The 22nd annual Victoria Film Festival, the largest showcase of independent films on Vancouver Island, run from Feb. 5-14, 2016.

The festival will feature screenings of more than 150 films from around the world, and host a variety of great events such as street parties and short film tours, conversations with industry leaders and cocktail and film pairings.

“With the kick-off of another fantastic festival year, we’re proud to screen films from Victoria, British Columbia and around the world. It’s great to screen films from the thriving Vancouver Island film community at the Victoria Film Festival – Vancouver Island’s largest film festival,” writes Kathy Kay, director of Victoria Film Festival.

Of special note are hometown premieres of two films by British Columbians, including When Elephants Were Young. Written and directed by Victoria’s Patricia Sims – a moving documentary about the relationship between elephants and their guardians in Thailand. Watch trailer:

…and The Devout, a debut full-length feature exploring religious beliefs and reincarnation, by Victoria’s Connor Gaston. Watch trailer:

The festival will also celebrate the 25th Anniversary of CineVic Society of Filmmakers, presenting a retrospective showcase of short films made by CineVic’s award-winning members over the past quarter-century, from celluloid to videotape to HD to 4K.

B.C.’s dynamic creative sector was recently profiled in the BC Jobs Plan 4-Year update, recognizing it as an industry that shows great potential helping to further diversify B.C.’s economy.

The jobs plan was developed in September 2011 to build on the strengths of our province’s most competitive sectors utilizing our educated and skilled workforce to help keep B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing.

Film and television production in B.C. is booming; last year alone saw 136 tax credit certifications issued under the Film Incentive BC program. In addition, British Columbia saw $2 billion in production spending by film and television producers based on tax credit certification in fiscal 2014-15.

The creative sector represents a remarkable opportunity for British Columbia to succeed on the global stage, and to participate in a rapidly growing knowledge-based industry. The province has a number of advantages, including a talented workforce, world-class infrastructure and competitive tax credits, as well as diverse, spectacular locations.