Conversations with celebrated creators
VIFF Labs is an intimate, invitation-only series that empowers emerging local filmmakers through meaningful, direct dialogues with global talent.
Ken Tsui, VIFF Labs Curator
Ken Tsui has cultivated a long-energized appreciation for community and equity through his work. He’s led the strategic expansion of the festival experience as VIFF’s Director of Industry and Live Programming. Apart from funding Western Canadian documentaries as a TELUS Originals Program Production Executive, he actively engages in Vancouver’s film community as Chair of DOXA Film Festival’s Board, a Cinematheque Board Member, Sensory Cinema Producer, and VIFF Labs Curator.
As the curator of VIFF Labs, it remains a privilege to extend invitations to industry experts to participate in the Festival in this capacity. Our five Labs cover a range of diverse and relevant topics, aimed to spark meaningful conversation and ideas between international talent and Vancouver’s local filmmaking community.
Ken Tsui, VIFF Labs Curator
VIFF 2023 Highlights
The Art of the Poster
With Akiko Stehrenberger
Akiko Stehrenberger, acclaimed art director and illustrator known for iconic film artwork, walked us through her process of developing a distinct voice in interpreting films to graphics.
Moderated by Jeff Hamada, founder of BOOOOOOOM.
Director’s Lab: Emma Seligman
From Shiva Baby to Bottoms, critically acclaimed director Emma Seligman continues to carve out space for her own brand of irreverent, queer comedy. Seligman’s session explored her unique approach to finding the right story and bringing it to life.
The Power of Documenting Communities
With Karen Cho & Jamila Pomeroy
Karen Cho (Big Fight in Little Chinatown) and Jamila Pomeroy (Union Street) discussed their roles and responsibilities in fighting for visibility, capturing the BPOC history and platforming contemporary stories through documentary.
Fictionalizing Non-Fiction in the Climate Crisis
With Daniel Goldhaber
Daniel Goldhaber, director of How to Blow Up a Pipeline, took us through his process of adapting nonfiction to screen and the role of film in the climate crisis conversation.
Experimenting with Horror in Skinamarink
With Kyle Edward Ball
Kyle Edward Ball’s debut film, Skinamarink, is a bona fide horror hit celebrated for its unique aesthetics and chilling impact. In this lab, Ball dove into his unconventional process and approach to crafting fear on screen.
Inside the Joke: Comedy Writing
With Cody Lightning & Sam Miller
With premieres at TIFF and the Tribeca Film Festival, Lightning and Miller’s collaboration on Hey Viktor! marks the arrival of a major comedic voice in Indigenous cinema. This lab delved into their collaborative approach as a writing duo.