Locals boost fest

Vancouver shows 12% in even attendance

VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and numerous industryites were no-shows, 135,000 seats were filled, an increase of about 12% over last year. More than 300 films unspooled at 400 screenings across eight venues.

“We’re gratified by the rise in attendance under the circumstances,” fest director Alan Franey told Daily Variety.

In contrast to Toronto’s prominence as an industry market and forum for significant North American premieres, Vancouver is pitched to loyal locals, many of whom work in the city’s burgeoning film and television production sector. Closing night at the Vogue theater, where this year’s winners were announced, was packed with behind-the-lens workers.

Taiwan’s “Mirror Image,” written and directed by Hsiao Ya-Chuan, took the Dragons and Tigers award for Young Cinema. The National Film Board of Canada honor for documentary feature went to “Jung (War): in the Land of the Mujaheddin” (Italy/Afghanistan), directed by Alberto Vendemmiati, Fabrizio Lazzaretti and Guiseppe Petitio.

U.S. pic “Promises,” directed by B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro and Carlos Bolado, won the Diversity in Spirit prize, sponsored by the British Columbia Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services. The film also took the Air Canada People’s Choice nod for the most popular film at the fest.

The Chief Dan George Award, named after the late actor from the Squamish Nation in the province’s lower mainland, went to “The New Country” (Sweden), directed by Geir Hansteen Jorgensen.

Fest closed with “The Last Wedding,” a Canuck black comedy by Vancouver helmer Bruce Sweeney that opened the Toronto fest. Distributed by ThinkFilm, it also opened across Canada over the weekend. U.S. and international distribution has not been inked.

More Film

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and […]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    VANCOUVER — Attendance was up at the 16-day Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which closed Friday. This is in contrast to last month’s Toronto film festival, where attendance had been hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although some Vancouver screenings were canceled or rescheduled because films never made it or shipping was delayed, and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content