Vancouver International Film Festival 2023 announces live performances and special presentations

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      Maybe the only good thing about summer coming to a close is that it means the start of festival season. The 42nd Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off in September and will feature over 130 features, 100 shorts, and a variety of special presentations and live performances.

      Eight of the special performances were just announced, including a documentary called Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe, celebrating Mr. Dressup’s work and his role in children’s television.

      Other special presentations include Swan Song by Chelsea McMullan, which provides an inside look into the National Ballet of Canada’s Karen Kain-led production of Swan Lake, as well as a psychodrama by Atom Egoyan called Seven Veils about a young theatre director re-examining her trauma while working on a remount of Salome.

      “We’re excited to include tributes to two Canadian icons—Mr. Dressup and Karen Kain—along with the latest by a legendary homegrown filmmaker—Atom Egoyan—in this year’s Special Presentations program,” Curtis Woloschuk, Director of Programming, said in a press release. “And while these three films hinge on the power of performance, other marquee attractions at this year’s festival offer narratives that dramatically shift perspective, immerse us in moral entanglements, and remind us of the power of simple acts of kindness.” 

      The special performances lineup also includes a variety of international films from the UK, France, Switzerland, and Japan. One such film is The Old Oak by British film director Ken Loach; it delves into topics of xenophobia when a bar owner steps up to counter backlash following the arrival of Syrian refugees.

      Also announced were two VIFF Live programs, which will push the boundaries of film by featuring sensory experiences and immersive audio-visual performances.

      “VIFF Live events are occasions to witness boundaries lovingly teased and toyed with of what we commonly refer to as cinema,” PuSh International Performing Arts Festival co-founder, and VIFF Live guest curator, Norman Armour said in a release.

      Machine Folklore explores the infinite possibilities of the future through a portrait of humanity created at the intersections of AI and virtual consciousness, while 32 Sounds looks at the elemental phenomenon of sound, using headphones to create a mix that appears to bend time, cross borders, and reshape one’s perception of the world.

      The remaining VIFF programming will be announced on September 6.

      Vancouver International Film Festival

      When: Sept. 28 to Oct. 8

      Tickets: Film tickets cost $18, early bird ticket packs available until August 17 on the VIFF website