Search VIFF Films

UK, France, Germany, Afghanistan

(Syngué sabour)
Cinema of Our Time

Holding vigil at her husband’s side, a devoted Muslim (famous Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani) discovers unexpected empowerment. As she expresses her frustrations and desires, new possibilities present themselves in her war-torn city. Atiq Rahimi’s adaptation of his novel proves a "poetic and politically charged allegory."—Screen. Winner, Best Actress, Abu Dhabi 2012.

Islamic World, Literary (inc. Adaptations), War & Espionage

Argentina

Cinema of Our Time

Fresh from a psychiatric hospital, Liso tries to fit in and fails. Whether puttering about on his scooter or visiting with a girlfriend, no connection. Santiago Loza uses a laconic camera to keep us at Liso’s side and, with every scene, the mystery deepens… Winner, Best Argentine Film, Buenos Aires 2013.

Drama

Australia

International Shorts

A poignant Christmas message that demonstrates the power of words.

Family Relations, Women Directors
International Shorts

To a struggling young artist selling drawings in a subway station, the prospect of a paying job seems inviting—but the dark reality threatens to kill her imagination. Featuring the voices of Rachel Griffiths and Nicholas Hope.

Animation, Under 18 May Attend, Women Directors
International Shorts

Who would think that a ride home from two apparently friendly strangers after you got mugged could turn into a life-changing experience?

Comedy
Special Presentations

Mia Wasikowska commands the screen in John Curran’s mesmerizing character study based on Robyn Davidson’s best-selling adventure journal. With her faithful dog and four unruly camels in tow, she departs Central Australia on foot, bound for the Indian Ocean. Her only obstacles are 2,700 kms of desert and her own personal demons…

Adventures Outdoors, Animals, Literary (inc. Adaptations)

Laos, Thailand, Australia

Cinema of Our Time

A ten-year-old pariah desperately strives to earn redemption and reverse his family’s fortunes by constructing a prize-winning rocket. Making exemplary use of his Laos setting, Kim Mordaunt crafts "a lush and bruising coming-of-age story…"—Screen. Winner, Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor, Tribeca 2013; Audience Award, Sydney 2013.

Adventures Outdoors, Audience Award Winners, Drama, Family Relations, Under 18 May Attend, Women Directors

Italy, Austria, Germany

(Das Venedig Prinzip)
Nonfiction Features

Venice is sinking—under the weight of more than 21 million tourists per year. Andreas Pichler’s revelatory and compassionate documentary is squarely on the side of the locals as they use humour and heart to cope with unconcerned governments, oblivious day-tourists and the disastrous crumbling of a way of life.

Fine Arts & Theatre, Economics & Globalization

Austria, Germany

(Max Beckmann)
Arts and Letters

"To create is to be saved," claimed German painter Max Beckmann, heralded alongside Picasso and Braque as a seminal modernist master. Michael Trabitzsch’s fascinating look at Beckmann’s persecuted and peripatetic existence uses examples of his work, interviews, re-enactments, photos and archival footage to illuminate a singular life.

Fine Arts & Theatre, Biography, History
Cinema of Our Time

Gorgeously designed and photographed, Peter Sehr and Marie Noëlle’s epic life of "Mad King" Ludwig of Bavaria (Sabin Tambrea) paints a humanizing picture of a young monarch brought low by his belief that culture—exemplified by the music of Richard Wagner—could change society for the better. Winner, Best Young Actor, Bavarian Film Awards 2013.

Biography, Drama, History, Queer Interest, War & Espionage

France, Austria

Arts and Letters

Spanning the totality of Michael Haneke’s career and featuring interviews with him, as well as footage of Haneke working on the films Amour (Oscar winner for best foreign language film), Code Unknown and The White Ribbon, Yves Montmayeur’s documentary portrait is "a must-see for anyone who admires this director."—Guardian

Fine Arts & Theatre, Filmmaking
Spotlight on France

Two of France’s hottest young stars, Léa Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Colour) and Tahar Rahim (A Prophet), play workers at a nuclear power station who fall in love in Rebecca Zlotowski’s powerful drama. Offers a rare and fascinating look inside the everyday workings of a nuclear power plant. "Engrossing, superbly acted."—Variety

Drama, Economics & Globalization, Romance, Science & Technology

France, Austria, Germany

(Paradies: Hoffnung)
Cinema of Our Time

As befits its title, the conclusion of Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy is far more upbeat than the others. His story of chubby 13-year-old Melanie (Melanie Lenz), sent to weight-loss camp, still makes acerbic fun of the bourgeois, but his treatment of Melanie and her campmates is positively tender and affectionate.

Comedy, Drama, Sex & Eroticism

France, Belgium, Estonia

(Une Estonienne à Paris)
Cinema of Our Time

Jeanne Moreau gives another in a lifetime’s worth of great performances as Frida, an Estonian woman long settled in Paris who must accept a fellow Estonian caregiver (Laine Mägi) into her upscale home. Ilmar Raag’s moving observational tale is "a story of gradual transformation, slight, graceful and incidental."—Sydney Morning Herald

Immigration

Belgium, Netherlands

Cinema of Our Time

A bluegrass musician and his wife learn their young daughter has cancer in Felix van Groeningen’s masterful evocation of the power of music to convey both joy and sadness. "An immaculately observed, desperately moving story of love, loss, and bluegrass music…"—Indiewire. Winner, Audience Award (Panorama), Berlin 2013; Best Actress, Tribeca 2013.

Audience Award Winners, Drama, Family Relations, Health (Mental & Physical), Music & Dance, Romance

France, Belgium

Spotlight on France

In 2009, French security van driver Toni Musulin disappeared with 11.6 million euros (hence the film’s title), instantly propelling himself to celebrity status in France. François Cluzet (Intouchables) stars in Philippe Godeau’s noirish, psychological take on the heist and its aftermath. "Fascinates from beginning to end."—Hollywood Reporter

Crime, Film Noir, Mystery, Action, Thrills & Suspense

USA, Haiti, France, Belgium

(Assistance mortelle)
Nonfiction Features

Raoul Peck gets to the heart of the problem in this cogent and powerful look at why post-earthquake Haiti is worse off than ever. "Shines a damning light on the damage done by international aid agencies whose well-meaning but ignorant assumptions turned a nightmare into an unsolvable tragedy."—Variety

Human Rights, Power Politics, Revolution & Empowerment

France, Israel, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg

Special Presentations

Waltz with Bashir’s Ari Folman again pushes the boundaries of animation with this audacious reinvention of Stanislaw Lem’s The Futurological Congress. When Robin Wright (playing herself) consents to being digitally preserved, she’s inadvertently plunged into a dystopian "animation zone." A mind-bending "ode to the wonders of cinematic invention."—Indiewire

Animation, Jewish Interest, Literary (inc. Adaptations), Sci-fi & Horror

France, Belgium, Morocco

(Le sac de farine)
Cinema of Our Time

Just as bright young Sarah is learning to negotiate life in a Belgian Catholic orphanage she is wisked away to a remote Moroccan village. Director Kadija Leclere draws from her own abduction experiences to craft a remarkably immersive film. "Piercingly bittersweet… Beautifully low-key… [A] valiant first feature…"—Hollywood Reporter

Immigration, Islamic World, Religion, Spirituality & Myth, Women Directors

Bosnia, Sweden, Germany

Arts and Letters

On a barnstorming tour of the former Yugoslavia, graphic novelists Max Andersson (who directs, with Helena Ahonen) and Lars Sjunneson bring a macabre "mummy" of Marshal Tito along for the ride. Astonishing stop-motion animation sequences render their journey all the more surreal while a Balkan new wave soundtrack affirms this doc’s punk rock spirit.

Animation, Fine Arts & Theatre, War & Espionage

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