Indigenous stories of redemption and other Canadian narratives, plus advice for indie Oscar hopefuls and mentorship program at VIFF 2018

37th Vancouver International Film Festival
September 27 – October 12, 2018

The Vancouver International Film Festival’s (VIFF) film streams Sea to Sky presented by TELUS, and True North presented by Telefilm, offer moving Indigenous stories with the Western Canadian Premiere of Edge of the Knife, the first narrative feature in the Haida language; Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket; and Quiet Killing.

“These Indigenous stories allow us a greater appreciation of the land we inhabit and the people who’ve called it home long before settlers set foot on these shores,” said Curtis Woloschuk, Associate Director of Programming. “While these films take very different forms, they all address survival and redemption in the face of trauma.”

Helen Haig-Brown and Gwaai Edenshaw’s Edge of the Knife features a tormented man transformed into the Gaagiixid (Haida Wildman) by spirits. Cody Graham and Carey Newman’s Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket charts the crafting of an art installation from the ruins of residential schools. Kim O’Bomsawin’s Quiet Killing features interviews with Indigenous women seeking to end the cycle of violence spawned by colonialism and racism.

The BC Spotlight series features dark comedy with Bruce Sweeney’s Kingsway. Grant Baldwin’s This Mountain Life and Kathleen S. Jayme’s Finding Big Country document the alpine and the athletic, respectively. Finally, Sean Devlin’s When the Storm Fades features a Filipino family’s re-enactment of their recovery from disaster.

Most of the films in VIFF’s acclaimed Future//Present series unfold on foreign soil. These include Drew Lint’s psychological thriller M/M, set in Berlin, and Aïda Maigre-Touchet’s intimate, Haiti-set Song of a Seer.

The True North stream will also feature several commanding female voices behind the camera. Director Patricia Rozema returns to VIFF with Mouthpiece, adapted from a two woman play, while Jasmin Mozaffari’s debut Firecrackers depicts two friends’ bid to escape their hometown.


BC Spotlight Awards (Sea to Sky presented by TELUS)
Sea to Sky Award – $20,000
Presented by TELUS
Recognizes the outstanding work of a female key creative on a BC-produced feature or short.Best BC Film Award
Presented by Creative BC and Encore by Deluxe
$15,000 post-production services credit supplied by encore by Deluxe.BC Emerging Filmmaker Award
Presented by UBCP/ACTRA, AFBS & William F. White
$7,500 cash prize sponsored by UBCP/ACTRA and ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society, plus a $10,000 equipment credit supplied by William F. White.
Canadian Awards
Best Canadian Film
$10,000 Presented by the Directors’ Guild of CanadaEmerging Canadian Director
$2,000 Presented by the Directors’ Guild of CanadaBest Canadian Documentary
$15,000 Presented by Rogers Group of FundsBest BC Short Film
$5,000 Presented by VIFFBest Canadian Short Film
$15,000 colour grading and/or VFX services credit supplied by Side Street PostMost Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film
$2,000 + Roundtrip Flight Anywhere Delta Air Lines flies
Presented by Gary Harvey and Delta Air Lines

Totally Indie Day presented by STORYHIVE | September 29

Totally Indie Day presented by STORYHIVE invites independent content creators to provide insights and industry advice at the Vancouver International Film Centre (1181 Seymour St.).

VIFF Mentorship Program

VIFF is committed to opening doors for young creators who are often under- or misrepresented in the film industry and beyond. The VIFF Mentorship Program will offer 10 emerging filmmakers, ages 19 – 30, an introductory film festival experience with exclusive creative development opportunities.The program encourages young filmmakers who are Indigenous; of minority origin; or existing across the spectrums of gender, sexuality and ability, to apply online up until August 13, 2018.

Featured Films:


B.C. Spotlight (Sea to Sky presented by TELUS):
Because We Are Girls (dir. Baljit Sangra, Canada) – World Premiere
Edge of the Knife (dirs. Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown, Canada)
Finding Big Country (dir. Kathleen S. Jayme, Canada/USA) – World Premiere
Freaks (dirs. Adam Stein, Zach Lipovsky, Canada)
Kingsway (dir. Bruce Sweeney, Canada)
N.O.N. (dir. Zebulon Zang, Canada) – World Premiere
Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket (dirs. Cody Graham, Carey Newman, Canada) – World Premiere
The Darling (dir. Seung-Yup Lee, Canada/South Korea) – North American Premiere
This Mountain Life (dir. Grant Baldwin, Canada)
When the Storm Fades (dir. Sean Devlin, Canada/Philippines) – World Premiere
True North presented by Telefilm:
A Sister’s Song (dir. Danae Elon, Canada) – North American Premiere
Clara (dir. Akash Sherman, Canada)
Firecrackers (dir. Jasmin Mozaffari, Canada)
Genesis (dir. Philippe Lesage, Canada) – North American Premiere
Giant Little Ones (dir. Keith Behrman, Canada)
Mouthpiece (dir. Patricia Rozema, Canada)
Quiet Killing (dir. Kim O’Bomsawin, Canada)
Roads in February
(dir. Katherine Jerkovic, Canada/Uruguay)
The Far Shore (dir. David Uloth, Canada) – World Premiere
Ville Neuve (dir. Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Canada) – North American Premiere
What is Democracy? (dir. Astra Taylor, Canada)
What Walaa Wants (dir. Christy Garland, Canada/Palestine)
Fausto (dir. Andrea Bussmann, Canada/Mexico)
M/M (dir. Drew Lint, Canada/Germany)
Mangoshake (dir. Terry Chiu, Canada)
Song of a Seer (dir. Aïda Maigre-Touchet, Canada/France/Haiti) – North American
Spice it Up (dirs. Lev Lewis, Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas, Canada) – World Premiere
The Museum of Forgotten Triumphs (dir. Bojan Bodružić, Canada/Bosnia and Herzegovina) – World Premiere
The Stone Speakers
(dir. Igor Drljača, Canada/Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Waiting for April (dir. Olivier Godin, Canada) – North American Premiere

About Films+

Launched in 2016, the Films+ program features live interdisciplinary performances, industry talks, workshops, VR and other unique experiences, all celebrating the achievements and innovations of screen-based storytelling. Each VIFF programming stream offers a Films+ program.

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 and events that act as a catalyst for the community to discover the creativity and craft of screen storytelling. For its 37th year, VIFF welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 27 – October 12, 2018 as it showcases the top international, Canadian and BC films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe.

  • Programming Announcements: Released weekly throughout August and September. See previous media releases here.
  • Press Conference: September 5, 2018 at the Vancouver International Film Centre (1181 Seymour St)
  • Tickets: Passes and ticket packs are available online at noon on August 23, 2018. Single ticket prices range from $13 – $22 and can be purchased online starting at noon on September 6, 2018 and in-person at the Vancity Theatre Box Office starting September 13, 2018. Visit for more information
  • 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

Stay connected with VIFF for updates and announcements by following us on:

VIFF Facebook VIFF Instagram VIFF Twitter VIFF YouTube
Discover more

Leave a Comment

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial