Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 Vancouver International Film Festival: Preview

The 32nd Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off this Thursday (September 26 - October 11), with sixteen exciting days of cinema from around the world.

Boasting a lineup of 340 films from 70 countries projected on 9 screens (a number of them brand new venues to VIFF that have been outfitted with the latest cinema tech) this year's fest promises to be the best one yet.

As always, there is a strong selection of competition titles and awards winners from the major international festivals.

From Cannes:
  • Nebraska by Alexander Payne (Best Actor, VIFF 2013 Opening Film)
  • Blue is the Warmest Colour by Abdellatif Kechiche (Palme d'Or)
  • Like Father, Like Son by Kore-eda Hirokazu (Jury Prize)
  • Heli by Amat Escalante (Best Director)
  • The Past by Asghar Farhadi (Best Actress)
  • A Touch of Sin by Jia Zhangke (Best Screenplay)
  • The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino (Official Selection)
  • Borgman by Alex van Warmerdam (Official Selection)
  • Young and Beautiful by François Ozon (Official Selection)
  • Grigris by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Official Selection)
  • Michael Kohlhaas by Arnaud des Pallières (Official Selection)
  • Ilo Ilo by Anthony Chen (Camera d'Or)

From the Berlinale, regretfully missing 2013 Golden Bear winner Child's Pose but still a great batch of films:
  • Closed Curtain by Jafar Panahi & Kamboziya Partovi (Best Script)
  • Gloria by Sebastián Lelio (Best Actress)
  • Harmony Lessons by Emir Baigazin (Outstanding Artistic Contribution)
  • Vic and Flo Saw a Bear by Denis Côté (Alfred Bauer Prize)
  • The Rocket by Kim Mordaunt (Best First Feature)
  • The Broken Circle Breakdown by Felix van Groeningen (Panorama Audience Prize)
  • Paradise: Hope by Ulrich Seidl
  • A Long and Happy Life by Boris Khlebnikov
  • Gold by Thomas Arlsan
  • Camille Claudel 1915 by Bruno Dumont

From Venice:
  • Stray Dogs by Tsai Ming-liang (Jury Grand Prize)
  • Miss Violence by Alexandros Avranas Best Director, Best Actor
  • Tom at the Farm by Xavier Dolan
  • Tracks by John Curran

There's also a healthy amount of contenders for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in the line-up:
  • Australia's The Rocket by Kim Morduant
  • Belgium's The Broken Circle Breakdown by Felix Van Groeningen
  • Canada's Gabrielle by Louise Archambault
  • Chile's Gloria by Sebastián Lelio
  • The Czech Republic's Burning Bush by Agnieszka Holland
  • Georgia's In Bloom by Nana Ekvtimishvili & Simon Gross
  • Italy's The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino
  • Japan's The Great Passage by Ishii Yuya
  • Mexico's Heli by Amat Escalante
  • The Netherlands' Borgman by Alex van Warmerdam
  • Saudi Arabia's Wadjda by Haifaa al-Mansour
  • Singapore's Ilo Ilo by Anthony Chen
  • Taiwan's Soul by Chung Mong-Hong
  • Venezuela's Breach in the Silence by Luis and Andrés Rodríguez.
The 668 seat Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, one VIFF's 'new' venues.

One very exciting development this year is the addition of genre-film sidebar Altered States. A series of seven films, all of which will have 'midnight' (11:30pm) showings at The Rio, Vancouver's destination for cult cinema. This is a feature that was missing from VIFF for too long:
  • A Field in England by Ben Wheatley (Special Jury Prize, 2013 KVIFF)
  • Antisocial by Cody Calahan
  • Big Bad Wolves by Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado (Best Film, Best Screenplay, 2013 Fantasia)
  • Borgman by Alex van Warmerdam (Official Selection, 2013 Cannes)
  • Halley by Sebastián Hofmann (Special Mention, 2013 Fantasia; CineVision Award, 2013 Filmfest München)
  • Willow Creek by Bobcat Goldthwait
  • XL by Marteinn Thórsson (Best Actor, 2013 KVIFF)

The finest tradition of VIFF is the Dragons & Tigers section, which has the honor of being the largest showcase of East Asian films projected at any festival outside of Asia. Every year the section jury presents the Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema to the best film from a new director. Past well-known recipients of this award include Kore-eda Hirokazu (Maborosi, 1995), Hong Sang-soo (The Day a Pig Fell into the Well, 1996), Lee Chang-dong (Green Fish, 1997), and Jia Zhangke (The Pickpocket, 1998). Seven films have been nominated to receive the 2013 award:
  • 9 Muses of Star Empire by Lee Hark-joon (Canadian Premiere)
  • Anatomy of a Paperclip by Ikeda Akira (International Premiere)
  • Burn, Release, Explode, the Invincible by Kim Soo-hyun (International Premiere)
  • Four Ways to Die in My Hometown by Chai Chun-ya (World Premiere)
  • My First Love by Tsuruoko Keiko (World Premiere)
  • The Spider's Lair by Jason Paul Laxamana (International Premiere)
  • Trap Street by Vivian Qu (2013 Venice, Critics' Week)

For the second consecutive year, we will be providing full coverage of the festival, so be sure to check back for daily reports and capsule reviews.


Unknown said...

Nice line-up! Look forward to your thoughts on those, especially the first two you listed, Nebraska and Blue is.
Also curious what you think about The Past, The Rocket, and Borgman. Which are your most anticipated?

Unknown said...

That is a good line-up. Hope you have fun covering the festival.

Unknown said...

Great lineup for VIFF! I'm looking forward to seeing Nebraska at the local film fest TCFF next month. Enjoy covering the festival Bonjour, and thanks for the great report :D

Unknown said...

Great selection of films! Looking forward to read your impressions on those great titles! Echoes are that the 2 Québécois films Gabrielle and Vic et Flo ont vu un ours are quite good!

Unknown said...

Award winning Nathanael Matanick
Film ReMoved Screened for the first time and won the grand prize of Best film
and an up to 1 million dollar feature film budget at the 168 Film Festival in
Los Angeles August 10th , 2013, Sabrina Culver was nominated in the best
supporting actress category

Unknown said...

Thanks, that Haenke doc I want to see too.

Unknown said...

That looks like a great lineup! Enjoy!

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