Victoria Film Festival

Victoria Film Festival

Infobox Film Festival
name = Victoria Film Festival
number = 190
location = Victoria, British Columbia
language = International
attendees = 18,000
website =

The Victoria Film Festival is a publicly attended film festival in Victoria, British Columbia running for ten days in February. The festival shows both Canadian and international films and unreels 150 films with 55 Features on 6 screens around Victoria and attracts a continually growing audience of around 18,000 people. The festival began in 1995 and is a provincially registered non-profit and federally registered charitable organization.

Festival Events

Family Programming

Time, trouble and even money come into play when films have to be rated – so generally the Film Festival avoids that route which means people under the age of 18 can’t see our films. But here we are, wanting to be inclusive and give everyone the opportunity to see great films. So this year we’ve had the short films on this page rated. This means if you’d like your kids to see great film you don’t need to buy a membership.

ips ‘n cinema

The triple threat of fine food, fine wine and fine film come together during this fun and informative afternoon designed for those who love the best of life. After you have experienced some delicious goodies the Victoria Film Festival programmer will open up discussion of the film that you’ve just seen.

Empire theaters Music Lounge

Meet, chat and listen to some of the best music this city has to offer before and after Films.

Other Events Throughout The Year

FreeB Film Festival

"August". Come and enjoy a movie under the stars, with great line-ups of B-movies from the “Family-Friendly” to the “Funky and Fun”.

My Victoria

"Film competition" "November - January." A video competition to create a 1 minute film about what most affects and interests you about Victoria. The competition is open to all ages and skill levels and is designed to encourage the budding filmmaker in everyone.


"November - January." An opportunity for local high school students to create a short video from beginning to end and have it screened at the Victoria Film Festival. Guided by local notable professional filmmakers students are mentored and receive advice and information to create new work.


"June." Come play with cameras, computers and creativity for ages 10-14 and discover the amazing and exciting world of film. With some of the local industry’s top professionals, we offer the chance to experience over 18 hands-on workshops. The Festival includes FREE film screenings and demonstrations and nominally priced workshops that let the creativity flow.

Festival History

In 1995, the CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers, along with Origins Theatre, began the Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival. The Festival was a low-key affair for the first three years, and during that time Origins Theatre closed in Victoria and the Festival fell entirely to CineVic, who turned the focus to short films and videos. After the third event, the Board of CineVic felt that if the Festival were going to have an impact on the filmmaking community and develop audiences, then VIFVF would need to expand substantially.

The fourth Festival brought in filmmakers from Canada and around the globe and managed to capture the interest of the city for the weeklong event. The Festival had Canadian feature film premiere screenings of Stolen Heart, Cat Swallows Parakeet and Speaks, and the Canadian premiere of Smoke Signals, along with a multitude of short films including Rick Raxlen’s Geometry of Beware.

Filmmakers were hosted by the Festival from farther a field than ever before, and included John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, Pecker); Scott Hylands ( [Night Heat] ), and Lynne Stopkewich (Kissed). The Festival managed to more than double the number of people viewing independent films. Many wonderful receptions provided opportunities for guests to meet and exchange ideas. A forum was added for discussion, learning and augmenting of skills. After the 1998 Festival, due to liability issues, CineVic and the Festival became separate societies.

Subsequent years saw the Festival dramatically increase in size to the 2008 high mark of 18,000 attendees. In our quest to build an educated audience over the years VFF has added film discussions, an exciting event Let’s Make a Movie gave the public an opportunity to try hands on filmmaking, a three day new media program Interactive Futures brought together world class innovators, a family day, a four part series that examined the influences on a notable filmmaker and a country highlight have been developed over the last seven years.

The addition of youth programming and such high profile guests as Atom Egoyan, David Foster, Barry Pepper, Arthur Hiller, Don McKellar, Jonathan Lipnicki, Dirk Benedict, Keith Carradine, Beverly D’Angelo, and David Keith have capped off many successful year.

In 2007, the Film Festival shortened its name to simply the Victoria Film Festival.

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