VTIFF Hits Burlington This Week

On October 16-20 the Vermont International Film Festival will take place in Burlington. The festival will feature nearly 100 films and the theme will be “Images and Issues of Global Concern”.

The film festival is one of the longest running venues in North America focusing on showcasing socially conscious films. For over 18 years, VIFF has provided a forum for films dealing with issues of War and Peace, Justice and Human Rights, and the Environment.

Awards are given in three categories: War & Peace, Justice & Human Rights, and the Environment. A Best of Festival Award is presented to the one film which the Judges deem the most successful on all its merits. The George and Sonia Cullinen Heart of the Festival Award is given to the film which best exemplifies the spirit of the festival.

The Vermont International Film Foundation (VIFF) was founded in 1985 by two longtime peace and social justice activists, George and Sonia Cullinen of Wilmington. The inspiration for the Foundation came from the success of the Cullinens’ 1981 film, From Washington to Moscow, which documented the Walk for Peace between the two rural Vermont towns. The film won the UNESCO prize at the 1983 Hiroshima International Film Festival in Japan and taught the Cullinens that film and video could motivate people to become involved in their own communities and elsewhere in the world.

The Vermont International Film Festival grew out of this vision- the challenge to work for peace, justice, and human rights, and to become involved in a global effort to preserve and to enrich life on the planet. The Festival continues to carry this mission.

The first Vermont International Film Festival was held in 1985 at Marlboro College. About one hundred people attended the inaugural event. Since then, VIFF has produced 12 festivals, introducing diverse and important works to our audience.

Past festivals have included such Academy Award and Cannes Film Festival prizewinners as Latcho Drom, Mindwalk, Deadly Deception, and Defending Our Lives. Over the years since the first festival, the Vermont International Film Festival has become the premier documentary film and video festival in the region. Receiving worldwide recognition, the Foundation was honored in 1990 as Sister Festival to the Hiroshima International Film and Video Festival. The Journal of the International Documentary Association called the Festival “the best kept secret in America” in 1995.

It remains the mission of the Foundation to recognize the need to provide an alternative forum for media that deals with issues of social and environmental justice and responsibility. In a time when not only Hollywood but also venues such as the Public Broadcasting System become increasingly opposed to screening any politically progressive or challenging material, the uniqueness of the Festival needs to be strongly maintained

Danny glover is scheduled to appear at the film festival on Monday, October 20. He will be there to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the Haitian Revolution. Glover, actor, and the Board Chair of TransAfrica Forum and Ambassador at Large for Curising into History. He will appear at the Lorraine G. Good Room at the Firehouse.

Also scheduled to appear is Howard Zinn who will be at the festival with the premier of the documentary You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. This

The films will be shown at The Roxym the Firehouse, the Contois Auditorium, and the VIFF Office.

Ticket Information: Gold Pass- $75 gets you into all films except the Howrd Zinn screening and gets you 20% off at Border’s Book and Music. Silver Pass- $35 same as gold pass except the discount is 15% at Border’s. Contois screenings- $7/$4 for students and seniors. Roxy Films- $10/$7. Vermont Filmmakers’ Showcase- $5/$3. “You can’t Stay Neutral on a Moving Train”- $12/$18. Advance silver and gold passes can be purchased a week in advance of the festival. Tickets and passes can be purchased at Contois auditorium during thr festival 30 minutes before the first screening until 9:15 pm. See www.VTIFF.org for schedule of films.