We are pleased to announce the countdown to its much anticipated 24th annual celebration of diversity in film and the Asian diaspora, brought to you virtually (#VAFFVIRTUAL) from October 31 to November 8, 2020 in the comfort of your home, with a few surprises in store. This year’s festival will run for twice as long as past festivals, allowing us to bring you more exciting content than ever before. The entire program schedule and tickets is available online from October 5 till November 8, 2020 (9:00 pm) PST.
This year, with everyone having such a challenging year, VAFF wanted to break the mould and bring some fun to the community by presenting a Halloween Screening on Opening Night, October 31, 2020, live at the Cineplex Odeon International Village, adhering strictly to CoVid-19 protocols of no more than 50 people. This festival will offer the largest program we have ever presented and bonus content exclusive to VAFF, as we take advantage of the flexibility of video-on-demand programming.
We are pleased to announce that this year’s theme is “What’s Your 20?”, the radio code widely used in the film industry that means “where are you?” or “what’s your location?”. In the year 2020, we play on the numbers to pose this question, which can be interpreted physically, intellectually and philosophically. No one could have predicted the unprecedented global transformation that 2020 would bring. This year, we zoom in on the filmmaker’s psyche, and explore the monumental impact of global change on storytellers of Asian heritage, and the issues that matter to them.
We are delighted to have Jenny Lee-Gilmore, Moheb Jindran and Nikki Chohan, three very talented Asian-Canadian actors, as the 24th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival Brand Ambassador. Through film, they unveil their perspectives on the ongoing global crisis and social movements and help us answer the question, “What’s Your 20?”
About VAFF 2020:
The VAFF 2020 lineup presents 18 film programs plus 4 industry panels, 5 special events and 46 feature-length and short films of all genres, with English language and/or English subtitles, from the local and international Asian diaspora.
We are proud to bring Vancouver audiences 5 World premieres, 12 North American premieres; 13 Canadian premieres, and an additional 7 films that are Vancouver premieres, and even more excited to announce that close to 60% of all films are directed by women. We are anticipate 4,000 audience and industry members over the extended eight days festival.
- The Opening Film is the North American premiere of the Korean box-office hit, “The Closet”, by Kim Kwang-bin, starring big Korean stars Ha Jung-woo (The Handmaiden), and Kim Nam-gil (Pandora), as well as Heo Yul. The horror mystery explores parental issues through the story of a missing child. The Opening Night is a celebration of excellence in Korean cinema and Halloween fun when the audience can compete for best costume in theatre or at home.
- All Spotlight Features have not been seen in Canada with most being North American premieres. To help drown out some pandemic woes, we bring two comedic features that explore real universal issues. “Secret Zoo” by Jae-gon Son is an unexpected tale about a young lawyer being suckered into running a zoo that has sold most of its animals. “Little Miss Period” by Shunsuke Shinada takes a refreshing yet insightful look at how women deal with their monthly visitor.
- Two documentaries are included in the Spotlight Series, namely The Canadian Spotlight, “Ketchup & Soya Sauce” by Zhimin Hu which is a study of five couples whose relationships are shaped by the history of mixed relationships in Canada since the 1930’s, and The Documentary Spotlight, “The Donut King” by Alice Gu about the unlikely rise of Cambodian immigrants building a donut empire in the US.
- The Closing Film is a live virtual screening of “Beyond the Dream” by Kiwi Chow, starring rising stars Terrence Lau and Cecilia Choi which is a thoughtful Hong Kong film about the unlikely relationship between a recovering schizophrenic who yearns for love and a counselor with hidden secrets.
- The Features Series shed light on identity and self discovery of a range of Asian diaspora, from South Asians Canadians in “White Elephant” by Andrew Chung, Korean diasporic expats in “Gyopo” by Samuel Kiehoon Lee, to a Thai teenager attempting to live abroad in “Where We Belong” by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee.
- The Documentary Series feature two American films, one just in time for the US elections, “First Vote” by Yi Chen following a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans first-time voters during the 2018 midterm elections and “Curtain Up!” by Hui Tong, Kelly Ng about Asian-American elementary kids breaking stereotypes as they break a leg putting on a national debut production of “Frozen Kids”.
- The Shorts Series showcase many award winning works and an unprecedented number of films totalling 35 to create 3 International Shorts Programs and 4 Canadian Shorts Programs which include a special presentation of winners to our 15th Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon (MAMM15). Vancouver audiences will see a vast range of International Shorts for the first time with most of them being Canadian or North American premieres, including a Spotlight on South Korea Shorts.
- Many Video-on-Demand programs will feature exclusive interviews with filmmakers, while our live scheduling will give audiences a chance to meet filmmakers live in Filmmakers Talk.
- Continue our VAFF Industry Insight Panel Series with “how to” panels under VAFF I² in Who Wants to be a Talent to Watch? & Elimin8Hate that challenge us with burning questions on Model Minority Myth on Film and Elevating Underrepresented Voices in Film, Television and Media.
- In addition to the Best Canadian Director Award sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada, and Best Canadian Film Award sponsored by Telefilm, we will be awarding Best Canadian Cinematographer awards; as well as the various audience favourite People’s Choice Awards, all to be presented during the festival.
Digital Version of VAFF 2020 Festival Program: coming soon
For all inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s Your 20? Theme concept: created by Vincent Wong, Past Creative Director
Visual work: designed by Loucia Ho, Marketing Director
Graphic Designers: Beatrice Armstrong, Gillian Lo
Photographer: Good Side Photo – Ryan Wagner
Creative Retouching: Cake Imagery – Kevin Lanthier
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