VIFF kicks off: These are the films you can’t miss
By Jamie Samhan
On 27 September, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) will start its 16-day run.
The impressive collection of movies to be shown over the two and a half weeks will excite everyone from the film bluffs to the casual goer. Despite the jam-packed schedule, a few features will steal the show.
Starting off the festival is The Hummingbird Project. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård who play cousins obsessed with creating a 1,000-mile-long fibre-optic cable that would have the ability to take a millisecond off of stock transactions. Salma Hayek also plays their angry former boss pitted at making their lives more difficult.
For any wildlife lover, 4 October will be a big day! A special charity screening of Jane, the documentary of Dr Jane Goodall’s early explorations and unheard of research in Tanzania will be shown. The film will be followed by a 45 minute Q&A with Dr Goodall. All proceeds will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada (JGI Canada). JGI Canada helps the protection and research of chimpanzees and other great apes in their habitats.
A Special Event Screening on 5 October will show Bethune: The Making of a Hero. Phillip Borsos tells the tale of Canadian Dr Norman Bethune and the work he did with the Chinese Communist forces during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Donald Sutherland becomes Dr Bethune with Helen Mirren as his wife, Frances Penny Bethune. The raw nature of the film comes to life as it was filmed in remote areas of China.
On 6 October, British Columbia’s best will be highlighted with the BC Spotlight Gala. Robin Hays’ will show the world premiere of her film Anthem of a Teenage Prophet. Cameron Monaghan of TV’s Shameless loses his best friend after predicting the tragedy. The film follows the teenage prodigy as he has more premonitions and falls for his best friend’s girlfriend. Adapted from Joanne Proulx’s award-winning novel.
And going out with a bang on 12 October is The Front Runner from Jason Reitman. Hugh Jackman plays Gary Hart, the favourite in the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. Over a mere three week, the campaign collapses due to “monkey business and muckraking.” The team tries damage control but is ultimately unsuccessful.
If you want to get deeper behind the world of films, actor Adrian Grenier (Devil Wears Prada and Entourage) will launch the two-day conference with a keynote speech on the Sustainable Production Forum’s (SPF) theme of “Transforming Culture”. Grenier co-founded the Lonely Whale Foundation which is working with SPF on the first conference working towards “greening the motion picture industry.” The conference will also host the inaugural Sustainable Production Excellence Awards to honour industry members that are making a difference in environmentally friendly film production.
The Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society was founded in 1982 as charitable not-for-profit arts and cultural organization. They operate VIFF, as well as the programming throughout the year for the Vancity Theatre. This year the festival runs from 27 September-12 October.
Tickets can be purchased at VIFF.org.