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VIFF's 25th Annual Film & TV Forum wrapped

A slate of cinema's top award-winning filmmakers attracted a large gathering of aspiring filmmakers at VIFF's 25th Annual Film & TV Forum on Saturday, October 2, at the Rogers Industry Centre. The excitement was palpable for New Filmmakers' Day, the only event of its kind in Western Canada and drew an almost packed house for such notable guests as Sean Anders and John Morris (screenwriters Hot Tub Time Machine),director David Slade (Twilight: Eclipse, Hard Candy) and film editor extraordinaire Stephen Mirrione (Traffic, Babel, Biutiful).

This year's Forum played host to exceptional networking opportunities across multiple genres for all levels of film and tv producers. 14 creative documentary projects were pitched to commissioning editors from Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK and the USA at Storyville Vancouver. Two projects garnered immediate broadcaster interest and several others lead to fruitful one-on-one meetings between the producers and editors. Storyville Vancouver, in collaboration with Knowledge Network is proving to be an extremely effective venue for developing long-term strategic relationships and enhancing project development.

According to Katrin Bowen, Creative Director of The Forum: "Our goal is to strike a good programming balance between the creative sessions and the business component. We strove for quality and clearly achieved that with the high caliber of guests in attendance. It was great to hear their passion and be inspired. The feedback from delegates has been very positive and we're happy, especially in these challenging times, to have provided increased numbers of networking opportunities for the community."

Back by popular demand were the Speed Dating Sessions, designed for emerging filmmakers to pitch projects to broadcasters and senior local producers, get feedback and forge new relationships. In 2010, the Forum boasted a total of 88 Speed Dating Sessions. The Telefilm Canada International Tête-à-tête Meetings proved to be another popular business and networking opportunity with over 60 meetings taking place between local senior producers and international distributors, commissioning editors, and finance executives.

Over 45 Vancouver writers and directors participated in intimate Roundtable Discussions with Emmy-award winning writers Eric Overmyer (Treme, The Wire) and Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) while producers Frida Torresblanco (Pan's Labyrinth) and Peter Saraf (Jack Goes Boating) provided insight into the changing landscape of feature film production.

The 2010 Forum, in conjunction with BC Film was pleased to host a Chinese Delegationoffilm, television and digital media executives who participated in tête-à-tête meetings and roundtable discussions with local companies interested in co-producing or co-venturing with China. Over 25 interested stakeholders attended the Roundtable Discussion with the Chinese, while another 20 appointments were scheduled with senior producers and production companies. British Columbia Film hosted a presentation on producing in Canada and the group also made on-site visits to Bridge Studio, Deluxe Entertainment Services, CIS VFX Group, Vancouver Film School, the Centre for Digital Media and Bardel Animation. BC Film Commission led the delegation on a location scouting tour whereby they had the opportunity to visit the set of the series Endgame and Stargate.

The 25th Annual Film & TV Forum took place in the Rogers Industry Centre at the Vancouver International Film Centre, 1181 Seymour St., September 28 - October 1, plus New Filmmakers' Day, October 2. The Vancouver International Film Festival acknowledges the generous support of Telefilm Canada and our major corporate partners Rogers Communications and Visa Canada.

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