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Victoria Film Festival brings in 16% over last edition

“It was great to see so many more people out this year, we increased in all age groups especially with the 20 somethings and that's a great feeling – to present an event that reaches across the entire age spectrum,” said Festival Director Kathy Kay. We received some great feedback from festival goers this year, so hopefully we can carry that forward for an even better festival in 2010.”

The interest from filmmakers around the world continued to provide a broad selection of film for Vancouver Island audiences with 1112 entries coming through the doors. This brought many more talented filmmakers to the attention of local audiences and the media. In fact, the Festival screened an incredible 197 films this year in narrative, documentary and short programs to the loud appreciation of thousands more festival attendees.

Notably popular films this year were Inside Hana’s Suitcase, directed by Larry Weinstein, The Islands Project from Michael Stadtländer, Stone of Destiny by Vancouver based filmmaker Charles Martin Smith, Dean Spanley, JCVD and Tuya’s Marriage.

This year also saw the launch of Springboard Talks, a two day event that brought together top industry players, producers, directors and actors to take the stage for 15 minutes to talk about the art and commerce of film. Stand out talks included Don McKellar and also Richie Mehta who brought down the house with his 'training opportunity' with Brian de Palma anecdote.

ConVerge was another new program launched which caused a stir on the scene with over 130 participants attending film screenings at some pretty unusual locations around Chinatown. Organizer Scott Amos was triumphant when it all came together and a little community of ConVergers chatted each other up and gave insider tips on films and locations they'd seen. "This is an event that's going to keep growing" said Amos, "next year I'm shooting for 50 venues over 2 days!"

The Festival created memorable moments at Empire Theatres Capitol 6 that included Nathan Roberts entertaining the Stone of Destiny audience with his bagpipes, the Island Hoppers and various other jump rope team members from across North America performing at the Opening Gala and at the first screening of Jump!, plus George Brady, the surprise guest from Inside Hana’s Suitcase that took home the Canwest Award for Best Documentary. And we’ll never forget the screenings of Veer when audience members locked hundreds of bicycles to the Empire Theatres scaffolding before both sold out shows.

In support of all these fantastic films and events we had a cast of great volunteers who tirelessly provided customer service, helped special guests and worked hard to set up and tear down events.

It’s no wonder our attendance increased 16% over 2008 with 23 sold out feature screenings and a total increase in sales of 22%. Thanks to everyone for another fantastic year with The Victoria Film Festival!


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