The 36th year of the Vancouver International Film Festival wrapped up on Friday with a screening of Wonderstruck, the latest from director Todd Haynes, featuring Julianne Moore and excellent performances by the two young leads, 12-year-old Oakes Fegley and 14-year-old Millicent Simmonds. The movie charmed the audience and was the perfect thematic adventure to finish the eventful 16 day celebration. However, the evening gave spotlight to several other films as well, kicking off with an awards ceremony that included the VIFF Audience Awards.
The VIFF Impact Award, presented by the Lochmaddy Foundation, is a $5,000 award given to one of the ten issue-oriented documentary films in the 2017 VIFF Impact programming stream. This year’s winner was Blue from director Karina Holden (Australia, 2017). The jury, made up of Mark Leiren-Young, Yves J. Ma, and Tina Schliessler, also gave special mention to Keep Talking, from director Karen Lynn Weinberg (USA, 2017).
The Vancouver Women in Film and Television Artistic Merit Award, presented to a Canadian feature directed by a woman, was awarded to Léa Pool for the film Worst Case, We Get Married (Et au pire, on se mariera), which she directed and co-wrote with Sophie Bienvenu.
The remaining awards were VIFF Audience Awards, determined by viewers’ votes through ballots presented at each screening.
The Super Channel People’s Choice Award went to Indian Horse, a story about a young man languishing in a residential school finding salvation in hockey, by Canadian director Stephen Campanelli.
VIFF Most Popular International Feature went to the film Loving Vincent, a fully painted feature about the final days of van Gogh’s life, by directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman of Poland and the UK.
VIFF Most Popular International Documentary was awarded to Faces Places by French director Agnes Varda, which followed her on a trip with photographer JR as they searched for the people and their villages—faces and places—that make rural France what it is.
VIFF Most Popular Canadian Documentary was won by Shut Up and Say Something, an emotional portrait of internationally acclaimed spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan, giving a poignant and powerful voice to those relegated to the margins, by Canadian director Melanie Wood.
All of the films were greatly deserving and we are honoured to have screened them at VIFF 2017! Thank you to all who voted and supported these films by attending the festival. We can’t wait to start preparing for next year!
See a full list of VIFF Award Winners here.