Vancouver International Women In Film Festival 2023 – Jennifer Green Previews

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The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWFF) is returning to an in-person event this year for its 18th annual edition at the VIFF Centre in the British Columbian city March 7-11. The festival, organized around International Women’s Day on March 8, will also run online from March 12-25.

Some 37 films from 14 countries will compete for a line-up of awards, running alongside a sidebar short film competition. Of the 19 films from home base Canada, 9 are from local British Columbia filmmakers.

A March 8 Advocacy Panel on diversity and inclusion efforts in the Canadian film and television industry leads the festival’s ancillary programs, which also include Q&As, artist talks, workshops, and professional development and networking opportunities.

Jules Koostachin’s Broken Angel, the story of an Indigenous woman and “seer” who, together with her teen daughter, escapes an abusive relationship, kicks off the festivities on opening night. The closing night film is Stellar, from director Darlene Naponse and starring Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Night Raiders).

The festival, which champions women and gender-diverse creators, is organized by WIFTV (Women in Film and Television Vancouver), a member-driven organization focused on creating gender equity in film and television.

Other highlighted films at this year’s event include the Western Canadian premiere of Some Women, a documentary about self-love by filmmaker Quen Wong, Singapore’s first trans woman to direct a documentary feature, and four Canadian premieres: Everybody Wants to Be Loved, Among Us Women, Las Abogadas: Attorneys on the Front Lines of the Migrant Crisis, and Expedition Reclamation.

The full festival line-up can be viewed at

“VIWFF is back with an incredible program showcasing and supporting a wide range of voices from around the world,” VIWFF’s Events and Programs Manager Patrycja Mila Kamska said in a statement. “After two challenging and uncertain years, we’re thrilled to be offering a complete in-person film festival featuring five full days of screenings and Q&As, complemented by an extraordinary lineup of talks and events with some of the industry’s leading talents.”

WIFTV Executive Director Eli Morris added in the statement: “With so much disheartening news about gender-based violence and discrimination circulating in the media, many people are turning to screen-based media to feel a sense of hope for the future. With this in mind, it feels especially empowering and important to be hosting a festival dedicated to celebrating gender equity right now.”

VIWFF is presented with support from the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm, Creative BC, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, and CMPA – BC Producers Branch.

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Jennifer Green

Jennifer Green is a regular contributor to Common Sense Media, The Hollywood Reporter, The Seattle Times and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was Screen International's correspondent in Spain for ten years. She launched the newspaper column and website Films from Afar to curate international films available for home streaming. She has served on film festival juries across Spain and North Africa and teaches journalism and film to university students.