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Hollywood North, Festivals, Arts, Movies & TV

8 film festivals happening in Vancouver this year

Ben Carney Feb 28, 2018 8:02 am 892
Full house

It’s no secret that film is a huge part of Vancouver’s culture and economy.  The film industry brought in 2.7 billion to the province just last year, so it isn’t called ‘Hollywood North’ for nothing.

What you might not know is there are also a ton of amazing film festivals hosted here every year.  They’re an opportunity for the province’s various film communities to showcase the work of directors from BC and beyond.

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So grab a seat and some popcorn, here are some of the best film festivals happening in Vancouver this year

1. Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF)


The Vancouver International Film Festival draws large crows (VIFF/Facebook)

Without a doubt Vancouver’s biggest film festival, VIFF is put on every year by the not-for-profit Vancouver International Film Festival Society.  The festival offers films, shorts and documentaries from over 70 countries across 9 screens.  It also boasts the largest selection of East Asian films from outside that region, don’t miss out on it this fall!

When: September 27 – October 12, 2018

Where: Multiple locations

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2. DOXA Documentary Film Festival



DOXA is the largest documentary film festival in Western Canada. Organized by the charitable non-profit Documentary Media Society. Each year DOXA strives to feature a wide variety of the most challenging and innovative documentaries available. All of this is accompanied by panel discussions, public forums and educational sessions. Don’t sleep on this one, it’s just around the corner!

When: May 3-13, 2018

Where: Multiple venues

Tickets Information

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3. Vancouver Short Film Festival

The Vancouver Short Film Festival started in 2005 and takes place in January of each year.  It’s a chance for Vancouver’s small community of short film makers to get together and share some of the best shorts the province has to offer.

When: January 26- 27 2018

Where: VanCity Theatre

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Calling all outdoorsy people!  The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival is a yearly, 9 day event designed to celebrate all things related to mountains, sports and culture.  What could be more Vancouver than that?  It attracts around 20,000 people each year and features screenings, live multimedia presentations, workshops, seminars and much more.

When: September 27 – October 12, 2018

Where: Multiple locations

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5. Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

(Vancouver Queer Film Festival/Facebook)

Starting in 1988, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival was founded by a non-profit called Out On Screen.  It’s the largest queer media event in Western Canada and it screens over 75 films each year to an audience of over 14,000.  This year it’s the event’s 30th birthday, so it’s sure to be special!

When: August 9 – 18 2018

Where: Multiple locations

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6. Vancouver Jewish Film Festival


(Alana Katowitz/Facebook)

The VJFF is longest running Jewish film festival in Canada is organized by the Vancouver Jewish Film Centre.  This eclectic festival features guest speakers, panel discussions with audience participation, special screenings and receptions – all in the name of showcasing the diversity of Jewish culture through film .

When: August 9 – 18 2018

Where: Fifth Avenue Cinemas/Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre.

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7. Vancouver Asian Film Festival

Founded in 1995 and taking place every year in the heart of Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown, the Vancouver Asian Film Festival is the longest running Asian film festival in Canada.  Each year it attracts around 4000 people for a 4 day celebration of Asian culture in film, so head down to Tinseltown and check it out!

When: November 2018

Where: Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas

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8. Vancouver Virtual Reality Film Festival (YVRFF)

Vancouver VR Film Festival


The future is now!  The Vancouver Virtual Reality Film Festival started just last year with a mission to showcase the new possibilities of VR technology in film.  They attracted 100 VR films from all over the world, and the event included a variety of public screenings, VR installations, and talks from industry professionals.

When: May 18-20

Where: CBC Studio 700

Ticket information

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Ben Carney
Writer from England. Hobbies include skiing, cooking and listening to Kanye on repeat.

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