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Final Week: 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival


Ran into Festival Board Chair, Michael Francis, in the early afternoon, at Bean Around the World on 10th Avenue, in Vancouver's West Point Grey neighbourhood. An impromptu discussion of this year's Festival ensued, and a number of topics were covered, including ...

  • Length of the Festival: In recent days, there's been a rumour floating throught the line-ups and the cinemas that in 2008 VIFF will shorten the length of the Festival to 10 days, from its current 16-day run. "Not so," says Francis. "I'm not sure where that rumour might have originated, but we'll be a 16-day Festival next year, as we've been for many years."

  • Box Office Is Up 30% This Year Over Last: This past week the rumour floated around that box office was up 30% in the first week. "True," says Francis. "But, overall, we'll probably be up 4 or 5% in 2007 over 2006. Because so many people are purchasing their tickets online, over the Internet, and because so many patrons purchased their tickets in the first week of the Festival, box office was indeed up approximately 30% over last year, but that figure won't sustain through the end of the Festival."

    "Something else we've done this year, as well, is keep a closer eye on the box office, and when it was deemed appropriate, and when we became aware of increased demand to see a particular film, we changed venues for the popular films to a larger venue, like Theatre 7 at the Granville 7 Cinemas, or increased the number of screens on which a film is available. That innovation served to increase box office in the first week."

VanRamblings offered to Francis that the 2007 VIFF was one of the strongest in years, a sentiment with which Francis was in full accord. "Of particular note, too, is the success of the Film Forum this year, probably our most successful year ever," Francis enthused. "So not only do we have strong, important films from across the globe screening at our Festival this year — at a time when international cinema has never been stronger — interest in the craft of filmmaking has also emerged as an ever stronger focus of the Festival and Festival participants."

Francis and VanRamblings also spoke briefly about our favourite films at the Festival this year, about Festival director Alan Franey (about whom we are both supportive), and the general all-around good feeling among Festival-goers and Festival staff this year. "2007 very much feels like the beginning of something new, as if we are just now embarking — as is world cinema — on a new and more vibrant path, that the previous 26 years have laid the foundation for an even stronger Festival in the years to come."

And, so one might hope.

C'mon back on Monday, October 8th, for snapshot reviews of second-week favourites (Battle in Seattle, Edge of Heaven, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), and buzz films not already reviewed on this site (Bliss, Empties).

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 7, 2007 3:39 PM in VIFF 2007


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