8 More VIFF 2014 Films That Are Not Yet On Your Radar

radar 2Written by the Vancouver International Film Festival

In celebration of the commencement of our 2014 festival, we have compiled another list of fascinating but underrated films that you may have missed while flipping through our program. Take a moment to watch a few trailers and browse the movie intros below, we promise you will find a film or two that will pique your interest!

The Boy and the World:
In this unique and enchanting animated film, the story starts with a young boy standing heartbroken as a train carries his father into the distance. The boy will eventually leave home as well, moving from the country to a towering metropolis in search of his dad. In his adventures, he’ll float on clouds of cotton, ride on ships with the beaks of birds and encounter a world ruled by black-clad oppressors.

Beautiful Youth:
A 20-year-old still living with her younger brother and single mom, Natalia is also pregnant with her boyfriend Carlos’ baby. With no job prospects on the horizon and a few hundred Euros on the table, Natalia and Carlos agree to appear in a porno.

Finding Fela:
Legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer and political dissident Fela Kuti is brought to life in this documentary from Oscar-winner Alex Gibney. Kuti’s raw charisma, many wives, mesmerizing musical performances and political aspirations and persecution have certainly been documented before, but director Gibney’s decision to fold in behind-the-scenes documentation of the 2009 Broadway musical Fela! makes this kaleidoscopic film as protean and rousing as Kuti himself was.

Free Fall:
When a senior throws herself from her rooftop, the suicide attempt fails to take. Consequently, she’s left to ignobly limp back to the life she was dying to escape. Her odyssey quickly assumes a phantasmagoric air, with each floor warped into a surreal showcase of bizarre spectacles such as a macabre gynecologist’s office, a dinner party frequented by well-heeled grotesques and a germaphobe’s hermetic sanctuary.
*Caution: Trailer below contains scenes that may be mildly disturbing to some viewers.

Li’l Quinqin:
When a dead cow stuffed with human remains is found in an abandoned WWII bunker, Captain van der Weyden is on the case. A Clouseau-like bumbler afflicted with a strange (and mesmerizingly funny) series of tics and twitches, van der Weyden, along with his assistant Carpentier, whose driving skills leave a lot to be desired, take two steps forward and three steps back as they hunt for the murderer. And all the while the dynamic duo must contend with recalcitrant villagers and mischievous interference courtesy of a pack of juvenile scoundrels led by the impish Quinquin.

Jungle School:
In this filmed based on the autobiography of Butet Manurung, Butet spents several years in the Bukit Dua Belas National Park helping tribal kids to become literate and numerate. She faces many challenges in her makeshift jungle school: her own misgivings about leaving behind a life of comfort in Jakarta, the arrogance and self-interest of her NGO boss, and the dangers from illegal loggers in the forest. Most of all, she also has to face the rivalries between the tribes who live in the jungle and the hostility of some to her influence on their kids. TICKETS.

Meat and Milk:
Given reactions to the recent expose of cruelty at a Fraser Valley diary farm, this revealing and unsentimental documentary of where cattle stand in our world forces us to witness the slaughterhouse but also revel in the glory of our land and the magnificent diversity of cowdom.
This documentary follows the Britpop stars Pulp, almost two decades (and 10-million record sales) after “Common People” and “Disco 2000” dominated the UK charts. In the film, the band returns to their unlikely industrial hometown of Sheffield to play one last gig. Rakish frontman Jarvis Cocker once again assumes the spotlight, delighting in adopting the guise of a doddering retiree, making a show of fixing a tire and feeding the ducks.

VIFF: Bringing Fashion Back to Vancouver

As the Host Hotel for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver is thrilled for this year’s festival. In honour of opening day, we pay our respects to all the amazing fashion that will be showcased at the opening night gala and in the films this year.
style in film wpWritten by the Vancouver International Film Festival

This year at the 33rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival, we will be bringing a series of fabulously stylish films to Vancouver. This series of films showcases fashion, style, and art that will for sure please the en vogue community of Vancouver.

VIFF is offering an exciting Style In Film Passport ($99). This passport gives you access to all six films and access the most fashion forward events happening during the festival. Events include:

  • September 27th – Series Launch: A memorable evening put on by Ecofashion Week. This special screening of Looking for Light: Jane Bown will include a panel on fashion and what you need to do to reach success as a stylist, model, photographer etc. in the industry.
  • October 3rd – Yves Saint Laurent red carpet: Get dressed up and strut your stuff down the red carpet. Enjoy a pre-screening panel dedicated to the life and impact of this famous brand, and its creator.
  • October 4th – Jason Matlo and Ecofashion Week pre-screening panel: A special panel dedicated to tackling the issue of  sustainability in fashion, and how handmade products can reduce industry impact.
  • October 5th – Red Carpet & Holt Renfrew VIP Party:  Dress up and lead with your self down the red carpet with your best foot forward. The first 100 pass holders are also invited to this exclusive Holt Renfrew VIP party.
  • October 10th – Closing Party/Jason Matlo Fashion Show: To close off the series, we are inviting the first 75 pass holders to join us at Jason Matlo’s 10th anniversary fashion show.

Dress up in your most glamorous attire and share your most fabulous selfie at the events for a chance to win a 2015 VIFF Festival pass & so much more! Come to a show, take a selfie, tag #VIFFStyle on Twitter and you could be doing VIFF 2015 in style!

Click here for passes: Style in Film

viff final

Full Film Screening Breakdown:
Advanced Style: A documentary that examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging.

Hand Made with Love in France: This film charts the work and gradual demise of French artisans’ workshops that are essential suppliers for haute couture fashion houses such as Dior and Chanel.

God Help The Girl: Eve’s a troubled young girl who also has a talent for singing and song-writing. Music leads her to Glasgow where she meets James and Cassie, two kindred spirits each at crossroads of their own. What follows is an uplifting and stylish pop musical filled with renaissance, friendship and romance over a long, dream-like summer.

The Two Faces of January: The film stars Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst as tourists who get to know a tour guide in Athens played by Oscar Isaac. All three are put in danger after an incident at the hotel, and the suspense builds from there.

In the Name of My Daughter: Inspired by the true case of Agnes Le Roux, a young, glamorous heiress, the film tells the story of her disappearance in the late 1970’s after becoming embroiled in a Mafia-backed plot to force her mother Renée to sell the family casino on the French Riviera.

Looking for Light: Jane Bown: This is a moving portrait of Jane Bown, a life-long photographer for the Observer newspaper who has photographed famous subjects like John Lennon and The Queen. The film examines her quiet determination working in an almost exclusively male world and how the sorrow of her early childhood influenced her unique photographic style.

Leftover Smoked Brisket? We’ve got a Wine for that!

bbq wineWritten by Peter Harlos, Sutton Place Wine Merchant

Barbera d’Alba might just be the world’s most perfect barbeque wine.

The other night, I made a pizza I thought I’d share with you. I was lucky enough to get my hands on some leftover brisket, from a previous days 13-hour smoke, that a friend did for a neighbourhood block party. Some fresh pizza dough, a home-made Kansas City style BBQ sauce, caramelized onions and diced roasted yellow peppers came together on the grill with the chopped up brisket to make one of the best pizzas I’ve made all summer.

What the heck do you pair with that?

Well you’ve really got a lot of options, but to me, one of the best is a well-made Italian Barbera, and Pio Cesare does a fantastic job. A classic Barbera is medium bodied, has a little bit higher acidity and a little bit lighter tannin. A well-crafted Barbera d’Alba, such as Pio Cesare’s, has all of this plus an intense soft rich black fruit flavour that playfully mingles on the palate with the sweet peppers, spicy sauce and smoky meat.

It’s a delicious and refreshing quaff between bites of what would otherwise quickly tire the taste buds. And when you’re done chowing down on your favourite sauced-up, pizza, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, or ribs, there is more than enough luscious complexity to keep you coming back for more.

Truly an Italian classic for our modern times.

Join the Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Saturday, September 20 from 4:30pm-6:30pm for an Italian themed wine tasting.

Can’t make it on the 20th? Celebrate September at the Sutton Place Wine Merchant with fantastic wine tastings.

Click here for full schedule.

Savour a “BLOOD ALLEY” at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Provoke_BLVD_BloodAlley1For renowned mixologist Justin Taylor, who serves as Bar Manager at the newly opened Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar at The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, nothing beats the true spirit of a cocktail. His philosophy, which is also his reality, is to tell a story with each and every glass.

With that said, ‘Blood Alley’, a cocktail that is sure to tantalize your taste buds is more than just a fresh summer drink.

Named after the famous alley in Gastown , this is a melting pot of flavour and excitement. It is rich with spice and smoky elements, yet remains on the light and refreshing side. Its vibrant colour, speckled with black peppercorns, is stunning to the eye and its beauty is confirmed with each delicious sip.

Boston shaker
Hawthorne strainer
Fine mesh strainer


1.5 oz Los Siete Misterios Doba Yej Mezcal
0.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower
0.5 oz lime juice
3 whole strawberries
10 black peppercorns
0.25 oz Venturi-Schulze balsamic vinegar
House bubbly

Chilled coupe glass
Muddle strawberries and peppercorns
Add remaining ingredients minus bubbly to shaker
Add ice and shake for 15 seconds
Double strain to coupe glass
Top with house bubbly

Peppered strawberry


Be Treated Like a Star at the Vancouver International Film Festival

celebrity_67202458Fledgling filmmakers practice their craft far from the glitter of Hollywood. In backyards, in small studios, or on local sets, they transform their vision into a film that they hope will one day be seen by thousands or even millions of people around the world. What they may lack in budget and star power they more than make up for in raw ambition.

Independent filmmakers might remain forever in obscurity were it not for film festivals. These annual events, where films are screened and professionally judged, are held around the world. At film festivals, cinema fans can see the new — and sometimes daring — films they would never be able to find in their local movie theaters.

Film festivals give new talent an opportunity to shine, while also showcasing the work of already well-known and respected filmmakers. Festivals can range from huge, star-studded events, such as the Cannes festival in France or the Sundance Film Festival in the United States, to small, independent, local awards that garner just a few hundred attendees. But all festivals have something in common: They celebrate the art of film and they champion the artists who produce it.

You no longer need to read Vogue or watch Entertainment Tonight to learn how to emanate a celebrity. You simply need to attend the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). From September 26 until October 11, VIFF will do three things that make their festival unique: screen the largest selection of East Asian films outside of that region, has one of the biggest showcases of Canadian film in the world, and has a large and important nonfiction program.

As the host hotel for the festival, The Sutton Place Hotels has created a star-studded VIFF package for one lucky Facebook follower and their guest which includes round-trip airfare for two, airport pick-up and drop-off, tickets to VIFF’s opening night including movie and gala, and breakfast the next day. Visit The Sutton Place Hotels’ Facebook Page, ‘Like’ the page, ‘Share’ the VIFF posts, and you will automatically be entered to win a celebrity package.


Why We Can’t Wear White After Labour Day

white after labour day 6The post–Labour Day moratorium on white clothing and accessories has long ranked among etiquette hard-liners’ most sacred rules. For instance, as punishment for breaking it in the 1994 movie Serial Mom, Patty Hearst’s character was murdered by a punctilious psychopath. But ask your average etiquette expert how that rule came to be, and chances are that even she couldn’t explain it. So why aren’t we supposed to wear white after Labour Day?

white after labour day 3One common explanation is practical. For centuries, wearing white in the summer was simply a way to stay cool — like changing your dinner menu or putting slipcovers on the furniture. Not only was there no air-conditioning, but people did not go around in t-shirts and halter tops. They wore what we would now consider fairly formal clothes. And white is of a lighter weight.

But beating the heat became fashionable in the early to mid-20th century. All the magazines and tastemakers were centred in big cities, usually in northern climates that had seasons. In the hot summer months, white clothing kept New York fashion editors cool. But facing, say, heavy fall rain, they might not have been inclined to risk sullying white ensembles with mud — and that sensibility was reflected in the glossy pages of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, which set the tone for the country.

This is all sound logic, but that’s exactly why it may be wrong. Very rarely is there actually a functional reason for a fashion rule.

white after labour day 4Instead, other historians speculate, the origin of the no-white-after–Labour Day rule may be symbolic. In the early 20th century, white was the uniform of choice for Americans well-to-do enough to decamp from their city digs to warmer climes for months at a time: light summer clothing provided a pleasing contrast to drabber urban life. If you look at any photograph of any city in America in the 1930s, you’ll see people in dark clothes. By contrast, the white linen suits and Panama hats at snooty resorts were “a look of leisure.”

Labour Day, celebrated on the first Monday of September, marked the traditional end of summer; the well-heeled vacationers would stow their summer duds and dust off their heavier, darker-coloured fall clothing.

white after labour day 7By the 1950s, as the middle class expanded, the custom had calcified into a hard-and-fast rule. Along with a slew of commands about salad plates and fish forks, the no-whites dictum provided old-money élites with a bulwark against the upwardly mobile. But such mores were propagated by aspirants too: those savvy enough to learn all the rules increased their odds of earning a ticket into polite society.

Some etiquette buffs don’t buy this explanation, however. There are always people who want to attribute everything in etiquette to snobbery. There were many little rules that people did dream up in order to annoy those from whom they wished to disassociate themselves.

Coco ChanelWhatever its origin, the Labour Day rule is perennially met with resistance from high-fashion quarters. As far back as the 1920s, Coco Chanel made white a year-round staple. It was a permanent part of her wardrobe. Fashion rules are meant to be broken by those who can pull it off, and white looks really fresh when people aren’t expecting it.

Much to the chagrin of sartorial purists, that skepticism of the Labour Day law has seeped into mainstream America. From 1960s counterculture to the present day — white after labour day 2where would-be fashionistas get as many ideas from blogs and friends as from magazines and Fashion Week — more people than ever are breaking the rule. Even the 2004 manners bible, Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition, gives the go-ahead for wearing white after Labour Day.

No matter what side of the fence you sit on, it doesn’t seem proper for The Sutton Place Hotels to decide whether white can be worn after Labour Day. But… Coco Chanel famously wore white whenever she wanted, so why shouldn’t we?

The Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton Gets Shopper Savvy

Like all of our Sutton Place Hotels, our Edmonton hotel is ideally situated to create a host of conveniences for our guests. Set directly in the center of the city, just a stone’s throw away Sir Winston Churchill Square and the bustling downtown Edmonton Arts & Entertainment District, it’s guaranteed that on any given day of the week, you’ll be entreated to an endless volume of metropolitan sights and sounds during your stay.

Even if you’re just stopping in for a short visit, we are connected by an indoor pedway to the Edmonton City Centre Mall, making shopping literally easier than walking out the front door.

Which brings us to the biggest new benefit about being set in the centre of the city: following suit after The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver’s successful program launch, our Edmonton location now has its very own Sutton Shopper Program.

Offering up to 40% off selected retailers at City Centre Mall, the popular guest program is perfect for everyone from guests who are picking up presents for home to visitors who need a little relaxing retail therapy.

Hailed as downtown Edmonton’s most popular mall, City Centre features everything high-end designer fashion to convenient everyday retail needs.

Just in time for the coming winter, we’re guessing there will be plenty of reason to stay indoors this season – which is good because shopping outdoors in 4 inch stilettos during minus 30 temperatures can be pretty difficult.

To see featured retailers and to find out more information about our program, click here.

The Sutton Place Hits the Road with the Luxury & Supercar Weekend – Shaughnessy Concours d’ Elegance

Though Vancouver is famed for the beauty of its nature, lush outdoor scenery and irreplaceable West Coast sea breeze, it does also celebrate the splendor of more ‘material/mehanical’ pursuits as well.

Take a drive down Robson Street, through Coal Harbour or Yaletown, and you’ll likely find several steely gems, ranging from Mercedes convertibles to top of the line Ferraris and Lamborghinis.  

While you can hunt through affluent neighborhoods for a peek at the ultimate driving fantasy, one stop at the Luxury & Supercar – Shaughnessy Concours d’Elegance guarantees that you’ll hit the mother lode all in one go – which is exactly what thousands of excited car enthusiasts did this past weekend.

Held at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden, this year’s showcase featured the largest and most valuable collection of supercars and luxury brands to date. Always happy to be part of Vancouver’s social scene, our very own Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver was also there to take part in all the fun with our very own custom luxury chalet.

Under a canopy of lush garden beauty, we offered all event goers a relaxing atmosphere to lounge in, complete with cosy couches, floral displays, cucumber water and delicious deserts all exclusively made by our Executive Chef, Michael Deutsch.


Raspberry Shortcake & Peanut Butter Crunch


For the two-day event, our chalet was jam packed with car aficionados who were able to see remarkable collections such as the ‘50 Years of Bond Cars’ selection (which featured every single car from all of the bond movies … ever!) and the more nostalgic ‘20s and ’30s inspired ‘Great Gatsby’ collection. There were also several Canadian cars on display too, most notably the HTT Pléthore, a highly anticipated Canadian-built luxury car that oozes high-end appeal.Everyone was also able to preview new 2013 models and classic collectibles from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Alfa Romeo, Fisker, Tesla, Spyker, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln and Bugatti.

Though cars were the stars, onlookers looking for a bit of diversity were not disappointed. The event also featured modern and classic motorcycles, luxury boats, private jet helicopters and Vancouver’s largest outdoor designer fashion stage too. Exceptional designer outfits were seen by Blumarine, Etro, Gianni Brun, Giambattista Valli, Issey Miyake, John Varvatos, M & FGirbaud, MaxMara, Missoni, Moncler, Neil Barrett, Pal Zileri, Thomas Wyle, Valentino, Jacqueline Conoir, JAC and Malene Grotrian.

For every minute of the excitement, our friendly staff were on hand to meet and greet all the event participants – many of whom shared with us fond memories and experiences our hotel. Everyone who stopped by was also encouraged to enter our ‘Luxury Package’ giveaway which includes a luxury one-night stay at The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, our famous ‘Lobster, Beef & Chocolate’ dinner, and a delicious full breakfast the next morning.

A tremendously successful affair, we’re glad that Vancouverites now have a fun luxury car event to call their own, and if you don’t believe all the hype, then simply look at our photos below. They say it all.

Luxury & Supercar Weekend – Shaughnessy Concours d’Elegance


The Sutton Place Hotel Company’s luxury chalet in the VIP area.


This is a preview of our luxury chalet in the VIP area in one of Vancouver’s classiest event, Luxury & Supercar Weekend – Shaughnessy Concours d’Elegance. We simply cannot wait for everyone to see what is behind that curtain but it is nothing less than luxurious.


Debuting high-end fashion, elegant lifestyle, and of course, luxury cars, this event is definitely going to be magnificent!

We will be tweeting live for all the event’s updates and coverage this weekend, so be sure to follow us on twitter @SuttonPlaceHtl.


A Day in the Life of The Sutton Place Hotel Concierge

At Sutton, we are renowned for our extraordinary customer service and attention to detail. That’s because we’ll always treat you royally. It’s a standard that we are consistently praised for by patrons and press alike.

 However, if there is one person among our staff who really knows the ins and outs giving guests that ‘personal touch’ it’s our veteran concierge expert, Geoffrey Argue. With over 26 years of dedicated experience towards helping people find everything from the best suit tailor in the city to live chickens for film shooting, Geoffrey has seen and done it all.

 We sat down with this seasoned pro recently and got the inside scoop on what his job as The Sutton Place Vancouver Concierge entails, and believe us, it’s impressive! Below are the excerpts from our entertaining discussion.

 1)      How would you describe the role of a concierge?

Part-time Caretaker, Counselor, Confidant, Friend, Shopper, Critic, Tech Guru, Social Planner, Travel Agent, and anything else that you can think of as long as it is not illegal or unethical.

2)      What gives you the most satisfaction?

Fulfilling all of the above roles in question 1. Also, having the guests come back and thank you and tell you that you and the hotel made their stay a special one in Vancouver.

3)      What is the toughest question/request were you able to deliver on?

It is so hard to narrow this down with over twenty years of requests, but here are a few:

During 9/11 and with no air traffic, a very famous Hollywood actress who was staying with us had to get her break milk to feed her new born baby who was back in Beverly Hills. We were able to secure a car with two drivers to get the breast milk to her baby and all within 20 hours… she was very pleased!

We were also asked if we could find live chickens for a very panicky movie set because they had forgotten to secure some for the movie they were filming! Thanks to our Mayor and his  bylaw that allows chicken coups in backyards, we were able to obtain some within an hour!

Another time, one of our guests who was smoking a very rare Indonesian cigarette had requested that we locate some for him, which can be virtually impossible to find in the city. We contacted the Indonesian Consulate and by luck, one of their staff members had just returned from Indonesia and had smoked the same cigarettes there! This fellow was very kind and was willing to spare a package of cigarettes for us to give to the guest. The end result was a very ecstatic and of course impressed guest!

4)      How long have you been at your current hotel?

I am coming up to my 26th year and I still enjoy each and every day!

 5)      What makes a great concierge?

Patience. Personability. Knowledge. Organization. Empathy.

6)      What is it like to work for The Sutton Place Hotel?

The company and hotel provide a very challenging and rewarding career within the hospitality industry.  At The Sutton Place Hotel, we work as a large family and we treat each other with fairness and respect.

I have been with the hotel for 26 years which is a testament in itself to what a great a place it is to work.

Chef Concierge Geoff Argue accepting the “Birk’s Silver Service Award”.