Fall film fests: Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Amnesty International, and more

Just as the Vancouver International Film Festival comes to an end, other fall film festivals continue the cinematic celebrations throughout the season.

In fact, the day after VIFF ends, the Visible Verse 2012 Festival takes place at the Cinematheque (formerly known as the Pacific Cinémathèque; 1131 Howe Street). On Saturday (October 13), this year's annual video poetry festival, hosted by Heather Haley, will feature screenings as well as a live performance and workshop by Alberta artist Phillip Jagger.

After that, there's the Vancouver Short Film Festival (October 26 and 27), which offers a chance to view the best short films British Columbia has to offer. There's also a panel discussion featuring film industry professionals such as Javier Badillo, Mina Shum, Kaleena Kiff, and Brian Lye.

Then there's the inaugural South Asian Film Festival (October 31 to November 4) at various venues in Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Surrey (including Empire Granville 7 just before it closes). (Not to be confused with the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, which was last held in 2011.)

The full schedule for the 16th annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival, which runs from November 1 to 4, is now up on its website. The festival opens with the Canadian premiere of Daylight Savings. This sequel to Surrogate Valentine stars San Francisco musician Goh Nakamura who plays himself after his career takes off when his song get licensed in a national TV commercial for an anti-depressant.

Sunset Stories, about a nurse who has only 24 hours to find a cooler (containing bone marrow for a transplant) that she lost, will be the festival's centerpiece presentation.

There's also Lost Lagoon, about a Korean ESL student in Vancouver, by local filmmaker Rob Leickner (who screened a rough cut of his film at last year's Whistler Film Festival).

Asian American stars Joan Chen, BD Wong, and Harry Shum Jr. (Glee) lead the cast of the festival's closing film, White Frog, a coming-of-age story about a teenager with Asperger's Syndrome.

Running at the same time is the 17th annual Amnesty International Film Festival (November 2 to 4), which will feature nine films at the Cinematheque.

This year's selections cover topics such as the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project, a women-only African village, and a teenage Filipina garbage dump scavenger hoping to become a doctor.

There'll also be kick-ass documentaries such as Big Boys Gone Bananas and Ai Weiwei: Never Story, which had theatrical runs but if you missed them, here's your chance to catch them.

Later on, there's also the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival (November 7 to 15) with its extensive lineup. They've got a wide range of subjects covered, with everything from documentaries about Judeophobia, disabled Israeli veteran soldiers, and a Jewish community in Nigeria to profiles of Tony Curtis and Doc Pomus to a French comedy about a Jewish man kicked out of his Finnish home. There's certainly a little something for everyone, so take a browse through their program.

Closing out the season, there's the Whistler Film Festival (November 28 to December 2) to look forward to as well.

With the weather having abruptly turned ugly, it's primetime to start hibernating in a movie theatre—if you haven't started already.

You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.

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