VIFF Announces 2020 Canadian-Made Films for VIFF Short Forum and Catalyst Program Participants

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VIFF Announces 2020 Canadian-Made Films for VIFF Short Forum and Catalyst Program Participants

by ahnationtalk on September 23, 2020229 Views

39th Vancouver International Film Festival
September 24–October 7, 2020

VANCOUVER , B.C. Vancouver International Film Festival 2020 (VIFF) is delighted to announce the complete programming lineup for the Canadian short film series VIFF Short Forum, coupled with the cohort for the Catalyst mentorship program. The VIFF Short Forum, presented by TELUS STORYHIVE, is a showcase for the myriad perspectives and approaches that are redefining Canadian short filmmaking. In addition to film screenings, the series is a platform for discussions about how diverse experiences and varied approaches allow for fully realized narratives to unfold in a matter of minutes. Catalyst is a cohort-based facilitated mentorship program, which provides new and aspiring filmmakers with the tools they need to embolden their cinematic voices, presented by TELUS STORYHIVE and supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

The lineup of 50 Canadian-made shorts will be available province-wide on the new VIFF Connect streaming platform, along with the full festival film program. VIFF’s $60 subscription will bring the festival’s world-class lineup into the homes of thousands of British Columbians starting at 12pm PDT on September 24.
The VIFF Short Forum official competition will showcase 15 short films by BC creators, eight world premieres and four Canadian premieres. The BC-produced films will compete for Best BC Short Film, a $5,000 cash prize presented by TELUS STORYHIVE. All 40 shorts will vie for Best Canadian Short Film, which comes with a $2,000 cash prize from VIFF and a $15,000 in colour grading and/or VFX services credit supplied from Side Street Post.

Highlights from the official competition include: the North American premiere of Foam by Omar Elhamy, about a man who returns to work at a carwash after serving time in prison; the world premiere of Canucks Riot II by Lewis Bennett, a look at the chaos in the streets of Vancouver following the Canucks’ loss in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals; the world premiere of Parlour Palm by Rebeccah Love, about an overworked lawyer attempting to care for his partner enduring a climate crisis-inspired, anxiety-fuelled manic episode; and the Canadian premiere of Breaking Up for the Modern Girl by Sydney Nicole Herauf, an anthropological satire of heartbreak in the modern age. Also on the lineup, three shorts by former Catalyst participants: Vaivén by Nisha Platzer, Laura by Kaayla Whachell and Sunken Cave and a Migrating Bird by Qiuli Wu.

Additionally, the VIFF Short Forum will once again include Intersecting Voices, a non-competitive showcase of work by emerging Indigenous filmmakers curated by Amanda Strong and Tristin Greyeyes. Featuring diverse perspectives and bold approaches to storytelling, each of these films embraces tradition while demonstrating an individual sensibility.
“As we enter an exciting era in which our filmmakers are challenging the traditional definitions, geographic constraints and aesthetic approaches of what makes a film ‘Canadian,’ our short film programming has led the way in identifying the vanguard of our national cinema and showcasing myriad perspectives, experiences and aesthetics,” says Curtis Woloschuk, Associate Director of Programming. “The VIFF Short Forum encourages a greater appreciation not only of the astonishing quality of short form cinema being created but also the unique individuals who are demonstrating their voice and vision through this medium.”

In its third year, Catalyst offers emerging, underrepresented filmmakers the opportunity to meet and be mentored by artists and industry professionals with a level of equality in a facilitated and intimate setting. The 2020 cohort includes 15 participants, who will receive a professional development stipend, a full online festival subscription, eight exclusive flagship group sessions, and one-on-one mentorship opportunities. The 2020 cohort is: Jade Baxter, Hannah Dubois, Justin Ducharme, Kevin Feng, Michelle Kee, Carter Kirilenko, Kunsang Kyirong, Evan Luchkow, Katrina Mugume, Omorose Osagie, Kama Sood, Anaïsa Visser, Jackson Wai Chung Tse, Carolyn Yonge and Katie Zalazar.

“Cultivating emerging talent and proper representation is so important within the creative industry, especially within filmmaking; both on screen and behind the camera,” says Rylan Friday (Saulteaux Ojibway/Plains Cree), Catalyst Programmer & Mentorship Coordinator. “I hope to provide opportunities I wish I had when I started working in film five years ago. I’m excited to provide a safe space for these 15 emerging filmmakers and to help alleviate common barriers such as film financing, overcoming shyness in networking and of course prejudices towards underrepresented groups. Catalyst is a unique opportunity for young, diverse voices to take their craft to the next level — guided by the insights and wisdom of those who came before.”

All films will include introductions by VIFF Programming Curators or bonus content from filmmakers and creators.

A showcase of the myriad perspectives and approaches that are redefining Canadian short filmmaking

Aniksha (dir. Vincent Toi, Canada)
The Archivists (dir. Igor Drljaca, Canada)
As Spring Comes (dir. Marie-Ève Juste, Canada)
August 22, This Year (dir. Graham Foy, Canada)
Bad Omen (dir. Salar Pashtoonyar, Canada/Afghanistan) | World Premiere
Benny’s Best Birthday (dir. Benjamin Schuetze, Canada)
Black Forest Sanatorium (dir. Diana Thorneycroft, Canada)
Boredom (dir. Mashie Alam, Canada) | Canadian Premiere
Breaking Up for the Modern Girl (dir. Sydney Nicole Herauf, Canada) | Canadian Premiere
Cake Day (dir. Phillip Thomas, Canada)
Canucks Riot II (dir. Lewis Bennett, Canada) | World Premiere
Cosmic (dir. Meredith Hama-Brown, Canada) | Canadian Premiere
Deeper I Go (dir. Michael P. Vidler, Canada) | World Premiere
êmîcêtôcêt: Many Bloodlines (dir. Theola Ross, Canada)
Even in the Silence (dir. Jonathan Elliott, Canada)
Every Day’s Like This (dir. Lev Lewis, Canada)
The Fake Calendar (dir. Meky Ottawa, Canada)
First Person Shooter (dir. Cole Kush, Canada) | World Premiere
Foam (dir. Omar Elhamy, Canada) | North American Premiere
The Fourfold (dir. Alisi Telengut, Canada)
Girls Shouldn’t Walk Alone at Night (dir. Katerine Martineau, Canada)
The Great Malaise (dir. Catherine Lepage, Canada)
Into Water (dir. Cole Forrest, Canada)
Laura (dir. Kaayla Whachell, Canada)
Moon (dir. Zoé Pelchat, Canada)
A New Leash on Life (dir. Daniel Jeffery, Canada) | Canadian Premiere
Nuxalk Radio (dir. Banchi Hanuse, Canada)
Parlour Palm (dir. Rebeccah Love, Canada) | World Premiere
Rag Doll (dir. Leon Lee, Canada) | Canadian Premiere
Spring Tide (dir. Jean Parsons, Canada)
Strong Son (dir. Ian Bawa, Canada)
Succor (dir. Hannah Cheesman, Canada)
Sunken Cave and a Migrating Bird (dir. Qiuli Wu, Canada) | World Premiere
Toward You (dir. Meysam Motazedi, Canada) | World Premiere
The Train Station (dir. Lyana Patrick, Canada)
The Trip (dirs. Mikizi Migona Papatie, Canada)
tu (dir. Suzanne Friesen, Canada) | World Premiere
Uu?uu~tah (dir. Chad Charlie, Canada/USA)
Vaivén (dir. Nisha Platzer, Canada)
ZOO (dir. Will Niava, Canada)

Intersecting Voices
Coyote’s Canoe (dir. Gloria Morgan, Canada)
The Foundation: Indigenous Hip Hop in Canada (dir. Diana Hellson, Canada)
Heli, Set Ŧte Sḱál Ƚte (Bringing our language back to life) (dir. Renée Sampson, Canada)
Keemooch (dirs. Nathan Adler, Howard Adler, Canada)
My Mother My Rock (dir. Kelly Roulette, Canada)
A Place to Belong (dir. Lyana Patrick, Rosemary Georgeson, Canada)
This Bright Flash (dir. Rylan Friday, Canada)
Uncle Tommy Goes Back (dir. Jamaine Campbell, Canada)
XO Rad Magical (dir. Christopher Gilbert Grant, Canada)
ʔiiḥtuup (Whale) (dir. Tanner Zurkoski, Canada)

Tickets & Information
VIFF Connect Festival Subscriptions $60 Regular / $30 Student
VIFF Connect Gold Subscription $95
VIFF Connect Streaming Tickets $9 / In-Cinema Tickets $15
VIFF Talks $10
VIFF AMP Pass $45 / Tickets $10
Totally Indie Day $45 / $30 Students
VIFF Immersed Free

Single Tickets and Subscriptions available at
To explore VIFF’s complete 2020 programming, visit

Social Media
#VIFF2020 #VIFFConnect

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 at the VIFF Centre. VIFF produces screenings, talks, conferences and events that act as a catalyst for the community to discover the creativity and craft of storytelling on screen. For its 39th year, VIFF brings the world of cinema to homes across British Columbia with an online festival from September 24–October 7, 2020, showcasing the top international, Canadian and BC films along with creators and industry professionals from around the globe.

VIFF is presented on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil‑Waututh) Nations.

For media inquiries and media kit:
[email protected]
Laura Murray | [email protected] | 604.418.2998
Ines Min | [email protected] | 604.418.2998


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