FEB 5 – 14, 2021

*Re-printed from the Saanich News Jan 11, 2021*

The 27th edition of the Victoria Film Festival (VFF) won’t come with the hubbub of a crowded theatre or the smell of buttered popcorn, but it will be watchable from the comfort of your own couch.

VFF 2021 will be broadcast virtually, widening the program’s reach province-wide.

“That’s something new for us, because we’ve been very Victoria-centric up until now,” said festival director Kathy Kay. “But with the virus, we had to come up with new solutions.”

Films from 21 countries will be available during the 10-day festival, giving film-lovers access to early Oscar contenders, European award winners, Canadian premieres and Vancouver Island-produced feature film All-in Madonna.

The virtual festival will also include Q&As, interviews and other extras.

Kay said the festival is an opportunity for a new experience.

“I think a lot of people that will go to the festival this year have gone before,” Kay said. “And so it’s kind of almost like a sense memory. It will feel fresh again and all the films are fresh.”

VFF will also feature Oscar contenders Agnes Joy (Iceland), Charter (Sweden) and Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (Venezuela). Canadian premiere The Secret Garden – a new adaptation featuring Colin Firth – will also be presented during the festival.

Three Vancouver Island-produced shorts will also be available.

Kay is also excited for some of the comedies coming to VFF, such as Shiva Baby and The Big Hit.

“The films have been curated, people have really looked at these for the quality of the film, whereas on Netflix they just buy films to fill up the slate,” Kay said.

VFF will offer tutorial videos to help people cast the festival onto their TV. And those who want hard copies of the lineup can pick them up at Serious Coffee, Monk Office Supply locations, VFF headquarters and other locations around the city.

An all-access pass to the entire slate of 50 films and 23 shorts will be available for $79, or single tickets can be purchased for $8. To purchase tickets or learn more visit victoriafilmfestival.com.