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Talks

The world’s leading creators share expertise on their craft.

From creators and showrunners to directors, writers, producers, and craftspeople, VIFF Talks draw from a finely curated group of key creatives. Whether they’re responsible for critically acclaimed films or groundbreaking TV series, they provide a treasure trove of information and inspiration for fellow creators, filmmakers, industry professionals, and, of course, fans of their work.

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Take a look back at the VIFF Talks of 2021

Creator Talk

British Columbia: An Untold History

British Columbia: An Untold History is an immersive four-part documentary series centered on retelling the history of British Columbia from a diverse and inclusive perspective by the people who lived it and those who have studied it. The project, commissioned by Knowledge Network, is led with a pluralistic and multi-narrative approach that highlights the history, the people, the rebels, and the dreamers that shaped this province. VIFF premiered Episode 1, followed by a talk with the creative team.

Creator Talk

In the Writers’ Room with Family Law

We’re thrilled to screen Episode 1 of Global TV’s Family Law from creator/showrunner Susin Nielsen. The show follows a lawyer and recovering alcoholic struggling to put her career and family back together after hitting rock bottom. The result is a dysfunctional family law firm helping other families with their own dysfunctions. After the screening, the show’s writing team talk about their roles, breaking stories, and blending character drama and procedural elements to create a satisfying episode.

Creator Talk

Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee

Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Flee tells the personal story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his husband-to-be. Through the animation of director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Amin tells the story of his journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. Jonas joins us to talk about how he blended animation and archive footage, blurred the line between documentary and narrative filmmaking styles, and his unique editing process.

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Creator Talk

Julie Cohen, My Name is Pauli Murray

We’re thrilled to host Oscar-nominated filmmaker Julie Cohen to talk about her latest documentary, My Name is Pauli Murray that was co-directed by Betsy West. The film is about the trailblazing LGBTQ and civil rights activist Pauli Murray. Told largely in Pauli’s own words, the film is a candid recounting of her unique and extraordinary journey as a pioneering attorney, activist, priest, and dedicated memoirist who shaped landmark litigation—and consciousness—around race and gender equity.

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Creator Talk

Sierra Teller Ornelas, Rutherford Falls

Sierra Teller Ornelas is the co-creator/showrunner/executive producer of the Peacock show Rutherford Falls which, when it aired during the pandemic, made Sierra the first Native American showrunner in history. The series is a native-centered story with Native talent both in front of and behind the camera. Join us for a deep dive into Sierra’s process in creating a sitcom that breaks down Indigenous stereotypes through humor playing out on mainstream TV and running a writers’ room.

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Green Stars

Learn how B.C. film industry influencers are changing behaviours

A panel of insiders takes us into the world of production and how they’ve used their power and influence to make real change. They reveal and discuss the decision points and tools, including the new Reel Green™ Green Rider, that are empowering more people in the industry to take formal collaborative action. From studios and film commissions, to producers, stars, directors, and crew, the expectation is for every person to prioritize environmental choices across all aspects of production.

Directing Master Class with Craig Zobel

Mare of Easttown

Emmy-nominated director Craig Zobel has helmed multiple episodes of Westworld, The Leftovers, and American Gods, plus the feature films The Hunt and Z for Zachariah. Craig also directed the Emmy-nominated HBO crime drama Mare of Easttown.  We’re excited to hear from Craig about shaping the look and feel of a crime show that leaves room for the human drama, shooting emotional and technically daunting scenes, and working with DOP Ben Richardson on letting character guide the shot styles.

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The Green Knight

Production Design Masterclass with Jade Healy

Canadian award-winning production designer Jade Healy has created the look of some of our favourite films, including A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Marriage Story, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, A Ghost Story, Pete’s Dragon, Mississippi Grind, and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.  2021 sees her reunite with her frequent collaborator David Lowery on the visual masterpiece and epic fantasy adventure, The Green Knight. Come hear about Jade’s process in designing the look, feel, and shape of a fantasy realm.

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The Suicide Squad

Editing Masterclass with Fred Raskin

BAFTA-nominated editor Fred Raskin is best known for his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, Kill Bill, The Hateful Eight), Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious films), and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2). The Suicide Squad is Fred’s most recent collaboration with Gunn. Fred will talk about how the story takes its final shape in the editing room, collaborating with directors, his favourite scenes from The Suicide Squad, and his advice to emerging editors.

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