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VIFF Announces Juries


By Staff

;Vancouver Film Festival Announces Juries;
(September 16, 2014 – Vancouver, BC) Organizers of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) have announced the members of the various juries that will be responsible for deciding who gets the bling when the festival, which begins on September 25, wraps on October 10. There are four juried programmes in the festival including Canadian Images, BC Spotlight, Best New Director Award and the VIFF Impact Award.

This year’s Canadian Images jury is made up of:

John Cassini, an award-winning actor and producer of four feature films who has also written and developed television projects for various networks. A personal acting coach for over 20 years, Cassini is a lifetime member of the prestigious Actors Studio in New York and Los Angeles and is the co-Artistic Director of Vancouver`s Railtown Actors Studio.

Peter Machen, manager of the Durban International Film Festival. Machen is one of South Africa`s leading arts and film writers and is currently the Sunday Tribune`s resident film columnist and is the author of two books on Durban.

Gaylene Preston, an award-winning storyteller whose films have a distinctive flavour that entertain while presenting serious subjects with humour and warmth. Preston has made some of the most enduring popular classics of New Zealand Cinema and is also the inaugural NZ Arts Foundation filmmaker Laureate and an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to filmmaking. Her latest project, Hope and Wire, screens at VIFF this year.

This jury will award $8,000 cash for Best Canadian Film and is sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada.

This year’s BC Spotlight jurors include:

Joel Bakan, professor of law at the University of British Columbia, who wrote the award-winning book and film (co-created with Mark Achbar) The Corporation, as well as numerous scholarly works. Bakan is also a jazz guitarist who performs with his wife, actress and singer Rebecca Jenkins.

Kathy Chilco has produced, directed and written a wide range of television programming, including award-winning music and comedy specials, series, documentaries and new productions of Sesame Street. She is currently based in Vancouver.

Bruce Sweeney received a B.A. in visual art and communication from Simon Fraser University and a M.F.A. in film from the University of British Columbia. Sweeney won Best Canadian Film at TIFF 95 for Live Bait. His latest film, The Dick Knost Show, won Best BC Film at VIFF 13.

BC Spotlight Awards include Best BC Film, a $10,000 development bursary provided by the Harold Greenberg Fund (The Fund) and a $15,000 credit for post-production services provided by Deluxe and the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award, $7,500 cash award sponsored by the Union of BC Performers/ACTRA and ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society, and a $10,000 equipment credit supplied by William F. White.

The jury for Best New Director Award:

Ben Gibson, Director, Degree Programs at AFTRS, Australia`s national film school. Gibson was previously Director of the London Film School and worked as Head of Production at the British Film Institute. He has been a theatre director, repertory film programmer and film critic and journalist.

Kim Linekin, a film critic since 1999, Linekin is currently CBC Radio`s national pop culture columnist and chair of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. She`s covered film and TV extensively for MSN and sporadically for The Georgia Straight, Montage and POV magazines and other outlets.

Roland Smith, declared “the godfather of repertory cinema” by The Montreal Gazette, Smith invented the name (“repertory cinema”) in 1963 and has spent his life operating cinemas showing international films, Canadian films and classics from Hollywood. He is now a distributor of films for cinemas, video and television.

Best New Director Award (International) is an award that will go to a first or second-time director for a creative and innovative film which has not yet won significant international recognition. This competition flows directly from the 20-year history of the “Dragons and Tigers Award for Young Cinema” to continue to help launch the careers of some of the world’s most deserving and promising young filmmakers.

The jury for the VIFF Impact Award:

Lynne Fernie, a documentary filmmaker and the Senior Canadian programmer for the Hot Docs International Festival of Documentary Film. Fernie wrote and co-directed the Genie and multi-award-winning documentaries Forbidden Love: the Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives and Fiction and Other Truths: A film about Jane Rule and Apples and Oranges.

Julia Ivanova, a documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist who was born in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to Canada in 1995. Ivanova graduate with honours from the renowned Film Institute (VGIK) in Moscow, her films Love Translated, Family Portrait in Black and White and High Five: An Adoption Saga have all screened at VIFF.

David Rummel has produced for Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes, he ran an investigative unit at ABC News, served as a senior producer at NBC News, produced for PBS Frontline and helped build the online video unit at The New York Times. Rummel has won every award in television news and documentary and currently teaches International Reporting and Advanced Video Reporting at UBC’s Graduate School of Journalism.

The VIFF Impact Award will recognize excellence by a filmmaker with a social-issues documentary. The award will be a combination of cash and in-kind strategic consulting services, and is designed to amplify the future reach of the selected film. It`s about boosting what happens after the festival screening… Audience development, outreach, social marketing, evaluation metrics, web extensions, educational materials, community tours ? these components are key to transforming a movie into a movement! For 2014, Agentic Digital Media has sponsored the $5,000 cash component as well as an additional $2,500 worth of marking support that will be added to Story Money Impact’s inkind strategic services at a value of $2,500.

This year`s 16-day festival includes 353 films from over 65 countries, including 223 features and 130 shorts. The line-up includes 32 World Premieres, 38 International Premieres, 22 North American Premieres, and 47 Canadian Premieres. Click here for a link to the Vancouver International Film Festival and other September 2014 film festivals.