The 27th edition of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival will offer more screenings than ever before. This year’s event, which runs from November 2 to 12, includes 131 films and 35 in-person and virtual programs. There will be more than 20 world premieres.
The festival will present in-theatre screenings from November 2 to 5 at International Village Cineplex. Among the highlights are Rain Town, a family drama by Malaysian directors Mona Riza and Binti Tunku Khalid, which will open the festival at 6 p.m. on November 2.
There’s also a film focusing on the exodus of South Asians from Uganda to Canada following their expulsion in 1972 by dictator Idi Amin. The overwhelming majority of arrivals were Ismaili Muslims, most of whom have since thrived in Canada.
The Edmonton-based director of Thrown Into Canada, Aleem Karmali, aims to “produce creative, balanced and intelligent films…grounded in academic scholarship, with a particular emphasis on countering negative stereotypes about Muslims”.
Thrown Into Canada will be at International Village Cineplex at 4:30 p.m. on November 3. That will be followed at 6:30 p.m. on November 4 by U.S. director Jean Shim’s A Great Divide. Starring Ken Jeong (The Masked Singer) and Jae Suh Park (Friends from College, Never Have I Ever), it addresses how a family responds to racism in rural Wyoming.
The closing film, Akio Nishizawa’s GONTA: The Story of the Two-Named Dog in the Fukushima Disaster, will be screened at Scotiabank Theatre on November 11. In addition, virtual screenings will be available between November 6 and 12.
Park praises Vancouver Asian Film Festival
This year’s VAFF ambassador is Canadian actor and model Grace Park (A Million Little Things, Hawaii Five-O, The Border, and Battlestar Galactica).
“For 27 years VAFF has been providing an important stage for Asian filmmakers to shine, showcasing their deeply personal stories to audiences,” Park said in a VAFF news release. “Moviegoers from different walks of life are able to experience these offerings of culturally rich stories and perspectives from around the world that we hope will positively impact them for years to come.
“This is one of the reasons why I am so proud to be this year’s Festival Ambassador, helping amplify VAFF27 right here in the city I know and love, my hometown of Vancouver.”
In addition, the festival will include eight industry events for the filmmaking community on November 4, 5, and 11.
For more information and tickets, visit the Vancouver Asian Film Festival website.