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Vancouver International Film Festival |
VIFF 2019's Gateway stream offers compelling cinematic portraits of East Asia
VIFF alumni and debut filmmakers featured from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Bhutan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Tibet
38th Vancouver International Film Festival
September 26 – October 11, 2019

VANCOUVER, B.C. (August 15, 2019) – The 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival's (VIFF) Gateway stream will once again present the largest showcase of East Asian cinema outside of that region. The programming stream, which includes the long-running Dragons & Tigers film series, transports viewers into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia's most adventurous creators.

This year's Gateway selections offer audiences the chance to reconnect with several VIFF alumni who have risen to international fame since playing VIFF at a formative point in their career. This year's returning class includes past VIFF award winners Diao Yinan with The Wild Goose Lake (China), an explosive Chinese neo-noir; Lou Ye with The Shadow Play (China), which stars celebrated Taiwanese actor, Michelle Chen; and Anthony Chen with Wet Season (Singapore), his beautifully told follow-up to Ilo Ilo.

"We're very excited to showcase the latest work by some of VIFF's most notable alumni. Especially since the likes of Anocha Suwichakornpong, Pema Tseden and Yamashita Nobuhiro have become fixtures on the international festival circuit since their first VIFF bows," said PoChu AuYeung, Program Manager & Senior Programmer, who works closely with programmers Shelly Kraicer (Chinese language films) and Maggie Lee (Japanese and Korean language films) on the Gateway stream. "This year's Dragons & Tigers series features an incredible collection of first features, including the North American Premiere of Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, which displays masterful mise-en-scène for a debut," AuYeung continued.

With film productions hailing from ten countries, Gateway delves into some of the most gripping events of 2018. Tom Waller's The Cave (Thailand) features the real-life heroes who rescued a boys soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand. Erik Brown, a diving instructor from Vancouver, plays himself in this stirring account of how an international coalition of experts and volunteers raced against the clock to pull off the rescue. The theme of survival also plays a starring role in the Canadian Premieres of Birthday (South Korea), Lee Jong-un's dramatization of the 2014 Sewol Ferry Accident, and Melancholic (Japan), a Yakuza thriller from Tanaka Seiji, another VIFF alumnus.

For 28 years running, VIFF's celebrated Dragons & Tigers series has championed some of East Asia's leading cinematic talents. The 2019 edition will see three of eight films directed by female filmmakers: Jill Li's Lost Course (World Premiere; Hong Kong), Lau Kek Huat and Vera Chen's Boluomi (North American Premiere; Taiwan) and Chan Oliver Siu Kuen's Still Human (Canadian Premiere; Hong Kong). Other highlights in the series include the delicate yet explosive Another Child, the directorial debut of Korean superstar actor Kim Yoon-seok (The Chaser).

Featured Films
Balloon (dir. Pema Tseden, China)
Birthday (dir. Lee Jong-un, South Korea) - Canadian Premiere
The Cave (dir. Tom Waller, Thailand) - North American Premiere
Children of the Sea (dir. Watanabe Ayumu, Japan)
Every Day a Good Day (dir. Omori Tatsushi, Japan)
Hard-Core (dir. Yamashita Nobuhiro, Japan)
Krabi, 2562 (dir. Ben Rivers, Anocha Suwichakornpong, UK/Thailand)
Present. Perfect. (dir. Zhu Shengze, USA/Hong Kong) - Canadian Premiere
Samsara (dir. Moon Jeong-yun, South Korea) - World Premiere
Spring Tide (dir. Yang Lina, China) - International Premiere
The Shadow Play (dir. Lou Ye, China) - North American Premiere
Wet Season (dir. Anthony Chen, Singapore)
White Snake (dir. Amp Wong, Zhao Ji, China)
The Wild Goose Lake (dir. Diao Yinan, China/France)
Wild Sparrow (dir. Shih Li, Taiwan) - North American Premiere

Another Child (dir. Kim Yoon-seok, South Korea)
Boluomi (dir. Lau Kek Huat, Vera Chen, Taiwan) - North American Premiere
Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (dir. Gu Xiaogang, China) - North American Premiere
Lost Course (dir. Jill Li, Hong Kong) - World Premiere
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (dir. Pawo Choyning Dorji, Bhutan) - North American Premiere
Melancholic (dir. Tanaka Seiji, Japan) - Canadian Premiere
Still Human (dir. Chan Oliver Siu Kuen, Hong Kong) - Canadian Premiere
Vanishing Days (dir. Zhu Xin, China) - North American Premiere

About VIFF |
Founded in 1982, the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society is a not-for-profit cultural society and federally registered charitable organization that operates the internationally acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) and the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre. VIFF produces screenings, talks, conferences and events that act as a catalyst for the community to discover the creativity and craft of storytelling on screen. For its 38th year, VIFF welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 26 - October 11, 2019 as it showcases the top international, Canadian and BC films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe.

Festival Information
  • Festival Tickets: Passes and ticket packs are available online at noon on August 22, 2019. Single tickets are available online at noon on September 5, 2019 and in-person at the Vancity Theatre Box Office from September 12, 2019. Visit for more information.
  • Programming Announcements: Released weekly throughout August and September.
  • Press Conference: September 4, 2019 at the Vancouver International Film Centre (1181 Seymour St)
  • Volunteer Registration: Each year VIFF relies on the hard work of more than 1,000 volunteers to assist in running the festival. Volunteer registration is now open at

Media Inquiries:
VIFF Publicists:
Nora Eastwood and Orna Daly (Yulu PR) | 604.558.1656
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