Guess what, movie lovers? The 42nd annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF 2023) is on, and there are a ton of amazing films hitting the silver screen this year. Plus, this year’s fest marks the first fully in-cinema festival since 2019, which means attendees can explore an expanded program of live events, performances, and exhibitions in between screenings. Let’s get into it!

According to organizers, VIFF 2023 will feature around 140 feature films and 100 shorts, which will be screened at seven venues across the city.

“Vancouver is a city for filmmakers and cinephiles, and VIFF is the city’s festival,” says Kyle Fostner, Executive Director of VIFF. “The past few years were challenging, but we’re back, fully in-cinema, with 11 days of celebration overflowing with powerful films and inspiring live performances to help our community reconnect with what makes this place so special.”

The 2023 festival will open with award-winning Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves, a story of two lonely souls who believe they are meant for each other.

The rest of the lineup leans into ever-present themes in our daily lives, from family dynamics and perceptions of motherhood to the impacts of climate change.

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viff 2023
Photo via Fallen Leaves, dir. Aki Kaurismäki / VIFF

Below are the 14 most anticipated films of the year to check out:

The festival will close with Tran Anh Hùng’s The Pot-au-Feu (La Passion de Dodin Bouffant), which earned the Best Director at Cannes this year – 30 years after his debut film won the Camera d’or at the same festival.

Live events

In addition to viewing films by visionary filmmakers from Canada and across the world, VIFF will feature a range of interactive live exhibits and film talks led by industry professionals, award-winning artists, and changemakers in the scene.

Festival highlights this year include the return of Signals, an interactive exhibit exploring the topic of reconciliation and Indigenous sovereignty, which will feature over 20 works from October 1st to 7th.

Tickets & dates

Finally, let’s talk tickets. Single tickets for adults are priced at $18 for regular screenings, galas, and special presentations ($14 for students and $16 for seniors) and can be purchased online.

And if you’re keen on seeing multiple films this year, you can purchase 6-packs, 10-packs, and 20-packs for $102, $165, and $320 respectively.

In-person tickets may be purchased at the box office at the VIFF Centre starting Thursday, September 21st. Note that during the festival, all VIFF theatres will serve as box offices, where tickets for any of the films may be purchased.

This year’s VIFF will take place from Thursday, September 28th to Sunday, October 8th.

VIFF 2023

When: Thursday, September 28th to Sunday, October 8th
Where: 1181 Seymour Street and six other participating venues
Cost: $18 for regular screenings, galas, and special presentations