On Thursday, the city will be rolling out the red carpet for the launch of the annual Vancouver International Film Festival, which opens with the film adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s novel Barney’s Version.
Aficionados have already printed off the festival guide and sat down with highlighters to pick their must-sees.
But Alan Franey, festival director, said deciding between hundreds of films can be overwhelming for first-timers.
“The most important thing everyone asks is where to start,” he said.
“The program catalogue has various guides and the website (allows) you to search for (films) by any term. It’ll take you to the films that apply.”
Festival goers can search for movies by title, director, country, venue or genre — including “queer interest,” “literary adaptation” or “First Nations.”
Franey said the festival runs the gamut of big commercial films, documentaries and Canadiana, and has a special focus on East Asian cinema.
Audience Award winners include Me, Too, from Spain, about a boy with Down syndrome who falls in love, and Wasteland, about the inhabitants of the world’s largest landfill outside Rio in Brazil.
The programming, said Franey, reflects the diversity of Vancouver.
“All we’re trying to do is find the best films from around,” he said.
“It’s kind of like visiting a library if you only have one year. It’s too big a festival for any one person to contain, so we all have our different version of it depending on what we see.”