A desperate girl gets caught up in the cruel world of the underaged sex trade.
It’s always a pleasure to present VIFF favourite Phil Grabsky’s (In Search of Mozart, In Search of Beethoven) latest beautifully made, exquisite-sounding inquiry into the life and music of one of classical music’s great composers. Now it is the Polish maestro’s turn… "Grabsky has astutely woven together an indelible portrait, offering us a rich and personal insight into Chopin the man and his music."—Urban Cinefile
Guided by Dominik Graf’s skilled directorial hand and anchored by remarkable performances, the tale of writer Friedrich Schiller’s notorious love triangle with the Lengefeld sisters is woven into a sophisticated, sprawling costume drama full of fervour and resonance. “A work of unimposing power, Beloved Sisters renders its minimal story on the grand scale of a three-hour epic with quaint elegance.”—Film Comment
Three bullied teenagers discover an unexpected solution to their problems.
A celebrated Swiss architect and his wife embark on a trip to Ticinio and Rome in hopes that it will reinvigorate them (and kickstart his book about baroque architect Francesco Borromini). An encounter with teenage siblings dramatically changes the course and purpose of their journey. “A work that’s both weighted with scholarly inquiry and an undercurrent of poignancy unlike anything else.”—Indiewire
Colombian miners find their livelihoods and way of life threatened when a Canadian mining company sets up shop in their small town and targets the immense gold deposit that lies under their humble homes. Mark Grieco’s stirring documentary "impressively presents a beautifully shot (the views from the houses over the surrounding valleys are stunning) portrait of resistance…"—Screen. Winner, Grand Jury Prize: Documentary, Seattle 2014.
Daniel Grou (aka PODZ) directs this riveting ensemble film about interlocking lives. We have Xavier Dolan playing against type as a buttoned-down Jehovah’s Witness; Julien Poulin and Louise Turcot as casino employees with secrets; Robin Aubert as a high-powered man with gambling issues; Anne Dorval as his perpetually plastered wife and Gabriel Sabourin as a tortured drug mule. Wow.
Sturla Gunnarsson’s latest is a personal reflection on chaos, creation and faith in a land of believers. He explores the incomparably vast seasonal weather system that permeates and unifies the immense and varied cultures of India. As the huge system gradually engulfs every region of the country, we meet a remarkable array of individuals whose lives are fundamentally affected by the phenomenon.
Almost two decades after “Common People” dominated the UK charts, beloved Britpop stars Pulp return to their unlikely industrial hometown of Sheffield to play one last gig. Florian Habicht commemorates the occasion by sharing Jarvis Cocker’s musings (he equates fame to a nut allergy), high-concept vignettes (a seniors’ choir sings “Help the Aged”) and footage of the epochal concert. “The live performances are electrifying…”—Observer
As both Orange Juice frontman and a solo artist, Edwyn Collins had a way with words. Then, two debilitating strokes reduced his vocabulary to his wife’s name and the phrase “the possibilities are endless.” Documentarians James Hall and Edward Lovelace “immerse us in the experience… Their take on accident and recovery is romantic and terrifying, lush but insular. They dig beauty out of tragedy…”—Guardian
In a drought-ravaged Oregon of the near future, a teenage girl (Haley Lu Richardson) resourcefully defends her working well. Production designer Tom Hammock (You’re Next) seamlessly transitions to director, combining elements of gritty Westerns and post-apocalyptic thrillers into an immaculately realized, utterly nightmarish tale of survival. "The Well doesn’t need a gimmick—it’s as brutal and beautiful as genre flicks get…"—LA Weekly
Michael CF Hansen
Trained in photography in New York, Hayakawa put her filmmaking career on hiatus ten years ago. This excellent "comeback" film centres on the moment that a young woman (who has grown up thinking she’s an orphan) learns for the first time to see… and to start living. Tony Rayns
Hong Kong pop meets art in Heiward Mak’s latest feature, a rich, moving, dazzling, and deeply, sympathetically savvy look at the amorous and professional lives of six twenty-something Hong Kongers. Their complex, ambivalent lives play out over six years in fascinating, interlocking stories. Mak’s fiercely contemporary sensibility creates an essential snapshot of Hong Kong’s hopes, anxieties and pleasures today. Shelly Kraicer
A man visits his wife in hospital, and goes on a mental journey … a journey through space and time, involving much climbing, sudden death syndrome and a body swap. Tony Rayns
A cook working at a small mountain inn must deal with unexpected consequences when his first job as a hit man goes awry.
VIFF regular Hirabayashi turns his thoughts back to the 2011 tsunami with a brilliantly imagined sequence-shot journey. Tony Rayns
Yan, Simon, Roxanne, Maxime and his sister Lily are in their early 20s and absolutely anything seems possible. They’ve been friends forever and the future is bright. Then, on a lovely summer’s day, Yan dies in a car crash… Director Julie Hivon follows their desperate attempts to make some kind of sense of life without Yan.