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Victoria opens festivals to film lovers

The 2004 Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival opened to an enthusiastic crowd with WILBUR WANTS TO KILL HIMSELF. This UK/Denmark film has been a hit on the festival circuit and Executive Director Kathy Kay knew she picked a winner for the filmgoers of Victoria Island. Now in it’s 10th year this Annual Festival officially kicks off the 10 day Festival in the beautiful setting of British Columbia, Canada.

WILBER WANTS TO KILL HIMSELF tells the story of two brothers Wilbur and Harbour and how Wilbur has and still is attempting to end his life. Harbour suggests that Wilbur find a girlfriend as Harbour finds an interest in Alice a sweet small character with an insightful preteen daughter. Interestingly, Alice finds herself in love with both brothers. The dark comedic story unfolds into a charming story directed by Lone Scherfig who also wrote the script as well. This film was a perfect opener to the Festival as the audience was able to laugh and reflect on the delicate balance of life, love and understanding.

Following the screening the Opening Night Gala was a fun and festive event with talented entertainment provided by The Victoria High School Band. This is an amazing group of high school students who do a rocking set of 70’s, 80’,s and 90’s music. The big band of at least a dozen high school students all danced sang and plays instiurments while presenting an impressive list of popular songs to the Festival attendees. The beautiful Laurel Point Hotel offered the venue for the Opening Night Gala with sweeping views of the harbor of Victoria Island in the glass-enclosed ballroom.

The VIFVF will screen 160 films from around the world and will host an impressive line-up of visiting filmmakers, and film industry executives from across North America. Among the films 3 are world premieres, 10 are Canadian premieres and 6 are BC premieres. Many of the films are favorites from the international festival circuit including Sundance, Montreal, Toronto, Rotterdam, and Vancouver. The Festival has a focus to support local filmmakers is reflected in the 42 films from BC and Victoria film community. The Festival truly reflects the passion for filmmaking in the Pacific Northwest and the commitment of the community to continue its growth.

In addition to the impressive cinematic lineup there is an extensive list of hands-on workshops in filmmaking, animation, a world-class New Media event, Film Forum, Master Classes, CineKids is their signature family event, and social events, formal and informal. Information is listed on www.vifvf.com for details on all events, workshops and bios on visiting guests.

Screenings take place at the Capitol 6, the new Victoria Multi-Cultural Centre, Alix Golden Hall, and the Star Cinema in Sidney. The 10th Annual Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival will continue through January 30 - February 8, 2004.

Keiko Beatie

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