Like emotions, movies mean more when they are shared
I remember the first time I attended the brand new Film Centre on Seymour Street in the late summer of 2005. It was the media launch for the upcoming VIFF, which I was covering for the Vancouver Sun. I attended with my wife and our three-month-old baby son, whose credentials were, frankly, suspect, but who slept through proceedings without complaint. (He wouldn’t be the last.)
That baby boy is fourteen now, thriving, and full of plans for the future. So is the Film Centre.
As head of VIFF Year Round programming this past decade, the core questions remain constant: does this film move us in the right direction? Does it show us something new or remind us of something important we may have forgotten? Does it speak to what it means to be human?
I think we all want to believe what we do matters, that in some way we are making the world a better place. I can’t claim programming movies is a contribution on the scale of saving lives, but culture is important: art is always at the forefront of social progress.
It’s the garden where we give ourselves license to suspend preconceived ideological positions and respond to characters, aesthetics and stories with open hearts and minds. It’s where we meet people beyond our own circles and direct experience, where we can still be surprised, and surprise ourselves, with laughter, tears, empathy and engagement.
Film goers like you have helped us create a true community built on shared values: the collective experience, inclusion and diversity, Indigenous rights, social justice, cultural curiosity, environmental awareness, respect for the artistic legacy of the past and excitement for cinema’s ongoing evolution.
I thank you for that amazing gift and for your regular feedback, recommendations and suggestions.
The comment that always touches me the most is when someone tells me how the Film Centre has become a second home to them.
Well, it’s a second home to me, too. I love sharing these movies, these moments in time, with you.
Please consider making a year-end donation to VIFF, our home for film, and the community we are building together.
Film Centre Programmer