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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.
Kenya, Uganda, Germany, South Africa
Conceived as an homage to the classic Bicycle Thieves, Donald Mugisha and James Tayler’s unsparing look at life on the streets of Kampala—neorealism "with a youthful edge" in their words—is anchored in the story of Abel, 15, who takes over his father’s motorcycle taxi (the "boda boda" of the title) and is immediately confronted by a corrupt world where a wrong turn, vehicular or otherwise, can have drastic consequences. "Poignant as well as entertaining."—Indiewire
Even if the name means nothing to you, the Roland TR-808 drum machine has played a role in your life. The machine’s dirty bass was the signature sound of the early days of hip-hop and the basis for modern EDM. But don’t take our word for it—Alexander Dunn’s diverse film features testimony from Damon Albarn, Arthur Baker, Afrika Bambaataa, Diplo, Fatboy Slim, Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, Goldie, Rick Rubin, Bernard Sumner, Phil Collins, Pharrell Williams and others. "A must-see."—Rolling Stone. Dedicated to our dear, departed friend, Peter Culley.
Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, Virginia Heath’s montage film offers a kaleidoscopic tour of mid-20th century Scotland. As we glimpse evocative vignettes of labour and leisure, protests and parades, strife and revelry, we enter a world seemingly conjured from the realms of fantasy rather than reels of found footage. And playing throughout are King Creosote’s lush chamber pop songs, which lend a captivating sense of lore to every scene and heighten the film’s intimacy. "An immersive, moving and, at times, truly magical window on the past…"—Guardian
A journey both physical and intensely emotional, Sean McAllister’s five-year chronicle tells of the troubled love story between Amer, a Palestinian freedom fighter, and Raghda, a left-wing Syrian activist, who first met as Syrian political prisoners in the mid-90s, married and had four sons. As McAllister documents their struggles, he too is arrested, forcing the family to flee to Lebanon. He follows. The resulting story displays "heartbreaking candour… [and] furnishes a timely look behind the cover stories on Europe’s immigration drama."—Hollywood Reporter
Remember the montage of stolen movie kisses the projectionist cuts together in Cinema Paradiso? Kim Longinotto’s glorious valentine to love does something quite similar: it’s an assemblage of flirtation, courtship, weddings and a bit of hanky-panky. Some scenes are familiar but mostly these are forgotten films, or they’re home movies, snippets of old newsreels, orphan sequences lost and found. Artfully entwined and set to Richard Hawley’s luxuriant ballads, they become the most romantic movie you’ll see this year.
In 2006, a serial killer cut a bloody swath through Ipswich’s red light district. Rufus Norris’ gripping adaptation of Alecky Bythe’s radical stage show draws its script from actual interviews with area residents, police, media and sex workers, and sets them to an enthralling score. What unfolds is a remarkable true story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences. “An utterly gripping, macabre but finally very moving cine-opera…”—Guardian
Imbued with the sensual, dreamy, mysterious air of adolescent longing and becoming, Carol Morley’s first dramatic feature is set in an all-girls school in late 60s Britain. A sudden death sparks a series of unsettling incidents that shake both the student body and faculty: is it a virus, mass hysteria or mischief-making? Featuring a spectacular turn from Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, this tantalizing, enigmatic film suggests some clues but leaves much to the imagination.
This deranged debut from Steve Oram (writer-star of Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers) is a lo-fi cinema madhouse stocked with proles gone primitive. In a down-at-heel British suburb, the devolution of man is complete, with communication reduced to grunts and threat displays. Despite the rampant brutishness and balls-to-the-wall partying, love blossoms. Think of this singular, exceedingly strange film as Pink Flamingos-meets-The Tribe if that makes it easier to envision but you still won’t be prepared for what awaits. “A bold new voice in British film is born."—Hollywood Reporter
An emergency-services operator fields a call from a desperate young mother whose house is on fire.
When elderly Ingrid offers old friend Gavin some cherry cake in exchange for his help with the yard work, it’s only one of the delights on the table.
A brilliantly conceived and executed work that is as emotionally affecting as it is intellectually questioning, David Evans’ layered documentary follows two elderly men, both the sons of high-ranking Nazis responsible for thousands of deaths, on a trip to Poland and Ukraine. Once there, ghosts from the past are unearthed, and profound psychological insights about the ties that bind come to light. "A bracingly rigorous examination of inherited guilt and pain, [this] is an extraordinary documentary…"—Screen
Ben Rivers often draws upon that most under-appreciated genre—the film about filmmaking—in his work. His latest is a daring depiction of two mirrored fictional worlds: one in the Atlas mountains, where a new film by Galician director Oliver Laxe is being made; the other incorporating Laxe’s experience into a filmic consideration of Paul Bowles’ short story, "A Distant Episode." The result, both exciting and transgressive, provides ample rewards for patient viewers.
Following his Patience (After Sebald), visual essayist Grant Gee turns his lens toward another great writer, Turkey’s Orhan Pamuk, and to Istanbul and the museum—both actual and fictional—that Pamuk created there. Simon Schama describes this Museum of Innocence as "the single most powerfully beautiful, humane and affecting work of contemporary art anywhere in the world." It has inspired this beguiling film which turns cinema back to its roots in dreams, visions, the search for meaning and communal memorialization.
Beginning its journey as an ominous sandstorm in Senegal, then heading west across the Atlantic to toss enormous ships and waves topsy-turvy before finally crashing into the jungles of the Caribbean, Hurricane Lucy is our home for 82 minutes, and it is a truly awesome, scary and incredible place. Lizards, bats, frogs, horses, homeless men, rivers, ocean reefs, the US Gulf coast… all bend before Lucy’s immense power. Andy Byatt (Blue Planet) and Cyril Barbançon teamed up with NASA to create this genuinely thrilling and immersive experience that must be seen on the big screen!
Two base-jumpers discover how far they are willing to go to honour the memory of a close friend.
UK, USA, Belgium
It seems The Wolfpack doesn’t have the market cornered when it comes to exceedingly strange New York apartment stories. In October 2003, New York City police stormed the top floor of a Harlem high-rise after being alerted that a Bengal tiger and alligator were being kept as pets. A dozen years on, Phillip Warnell has taken an inspired approach to exploring this remarkable story, trading the sensationalistic for actual sensations. Through meticulous reconstructions, we’re immersed in this odd habitat of restless, trapped animals, and filled with awe.
The art and unbridled personality of acclaimed British artist David Hockney are brought to vivid life in Randall Wright’s treatise on the man’s memorable and influential career and personal history. Intimate and insightful, the portrait delves deeply to reveal a charismatic rebel, still searching for new ways of seeing, whose passion for art remains intense, and whose wry sense of humour still shines through. "A wealth of intimate home-movie footage and an affinity with his subject invigorate Wright’s unashamedly affectionate portrait of a British icon."—Observer
Siena is one of the world’s most picturesque cities and the Palio is its crowning glory. Held twice a summer, this often ruthless bareback horse race brings pageantry and unparalleled intensity to the tight turns of the medieval town’s Piazza del Campo. Cosima Spender’s breathtaking documentary centres on a young upstart intent on making his mark in this cutthroat competition. “A remarkably concise and clear explanation of a complex, ancient tradition… How can something like this still exist? And how can one film capture it in such elegant detail?”—Vanity Fair
For a lonely man, an online relationship has helped him mask his cruel speech impediment.
In his compelling drama/documentary hybrid, Sasha Snow explores the complexities of Grant Hadwin, a logging engineer who chainsawed down a 300-year-old sacred tree on Haida Gwaii as a protest against rampant logging in the area. Inspired by John Vaillant’s Governor General’s Award-winning book, The Golden Spruce, Snow focusses on the more mysterious elements of Hadwin’s story and fate, crafting “[a] gorgeously photographed, compulsively watchable, sympathetic doc…”—Globe & Mail