Vancouver International Film Festival 2017 pumps up the volume of musical experiences

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      Technology may have heightened the appeal of home entertainment, but there remain numerous elements of theatre attendance that still can't be replaced by staying at home in pajamas and watching Netflix.

      The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has been zeroing in on and magnifying these experiential aspects. In particular, the music components at this year's festival are particularly ramped—or, as the case may be, amped—up.   

      In fact, VIFF executive director Jacqueline Dupuis told the Georgia Straight during an interview at the Vancouver International Film Centre that when her organization was researching how to revamp and update their organization and festival, they found that one of the biggest draws for audiences is the experience of filmgoing, including interactive components, social connections, and a sense of community.

      All of those elements also reflect the industry-side of the screen world, which require numerous people, from various fields and with a range of expertise, working together.

      Vancouver International Film Festival executive director Jacqueline Dupuis
      Craig Takeuchi

      "We launched the film-plus model so that we had an opportunity to bring in other art forms, be they screen-based or otherwise," Dupuis explained. "The music program's super important because we all know that tight, tight, tight connection between music and film so we're really excited to create an opportunity for collaborations between musicians and filmmakers and so we're exploring that intersection in the VIFF Live program and we're going to see where that takes us."

      That's why a new addition to the festival this year is VIFF AMP, a two-day summit on the nexus between the music and film industries.

      The conference, to be held on October 2 and 3 at Vancity Theatre, will consist of panel discussions and workshops focussing on the creation of music in film and television. The summit will cover everything from composed music and source music to post-production and sound design.

      Conference delegates from across North America will include music supervisors, agents, executives, and more. Attendees will include representatives from Warner Film and TV, Nettwerk Music Group, Entertainment One, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Instinct Entertainment, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Masters of Sex, and more.


      The two evenings of the summit will showcase eight B.C. bands, including Brasstronaut, Jon and Roy, and LIINX, for international music industry attendees as well as local audiences.

      What's more, these two nights are part of the new performance series VIFF Live, to be held on October 2 to 6, and 10, in which visual artists will collaborate with musicians.


      Participating acts will include Louise Burns, Desi Sub Culture, Graftician, Horsepowar, I M U R, Little Destroyer, Sam the Astronaut, So Loki, and Tonye.

      This series will be headlined by a special presentation of The Green Fog: A San Francisco Fantasia on October 10.

      Canadian surrealist auteur Guy Maddin (My Winnipeg) has joined creative forces once again with filmmakers Evan and Galen Johnson (The Forbidden Room) to create a reinterpretation of Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film noir classic Vertigo.

      The threesome has created a cinematic collage out of San Francisco footage from classic films, documentaries, experimental films, '50s noir, and '70s TV series.

      Kronos Quartet

      But that's not all.

      The critically acclaimed Kronos Quartet will perform a score for the film (by composer Jacob Garchik) in Vancouver. Dupuis pointed out that this "mind-bogglingly amazing collaboration" at VIFF will be the sole Canadian live performance of this piece.

      "That the project was incubated at Berkeley really speaks to everybody really recognizing how innovative that project really is," Dupuis added.

      Dupuis also told the Straight that they're interested in seeing how audiences respond to the musical elements this year, leaving open the possibility for these components to develop into something further in the future.

      In the meantime, for this year, Dupuis said VIFF's main goal is to highlight everyone working in these interrelated fields.

      "In our creative ecosystem here in British Columbia, those creators that are working on some of the smaller screens, working in tech, and working in creative industries, they're kind of the next generation of big-screen talent," she stated.    

      For full details on all of these events, visit the VIFF website

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook