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Chilliwack Independent Film Festival once again recognized on international level

Festival named to MovieMaker Magazine’s 2023 list of ‘50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee’
The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival has been named to MovieMaker Magazine’s 2023 list of ‘50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.’

For the second time in less than five years, a Fraser Valley film festival has been recognized on an international level.

The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (CIFF), started by Taras Groves in 2017, has been named to MovieMaker Magazine’s annual list of ‘50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.’

Groves said in a social media post he was “thrilled” CIFF made the list and added that MovieMaker is one of the “biggest and best voices in independent film.”

CIFF was one of the smallest festivals on the list, but it stood out for its “creative use of its gorgeous setting amongst lakes and parks,” MovieMaker editor Tim Molloy stated.

MovieMaker, a film magazine and website based in Los Angeles, compiles the list based on surveys, filmmaker testimonials, and visits to festivals, among other factors. Key considerations include how much assistance a festival provides to traveling filmmakers; recent premieres at the festival; opportunities to meet distributors, fans, fellow filmmakers and press; and whether festivals are Academy-qualifying.

“With the film world in a state of constant change in recent years, festivals are more important than ever to help audiences and distributors ind new films, and to remind all of us why we devote so much of our lives to making and loving movies,” Molloy said. “The festivals on this list work incredibly hard to make it feel effortless.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack Independent Film Festival rated one of the best in the world (Dec. 21, 2018)

“(MovieMaker Magazine’s) annual list celebrates festivals that serve moviemakers and audiences in some of the best destinations in the world,” Groves said. “The 2023 edition features some incredible festivals and we’re beyond honoured to be included amongst such great company.”

Molloy noted several other reasons why CIFF made the list.

“In addition to the usual mixers, parties and industry events, you can also join free brewery tours, river rafting excursions and hiking trips. Other opportunities include opening night trivia, podcast recordings, and panels that are recorded for filmmakers to share widely. The Canadian distributor Raven Banner offered a panel last year on selling your feature film, and conducted pitch sessions. Additionally, the festival offers small cash prizes to all winners and a $50,000 in-kind ARRI camera package to help one standout filmmaker turn a script into a short film. (That short opens the following year’s festival.) The festival also connects attendees with Overstory Media, a regional news group with a readership of about a million.”

CIFF’s most recent event took place Nov. 18 to 20 at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas in Chilliwack where 65 films were screened during the 6th annual event.

Even through the pandemic, the festival continued (virtually) and has grown over the years. The number of films offered last year more than doubled since the inaugural event in 2017 where 29 films were screened.

“To all of the volunteers, sponsors and people that make CIFF possible, thank you. And thank you to all of the filmmakers that share their stories and make the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival the home of independent film in B.C.,” Groves said.


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Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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