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Film Festival Series

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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.

Germany

Duration: 9 mins
Country of Origin: Germany, 2015
Series:
International Shorts

Showtimes

Sep 30 06:45 pm
Oct 04 03:45 pm

A woman and a man meet in an abandoned opera house, where they embark on a magical pas de deux between time and space.

Experimental & Avant garde
Duration: 88 mins
Country of Origin: Germany, 2015
Series:
Altered States

Showtimes

Oct 03 03:45 pm
Oct 09 08:45 pm

After a traumatic incident at a raging party, 17-year-old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) discovers that a grotesque creature is following her like a shadow. Alarmingly, their bond grows increasingly symbiotic. Is this psychosis or living proof that every teenage year is a fresh hell? A title card advises of the health hazards of the stroboscopic visuals found in AKIZ’s EDM-propelled “narcotic-mindf**k-melodrama.” However, nothing warns of the unshakeable disquiet that lingers well after the last beat. "A raucous mashup of It Follows and Basket Case…"—Hollywood Reporter

Fantasy, Sci-fi & Horror
Duration: 138 mins
Country of Origin: Germany, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Sep 26 03:15 pm
Oct 05 08:45 pm
Oct 07 08:45 pm

Shot in a single astonishing take, this tour-de-force heist thriller plunges us into the predicament of Victoria (Laia Costa), whose “one crazy night” in Berlin grows increasingly perilous as she’s roped into a bank robbery. Such technical audaciousness only heightens the narrative’s tension, setting the stage for a dizzying climax that’s precisely the sort of spectacle best seen on the big screen. “A kinetic, frenetic, sense-swamping rollercoaster ride.”—Hollywood Reporter

Crime, Action, Thrills & Suspense
(Härte)
Duration: 89 mins
Country of Origin: Germany, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Sep 25 04:30 pm
Sep 29 09:30 pm

Former martial arts champion Andreas Marquardt’s life isn’t defined by victories but rather by vicious cycles. The product of unthinkably abusive parents, contempt came easily, setting him on a self-destructive path demarcated by pimping and prison. Rosa von Praunheim’s unflinching docudrama reopens Marquardt’s old wounds through stylish re-enactments and profiles how one woman’s devotion—or is it masochism?—steers him towards hard-won redemption.

Audience Award Winners, Drama, Romance
Duration: 85 mins
Country of Origin: Germany, 2015
Series:
The Great Divide

Showtimes

Oct 01 10:30 am
Oct 08 06:30 pm

IT technician Hervé Falciani left his job at a Swiss branch of HSBC in 2008, taking with him a hard-drive containing a database of 130,000 bank accounts held by citizens from 180 countries. Ben Lewis’ comprehensive investigation explores in detail the fallout from Falciani’s actions, particularly the very slow progress being made by tax authorities in various countries to recoup the billions hidden in secret accounts…

Crime, Economics & Globalization, The Great Divide, VIFF Impact

Germany, Switzerland

Duration: 120 mins
Country of Origin: Germany,Switzerland, 2015
Series:
Nonfiction Features

Showtimes

Oct 05 06:00 pm
Oct 06 02:30 pm

Nicolas Steiner’s intrepid documentary tracks down five Americans who’ve moved off the grid. Taking refuge in tunnels and bunkers, they’re living like they’re in a post-apocalyptic world. Were there personal cataclysms that drove them to this? Steiner reveals key details about his subjects and their motivations—including those of an army vet who now wanders the desert in a spacesuit—with a patience that rivals the technical prowess on display in this visually stunning film. "Intriguing and absorbing… There is a certain poetry to these unusual lives.”—Screen

Adventures Outdoors

Greece

Duration: 99 mins
Country of Origin: Greece, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Oct 04 11:15 am
Oct 06 09:45 pm

The long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s Attenberg, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s new comedic drama has her skewed sensibility and mordant wit pointed at the male psyche and its absurd penchant for competition. Six male acquaintances—they certainly aren’t friends—find themselves on a luxury yacht, where they engage in an escalating series of challenges that threatens to turn nasty… "A committedly deadpan comedy of manners, morals and men behaving weirdly…"—Variety

Comedy, The Great Divide
(OΡΙΣΤΕ)
Duration: 9 mins
Country of Origin: Greece, 2014
Series:
International Shorts

Showtimes

Oct 01 06:00 pm
Oct 05 01:00 pm

A vegetable merchant with a bullhorn. Two women on a bench. The intersection of life’s frustrations and melancholic comedy.

Drama

Hong Kong

Duration: 122 mins
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, 2015
Series:
Dragons & Tigers

Showtimes

Sep 27 09:30 pm
Sep 28 11:15 am

Shot by the inimitable Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love) and featuring an exceptional performance from newcomer Jessie Li as a teen prostitute, Philip Yung’s noirish tale of an eccentric cop (Aaron Kwok) trying to understand the motives of a stone-cold killer is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. "Blending social commentary with police procedural… [this] is an absorbing and at times grisly portrayal of modern Chinese society and adolescent apathy…"—Screen

Crime, Immigration
Duration: 32 mins
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, 2014
Series:
Dragons & Tigers

Showtimes

Oct 06 09:00 pm
Oct 07 03:45 pm

In this prize-winning experimental essay film, a HKer interrogates her estranged parents with acuity, compassion and formal daring. (SK)

Hungary

(Saul fia)
Duration: 107 mins
Country of Origin: Hungary, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Oct 05 06:15 pm
Oct 07 12:30 pm

Interned in Auschwitz, Saul (Géza Röhrig) is tasked with the unthinkable: aiding his Nazi captors in their methodical massacre. Pushed past his breaking point, he nobly claims one of the fallen as his own son and vows to restore the boy’s dignity with a proper burial… Unfolding with passion and purpose that rival its protagonist’s, László Nemes’ Holocaust drama is both an involving moral quest and a staggering, immersive experience. “A bombshell debut…”—Film Comment

History, Jewish Interest, War & Espionage

Iceland

Duration: 99 mins
Country of Origin: Iceland, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Sep 26 10:30 am
Oct 03 08:45 pm
Oct 08 02:30 pm

An Iceland fishing village with roads slick with blood and booze is no place for a choirboy. Ari (Atli Óskar Fjalarsson) learns that the hard way in Rúnar Rúnarsson’s bare-knuckle drama. Set during a summer of perpetual daylight, the film shows how malaise can fester in an economically depressed community in which hope is the rarest commodity. Given the increasingly shocking circumstances conspiring against him, Ari’s bid to assert himself becomes all the more compelling.

Drama, Family Relations

India, Ireland

Duration: 78 mins
Country of Origin: India,Ireland, 2015
Series:
Arts and Letters

Showtimes

Sep 26 06:30 pm
Sep 28 01:00 pm

While pilgrims flock to Varanasi to bathe in the Ganges, other visitors seek out the world’s finest silk. Having become part of the fabric of this ancient Hindu city over the course of a millennium, a Muslim weaving community now faces epochal change wrought by globalization. Charting a day in their lives, Pat Murphy’s documentary is an intimate look at an endangered tradition. “While rich with luscious shots of fabrics, dye and crumbling architecture, [the film] remains rigorous in its focus on the aesthetics and economics of this ancient industry.”—Irish Times

Fine Arts or Theatre, The Great Divide, Style in Film

India

Duration: 109 mins
Country of Origin: India, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Sep 29 09:00 pm
Sep 30 03:00 pm
Oct 08 12:30 pm

October 31, 1984. The day Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh guards and the anti-Sikh riots that followed are etched in India’s collective memory. Shivaji Lotan Patil has fashioned a compassionate thriller about one Sikh family, trapped in their Delhi home, and the lengths they and their Hindu friends go to in order to help the parents and two children survive. Bollywood stars Vir Das and Soha Ali Khan as husband and wife play brilliantly against type.

Drama, History, Human Rights & Social Justice, Politics, Religion, Spirituality & Myth
Duration: 102 mins
Country of Origin: India, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Sep 30 01:15 pm
Oct 03 04:15 pm
Oct 05 06:45 pm

Rama (Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma) is flushed out of rural life when he learns that his brother is missing in Mumbai. As a search for answers thrusts him into the metropolis’ chaos, he forges letters from his sibling to his mother in hopes of sparing her heartbreak. In turn, Prashant Nair crafts a moving story about devotion and discovery. "The film’s takes on immigration, country-city contrasts and youthful dreams of the future are lovingly detailed…"—Hollywood Reporter

Audience Award Winners, Drama, Immigration
Duration: 7 mins
Country of Origin: India, 2015
Series:
International Shorts

Showtimes

Oct 01 12:30 pm
Oct 04 09:00 pm

For one man in India, the experience of sharing an elevator with a stranger has drastic psychological consequences.

India, Canada

Duration: 103 mins
Country of Origin: India,Canada, 2015
Series:
Galas

Showtimes

Sep 27 06:15 pm
Sep 29 03:00 pm

Mix propulsive bhangra beats, blazing AK-47s, bespoke suits, solicitous mothers and copious cocaine, and you have the heady, volatile cocktail that is Deepa Mehta’s latest film, an explosive clash of culture and crime. Jeet Johar (Indian star Randeep Hooda) and his young, charismatic Sikh crew vie to take over the Vancouver drug-and-arms trade in this all-out action/drama. Blood is spilled, heads are cracked, hearts are broken and family bonds are pushed to the brink.

Crime, Immigration

Indonesia

Duration: 88 mins
Country of Origin: Indonesia, 2014
Series:
Dragons & Tigers

Showtimes

Sep 27 10:30 am
Oct 07 09:00 pm

The spirit of neo-realism lives in Eddie Cahyono’s beautiful debut feature, a film about a woman in an impossible situation. When her fisherman husband is paralyzed in an accident, Siti becomes the family’s only breadwinner, selling snacks on the beach by day and her body in a karaoke bar by night. And her customers include a well-meaning cop… The film boasts fine performances, resonant monochrome imagery and piercing moral questions. Tony Rayns

Black & White is back!, Drama

Iran, Germany

(Ma dar Behesht)
Duration: 100 mins
Country of Origin: Iran,Germany, 2015
Series:
Cinema of Our Time

Showtimes

Sep 25 03:15 pm
Sep 27 08:30 pm

A fascinating and effective mix of documentary and fiction techniques, shot "guerrilla style" (without permission) on the streets of Tehran, Sina Ataeian Dena’s feminist drama focuses on 25-year-old unmarried teacher Hanieh (newcomer Dorna Dibaj) as she doggedly pursues a promotion while facing casual sexism at every turn. "A sensitive, topical debut [that is] quietly affecting… The ’candid camera’ approach adds a welcome edge of verisimilitude…"—Hollywood Reporter

Human Rights & Social Justice, Islamic World, Women’s Issues.

Iran, France, Germany

Duration: 93 mins
Country of Origin: Iran,France,Germany, 2014
Series:
Arts and Letters

Showtimes

Sep 29 10:30 am
Oct 03 09:00 pm
Oct 05 04:00 pm

Before the Islamic Revolution banned solo performances by women, Iran boasted popular female vocalists like Delkash and Googoosh. No longer willing to see women’s voices silenced, musician Sara Najafi aspires to stage a concert in Tehran. Her brother Ayat helms this revealing documentary that details the bureaucratic obstacles and theological arguments that stand between her and such a seemingly simple goal. And while the women’s glorious songs lend the film uplift, it’s Sara’s courageous determination in battling institutional discrimination that truly inspires.

Human Rights & Social Justice, Islamic World, Music & Arts, VIFF Impact, Women’s Issues.

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