Friday marks 30 year anniversary for Victoria Film Festival

CHEK

Days away from the 30th running of the Victoria Film Festival, organizer Kathy Kay says the last-minute stresses aren’t piling up.

“I’ve been at this a while,” laughs Kay, outside the festival office on Blanshard Street in downtown Victoria.

This year’s festival boasts an international roster of films but stays true to its roots promoting and premiering local and Canadian films.

“Between 35 and 40 per cent of our films are Canadian because we think it’s important that we wave the flag because we have such great films and have great talent,” says Kay.

The festival kicks off Friday with a screening at the Vic Theatre of Victoria-born director Atom Egoyan’s latest feature, “Seven Veils”, followed by a gala.

Victoria’s streets are home to productions year-round and also served as the inspiration behind filmmaker Krista Loughton’s 52-minute feature, 940 Caledonia.

“The story is told through the eyes of Tina Dawson who was homeless for the first time during the pandemic,” says Loughton, who is also a Victoria city councillor. The film was shot during the flood and subsequent cold snap in the winter of 2020 and offers an unfiltered view of life on Victoria’s streets.

“I would say the work is shocking,” says Loughton. “People are shocked because they’re actually witnessing what happens in a winter when you’re trying to survive in a tent.”

“940 Caledonia” makes its world premiere Feb. 8 at the Blue Bridge Theatre. The following night another locally produced film, “The Great Salish Heist,” tops the bill.

This Saturday is a chance for fans of film and TV to be part of an intimate Q&A session with Canadian actor and former “Will & Grace” star Eric McCormack, set for 2:45 at the Vic Theatre and moderated by Canadian film critic Richard Crouse.

Tickets for the Victoria Film Festival can be purchased on the festival’s website.

Jordan CunninghamJordan Cunningham

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