• Anthony Nadeau

Press Release-VIFF Announces 2020 Festival Lineup, Offering Province Wide Access Films, & Much More

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

39th Vancouver International Film Festival September 24–October 7, 2020

VANCOUVER, B.C. (SEPTEMBER 3, 2020) Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is thrilled to announce programming for its 39th edition, showcasing more than 100 feature films and events, including a vibrant blend of boundary-pushing Canadian work, adventurous East Asian cinema, provocative and inspiring documentaries, elevated genre cinema, festival favorites and much more.  A 14-day online-primary festival, available throughout the province of British Columbia on the new VIFF Connect streaming platform, VIFF 2020 will also feature a select number of in-cinema presentations, including the opening film and world premiere of Loretta Sarah Todd’s Monkey Beach. The adaptation of Eden Robinson’s beloved novel will be screened at several independent cinemas throughout the province in compliance with COVID-19 capacity restrictions and the latest provincial health and safety regulations.  Those attending the in-cinema program during VIFF will experience the newly renovated VIFF Centre. The first major renovation in the space’s 15-year history, the $2.8 million undertaking features a new 41-seat Studio Theatre, a dedicated Education Suite, a New Media Lab and a redesigned atrium. Designed by the Vancouver-based office of mcfarlane biggar architects + designers, VIFF Centre’s transformation will help nurture aspiring filmmakers and expand community outreach programs. Additional theatre screenings during the festival will be held at The Cinematheque.  “Despite the roadblocks presented by the pandemic, we’ve sought out opportunities hidden within the challenges,” says Kyle Fostner, Interim Executive Director. “We have uncovered inclusive new ways to share our love of film while building foundations that will benefit the organization for years to come. The result is an ambitious and innovative festival model firmly rooted in our identity as a ‘creator’s festival,’ boasting the best films and filmmakers in the world. Embracing the need to move the festival online, our premier streaming platform, VIFF Connect, will be available province-wide from the comfort and safety of our homes. This year’s festival aims to remind us of a world of possibilities, and hopefully, for a moment, transport us somewhere we’ve never been.” A $60 all-access subscription will bring world-class cinema and experiential programming into the homes of thousands of British Columbians starting at 12pm PDT on September 24. While film programming will be geo-blocked to the province, other signature programming — including VIFF Talks, VIFF AMP, Totally Indie Day and VIFF Immersed — will be available across Canada and internationally, providing an unprecedented level of access to filmmakers and fans around the globe.  "At a time when we are unable to gather in large groups or venture far from our home communities, VIFF’s programmers have accomplished something extraordinary — they have assembled an astonishing collection of roughly 180 films that create shared human experiences," says Lucille Pacey, Board Chair. "In the midst of a pandemic, the team responded with vision and fortitude to launch a remarkable digital experience and demonstrate that there is no stopping powerful storytelling.” “The more streamlined program we’re presenting this year has allowed us to bring a greater focus to the stories we’re sharing and filmmakers we’re showcasing,” says Curtis Woloschuk, Associate Director of Programming. “While audiences will find the same quality of films, they’ll represent a greater diversity of perspectives. Of the 24 Canadian features at the festival, 14 are by female creators and 11 are by BIPOC filmmakers — including must-see works by emerging and established Indigenous directors. This commitment to representation is also demonstrated by the complement of VIFF Short Forum creators and the cohort for this year’s VIFF Catalyst mentorship program, which will offer creative development and relationship building opportunities for filmmakers from underrepresented communities.” For complete VIFF 2020 programming, including events and highlights, click HERE.

The film that has been announced to start off the festival is:

Monkey Beach (dir. Loretta Sarah Todd), Canada | World Premiere

(from IMDB)

Monkey Beach is a supernatural mystery. Layering tragedy, humor, and redemption, it tells the story of Lisa, a rebellious young woman who must accept her true heroic nature in order to save Jimmy, her brother who is lost at sea. Monkey Beach is set in the magnificent forests and waterways of the Pacific Northwest and the Haisla village of Kitamaat. Haisla cultural stories are woven into the contemporary lives of Lisa and her family, along with a cast of otherworldly characters including ghosts and Sasquatches - the 'monkeys' of Monkey Beach.

Tickets and Information VIFF Connect Festival Subscriptions $60 Regular / $30 Students VIFF Connect Gold Subscription $95 VIFF Connect Streaming Tickets $9 / In-Cinema Tickets $15 VIFF Talks $10 VIFF AMP Pass $45 / Tickets $10 Totally Indie Day $45 / $30 Students VIFF Immersed Free Single Tickets and Subscriptions available at viff.org To explore VIFF’s complete 2020 programming, visit viff.org

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