The Found Footage Festival brings its obscure brand of entertainment to Vancouver, showcasing quirky videos that have been salvaged from garage sales, thrift stores, and other repositories for secondhand VHS tapes.  

Founded in New York in 2004, the festival makes its Vancouver appearance at the Rio Theatre on Nov. 13, featuring video dating entries, a how-to for ventriloquism and Jazzercise, to name a few. 

"Pretty much anything we find funny, no matter how outrageous or dumb, we will screen," said Nick Prueher, one of the show's curators.


Both comedy writers, Prueher and fellow curator Joe Pickett host each show, providing a guided tour of their latest VHS finds on the road. 

"We look for stuff that was never meant to be screened in public," Prueher told CBC's On the Coast host, Stephen Quinn.

"Things like training videos and home movies, and if you bought a beard trimmer in 1989 [and] it came with a video on how to use it, you know we want to watch that."

Prueher said the Vancouver show features a dozen videos from the 80s addressing the scourge of Satanism, along with farming themed exercise videos and 20 years of unseen news bloopers. 


The pair consider themselves cultural anthropologists, digging through bargain bins to resurrect nearly 10,000 tapes that would have otherwise been lost to the ages.  

The VHS scavengers even employ private investigators to track down some of the subjects of their featured films, so that they can provide updates on those videos that leave viewers with more questions than answers. 

"A lot of the videos in the show do that, and to us you know they're funny, but it's also like a little human interest segment you can do, cause everything's got a story to it," said Prueher.


With files from On the Coast

Cory Correia