The Vancouver International Film Festival is a movie festival based out of the Vancity Theatre that takes place from late September until mid-October.
2020’s festival ran from Thursday, September 24th, until Friday, October 7th, but it was also an online event. Details are to be confirmed for 2021.
VIFF COVID-19 UPDATE
The outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020 has postponed and cancelled many events and festivals throughout the Lower Mainland.
Fortunately, as of mid-August, organizers of the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival have decided to host the event online. This year is set to include over 100 feature films, short films and educational talks.
For more details and updates regarding this event, see the Vancouver International Film Festival website.
Vancouver Film Festival
The Vancouver International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America. It’s typically attended by well over 100,000 people and features more than 300 films each year.
The festival showcases internationally-acclaimed and award-winning films as well as lesser known movies. It also boasts the largest selection of Asian-produced films of any festival outside of Asia, and one of the largest collections of Canadian-made productions anywhere.
Many of the films at the Vancouver International Film Festival are in English, but a significant number are also in other languages with English subtitles. Films from over 70 different countries are typically featured and all in their original soundtracks and languages.
In the fall of 2020 the Vancouver International Film Festival celebrated its 39th anniversary. As with other years, every genre of film is featured including action movies, comedies, dramas, documentaries, science fiction films, horror movies and more.
At the film festival hundreds of movies are shown, obviously, but there are also talks and gala events.
The Vancouver International Film Festival features hundreds of films from all across the globe. To help attendees find movies they might be interested in, films are organized by screening dates, content types, genres, themes, theatre venues, titles, countries of origin and directors.
Admission prices at the Vancouver International Film Festival vary depending on your age and the day and time of films. Prices from 2019 are listed below. As you’ll see, prices range from $10 to $22. We expect 2021 details to be comparable.
(Note: prices and other details are subject to change.)
2019 Regular Screenings
- Adults: $15
- Students (ages 18+): $13
- Seniors (ages 65+): $13
- People requiring wheelchair accessible seating: $13
- Youth (under age 18): $10 (but only available for Films Rated for Youth)
At Special Presentations all tickets are around $17.
At Gala Screenings all tickets are around $22.
Note: In addition to the above ticket prices, attendees of films must also purchase $2 VIFF memberships and present their cards prior to each showing.
Ticket Packs and Festival Passes
For movie lovers planning to attend multiple film screenings, ticket packs and festival passes are a good way to save money. Below were the rates for various multi-ticket packages in 2019.
- 5 Student/Senior Ticket Pack: $60 (i.e., $12 per show)
- 6 Ticket Pack: $84 (i.e., $14 per show)
- 10 Ticket Pack: $135 (i.e., $13.50 per show)
- 20 Ticket Pack: $260 (i.e., $13 per show)
- 30 Ticket Pack: $375 (i.e., $12.50 per show)
- Weekday Matinee Pass: $160 (valid Monday to Friday for all non-Special Presentation screenings starting prior to 5 pm).
- Festival Pass (Seniors & Students): $330
- Festival Pass: $420
- FILMS+ Pass: $595 (provides access to all screenings and FILMS+ events, subject to availability).
- Platinum Pass: $900 (good for all screenings and FILMS+ events with guaranteed seating up to 5 minutes before show time.
- 2019 VIFF Membership: $2 (required by all attendees)
Note: The above prices included taxes. In most cases, however, there was an additional $2 to $4 “Pack Service Charge”. Also, all ticket packs and passes are subject to availability, so admission to all shows isn’t guaranteed.
In most cases, the above packages exclude Gala and The Green Fog events. Ticket packs can, however, be upgraded to include Special Presentation and Gala events for an additional $2 or $7 fee per event.
Ticket Purchase Options
Tickets can normally be purchased in three different ways: (1) online, (2) in-person before the festival starts at the Vancity Theatre at 1181 Seymour Street beginning in mid-September, or (3) during regular box office hours at any of the festival’s various participating theatres between the first and last day of the festival.
Film Festival Venues
Participating theatres and their locations are listed below.
- The Centre In Vancouver For The Performing Arts – located at 777 Homer Street (between Georgia Street and Robson).
- The Cinémathèque – located at 1131 Howe Street (near Helmcken Street).
- Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas – located in Chinatown at 88 West Pender Street.
- Vancouver Playhouse – located at 600 Hamilton Street (near Dunsmuir Street).
- Rio Theatre – located at 1660 East Broadway (by Commercial Drive). Note: this is a licensed venue and audience members must be age 19+ and have valid ID.
- SFU‘s Goldcorp Centre for The Arts – located at 149 West Hastings Street (near Abbott Street).
- Vancity Theatre – located at 1181 Seymour Street (near Davie Street).
About the Film Festival
The festival is hosted by the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society which is a non-profit organization that also looks after the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre.
Below is a list of other information that’s good to know.
- Attendees of the film festival need to purchase a $2 VIFF Membership and present their member cards at every screening. VIFF members who lose or forget their cards are required to purchase an additional membership.
- If you lose or forget your membership, don’t fret! It’s only $2!
- VIFF Festival Memberships are valid year-round at the Vancity Theatre.
- As the majority of VIFF films are not rated, in most cases attendees need to be at least 18 years of age (and 19+ for films at The Rio Theatre because it’s a licensed establishment, meaning that alcoholic beverages are available there during the show).
- There are a number of films appropriate and accessible for audiences under age 18. Click Films Rated for Youth for details.
- All VIFF films are shown in their original languages with English subtitles.
For more information about the event click Vancouver International Film Festival.
And for details about other major events in Metro Vancouver, click Festivals & Events.