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The Victoria Film Festival (VFF) wrap and awards


The Victoria Film Festival (VFF) brought another festive, energy-packed, and visually stunning celebration to the community. The Festival hand-picked unique movies from around the world, some that were later honoured with prestigious nominations including Genie-nominated films such as Trigger, and Leave them Laughing; as well as Oscar-nominated films such as Biutiful, In a Better World, The Illusionist, and Incendies (also Genie nominated). Sold out films included Chef of the South Polar (both screenings), Biutiful, Incendies, Casino Jack, The Other Woman, Kinshasa Symphony, One Big Hapa Family, Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti), Les Petits Mouchoirs (Little White Lies), Lesson Plan (both screenings), and Food Security: Simple and Safe, It's In Your Hands. Sold out events included the Opening Gala, Sips and Cinema II, and Dinner and More than a Movie.


The Opening Gala

Lights, Camera, and DANCE! The Opening Gala began with a vibrantly choreographed flash mob. This opening performance took the audience by surprise, and it signified the spirit of celebration at the VFF. The Opening Gala movie was Chef of the South Polar. This VFF-selected movie was an audience favourite as both screenings sold out. After the first screening, the evening continued as guests walked over to a dazzling display at the Atrium (800 Yates St.) decorated as an ice castle to reflect the theme of the Opening Gala movie. Delectable finger food was presented by some of the best restaurants in the city including Bon Rouge, Fol Epi, Sips Artisan Bistro, Pescatores, Fairway Market, Wildfire Bread and Pastry, West Coast Waffles, and Irish Times.

There's Something Different at VFF Screenings

The VFF arranged exclusive live entertainment to create a more interactive experience for the audience. This year there were live marimba players at the screening of Marimbas From Hell, volunteers dressed up as Star Wars characters at both screenings of The People vs. George Lucas, live cricket demonstration at both screenings of Out of the Ashes, an Italian and English introduction at the screening of Cosa Voglio di più (Come undone), and a French and English introduction by members of the Francophone Society at the screening of Le poil de la bête, Incendies, and Les petits mouchoirs (Little White lies).


In addition to these hand-picked films, Victorians got a chance to experience imaginative events created by the Festival. This year VFF expanded Dinner and More than a Movie to two nights and sold out both nights. The event screened erotic shorts, and took place at The Superior: a trendy and cozy James Bay cafe with food by Chef Torin Egan. Another matchless interactive event is ConVerge, which screened short films at non-traditional venues in the Humboldt Valley including a movie in a hat, a vehicle that ‘kidnapped' patrons, and a cozy nook in Clive's Classic Lounge. The after party at Oyster was packed with ConVergers who got a chance to dry out from the rainy day.

Guests in Attendance

Guests including Don McKellar, Bruce McDonald, and Dana Adam Shapiro thanked the Festival staff for making their stay very enjoyable. In attendance this year were the following feature filmmakers.

Producers: Bob Del Valle, Rob Merilees, Montana Berg, Trevor Matthews, Rachel Coe, and Suzan Derkson.

Directors: Bruce McDonald, Carl Bessai, Dana Adam Shapiro, Larry Weinstein, Melissa James, Kate Kroll, Amber Ripley, Jeff Chiba Stearns, Nick Versteeg, Philip Neel, David Jeffery, Sebastian Copeland, Ron Mann, Andrew Eddy, Tetchena Bellange, Alice Faye, Jonty Davies, Tim Rockey, Tracy D. Smith, Maureen Bradley, Carolyn Combs, Kiefer Doerksen, Angelina Cantada, Amar Chebib, Brianne Nord-Stewart, Michael Sasso, Ryan Mains, John Bolton, Amy Adrion, Dhimtri Ismailaj, Karim Azimi, Carlos Lopez Estrada, Shripriya Mahesh, E. Jane Thompson, and Martin Gilbert.

Actors: Don McKellar, Justin Rain, and Drew Scott.

Writers: Jen Kato, Bianca Bellange, and Andrew Genaille.



The awards were handed out at the End of Festival Bash, which was held at Spinnakers. This wrap up party celebrated the Festival finale. VFF staff thanked the volunteers, sponsors, community and the entire team at the VFF. The awards were as follows:

Best Student: Heal by Mian Adnan Ahmad

Best Animation: Trembling Veil of Bones by Matthew Talbot-Kelly

Best Short: Apostles by Jeff Chan

Best Documentary: No Fun City by Melissa James and Kate Kroll

Best Canadian Feature: Trigger by Bruce McDonald

Best Feature: When We Leave by Feo Aladag

Audience Choice: Incendies by Denis Villeneuve

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