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Vancouver International Film Festival announces eight special presentations

Seven Veils
Amanda Seyfried plays a theatre director troubled by her memories in Atom Egoyan's Seven Veils. which is part of VIFF's special presentations program. IMDb photo.

The Vancouver International Film Festival will screen a new film by Canadian director Atom Egoyan and a critique of bullying and family dysfunction by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Egoyan’s Seven Veils and Kore-eda’s Monster are among eight VIFF special presentations unveiled today (August 10).

Egoyan’s latest work is about a theatre director named Jeanine, played by Amanda Seyfried. This character is dogged by disturbing memories as she sets out to remount her mentor’s opera, Salome.

The special presentations program also includes two other Canadian films. Cheslea McMullen’s Swan Song tracks the National Ballet of Canada’s 2022 production of Swan Lake, which was directed by its longtime artistic director, Karen Kain.

The other Canadian film is Robert McCallum’s Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe. It celebrates the long-running children’s television character performed by Ernie Coombs.

“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,” VIFF director of programming Curtis Woloschuk said in a news 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.”

Anatomy of a Fall
Milo Machado Graner plays the partially sighted Daniel in Anatomy of a Fall.

Palme d’Or winner in special presentations

These other films include Palme d’Or Prize winner at Cannes, Anatomy of a Fall, which is a thriller by Justine Triet. It focuses on a woman (Sandra Hüller) accused of murdering her husband. Their partially sighted son Daniel (Milo Machado Graner) as the only witness.

In addition, the festival will screen controversial filmmaker Catherine Breillat’s Last Summer about a female lawyer’s relationship with her 17-year-old stepson.

Another film in the program, Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera, is about an English tomb raider living with Italian nonconformists. There’s also Ken Loach’s The Old Oak. It revolves around a Northeast England pub owner’s response to the arrival of Syrian refugees to his down-on-its-luck village.

Loach was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes for The Old Oak.

The Old Oak
Ken Loach’s The Old Oak explores what happens when Syrian refugees move into a village in Northeast England.

VIFF ticket packs available on August 17

Meanwhile, the founder of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Norman Armour, is guest curating VIFF’s live program. It includes filmmaker Sam Green’s 32 Sounds, which is described as “a profound documentary and life sensory experience that shifts our perception of the world”.

The 42nd Vancouver International Film Festival runs from September 28 to October 8. Ticket packs go on sale on August 17; the entire program will be revealed on September 6.

There’s an opportunity for VIFF+ members to move to the front of the line. That’s because they can make advance bookings from noon on September 6 until noon on September 7. At that point, individual tickets will go on sale to the general public. For more information about ticketing, visit the festival’s website.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.