Public Enemy’s Chuck D headlines this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival

The hip hop icon will dissect “Fight the Power” in honour of the 30th anniversary of Spike Lee’s "Do The Right Thing"

Vancouver International Film Festival released this year’s lineup and it includes a live appearance from hip hop icon Chuck D.

The Public Enemy founder will dissect “Fight the Power” during a live edition of the Song Exploder podcast. The song was specially commissioned for Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

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The appearance is part of the festival’s expanded VIFF Live program, which this year also includes a live episode of Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington’s series On Cinema at the Cinema Live!

“VIFF Live has created a platform to push the boundaries of festival programming, exploring how a multitude of artistic genres intersect with cinema to create unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences for VIFF audiences,” said VIFF programmer and curator Ken Tsui.

“Having seen the success of live events over the last number of years, we are excited to expand our program from two to six events this year, exploring music, comedy, podcasting and cultural commentary.”

VIFF Live will also include:

  • Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin playing the keyboard-heavy score from Dario Argento’s 1975 horror classic Deep Red (Oct. 3, Rio Theatre).
  • A live performance of the score from This is Spinal Tap, led by Louise Burns with some of Vancouver’s leading musicians including Jody Glenham (Jody Glenham and the Dreamers), Catherine Hiltz (bassist, Tegan & Sara, Hot Panda), Ayla Tesler-Mabe (guitar, Calpurnia, Ludic) and Adam Fink (drummer, ACTORS) playing the soundtrack as the ever-quotable cult classic plays (Sept. 29, Rio Theatre).
  • Feminist Live Reads presents Some Like It Hot. Led by filmmaker and critic Chandler Levack, Feminist Live Reads are dedicated to pointing out the disparity of roles available to women onscreen. The all-female cast will play men, who are playing women, to bring Billy Wilder’s classic comedy, which is celebrating 60 years, to life (Oct. 1, Rio Theatre).
  • Pop-Up Magazine, the acclaimed touring “live magazine” show, will make its first ever stop in Vancouver for VIFF. The show features multimedia stories accompanied by illustration, animation, photography and an original score performed onstage by Magik Orchestra (Sept. 28, location TBA).

On Cinema at the Cinema Live! Is on Oct. 6 and Song Exploder Live with Chuck D is on Oct. 7 both at Vancouver Playhouse.

“Or aim for this year’s program is not only to connect with diverse audiences and communities but also to represent how film and live events reflect contemporary cultural shifts,” Tsui said. “We’re proud to share performances that are thoughtfully curated to represent a current moment in time, events that will spark conversation, challenge perceptions, and demonstrate how film, music and performance are powerful activists for social issues.”

Tickets for all the VIFF Live events are available online at, except Pop-Up Magazine, which will go on sale Aug. 20.

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