The Victoria Film Festival is speeding toward the finish line, with supporters scrambling to procure tickets for the few remaining films that are not sold out. Which is a very good problem to have if you’re the hard-working team behind the 10-day event.
Rest easy, late-comers. Not every single film among the participating 82 features and 20 shorts will go the distance, according to festival director Kathy Kay. “There’s always films that sell out, and lots that are pretty much stuffed. But there’s always some that don’t go that way because they are kind of quiet films.”
It has been a big year for the 26th annual event, which opened last week. Among the early highlights was a much-celebrated appearance by Bill Nighy, who attended a festival party on Feb. 7 before sitting for an hour-long chat with critic Richard Crouse in front of a sold-out audience at the Victoria Conference Centre on Feb. 8.
Kay said Nighy’s appearance at the opening gala “was a nice surprise.”
An actor of his renown is never expected to rub shoulders with the public, but his genial nature was a refreshing turn in the era of increased public scrutiny.
“When he came out on stage [at the conference centre], there was a standing ovation, and the same again when he finished,” Kay said. “People were so excited.”
More than half of the films in competition at the festival sold out in advance, while others benefited from strong walk-up attendance, Kay said. There is still hope for patrons hoping to see offerings during the waning days of the festival, however.
Tickets for Marie Clements’s acclaimed multilingual film, Red Snow, which screens at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre in Oak Bay high school tonight [Thursday], are still available; so too are seats for Sebastian Borensztein’s Heroic Losers, which has its second screening of the festival at the Vic on Sunday afternoon.
No one should miss Céline Sciamma’s Cannes Film Festival hit, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which is being shown Sunday afternoon at SilverCity, according to Kay.
“It has been getting all kind of buzz. It should have been picked as [France’s best international feature film entry] for the Oscars this year.”
The Victoria Film Festival continues through Sunday at various venues.
Visit victoriafilmfestival.com for more information.