ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
CELEBRATING SHORT FILM
Vancouver Short Film Festival and the city of Vancouver where we operate is located on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. For further information on these and other Indigenous territories where we live, work, and create, we invite you to learn more at native-land.ca.
The Vancouver Short Film Festival (VSFF) is committed to the celebration of the vibrant community of Canadian short film, documentary, and animation artists and their works.
We focus on elevating talent from British Columbia and connecting BC creators to the greater film industry nation-wide. Building ties between emerging and established professionals, we provide an arena where all short filmmakers, including students, can showcase their films to a public audience and support their fellow colleagues.
Our ultimate goal is to connect short filmmakers to a broader audience in order to grow local film industries.
The inaugural Vancouver Student Film Festival (VSFF) was held on Tuesday August 23rd, 2005 at the Pacific Cinematheque. The sold-out event showcased 12 of Vancouver's most successful post-secondary student filmmakers and graduates.
The VSFF expanded to include 17 films over two days, with the first-ever panel portion of the festival. Five established industry professionals provided their expertise on the topic "How to Make Your Next Short Film." Held at the VIFC Vancity Theatre, the festival's spectatorship doubled in size, with the Saturday evening screening selling out.
The Board changed the name and nature of the festival to Canada's first Vancouver Short Film Festival, to accommodate professional artists. With the help of a rejuvenated Board of Directors, the VSFF received 140 entries and screened 32 films on October 23-24, 2009.
We celebrated our second year under our new name with 45 short films, a panel, our second international screening, a retrospective screening of the top films in our five years, two parties, and a free screening co-presented by the National Film Board of Canada.
The 3rd annual VSFF partnered with the NFB's Get Animated! with an animation workshop and Family Program, screened 29 films including a "Hometown Favourites" screening, and presented a panel on using the short film medium as a stepping stone to other careers.
The 4th annual VSFF presented two special screenings: BC Web Series and BC All-Stars, and celebrated 21 films and 4 locally produced web series.
We celebrated 5 years as the Vancouver Short Film Festival with another BC Web Series screening and a special retrospective screening featuring our Best Short Film winners from the past 4 years. In total, 21 short films and web series were screened.
The Board unanimously decided to move the festival dates from November to January.
The 6th annual Festival took place at the Vancity Theatre Jan 28-29, 2016. 23 films were shown in 4 programs over two days, with two sold out shows and attendance over 85% capacity.
The 7th annual Festival took place Jan 27-28, 2017 and showcased 28 short films over 2 days. On Jan 27 our hashtag #vsff17 was trending number 1 in Vancouver.
In our 8th year, we premiered our first-ever After Dark programming block, featuring selections of horror and thriller shorts from BC’s genre filmmaking community.
We also held our inaugural Filmmaker Luncheon event, a networking and educational opportunity for the filmmakers with films screening at the festival featuring 2-4 industry professionals in a panel breakfast.
In our 9th year, we expanded our programming across the calendar with two networking events, The October Indie Film Mixer and June Spring Film Mixer, bringing together VSFF alumni, sponsors, industry partners, and community members to provide space for our networks to reconnect year-round.
The 10th annual Festival (Jan 24-26) saw an expansion to three days in celebration of our exciting anniversary. We screened 51 short films in 6 screenings, including a 10th Anniversary Retrospective screening, celebrating some of our best films from years past. Ticket sales were the highest in the history of the festival.
In our 11th edition, VSFF transitioned to a fully online format in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Delivered via Eventive Virtual, VSFF screened our largest program ever with 61 short films across 7 programmes, 3 days of industry and filmmaker events, and an Awards Presentation awarding 15 awards of cash & prizes to BC’s top short films.
In our 12th edition, our programme featured 51 short form works in 6 programmes submitted by filmmakers from BC as well as provinces across Canada. The 3-day fully online event featured filmmaker-exclusive events including our Filmmaker Coffee Hour panel & discussion, an After Dark Watch Party, and our annual Awards Presentation.
In June 2022, VSFF held “Live In Theatre” screenings of our full 2022 and 2021 festival programme films, in-person at the VIFF Centre in Vancouver. Thirteen screening events in two cinemas were offered over a two-day period, plus VSFF official “Afterparties” - we were pleased to return to in-person gatherings after a 2.5 year hiatus!
The festival now regularly receives over 250 submissions a year, and we award $40,000 worth of cash and prizes directly to the filmmakers annually.