1215 Blanshard St • Victoria • BC Canada • V8W 3J4
Office Hours: 9am - 5pm (Monday – Friday)
Box Office Hours: 10am - 4pm (Monday – Saturday, Jan 9 – Feb 9)
The CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers, along with Origins Theatre, begins the Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival. The original three-day festival highlights three Canadian feature films and several short length films.
The Festival grows to a five-day event that includes international entries and a daylong symposium for aspiring filmmakers.
The Festival expands to become a weeklong event. The fourth annual Festival brings filmmakers from Canada and around the globe. The Festival features Canadian feature film premiere screenings of Stolen Heart, Cat Swallows Parakeet and Speaks, and the Canadian premiere of Smoke Signals, as well as a multitude of short films including Rick Raxlen's Geometry of Beware.
Filmmakers are hosted by the Festival from farther afield than ever before, and include John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, Pecker); Scott Hylands (Night Heat), and Lynne Stopkewich (Kissed). The Festival manages to more than double the number of people viewing independent films. Many wonderful receptions provide opportunities for guests to meet and exchange ideas. A forum is added for discussion, learning and augmenting skills. After the 1998 Festival CineVic and the Festival become separate societies due to liability issues.
The Festival increases its coverage of innovative Canadian media artists with an art exhibit by Rick Raxlen and Michael Lewis. A tribute to the work of Philip Borsos that included guests Richard Farnsworth, Wayne Robson and writer John Hunter along with the other key creative behind The Grey Fox was a key event.
The Victoria Film Festival launches the Free-B Movie Festival, a collection of family-friendly films screened under the stars. The Free-B Festival quickly becomes one of Victoria’s most cherished summertime traditions.
The Victoria Film Festival expands to become a ten-day festival.
The Festival defines its commitment to aspiring artists with the additions of the InVision screening program for student filmmakers, FilmCAN mentorship program for local high school students, and Cinekids, a day-long family event of independent children's films and hands-on media art workshops. Interactive Futures - a new media adventure - is created with Steve Gibson and guests include Stelarc and Perry Hoberman.
The Festival and Cinevic co-commission Decade, 10 films by 10 filmmakers including Canadians Oliver Hockenhull (Evo), and Jennifer Baichwal (The True Meaning of Pictures).
The Festival makes a significant addition to its professional programs by implementing Trigger Points Pacific, a co-production conference offering western Canadian filmmakers the opportunity to meet with production partners from Pacific Rim countries.
First Nations artist Loretta Sarah Todd curates an Canadian aboriginal program that includes a live fusion musical experience with First Nations artist Russell Wallace and the film Silent Enemy. Trigger Points Pacific grows to a three-day event. Beverly D'Angelo makes a special appearance with Coalminer's Daughter and Vicki Gabereau hosts the evening.
The free MyVictoria video competition is launched with 60 entrants showing us their version of downtown Victoria. The Festival grows to welcome over 16,500 attendees during the 10-day event.
By 2009 the Trigger Points Pacific conference evolves into SpringBoard. The focus becomes the sharing of ideas and experiences of the best and the brightest up-and-coming players of the film industry.
The VFF also launches its latest initiative, ConVerge. ConVerge brings film to the streets of Chinatown through a variety of different mediums and the Festival’s reach is extended beyond the usual realm of traditional venues, engaging the audience in a unique setting.
The Victoria Film Festival hosts the first annual Art of the Cocktail, a fundraiser which celebrates the art of mixology: the skill of mixing alcoholic beverages. The series of events include industry secrets from expert mixologists, cocktail sampling, and gourmet appetizers.
ConVerge sells out in only its second year. In addition, the Festival creates the VFF IN Award that is given to an individual who has provided inspiration, embodied independence and demonstrated innovation throughout their career in the media arts. The 2010 recipient is Kris Kristofferson, who visits Victoria to accept the inaugural award.
The 2011 Victoria Film Festival features such exciting guests as Canadian filmmakers Ron Mann, Larry Weinstein, and Bruce McDonald. The Opening Gala enjoys its highest attendance ever, with the opening film selling out both screenings. Other popular events in 2011 included the shorts programs and the third iteration of ConVerge, the Italian focus, and special events Sips ‘n’ Cinema and Dinner and More than a Movie.
The Victoria Film Festival re-opens the Vic Theatre, a historical landmark in Victoria. The Vic Theatre first opened as Canadian Odeon’s Towne Cinema in 1974 and enjoyed a long history before it was closed in 2008. In March the Victoria Film Festival saves the beloved single-screen theatre, and now offers a variety of programming during the year including quote-along films (The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, Anchorman, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Princess Bride) and other classics.
The Festival enjoys record numbers with over 24,000 attendees and sold out events and screenings across the board. The VFF Spotlight on Linda Blair and The Exorcist is well-received and John Landis’ appearance provides a well-rounded experience for attendees.
The Victoria Film Festival’s year-round programming and events continue to enjoy success with the Free-B Movie Festival going strong throughout the summer months and Art of the Cocktail continuing to grow in the fall.