14 Films and Events to Attend at the 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival

Film festival season is in full swing, with the 37th annual Vancouver International Film Festival kicking off this week. Festivities begin Thursday, September 27th with the opening night gala and run through Friday, October 12th where FRONT RUNNER will bring VIFF to a close.  

This year’s festival features an eclectic mix of films and events, offering something for every type of moviegoer. With nine different program streams and over 336 films, there is always something to see or do in Vancouver over the next few weeks. To help get you get ready, we’ve put together a list of 14 films and events you won’t want to miss at VIFF this year!



Directed by Kim Nguyen

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård, and Salma Hayek

VIFF True North Program Stream

Premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival

THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT will kick off the festival as the Opening Gala film on September 27.



Directed by Danishka Esterhazy

Starring Katie Douglas, Celina Martin, Peter Outerbridge, and Sara Canning

VIFF ALT Program Stream

LEVEL 16 will have its Canadian premiere at VIFF on September 30.



Directed by Robin Hays

Starring Cameron Monaghan, Peyton List, Juliette Lewis, Grayson Gabriel, and Alex MacNicoll
VIFF BC Spotlight Film

This will be the world premiere of Anthem of a Teenage Prophet. The screening on October 6 will be preceded by the BC Spotlight Awards and speeches.



Directed by Rob Stewart

Starring Rob Stewart, Regi Domingo, Brock Cahill, Madison Stewart, and Will Allen

VIFF True North Program Stream

Premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival

SHARKWATER EXTINCTION will be playing as a Special Presentation September 28 and 30.



Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky

True North Program Stream

ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH will be playing as a Special Presentation on September 28 and 30.



Directed by Jason Reitman

Starring Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina, Mamoudou Athie, Sarah Paxton, Kevin Pollak

Panorama Program Stream

Premiered at the 2018 Telluride Film Festival

FRONT RUNNER will be featured as VIFF’s closing night film on October 12. This will be the film’s North American premiere.



Directed by Kathleen S. Jayme

Featuring Kathleen S. Jayme, Bryant "Big Country" Reeves

Sea to Sky Program Stream

FINDING BIG COUNTRY will have its world premiere at VIFF on September 30 as part of the BC Spotlight.



Directed by Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown

Starring Tyler York, William Russ, and Adeana Young

Sea to Sky Program Stream

EDGE OF THE KNIFE  is being featured as a BC Spotlight film and part of the High School Outreach program. It will screen on October 3, 4, and 5. It is also the first film in the Haida language.



Sustainable Production Forum

The focus of this year’s Sustainable Production Forum is on "Transforming Culture.” Join expert panelists, actors, producers and other film and television practitioners discuss achievements in sustainable production practices, explore how to implement sustainable production in the effervescent world of advertising, and celebrate the launch of a pilot project which continues to pioneer best practices for industry-community relations in BC. The day will end with a reception and Awards Gala.
This event takes place on Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6 at Vancity Theatre.

Immersed Exhibition

VIFF Immersed: Exhibition, presented by Samsung VR Video, is a three-day public, ticketed exhibition featuring VR, AR and MR experiences staged on a wide range of immersive technology platforms. It celebrates the best of storytelling; showcases some of today’s most important creators, platforms and technologies; and represents the current state of this burgeoning industry.

This event takes runs from Sunday, September 30 through Tuesday, October 2 at The Centre for Digital Media.

Totally Indie Day

Totally Indie Day, presented by STORYHIVE, is an opportunity for independent content creators to learn more about the art and business of motion pictures. The event will feature experienced industry professionals and rising new talents alike; they’ll be sharing stories, offering insights, passing on tips and more.

This event takes place Friday, September 29 at Vancity Theatre.


RZA: Live from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin

The award-winning musician, film director and leader of rap group Wu-Tang Clan comes to live-score the Kung-fu flick that’s been one of his biggest influences: Lau Kar-leung’s The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Using a Wu-Tang catalog over two decades deep, he drops beats from opening scene to closing credits, amplifying the action of this martial arts classic.

This event takes place Tuesday, October 9 at 8:15pm at the Orpheum Theatre.


Creator Talk: Michael Schur

Join VIFF for a fascinating session with one of comedy’s best TV writers, one who knows all the sitcom rules and how to break them! Michael Schur is the creator and executive producer of NBC’s critically acclaimed and award-winning comedy The Good Place and also a co-creator and executive producer of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Parks and Recreation. Schur also wrote and produced the Emmy Award-winning hit The Office, and fans of the show may also know him as Dwight Schrute’s bearded, beet-farming cousin, Mose Schrute.

This event takes place Sunday, September 30 at 1:00pm at the Rio Theatre.


Kid Koala: Satellite

In Kid Koala’s latest live innovation, the master Canadian DJ empowers his audience, drawing them into a communal experience of light and sound. The audience collaborates in groups of four at stations equipped with a turntable, an effects box and a small crate of colour-coded records. Through subtly coloured lighting changes in the room, they’re cued to play along--DJs in a spontaneous collective, collaborating to create an "ambient vinyl orchestra."

This event takes place October 5, 6, and 7 at the Annex.