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Chilliwack Independent Film Festival returns after being postponed due to flooding

Festival is back in-person and online with 40-plus films, including many by Fraser Valley filmmakers
The world premiere of Chilliwack feature film ‘What Might Have Been Lost’ by local filmmaker Brendan Taylor is on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 6.30 p.m. (What Might Have Been Lost)

The fifth annual Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (CIFF) will bring more than 40 films to movie-goers next weekend, all while raising funds for flood victims.

CIFF was scheduled to run in November, but it got postponed due to the Fraser Valley flooding.

“We’re super excited to bring the fifth edition of the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival back this January,” said founder Taras Groves. “After a difficult 18 months with COVID impacting preparations, then having to postpone the week of due to the severe flooding, it’s been a long road but we’re thrilled to celebrate the arts in our community again.”

CIFF is both an in-person and virtual event this year.

Films run from Jan. 14 to 16 at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas. There are 40-plus films curated over 10 screening blocks. Tickets are $9.99 per screening block.

The virtual festival goes from Jan. 17 to 30 and the price is $9.99 for all films.

“With 40-plus films from across the world, including many from the Fraser Valley and even a Chilliwack feature film, there’s hopefully something for everyone,” Groves said.

This year’s CIFF is also a fundraiser.

“Many of our friends and loved ones were impacted by the flooding too, so we’ve decided that 50 per cent of all ticket sales will be going to those directly impacted by the flooding, as we try and help make a small difference to our community.”

RELATED: Chilliwack Independent Film Festival rated one of the best in the world

Some highlights of this year’s festival:

• There is a Fraser Valley Film Block opening the festival with films/documentaries from the valley at 7 p.m. on Jan. 14. This includes a short film from Abbotsford called When We Were Kids and a documentary on Indigenous artist Hosumdas.

• The world premiere of Chilliwack feature film What Might Have Been Lost by local filmmaker Brendan Taylor is on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 6.30 p.m.

• Films about diversity and voices return this year, including feature documentary Returning Home (Jan. 15 at 4 p.m.) about residential schools and orange shirt founder Phyllis Webstead.

• There will be a livestream panel on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. about “Diversity in the B.C. Film Industry” with some big filmmakers whose credits include Man In The High Castle and Altered Carbon.

• On Sunday, Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m. there’s a special screening of Come True with the director coming to do a talk after. This film was in a lot of top lists for 2021 and is a million-dollar movie.

To buy tickets, see the film schedule or for more info, go to

The in-person event at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas will be at 50 per cent capacity due to the pandemic. The sixth annual CIFF is scheduled for November 2022.


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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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