September 29, 2005
Vancouver International Film Festival Returns to Form
Brace yourself: The Vancouver International Film Festival — 16 days of more than 300 films, dozens of guests and countless sleepy-eyed patrons who’ll catch up to seven films a day — got underway with its 24th edition earlier today. And while its opening-night film, Water, Deepa Mehta’s long-awaited final instalment of her elements trilogy, is a fictional feature, there’ll still be more than 75 non-fiction films at this year’s event.
Among the local filmmakers who’ll appear at VIFF is Aubrey Nealon, whose feature début, A Simple Curve, will receive its Vancouver première. “In a year marked by an impressive range of strong western Canadian features, Nealon’s warm and witty film stands out as a well-crafted and fully realized gem,” enthused Canadian Images programmer Diane Burgess at the opening press conference, held earlier this month..
During the first two-thirds of its 24 years of existence, the Vancouver International Film Festival has gone through a long process of development in which it has varied wildly in terms of venue, format, emphasis, length and number of films. But by the mid-’90s, it hit upon a satisfying template that Festival director Alan Franey thought “worked for VIFF,” and which it’s been repeating, with slight variations, ever since: 300-plus films over 16 days at five basic locations.