May 18, 2022 – The Vaughan International Film Festival (VFF) kicked off its tenth season with a Spring Launch yesterday evening at The Studios at Assembly Park. Hosted by Breakfast Television host Stephanie Henry, the event marked the beginning of the festival’s celebrations with several exciting announcements, including the film award nominees, individual achievement awards, and the three recipients of VFF’s $1000 scholarship grants. In addition to members of the GTA community, Ward 4 Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco also showed her support of the arts by speaking at the event. “Ten years later and we have grown to such an incredible, world-recognized film festival,” said Sandra Yeung Racco, Ward 4 Councillor for the City of Vaughan. “It really proves to you that, whatever dream you have, you can go for it and nobody can stop you if you are passionate about it. This is such a great platform, especially for young filmmakers and film lovers, to be here and be inspired by what VFF has done.”Running Monday, June 20th to Thursday, June 23rd, VFF’s milestone festival will feature two nights of international film blocks. Screening at Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan, the lineups will be composed of 16 films from 10 different countries, including France, Pakistan, Greece, Italy, and Estonia. Both nights will conclude with a networking afterparty at Chop Steakhouse & Bar.On the closing night of the festival, the VFF Awards will take place at the Terrace Banquet Centre. VFF announced that their first-ever Awards host–TV and radio personality Rick Campanelli– will be returning for this year’s Awards show. Rick previously hosted the first four VFF Awards, from 2013 to 2016.In honour of the festival’s special year, VFF announced a brand-new award that will be presented this year: the Decennium Award. This award will be given to the festival’s best film from the past decade. Short-listed films include Shawn Christensen’s Oscar-winning film Curfew and last year’s After Class, written and directed by Charles Xiuzhi Dong. The list will be narrowed down to 5 nominees which will be presented at this year’s VFF Awards.Nominations for five other film categories were also revealed at the Spring Launch. VFF’s 2022 nominees are:Best Cinematography: Khalid Mohtaseb, Censor of DreamsAli Lavarimonfared, DribbleAlberto Balazs, SandstormBest Actor:Damian Bonnard, Censor of DreamsMehdi Mokarian, DribbleChristian Petaroscia, Inverno (Timo’s Winter)Giulio Beranek, Inverno (Timo’s Winter)Best Actress: Allie Dunbar, The BubbleParizae Fatima, SandstormAna Villa, DistanciasBest Director:Beth Evans, The BubbleGiulio Mastromauro, Inverno (Timo’s Winter)Seemab Gul, SandstormBest Film: The Bubble (Canada)Sandstorm (Pakistan)Distancias (Spain)VFF’s 2022 industry recognition recipients exemplify how passion and creativity can lead to an acclaimed career in the industry. The Sandra Piccolo Trailblazer Award will be given to Hollywood audio professional and 2-time Emmy-winner Frank Morrone, while the Independent Leadership Award will be given to internationally renowned Canadian actress, Kim Roberts. They will be bestowed these recognitions on the VFF awards night. This year’s recipients of VFF’s $1000 scholarships include Kyle Yu and Vickie Shie from Alexander Mackenzie High School and Marc Nadon from Notre Dame College School. VFF’s 2022 student film judging panel was composed of various members and colleagues of the Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance (EIPMA), a US-based organization that strives to foster emerging talent. Some of these judges included versatile Sound Supervisor and President of EIPMA Bernard Weiser (Ted Lasso, The Hurt Locker), Oscar-winning Sound Designer and UCLA Graduate School Educator Cecelia Hall (Top Gun, Hunt for Red October), and Picture Editor and Documentary Producer Sharidan Sotelo (Mr. Robot, Breaking Bad).The judging panel’s selection for Best Student Film will be announced at VFF’s Student Screening Block on Tuesday, June 21, taking place at YCDSB Centre for the Arts, located at St. Elizabeth Catholic High School. The lineup will spotlight 16 films from 10 different high schools across the GTA. The winning student will receive a $2,000 bursary towards their school’s arts program.VFF also announced that their Inspiring Future Filmmakers seminar series will be returning to an in-person format during the month of September. Further details will be revealed in the coming months.

About VFFThe Vaughan International Film Festival, based in a neighbouring city of Toronto, is a not-for-profit organization highly invested in securing the future of the short film industry. Through public film screenings, scholarship opportunities as well as engaging and informative panels, webinars, and industry events, VFF strives to support both experienced and aspiring filmmakers.Now in its 10th edition, the festival continues to offer a platform for independent creators to share their films and further excel within the industry. Between the festival week, promotional events and unique screenings, filmmakers have the opportunity to reach an audience of over 19,000 people.