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Return to Hairy Hill film image

Ignite: High School Program


Image: Return to Hairy Hill, Short Fuse, VIFF 2023

The Power of Cinema

We believe in the importance of young people experiencing exceptional Canadian, Indigenous, and international cinema.

Films have the power to challenge our perspectives, confront our preconceptions, promote inquiry, develop critical thinking skills, and ignite imaginations.

Each year, VIFF welcomes hundreds of secondary students to experience exceptional international cinema at the festival. From stories of Indigenous activism to films that capture historic events as they’re unfolding, great world cinema challenges our perspectives, promotes inquiry, develops critical thinking skills, and ignites imaginations.

In-Person and Online

All Ignite films screen in-theatre, while some are also available on our VIFF Connect streaming platform.

Exclusive Dialogue with Filmmakers and Subject Experts

After most Ignite screenings, there will be a live Q&A with filmmakers or subject experts connected to the film, where students have the opportunity to ask questions about careers in filmmaking, what inspired them to tell this story, how the film was really made, and more.

Educational Film Resources & Curriculum Ties

Prior to the screenings, teachers will receive film resource guides. Written with the curriculum in mind, these guides are designed to inspire in-depth exploration and facilitate discussion that connects the cinema and the classroom.

Past Ignite Programs