THE 33rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival (September 25 – October 10) announces its 2014 line-up that pushes the envelope on world-class cinema and unique film-focused events. From Cannes to the red carpet runway, 2014 sees VIFF make a bold transition in film, industry and special events.
This year audiences can look forward to 353 films from over 65 countries, including 223 features and 130 shorts. The stellar line-up includes 32 World Premieres, 38 International Premieres, 22 North American Premieres, and 47 Canadian Premieres.
VIFF’s Opening Night Gala film is the much-anticipated feature Wild, by Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée, of Dallas Buyers Club fame. Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, and portrays a self-destructive woman who attempts to leave behind her years of drug abuse and recklessness with a solo, 1,000-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. VIFF’s Closing Night Gala film is the Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award winner, Whiplash (USA). Fierce rhythms and ferocious humour drive Damien Chazelle’s riveting film about an ambitious jazz drummer (Miles Teller) pushed beyond his breaking point by an instructor (J.K. Simmons) who takes tough-love to extremes.
Additional gala films include:
The Special Presentation Gala film (formerly Dragons and Tigers Gala) is The Vancouver Asahi — World Premiere (Japan). In Vancouver’s old Japantown, a group of Canadian-born kids launched their own baseball team, the Asahi. Yuya Ishii’s (Mitsuko Delivers) lavish-scale entertainment chronicles their battles against failure, racism and prejudice—and the brief moment of triumph they enjoyed before Pearl Harbor changed everything. Director Yuya Ishii and actors Satoshi Tsumabuki, and Kazuya Kamenashi will be in attendance.
The Canadian Images Gala film, October Gale (BC Premiere) is written and directed by Ruba Nadda and stars Patricia Clarkson, Scott Speedman and Tim Roth. The film tells the story of a doctor who takes in a mysterious man that washes ashore at her remote cottage with a gunshot wound.
“The VIFF is pleased to announce the Canadian Images Gala screening, October Gale, will be presented in partnership with Telefilm Canada. For many years, the Vancouver International Film Festival has enjoyed the distinct pleasure of showcasing the largest selection of Canadian films in the world. As partners we demonstrate our collective commitment to ensuring the celebration of Canadian cinema is at the forefront of local, national and international audiences alike. We look forward to working together in the coming years to building this signature event to be the Canadian “scene-to-be-seen” during the festival,” says VIFF Executive Director Jacqueline Dupuis.
VIFF has two new exciting awards for 2014:
Best New Director (International)
An award that will go to a first or second-time director for a creative and innovative film which has not yet won significant international recognition. This competition flows directly from the 20-year history of the “Dragons and Tigers Award for Young Cinema” and is intended to help advance the careers of some of the world’s most deserving and promising young filmmakers.
Best Canadian Film
$8,000 cash award sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada
Additional awards include:
Best BC Film
A $10,000 development bursary provided by the Harold Greenberg Fund (The Fund), and a $15,000 equipment credit supplied by Deluxe
BC Emerging Filmmaker Award
$7,500 cash award sponsored by the Union of BC Performers/ACTRA and ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society, and a $10,000 equipment credit supplied by William F. White
(Films must be signatory to a UBCP/ACTRA agreement to be eligible.)
Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film
$2,000 cash award
In 2014, the VIFF will present 9 major film series:
Galas and Special Presentations — Our leading section combines major works from today’s masters with several other films that we are specially showcasing on the HUGE screen of The Centre for Arts, all topped off with a sprinkling of 3D art like you’ve never seen.
Canadian Images — One of the largest showcases of new Canadian cinema on the planet and a true point of pride for VIFF. This series is also home to the BC Spotlight, which focuses on the best and brightest of our homegrown talent.
Cinema of Our Time — A spectacular showcase of narrative films from around the globe featuring both today’s masters and tomorrow’s visionaries. Same planet. Different worlds.
Dragons and Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia — For over 25 years, VIFF has presented one of the world’s largest and most adventurous collections of East Asian cinema. This tradition continues with another inspired selection of films.
Nonfiction Features — As we mark the centenary of In the Land of the Head Hunters, the seminal British Columbia nonfiction film, VIFF unveils another series of acclaimed documentary and essay films that expand the form’s possibilities and invite us to view the world in different lights.
Arts & Letters — A cinematic celebration of visual and performing arts with a strong focus on captivating films in which music takes centre stage.
Spotlight on France — VIFF honours the rich cinematic culture that continues to flourish in France by highlighting the nation’s finest big-screen offerings.
Altered States — This is where international genre films come out to play and audiences will experience fantastic cinema that defies ready classification.
Short Film Showcase — These programmes showcase both established and emerging artists who push short-form storytelling to its limits.
Launching this year, the Style in Film Series is a stunning showcase of fashion, style, art, cinematic aesthetics and cultural iconoclasts, this series will be an experience Vancouverites will be sure to adore. Included in the 6-film series are Advanced Style, Hand Made With Love In France, God Help The Girl, Two Faces Of January, In The Name Of My Daughter, Looking For Light: Jane Bown. We are also thrilled to partner with Eco Fashion Week to produce a series of Q&A’s and events that will further enhance this already stylish experience, including a VIP post-screening event at Holt Renfrew following the October 5 screening of Advanced Style, the hottest new style doc. We have launched a special new Style Passport where fashionistas and style-mavens alike can purchase this exciting experience.