The Vancouver Short Film Festival

Expanding narratives and culture through visual storytelling.

Pablo Córdoba, Contributor 

The Vancouver Short Film Festival (VSFF) is where art meets culture. People often opt to watch mainstream films in theatres, but to experience a film’s multiple facets, one must encounter festivals like the VSFF. It will open your mind to a deeper understanding of cinema and show you the beautiful work of contemporary Canadian West Coast filmmakers.  The eighth annual VSFF screened various short films and ran from Jan. 25-26.

Established in 2005, the festival was founded with the mission to link short film producers to other artists from various cultures in order to grow the local film industry.  The festival is a vibrant event for well-established and emerging filmmakers to come together and exhibit their films for the mere joy of connection and community building. Over the years, the VSFF has played host to numerous filmmakers who have been given the opportunity to share their films with a wide audience.  

Every year, the VSFF exhibits a variety of short films that tell different stories. Although the festival takes place in Vancouver, not all of the films reflect Canadian culture. The diverse films present different artistic points of view and cultural backgrounds, encouraging the audience to expand their horizons beyond the city of Vancouver.  Short films such as Shiraz and Tokyo Lovers give the audience a glimpse of life in other cultures. Although these short films are purely fictional, they are representations of something beyond what people know on the West Coast of Canada. Whether it’s a peaceful encounter, or a love story in the beautiful city of Tokyo, they still learn from the different places and people that are portrayed within these stories.   

The festival has a diverse range of genres to exhibit: from thrillers and dramas, to realistic fiction and animation, it truly covers all the different flavours of film. Many of the films develop and expand the cinematic language. They are an inspiration as well as an invitation to explore photography, screenwriting, directing and the technicalities of filmmaking. For filmmakers, the variety of stories will emanate a welcoming feeling. They depict how alluring this craft is through vivid experiences.

The VSFF has an opening and closing party to properly introduce and end the event. After all, the word “festival” derives from the Latin word festa meaning feast, get together or party. And what good is a film festival without a party, right? Cinema is not only about making films or simply watching them – it is about sharing ideas and establishing connections with people from all around the world. Film in today’s world is a universal language that has the ability to impact and connect people from all cultural backgrounds. It is through film that we experience culture and art. It is delightful to have a festival such as the VSFF in Vancouver as it allows a space for people to connect with the love for cinema and passion for sharing stories.

For more information on the specific films and locations, please visit 

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