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VIFF 2011, Day 11: A Thanksgiving Tribute to the VIFF Staff

Brie Koniczek & Maja Klempner, VIFF front line staff
Brie Koniczek & Maja Klempner, VIFF exhibitions staff, out front of the Empire Granville 7

Although VanRamblings continues to harbour much affection for volunteer co-ordinator Iulia Manolescu, who during this Festival has taken on the venue management responsibility for the Granville 7's Theatre 5, we have this year made daily contact with, and come to depend on, Brie Koniczek and Maja Klempner — who, no matter what time of the day or night — may be found at their post near the entrance to the Empire Granville 7 facilitating the best possible Vancouver International Film Festival for you.

Brie and Maja have made VanRamblings' Festival in 2011. No matter that we might feel the tribulations arising from a lack of sleep defined by a tendency towards a confused state of mind, or when at some point in the day we find ourselves in a curmudgeonly mood, out front of the Empire Granville 7, you will find Maja, her face aglow with that warm, wonderful, and welcoming smile, so beatific that any patron's concerns would simply melt away. Brie, as is the case with Maja, simply exudes a hardy competence and, as you can see in the photo above, her smile is not only welcoming, but calming. Brie co-ordinates the passholders' ticket table, which in these latter days has come to run with a sense of systemic élan. In 2011, Brie is the heart of the exhibitions staff, who possesses an administrative skill par excellence (she's sees everything out front of the Granville 7 - lines moving in efficiently and well? you can thank Brie).

VanRamblings is grateful to Brie and Maja. Thank you so very, very much!

Clearly we are grateful to Pacific Cinémathèque and VIFF mainstay (a role she has taken on for many, many years), Sue Cormier, for recovering our lost pass mid-week last week, and not even tut-tutting us about it.

VanRamblings would like to thank Jack Vermee and Curtis Woloschuk, who we keep running into during the Festival, as well as Lawrence Boxall and all the other fine folks on the publications crew who worked on putting together a first-rate programme guide, and for their fine work composing evocative and humane 'introductions' to the films that are screening at VIFF30. We're over the moon grateful to Festival Director Alan Franey and Programme Manager PoChu AuYeung, and the most talented administrative crew of programmers, consultants and screening committees you'll find anywhere on our planet, folks who have, this year — and for many, many years in the past, and we hope for many, many years into the future — continue to bring us one outstanding Festival after another.

Film scribe Jason Whyte had mentioned to us how grateful he continues to be to Paul (who, on a couple of occasions has eased VanRamblings' entrance to the Granville 7), Carly, managers Buds and Kevin, Trammie who may often be found at the door, as well, and all the other Empire Granville 7 staff whose professionalism, courtesy, efficient admission of thousands upon thousands of VIFF patrons has contributed to making the 30th annual Vancouver International Film Festival an operational heaven, all in service of the many thousands of VIFF patrons who pass through the doors each day, on their way to VIFF screenings throughout the cineplex.

From Bodie, in Cinemas 1 + 2, to Iulia presenting in Cinema 5, to Teresa in Cinema 7, Nadia in various of the Empire Granville Cinemas, and Bill Nowrie over at the Vogue, and all of the other tremendously talented and engaging VIFF house managers, who film in, film out, have introduced the films about to screen with a warmth and élan that simply cannot be topped, we are grateful beyond words which might find measure to relay our gratitude to you. And a special thanks this year to Pierre Lefebvre, concierge and guest relations. Pierre is not only one of the most charismatic people you see each and every day of our Festival, his sense of humour, his warm rapport with VIFF staff and volunteers, and his Gretzky-like ability to see the whole cinema laid out before him, and know where he is needed, well let's just say that VIFF is very lucky to have convinced Pierre to return to the Vancouver Film Festival again this year.

And how, in this Thanksgiving tribute to VIFF staff and volunteers, could we not thank Ellie and Justin, Lainé and Helen and each member of the hardest working, most accessible publicity and promotion crew we've ever had the pleasure to work with. And let us not forget the Vancouver International Film Festival's Board of Directors, Michael Francis (Chair), Colin Brown, Lynda Brown-Ganzert, as well as each and every volunteer member of the Board of Directors who help make our Festival happen each year.

Thank you to all Vancouver International Film Festival administrators, staff and volunteers, and the staff at the Empire Granville 7. Thank you!

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 10, 2011 8:17 AM in VIFF 2011


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