Victoria Film Festival launches first-ever online festival

Victoria Film Festival launches first-ever online festival
Chek

With coronavirus restrictions still in place, the Victoria Film Festival is going virtual this year by launching its first-ever online festival.

The 27th edition of the annual festival takes place from Feb. 5 until Feb. 14 and includes 50 feature films and 23 short films.

Making its Canadian debut at VFF this year is The Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth, Dixie Egerickx and Julie Walters. Directed by Marc Munden, the movie is an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 book of the same name.

Films in this year’s festival were selected by a programming team of eight people and come from 21 different countries, with almost half of them being directed by women.

“We are thrilled to be able to share an inclusive and far-reaching selection of films that celebrates diverse filmmakers, stories, and experiences,” says head programmer Kinga Binkowska. “I think everyone will find something they will absolutely fall in love with.”

This year’s festival also features a handful of Vancouver Island productions, including All-in Madonna, a story about a teenage girl who attends public school for the first time and hears rumours that her father is known as a dangerous thug. Directed by Victoria’s Arnold Lim, All-in Madonna was filmed across Vancouver Island with a predominantly Island cast and crew. It’s also Lim’s first feature-length film.

The entire slate of films will be available across British Columbia, and can be streamed at any time over the 10-day festival.

Tickets for the Victoria Film Festival are on sale now. People will be able to purchase single tickets to films for $8 plus tax, or an all-access subscription for $79 plus tax.

“This is a one-time opportunity to overindulge in VFF’s exciting film lineup,” says festival director Kathy Kay. “See ‘em all for $79? Now that is something to chase the COVID blues away.”

Of course, a key component of any film festival is being able to connect with the filmmakers — hearing their insights about their creative process and personal anecdotes.

This year’s virtual edition of the Victoria Film Festival is no different as ticket holders will have the opportunity to participate in exclusive Q&As with filmmakers from around the world through a streaming platform.

Highlights of the VFF 2021

Early Oscar contenders:

Countries from around the world have submitted their films for contention in the Academy Awards race for Best International Feature Film. Three of those films have been selected for the Victoria Film Festival this year:

– Agnes Joy (Iceland)
– Charter (Sweden)
– Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (Venezuela)

European Award Winners

Several films in the lineup have been generating buzz at festivals across Europe including:

– Listen (Best Film – Venice Film Festival)
– The Big Hit (Best Comedy, European Film Awards)
– The Metamorphosis of Birds (FIPRESCI Best Film Award, Berlinale)

For the full lineup, more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.victoriafilmfestival.com.

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