The Vancouver International Film Festival is a highly anticipated event that happens for two weeks every year in late September and early October. The Vancouver Film Festival takes its place alongside the Toronto Film Festival as an example of a festival that is burgeoning in popularity and significance. It was founded in 1982 and now enjoys annual attendance of around 200,000. The Vancouver Film Festival is not as established or large as the Toronto Film Festival, but it is growing in popularity and is highly respected throughout the entertainment industry, not just in Canada, but also around the world. Vancouver Film Festival events are some of the finest events in the city, and run the gamut from screenings and premieres, to social gatherings and after-hours parties. If you are planning to travel to Vancouver anytime around the end of the summer, you should strongly consider trying to sync up your schedule so you can be in the city during this vibrant and exciting time.
The Vancouver International Film Festival exhibits hundreds of films from over 50 countries every year. Although there is a heavy emphasis placed on the work of Canadian artists, international films are also screened and judged as well. The Vancouver Film Festival has become known as an important venue for emerging Asian filmmakers. On certain years, the Vancouver Film Festival events have included screenings of more Asian documentaries than anywhere outside of Asia itself. Asian filmmakers vie for awards in what is known as the Dragons and Tigers Award competition. People may wonder why this is the case, but you only have to look to the fact that Chinese people make up nearly one-third of the population in Vancouver to realize that the Vancouver International Film Festival is a perfect outlet for emerging artists from the area. This is also why Vancouver's Chinatown is worth a visit.
Another major focus of the Vancouver Film Festival is documentary filmmaking. As an example, on certain years, more than 300 films have been screened with over a quarter of them being nonfiction. Depending on the category, films are judged by juries or by the audience. Major categories at the Vancouver Film Festival include Most Popular International Film, Most Popular Canadian Film, the National Film Board Award for the Best Documentary, and Best Young Canadian Director of a Short Film. Some notable past winners include Michael Moore for Bowling for Columbine, and Facing Ali (a documentary about the boxer by Canadian director Pete McCormack).
While going to screenings and participating in the judging of the various films is a blast and a big reason why film enthusiasts take part in this amazing two weeks of artistic delight, alluring Vancouver Film Festival events also draw people in. If you have the chance to be in Vancouver during the festival, you will become aware of the fact that there are parties and events going on all over the place that are connected to the film festival, adding to an already great nightlife scene here. If you do not know anyone throwing the parties, you can always make new friends or see if tickets are available to after-screening parties and like events. Either way, even just sitting in the theaters and taking part in the judging is a fun experience and you are sure to see some great new films before the rest of the world has the chance.