Find Your Film
Use our search function below to sort the films by their English title, the names of directors, or their country of origin. Films can also be filtered by series, genre, or Vancouver International Film Festival venue. You can also browse by film series by visiting our Browse By Series page.
The majority of films in the Vancouver International Film Festival are unrated and you must be 18 and purchase a $2 VIFF membership to attend a screening. However, a selection of films are open to all ages.
Before you make your purchase, please note The Rio is 19+ exclusively with the exception of the rated High School Screenings at this venue.
Chile, Brazil, France
Confusion is often synonymous with adolescence, but Serginho (Matheus Fagundes) bears more of it than any person should have to. Chico Teixeira (Alice’s House) returns with a drama about the search for meaning and connection that enthralls with its haunting intimacy. Skin, sweat, water and heat become symbols. The performances are superb, with Fagundes the very image of vulnerability in the lead role. Sad but hopeful, quiet but intense, this is a film you can really feel.
The titular “club” in Pablo Larraín’s incendiary follow up to No is a group of disgraced priests who’ve been banished to a purgatorial halfway home on the Chilean coast. When the church investigates a tragic incident involving these men, the findings lay to waste any notions of a good/evil binary. Likewise, Larraín proves that comedy and condemnation needn’t be mutually exclusive. “The film’s compassion is strongly felt, its mordant humour glinting like a blade.”—Guardian
Chile, Spain, France
Patricio Guzmán explores the watery Patagonian Archipelago and its meaning in Chilean history—from its use by Chile’s Indigenous peoples to its function as a grave site for Pinochet’s desaparecidos… "Applying the same mix of lyrical nature and space imagery, voice-over narration, archive photos and footage, and interviews [that he used in Nostalgia for the Light], the director crafts another deeply poetic but also committedly, at times even angrily, humanist meditation on buried traces of the past and how they determine our present and future…"—Screen
Renowned Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden returns to VIFF with his stirring new feature about a shepherd named Tharlo. In town to procure a proper ID card, Tharlo has his hair washed by seductive hairdresser Yangtso and is instantly smitten. She urges him to trade his pastoral life for contemporary urban pleasures: smoking, drinking, singing karaoke. A passionate love story with darker stirrings, set amidst a Tibet in tension between tradition and modernity. Shelly Kraicer
Artist Qiu Jiongjiong’s brilliant fiction-documentary hybrid takes the story of Zhang Xianchi, a so-called “rightist” persecuted for his beliefs in 1960s China, and turns it into something extraordinary: filmed theatre-historical fantasy-social realist drama. Using stunning black-and-white photography, Zhang’s shocking story comes to life with first person testimony and vivid surreal tableaux. This is controversial political cinema and essential viewing. Shelly Kraicer
You’ve never seen Chinese officials like this. Geng Yanbo, the outlandishly charismatic mayor of Datong, has granted amazing access to documentarian Zhou Hao, who shoots an insider’s portrait of one way to wield power in China. Charming, brutal, wheedling and commanding, Geng is bent on transforming his dusty provincial capital into a tourist showpiece. His subjects/citizens acclaim his rule or get out of his way. People’s defender or oppressor? You decide. Shelly Kraicer
Animated dragons tangle, musicians endure poultry projectiles in the Great Hall of the People and a wise owl knows all. (SK)
This remarkable debut, set in mystical Guizhou province, follows country doctor Chen Sheng on a road trip to find his abandoned young nephew Weiwei. But time flows mysteriously in this poetic work, perhaps even in reverse. A grown-up Weiwei appears on a broken bike in a picturesque riverside town, where beautiful tour guide Yangyang draws Chen towards a moving rendezvous with his past lost love. Chinese lyric poetry becomes radiantly impressionistic cinema. Shelly Kraicer
All of contemporary China in one continuous animated frieze, where spacemen, hamburgers and city ruins float freely together. (SK)
Nine animated black-and-white screens show Chinese (or are they non-Chinese) utopias? Or are they dystopias? (SK)
China, Japan, France
Jia returns to his own roots (disco dancing to the Pet Shop Boys!) in his masterly vision of China’s past, present and future. We start in 1999, with Shanxi belle Tao torn between two rival boyfriends. She opts for the more ambitious of the two, gets married and has a son… only to end up divorced and alone in 2014. Ten years later, in 2025, her son is a dislocated émigré in Australia. The heart of the film is a question: what lasts and what’s all too easily lost? Tony Rayns
China, Hong Kong
A rousingly entertaining movie romance, this historical drama tells the deeply moving story of kung fu superstar Jackie Chan’s parents. Both grew up in China’s tumultuous 20th century, swept by war, revolution and resistance. When charismatic customs officer Fang (Lau Ching-wan) meets impoverished young widow Chen (Tang Wei), an unbreakable bond is forged. Together, their love endures through extraordinary adventures, as they head towards a future in Hong Kong. Shelly Kraicer
China, Canada, France, France, Belgium
Jordan Paterson’s involving docudrama delves into a little-known chapter of Canadian history. During World War I, 140,000 indentured Chinese labourers were secretly transported from Vancouver to Halifax in locked trains and then shipped to the Western Front to dig trenches and clear the dead. Through intrepid research, interviews, rotoscoped animation and re-enactments, Paterson backs Voltaire’s assertion that “history is nothing but a pack of tricks we play upon the dead.”
Gracefully fusing documentary and fiction, Canadian-Chinese Luo Li crafts a provocative portrait of his hometown, Wuhan, where a scenic lake is threatened, and a policeman with a flair for painting patrols for dragons and subversive storytellers. Li creates a liminal space enveloping fact, fiction, myth and politics. Ever so gently, but charged with a precise, wise vision, a portrait emerges of a China full of contradictions, overloaded with imperilled beauty. Shelly Kraicer
Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela
In Ciro Guerra’s vibrant and wildly original feature, two explorers embark on parallel journeys—albeit 40 years apart—down the Colombian Amazon. Both are in search of a sacred flower with mythical healing powers. Both encounter a native shaman and his tales of colonialism’s devastating toll. As unlikely friendships take root, Guerra’s drama enwraps viewers in seductive visuals and alluring ethnographic details. “A soulful, strange and stunning discovery.”—Indiewire
Retired police profiler Ricardo passes his days mired in boredom, which is manifested in an ambiguous morality and a dark secret fetish.
Cuba, Germany, Argentina, Switzerland
Once the most ambitious undertaking in Cuban history, the Juragua nuclear reactor now sits abandoned. In its shadow is Nuclear City, where the plant’s would-be employees are left to contemplate the glory that might’ve been. Fuelled by the disappointments of three generations of disillusioned denizens, Carlos Quintela’s beautifully lensed but unflinchingly dark comedy intersperses archival footage and blends surrealism and social realism to depict a country locked in stasis.
Czech Republic, Slovak Republic
Appealing and affecting, Home Care is a humanist tale that puts a poignant spin on that perennial staple of Czech cinema, the village dramedy. When a selfless home-care nurse (Alena Mihulová) suddenly requires care herself, she, her family and patients must redefine their roles and relationships. Written and performed to perfection, Slávek Horák’s tragicomic film captures the details of small-town life through piquant observation. “Wryly humorous and bittersweet…”—Variety
Afflicted by an aggressive motor neuron disease, Niels opts to die with dignity and asks his nurse, Maria, to escort him to a Swiss clinic. As they make the trek, Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm crafts a bold drama that’s profoundly moving without ever feeling manipulative. There’s emotional ugliness lying in wait but it’s ultimately rendered beautiful by its honest insights. An undeniably important film, this is a “provocative query into what makes life worth living.”—Variety
In this enchanting Icelandic export, two estranged, unmarried brothers are reunited after 40 years when an infectious disease threatens to decimate their prized flocks of sheep. As they face financial ruin and emotional devastation (their love for these animals is endearingly evident), Grímur Hákonarson fashions a richly detailed tragicomedy concerning idiosyncratic vocations and immediately relatable sibling dynamics. “Wonderfully wry, charmingly understated…”—Variety