35th Annual

Vancouver International Film Festival

September 29, 2016 to October 14, 2016

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1181 Seymour Street
Vancouver BC V6B 3M7
Phone: 604-685-0260
Fax: 604-688-8221

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International Narrative Features
Open to non-Canadian narrative films with runtimes over 20 minutes. Information on festival series can be found below.
International Nonfiction Features
Open to non-Canadian documentary and essay films with runtimes over 20 minutes. Information on festival series can be found below.
International Shorts
Open to non-Canadian narrative and nonfiction films with runtimes of 20 minutes or less.
Canadian Features / Documentaries
Open to narrative and nonfiction films with runtimes over 20 minutes directed by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and produced or co-produced in Canada.
Canadian Shorts
Open to narrative and nonfiction films with runtimes of 20 minutes or less directed by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and produced or co-produced in Canada.


The purpose of the not-for-profit Vancouver International Film Festival is to encourage the understanding of other nations through the art of cinema, to foster the art of cinema, to facilitate the meeting in British Columbia of cinema professionals from around the world and to stimulate the motion picture industry in British Columbia and Canada.


The 35th annual Vancouver International Film Festival will be held September 29 to October 14, 2016. The VIFF Industry Conference – the premier media conference in Western Canada – runs October 5-8, 2016.

Founded in 1982, the Vancouver International Film Festival has long been one of the largest and most successful film festivals in North America. In 2015, 370 films from 70 countries played on nine screens. By the time our 16-day festival had wrapped, more than 140,000 attendees had enjoyed some of the best films that the world had to offer.

Last year, the Vancouver International Film Festival offered $33,500 in cash prizes plus another $25,000 in services and prize packs as part of six adjudicated awards. Audience Awards were announced in an additional six categories, including the Rogers People's Choice Award. Full details of our 2016 award categories will be announced soon.


VIFF operates the state-of-the-art Vancouver International Film Centre and Vancity Theatre year-round. Every year, dozens of festival favourites return to the Vancity for extended runs. VIFF also produces the annual VIFF Industry Conference. Entering its 31st year, the Conference offers professional development sessions, one-on-one meetings and networking receptions for established and emerging film, television and new media professionals.


Films selected for the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival will be presented in one of our signature series.

Our country’s best narrative features and documentaries are presented in one of the world’s largest annual public exhibitions of new Canadian cinema. Vancouver moviegoers respond with tremendous enthusiasm, making this one of our best attended series and a point of pride for VIFF. This series is also home to the BC Spotlight, which focuses on the best and brightest of our homegrown talent.

Carefully curated short film programs showcase both established Canadian filmmakers and emerging artists we’ll be seeing more from in the future.

A spectacular showcase of narrative films from around the globe featuring both today’s masters and tomorrow’s visionaries.

For almost 30 years, VIFF has presented one of the world's largest and most adventurous collections of East Asian cinema.

VIFF honours the rich cinematic culture that continues to flourish in France by highlighting the nation’s finest big-screen offerings.

Screening more than 80 nonfiction features in 2015, VIFF is also one of Canada’s largest documentary festivals. This series features acclaimed documentary and essay films that expand the form's possibilities and invite us to view the world in different lights.

A cinematic celebration of visual and performing arts with a strong focus on captivating films in which music takes centre stage.

This is where international genre films come out to play. A selection of fantastic cinema that defies ready classification.

VIFF introduces you to exceptional international artists who push short-form storytelling to its limits.

"One of the best in North America." - David Bordwell

"A festival for a public of cinephiles that treats its foreign visitors with the greatest amount of care." - Senses of Cinema

"Docs get the royal treatment at Vancouver’s film fest... It’s the largest regular showcase of documentaries in any general festival in the world." - POV Magazine

"As one of the largest film festivals in North America, VIFF concerns itself with building the right audience for accepted moviemakers, with an extensive target-marketing department that is focused on finding audiences for specific films." - MovieMaker


Alan Franey (Director of Programming); Curtis Woloschuk (Program Logistics Coordinator + Canadian Images Shorts/Altered States Programmer); PoChu AuYeung (Program Manager); Terry McEvoy (Canadian Images Programmer - features)


Films entered in the international categories must not have been broadcast, distributed, offered on VOD or screened commercially in the Vancouver area. Films should have been completed after June 1, 2015. Preview screeners/DVDs should be subtitled in English.

Films entered in Canadian Images must be Canadian productions or co-productions which have not been broadcast, distributed, offered on VOD or screened commercially (ie: an advertised public screening for which admission is charged, excluding film school graduation screenings) in the Vancouver area. Films should have been completed after June 1, 2015.

The Festival is not responsible for returning DVD copies except upon request.
Preview materials must be shipped prepaid. VIFF will not accept collect shipments and accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to preview materials.
International submissions can be cleared at our end easily if the package indicates the title of the film and is marked: "For Festival purposes only. Will be cleared by addressee. Contents will be returned." DVD screeners must be valued at $1.00 Canadian for customs clearance.
Entrants will be notified regarding the results of the Festival’s selection process by September 2, 2016. (Please do not phone or email for results).


Accepted films for the Festival can be exhibited on DCP, on video formats (NTSC or PAL) including HDCam and HDCam-SR and in 35mm formats with optical or magnetic soundtracks. The dates, times, and locations of screenings of selected films is at the discretion of the Festival.

1. Once a film has been accepted for participation in the Festival, detailed shipping instructions will be sent to the print supplier.
2. The Festival agrees to cover transportation and insuring prints both ways directly to and from the actual print supplier, or to cover one-way transportation when the print is shipped to or from other festivals.
3. Each print sent to the Festival from outside of Canada enters the country on a Canada Customs "Duty Free Temporary Admissions Permit" and must be returned after the Festival.

In the case of loss or serious damage to a print, the obligation of the Festival is limited to compensating the producer or distributor only to the cost of making a new print.

Participation in the Vancouver International Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of these regulations.

Vancouver International Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless Vancouver International Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.