Vancouver is home to some of the biggest Hollywood productions and is known to location scouts for its unmatched beauty, diversity and convenience. This has led to Vancouver being home to many exciting and career-launching film festivals. Here are 4 film festivals in Vancouver that film students won’t want to miss!
It’s every aspiring filmmaker’s idea of heaven: Days of endless new films, appearances from directors, actors and other film professionals, 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.
THE BEST FILM FESTIVALS IN VANCOUVER
1. Vancouver International Film Festival
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.
The festival typically takes place will take place in September and October of each year, but film school students might have a hard time fitting everything into just over two weeks! With new features including an interactive hub, live performances, VIFF Amp and their many insightful and informative industry VIFF Talks!
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.
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.
Crazy8s is run by the Crazy8s Film Society, a not-for-profit society which offers support to emerging filmmakers who have little or no access to funding for short films. It is an 8-day filmmaking challenge where 6 winning scripts are chosen for production, later to be premiered at the Crazy8s Gala Screening. The gala is a fantastic opportunity for film school students to build a professional network in the world of short filmmaking as well as forming contacts with other new filmmakers, screenwriters and more.
Crazy8s helps to build the domestic film industry in British Columbia. To date, their annual filmmaking challenge has produced 133 short films that have gone on to win awards at film festivals worldwide. Best of all, any emerging filmmaker with a short film script can apply, making it an ideal avenue for film or screenwriting students who are looking to get their ideas made into film.
4. Vancouver International Women in Film Festival
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.
Another season of film festivals fast approaching! With that in mind, there are sure to be many opportunities to view some of the best, new films of the year. Don’t miss out on the great workshops and networking events available to aspiring filmmakers during these jam-packed festivals!
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