With all the hype and star power of the Toronto International Film Festival, it's easy to forget about other great film festivals around the country.
The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) opens today, showcasing 380 films from 75 countries. About 100 of those films are documentaries.
Organizers say there isn't a lot of emphasis on Hollywood. Instead, the festival is meant to reflect Vancouver - outward looking, multicultural, and socially conscious.
Critically acclaimed director Deepa Mehta kicks off the event with her new film 'Midnight's Children', a story set in India in the years after it gained independence.
The film is based on the book by Salman Rushdie, which won the Booker Prize. In fact, Rushdie collaborated closely with her on the project.
Mehta has been a hit at the Vancouver festival before, with films such as 'Water' and 'Bollywood/Hollywood'.
Another highlight of the festival is the Canadian Images series. It includes an award for the Best Canadian Feature Film, which comes with a $10,000 prize. It will be announced at the closing gala October 12th.
'Rebelle', a feature directed by Kim Nguyen of Montreal is among the 12 films on the short list for the award. It's the story of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Canada's entry for best foreign-language Oscar this year.
Also playing at the festival is 'Antiviral', the debut feature by director Brandon Cronenberg (son of David) and the winner of best debut Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival. He'll be on the show this season.
And next week, we've got Xavier Dolan in the red chair. His new film 'Laurence Anyways', about a love that transcends a sex change operation, is also showing at VIFF. The star Suzanne Clément won best actress for it at the Cannes Film Festival.
Music is another big theme at VIFF. A few films to watch for include Andy Keen's documentary about The Tragically Hip. Organizers say it's a concert film yet it reveals quite a bit about the band and the people of Bobcaygeon.
Another musical film is 'My Father and The Man in Black,' a first person documentary by Jonathan Holiff. In the film, he traces the story of his estranged dad's suicide, who was also Johnny Cash's original and longtime manager.
And there's 'I Am Not A Rock Star.' It's about a young woman named Marika Bournaki who starts playing major piano recitals at the age of 12 and keeps it up for eight years, only to question herself as she gets older and more accomplished.
Bournaki will be at the festival as a special guest.
Another highlight is The Dragons & Tigers series - the largest annual exhibition of East Asian films outside of Asia. This year, it opens with Chinese director Lou Ye's 'Mystery', a romantic story set in China's middle-class that turns violent.
There are also films from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. And there's the Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema. It goes to to a new director from East Asia and it includes $5,000.
There are also a number of films that have won prizes at major festivals this year, including director Michael Haneke's 'Amour', which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
To close things out, the festival is showing 'Holy Motors', by French director Leos Carax. It's about a man who wakes up as one character, but over the course of the day becomes 11 different characters.
The festival also brings together script writers, directors and industry insiders to talk about professional development and pitch sessions.