The VIFF's Film & Television Forum, Western Canada's four-day industry event launches its 21st year with a focus on content. The event, which takes place 27- 30 September, features master classes, seminars, workshops, tete-a-tete sessions and industry networking events.
Newly appointed Forum Program Director Helen du Toit says, "Strong content is the key to all success stories." Du Toit adds, "In such a competitive marketplace, we need to be bolder with our original content, and savvier about pitching and packaging."
This year's guest speakers include Desperate Housewives Writer and Supervising Producer Alexandra Cunningham presenting Dramatic Twist - New Directions in TV Drama and a Comedy Writing Master Class with The Simpsons' Joel Cohen.
Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September, Touching The Void) explores the dramatic narrative in documentary filmmaking in a special master class.
In response to industry demand, the Forum will provide enhanced access to both forum and festival guests. New for 2006, the forum introduces Speed Dating Sessions. Designed for emerging and transitioning filmmakers, these sessions "are the ideal opportunity to pitch projects, get feedback and forge new relationships with local senior producers and development executives."
Licence to schmooze
The normally "dry" VIFC will be launching an Industry Hour at this year's forum on September 27 where forum and festival guests will be able to hob nob nightly over complimentary cocktails in an informal setting.
New Filmmakers Day
The title suggests that this day of panels is aimed at new, "emerging" filmmakers or those curious about making a career in film. That's true, although in past years some of the panels might have sat as easily in the main industry seminars (for example, Peter Broderick's presentation on self-distribution). Perhaps that explains why many attendees have quite a bit of experience in filmmaking but are looking to segue into different roles in the same industry. Whatever, it's a good way for getting an insight into the industry and network with like-minded people.
Some panels are better than others, but I've found I always learn something even if it's not necessarily on the subject that the panels were going to talk about...
The New Filmmakers day features:
Career Fast Track
The Actor/Director Relationship
Writing Low Budget Screenplays
Slice & Dice: Anatomy of a Scene
The 21st Annual Film and Television Forum takes place in the Rogers Industry Centre at the Vancouver International Film Centre and Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, September 27 - 30.