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September 4, 2013



VIFF 2013 will feature almost 100 films from across our great land, including a strong showing from our home, sweet home. With a record number of BC-produced feature films submitted for consideration, we are shining the spotlight brightly on our amazing homegrown talent. Two new cash awards will help to keep local storytellers creating. And, for the first time in VIFF history, audiences will have the unique opportunity to vote for their “must-see” BC films at mustseeBC.viff.org prior to the Festival. All of this is made possible thanks to collaboration and partnerships with local and national film-industry stakeholders. The 2013 BC Spotlight will surely delight film fans and proud British Columbians alike!

Films Featured in the BC Spotlight

3 Days in Havana


Canada | Directors: Gil Bellows, Tony Pantages

World Premiere

Sat. Sep 28, 6:15 pm, Rio
Fri. Oct 4, 4:20 pm, Intl Village 10

In Havana on business, Jack Petty (Gil Bellows, who directs with Tony Pantages) finds himself mixed up in a conspiracy that includes assassination, kidnapping and more. The fun here comes not just from the gritty details, sharp plot twists, close shaves and slick repartee, but from the knowledge, quickly acquired, that nothing is what it seems.




Canada | Director: Anne Wheeler

Thu. Oct 3, 6:45 pm, SFU-GCA
Sun. Oct 6, 1:20 pm, Intl Village 8

Losing her long battle with cancer, beloved Vancouver actress Babz Chula journeys to India to undergo ayurvedic healing. Anne Wheeler’s compassionate documentary keeps us at Babz’s side during her final months. "A hard, often unflinching look at ’the art of dying,’ Chi fully earns the tears you’ll likely be shedding."—Globe & Mail



Canada | Director: Terry Miles

Related Links: Director’s Website

Wed. Oct 2, 6:30 pm, Rio
Thu. Oct 10, 1:15 pm, SFU-GCA

Curating a retrospective of her late father’s films, Grace embarks on a journey, but one without a clear destination. Terry Miles’ latest is strong on detail: every social situation and behavioural quirk rings true. And, as with the best realist films, there’s a foundation of mystery beneath the surface.
Dedicated to the memory of film critic and VIFF friend Ian Caddell.


The Dick Knost Show


Canada | Director: Bruce Sweeney

Sun. Sep 29, 9:00 pm, SFU-GCA
Wed. Oct 9, 1:00 pm, SFU-GCA
Fri. Oct 11, 9:15 pm, Cinematheque

In Bruce Sweeney’s latest, the prickly, acerbic and chronically impulsive host of a sports talk show (Tom Scholte) faces two major catastrophes as an inappropriate series of tweets and an ironic injury leave his job hanging by a thread. It’s up to his veteran producer (Gabrielle Rose) to save both their livelihoods—by any means necessary…

Down River


Canada | Director: Ben Ratner

Related Links: Official Website

Sat. Oct 5, 6:30 pm, Playhouse
Wed. Oct 9, 4:30 pm, Rio

What happens when you lose your guide before you find your way? Inspired by writer-director Ben Ratner’s long-time friendship with the iconic actress Babz Chula, and featuring an enviable ensemble cast, this is a charming film about mentorship, companionship, living life to the fullest and, ultimately, letting go.

BC Spotlight Gala Film


From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines


Canada/UK | Director: Oliver Hockenhull

Related Links: Trailer | Official Website

World Premiere

Sun. Sep 29, 9:00 pm, Cinematheque
Tue. Oct 1, 4:00 pm, Vancity
Wed. Oct 9, 2:00 pm, Rio

Oliver Hockenhull’s eye-popping and knowledge-expanding documentary is a lively, in-depth analysis of psychedelic drugs in light of current scientific and cultural knowledge. He examines the validity of psychedelics as adjuncts to therapy, as crucial but neglected taboo medicines and as paths to consciousness.

Hue: A Matter of Colour


Canada | Director: Vic Sarin

World Premiere

Sat. Sep 28, 9:00 pm, SFU-GCA
Tue. Oct 1, 4:15 pm, SFU-GCA
Fri. Oct 11, 10:00 am, Vancity

Taking us around the globe to examine national and ethnic attitudes, Vic Sarin’s documentary shines a light on skin colour—not race in itself—as a factor in shame and bigotry. The film starts from a personal position—Sarin’s insecurity about his colour—and becomes an act of catharsis for himself, for his subjects and, hopefully, for many in the audience.


Lawrence & Holloman


Canada | Director: Matthew Kowalchuk

Related Links: Official Website

World Premiere

Tue. Oct 1, 6:45 pm, Rio
Wed. Oct 9, 3:45 pm, SFU-GCA

Having just chickened out of a suicide attempt, malcontent Holloman turns his attention to orchestrating the ruin of Lawrence, a man of few morals and no brains. Matthew Kowalchuk’s film—adapted from Morris Panych’s play—works on many levels: as wacky sketch comedy, as absurdist fable and, most pungently, as a satire on the modern rat race.

Leap 4 Your Life


Canada | Director: Gary Hawes

World Premiere

Mon. Sep 30, 6:30 pm, Rio
Thu. Oct 10, 2:00 pm, Cinematheque

Backstage drama meets reality TV in this juicy mockumentary about a teen dance troupe. Think Canadian Idol or Step Up, but with a little more bite. Here we get to see the downside of things that movies usually glorify: beauty, ambition, competition, dedication. There are plenty of laughs, and some superb dance numbers to boot.


Oil Sands Karaoke


Canada | Director: Charles Wilkinson

Related Links: Director’s Website

Fri. Oct 4, 7:00 pm, Intl Village 10
Sun. Oct 6, 2:30 pm, Vancity
Fri. Oct 11, 1:30 pm, SFU-GCA

The operations in the tar sands of Fort McMurray are certainly ripe for discussion. However, the subject is so polarizing that meaningful debate is rare. Charles Wilkinson’s documentary addresses the tension between work and worldliness in fluid interviews with a handful of workers who are also preparing for a karaoke contest.

Salmon Confidential


Canada | Director: Twyla Roscovich

Related Links: Official Website

Wed. Oct 2, 6:00 pm, Intl Village 9
Fri. Oct 4, 3:40 pm, Intl Village 9

Riding shotgun with biologist Alexandra Morton, documentarian Twyla Roscovich details the dangerous viruses that are flourishing in BC’s wild salmon and our government’s efforts to suppress evidence of this epidemic. An alarming document of our elected officials working against our best interests, this exposé is a must-see for every British Columbian.


That Burning Feeling


Related Links: Official Website

Sun. Sep 29, 6:30 pm, Rio
Sat. Oct 5, 4:00 pm, SFU-GCA
Fri. Oct 11, 3:30 pm, Rio

A real estate developer in Vancouver, Adam (Paulo Costanzo) seemingly has it made. But when he wakes up with "that burning feeling," his life comes unravelled. While courting Ms. Right (Ingrid Haas), he has to reach out to the women he’s wronged. Jason James directs this hilarious account of a man making amends—even as he goes down in flames.

BC Spotlight Gala

On Saturday, October 5, our BC Spotlight Gala will pay tribute to the late Babz Chula through the screening of Ben Ratner's DOWN RIVER—a beautiful example of local storytelling.

Following the screening, the BC Spotlight Industry Party will welcome local artists from a variety of creative fields and industry sectors. Reflecting that films rely on an array of creative disciplines, this event will bring together musicians, writers, digital artists and publishers, in addition to local film and television industry guests. This exciting night will be a unique opportunity to forge new creative connections.

Sponsored by:

BC Awards

BC Emerging Filmmaker Award

$7,500 cash prize and $10,000 credit for rental of production equipment.

Eligible Films:
3 Days in Havana
Down River
From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines
Lawrence & Holloman
Leap 4 Your Life
Salmon Confidential
That Burning Feeling

Sponsored by UBCP / Actra Fraternal and William F. White


Best BC Film

$10,000 development bursary and $10,000 credit for editing services.

Eligible Films:
3 Days in Havana
The Dick Knost Show
Down River
Lawrence & Holloman
Leap 4 Your Life
That Burning Feeling

Provided by the Harold Greenberg Fund and Finale Editworks

The following BC feature films are also eligible for the Canadian First Film Award:



Preview. Promote. Vote! mustseeBC.viff.org

As part of our new BC Spotlight program, VIFF 2013 is thrilled to present a dozen feature films from our own creative backyard. The Must See BC campaign invites audiences to preview the lineup, promote BC filmmakers and vote on the must see festival screenings. And there are rewards!

FILMMAKERS: Audience Must See BC Award

Q: Which film will take the title for the audience choice for Must See BC Award?  
A: The film with the most MUST SEE votes.

FILM FANS: Social VIP Rewards

Q: How do audiences gain a chance for VIP access to VIFF screenings and special events?  
A: Follow @VIFFest on Twitter and participate in the #VIFF #mustseeBC fan campaigns.

Developed with the generous support of:

Other BC Highlights

BC Music Series - A remarkably collaborative art form, cinema relies on music, costume design, art direction, writing and countless other disciplines in order to realise a director's vision. In celebration of one of the creative industries vital to the art of filmmaking, VIFF has launched a BC Music Series featuring live performances by local musicians who've lent their talents to many of the films in the BC Spotlight. These impressive artists are further proof of our province's wealth of talent.

BC Short Films - These 13 short films will make you laugh, cry and marvel at what can be accomplished and conveyed in only a handful of minutes.

Anxious Oswald Greene
Beauty Mark
Big Trees

I Saw You
Mimi & Me

Under the Bridge of Fear


Want to work behind the scenes at one of North America's great film festivals?

Volunteers are vital to VIFF and help organize all aspects of the Festival—they tear tickets and check passes, chauffeur guests, control the line-ups (sometimes in the rain!), answer the film info line, work the box office, clean up at the galas, work the media centre and seat people in the theatres, among other things. We need you! Click here to sign up online.

You need to volunteer for a minimum of 32 hours for the Festival, earning you a Volunteer Pass good for most screenings during the Festival.



Sept. 4 – VIFF’s new 32-page MINI-GUIDE available as PDF download.
Sept. 5 – ONLINE BOX OFFICE opens; VIFF Mini-Guide available freely around town.
Sept. 9 – Media screenings begin.
Sept. 14 – IN-PERSON BOX OFFICE opens at Vancity Theatre.
Sept. 19 – PROGRAM CATALOGUE on sale. 196 pages in full colour.

Vancouver International Film Festival | VIFF 2013

September 26 - October 11, 2013 | Film Info: 604.683.FILM (3456) | VIFF Office: 604.685.0260