4 Film Festivals to Check out While You Attend Film School in Vancouver

Vancouver hosts a wide range of great film festivals

Vancouver hosts a wide range of great film festivals


It’s every film buffs idea of heaven: days of endless new movies, appearances from famous directors, actors, and other film pros, and even workshops and networking opportunities. Attending a film festival could lead to you discovering your new favorite filmmaker, meeting your personal hero, or even catching your big break.


Fortunately for those considering film school in Vancouver, the city has no shortage of excellent events. With such a vibrant movie industry presence, the area is the ideal backdrop for a range of festivals both large and small, taking in a number of genres and styles and filling their own particular industry niches.


So where should you go first? Read on to find out more about just a few Vancouver’s best film fests.


1. Every Film School Student in Vancouver Should Attend VIFF

Let’s start with the granddaddy of them all. Now in its 35th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) isn’t just the biggest in the city, it’s also one of the five largest film festivals in North America, playing host to over 300 films, highly regarded international guests, and countless compelling workshops and lectures for industry insiders and aspiring filmmakers alike.

This year’s festival will take place from September 29 to October 14, but film school students might have a hard time fitting everything into just over two weeks, with new features including an interactive hub, a sustainable production forum and the return of their ‘Power to the Indie Program,’ a special workshop for budding indie filmmakers to explore strategies in direct distribution and audience engagement.


2. Students in Film Courses Can Get the Real Stories at DOXA

With the recent success of the likes of Making a Murderer and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, we’re very much in a golden age for documentaries, with filmmakers creating some of the most daring, provocative pieces ever produced in the genre.

Film school students can see provocative documentaries at DOXA

Film school students can see provocative documentaries at DOXA

With that in mind, why not check out the latest groundbreaking work for yourself at DOXA Documentary Film Festival? Held each May at various locations around the city, DOXA showcases both local and international films that tell real stories designed to educate and inform, and features appearances from some the leading filmmakers in the field.

3. Film Students Can Get Involved at the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival

Just a few short hours away, the Vancouver Island Film Festival is a veritable treasure trove of mini cinematic gems, with somewhere between 10 and 20 films with a running time of twelve minutes or less screened over two days in Nainamo.

Best of all, the judging panel accepts multiple submissions from filmmakers, with an entry fee of just $30 per film! There’s even a specific category for student work, making it an ideal avenue for students looking to get the work they complete during their film courses out there.

4. Vancouver International Women in Film Festival: A Fresh Perspective for Film School Students

A smaller festival, but one that’s definitely worth a look, the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, held every March, showcases the best work from women both at home and abroad. The festival screens around fifty films, taking in a number of genres and styles, and is run by Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV), a not-for-profit society that also offers professional development services for women in the industry throughout the year, including workshops, mentorships, and a monthly networking breakfast.

WIFTV provide a range of services for female filmmakers

WIFTV provide a range of services for female filmmakers



What else will you discover while you attend film school in Vancouver?

Contact InFocus Film School today for more information about our courses!

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