognized by all major film makers, producers and actors.

In its 29th year, this year’s Festival hosts a variety of fiction, non fiction, documentary and short films to choose from.

The Low Down

This year there will be 359 films shown from over 80 countries with more than 600 screenings to choose from.  There will be 87 Canadian and almost 100 feature length films.  The VIFF is the biggest annual showcase of Canadian film in the world, and puts a special emphasis on BC films.

Where to Watch

There will 10 screens at 4 major theaters


Tickets have already gone on sale and you can purchase them online or at the box office.  The first screening for will begin on September 30.

SINGLE TICKETS are best if you want to keep it simple or you just want to attend a few films. Simply search the film guide and select your films.

TICKET PACKS offer savings and may be the best if you want to attend at least 10 evening films and are able to decide on most of your titles ahead of time. The more you buy, the better the deal.


There are plenty of films to choose from this year including a few which are gaining considerable buzz online:

Waiting for Superman

A film which analyzes the failures of the American Public School system. The film includes an endorsement and special appearance by Bill Gates and Oprah has already deemed it a movie that can “revolutionize American Schools.”  The film has already  received the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Take a look at the trailer:

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

This Thai film directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a film about the last days in the life of a man who is able to recall his “past lives.”  The film has already won the Palme d’Or (the highest prize awarded to competing films) at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Women Power

New this year will be several films that will tell women’s stories with an emphasis on women’s issues – many of them by female directors.  For more details and a listing of all 48 films, click here.

Things you need to know:

  • You must be age 18 or older and a member of our registered non-profit society to attend most films at VIFF. Why? Because most of the films we screen are unclassified (for example, no G, PG, 14A, 18A or R ratings) and, under B.C. law, in order to see unclassified films you must be a registered member of a film society.
  • Films for under-18s- that being said, VIFF does seek classification for as many films as possible to enable under-18s to attend. Nearly 30 excellent films were classified last year and we’ll aim for a similar number this year. Classified films will be listed under Films for Youth >18.
  • Membership is only $2. Two bucks! It’s good for the whole festival. (You don’t have to pay $2 extra for every ticket you buy, in other words.) Buy your membership when you buy your tickets.
  • You must show your membership card at every screening. It’s proof you are a member of the society. If you have forgotten your membership card, you must purchase another membership in order to be allowed into the theatre.

If this is your first time at the Film Fest, be sure to do a little homework on each film before watching.

Some of the movies are short films or documentaries and you’ll want to know what you’re getting yourself into.  That being said, I’ve found most of my favorite movies at the Festivals were not necessarily the big-budget films or the one’s with the most hype.  Give each synopsis a read and don’t be afraid to try something new.  There’s a good chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

For all the latest news and updates, be sure check out the VIFF Facebook and Twitter page.