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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.
“Tandem” is Pinoy slang for the robbers (or worse) who work in pairs on the streets of Manila, one snatching bags, the other driving the getaway motorbike. Palisoc’s confident debut combines true-crime realism with noir-ish social commentary. Roman and his volatile kid brother Rex are a team, scraping by on earnings from petty crime, but their complicated love lives and the temptations of a major heist bring their world crashing down. Tony Rayns
Having fallen in love again after her divorce, Nahid (Sareh Bayat) finds many obstacles lying in wait should she choose to follow her heart. Not only would remarriage mean surrendering custody of her son, it would also entail forsaking the semblance of independence she’s fought so hard to establish. Ida Panahandeh’s deeply humane melodrama recalls Oscar-winner A Separation in its compassionate and compelling depiction of contemporary Iran’s legal and social constraints.
Despite the ban against him, Iranian master Jafar Panahi continues to find ingenious ways to make films. Here, taxi driver Panahi cruises Tehran, picking up family, friends, film colleagues and nonprofessionals, all of whom take on roles. The result is "a beautifully humane fable… a good-humoured jeu d’esprit, a piece of freewheeling cinephile activism… It’s a rueful but insistent statement to the effect that he is down but not out…"—Guardian
A beautiful experimental tribute to the filmmaker’s grandmother and her people, who’ve survived the trials of history and remained strong.
Park Kiyong’s new documentary is a companion-piece to his Garibong (VIFF 2013), which looked at Chinese-Korean immigrants in Seoul. This time he’s in Yanji, the booming Chinese city closest to the North Korean border, looking at its almost hallucinatory mix of Chinese and Korean foods, trades and cultures. As before, he goes beyond sociology to some very human insights. Tony Rayns
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.”
Shivaji Lotan Patil
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.
An abstracted landscape portrait of smugglers on the border of Portugal and Galicia.
A teenaged boy uses time travel in a series of attempts to come out to his crush—but does practice make perfect? (This project was produced with Three Dollar Bill Cinema.)
François Péloquin’s debut is a subtle and charming coming-of-age story. Jérémie (It’s Not Me, I Swear!’s Antoine L’Écuyer) dreams of a very different life from the one awaiting him at the family sawmill (presided over by Roy Dupuis). However, his crazy joyride comes to an end when a fateful mistake shatters his fragile world. Péloquin drafts an impressive chronicle of one teenager’s summertime crucible. “Affecting and beautifully shot.”—Hollywood Reporter
In the late 60s, India experienced a Western invasion as outsiders flooded over the border in hopes of finding enlightenment. The Beatles may’ve been the highest profile pilgrims, but Hannah Nydahl, a young Danish woman, was ultimately the most influential. She and her husband were the first westerners to study under His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and then spread his teachings abroad. Part biography, part adventure film, Adam Penny and Marta György-Kessler’s documentary celebrates a true pioneer. "Visually, the film is a pleasure…"—Village Voice
Already orphaned, four young Buddhist monks must again fend for themselves when their head abbot is called away. As otherworldly phenomena manifest within the isolated monastery, Witazara (Shine Htet Zaw) is nominated to investigate. In turn, Brian Perkins’ drama—the first feature shot in newly opened Myanmar—melds spirituality and cinema to poetic effect, opening our eyes to new worlds. "Impressively disciplined… the film’s shimmering imagery never palls…”—Variety
Phan Dang Di
As Freudians will guess from the title, Phan’s stunning film has a lot to do with patriarchy and the penis. When Vietnam’s government offered cash incentives to fathers to undergo vasectomies, they didn’t expect that unmarried, fun-loving kids would sign up, just for pocket money. Student slacker Vu resists his father’s order to get married, but down which deviant paths will life take him? Tony Rayns
When a Quebecois mother enters her four-year-old daughter in a Florida beauty pageant, a game of cat-and-mouse commences.
Romanian auteur Corneliu Porumboiu is at the height of his low-key powers in this affectionate tale of Costi, a dutiful father who’s plunged into a stone-faced caper comedy when he catches wind of a fortune supposedly buried on a nearby estate. Indulging his fantasies of striking it rich, Costi instead spends a fateful weekend unearthing old disappointments, revisiting Romanian history and navigating the loopholes presented by local bureaucrats. “A deadpan gem…”—Variety
These days, you don’t need to be on TV to find fame and fortune as a musician.
Daniel and his reckless high-society teen friends celebrate his birthday to excess, and of course bad things happen.
Built 2,000 years ago, the majestic Verona amphitheatre—the biggest opera venue in the world—is, indeed, a "magic arena." Andrea Prandstraller and Niccolò Bruna chronicle the Spanish avant-garde theatre troupe La Fura Dels Baus’ rehearsals and opening night presentation of Verdi’s Aida, staged 100 years after its original performance there, and capture revelatory glimpses of many of the 2,000 workers responsible for this epic undertaking. "A compelling fly-on-the-wall, behind-the-scenes portrait that should prove catnip to opera lovers."—Hollywood Reporter
Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) returns with another enviro-doc that doubles as a top-flight thriller. Racing against the clock to stave off a mass extinction, Psihoyos’ undercover activists infiltrate underground marketplaces trafficking in endangered marine life and immerse us in oceans turning toxic from our energy consumption. The stakes couldn’t be higher, resulting in a film that unfolds with uncommon urgency. “A mesmeric entertainment and enlightenment… A chilling call to action to stop ocean poisoning before it results in destruction of the planet.”—Hollywood Reporter
Bertrams Pauls Purvišķis
Stranded on a deserted island, a man and his dog search for a way home.