Film Festival Series
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.
Jon Huntsman, Jr., US ambassador to China from 2009-2011, his adopted Chinese-American daughter Gracie, and blind Chinese activist and self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng are the very human faces of Vanessa Hope’s penetrating examination of US-China relations. Hope ambitiously ties their stories together as she delineates the issues of security, financial imbalances and human rights that are at the core of the current relationship between the two nations. That she does so with skill and humanity makes this not only a timely film but one that is essential viewing.
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
A masterpiece of world cinema, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s exquisitely beautiful swordplay fantasy is both an instant classic and a profound work of art. Trained assassin Nie Yinniang (superstar Shu Qi) is compelled by her master to assassinate her childhood sweetheart, Governor Tian Ji’an (Chang Chen), but her assignment becomes increasingly morally ambiguous. Bursts of swordplay; soul-infused landscapes; the silence of philosophy. Wuxia cinema distilled to its essence. Shelly Kraicer
Jason Lei Howden
Wild, irreverent and delightfully gory, Jason Lei Howden’s Deathgasm follows in the footsteps of Kiwi splatter comedy classics like Dead Alive. Languishing in a backwater, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) finds salvation when he forms a band with Zakk (James Blake) who shares his love of the devil’s music. Alas, when the metal heads uncover an ancient piece of tablature, they likewise unleash something unholy. Left with no other recourse, they apply corpse paint and orchestrate the most outrageous kill scenes in recent memory. “The party movie of 2015.”—Bloody Disgusting
A Christian rocker-turned-youth-pastor follows his favourite youth-group member to college in order to monitor his moral integrity.
An Australian and a Turkish soldier encounter one another between the Turkish trenches during WW1.
Noam Chomsky and his unassailable arguments about how economic inequality has become an entrenched part of western life are front and centre in Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott’s superbly reasoned documentary, one part analysis and one part call to arms. The interviews with Chomsky were shot over four years and show that none of the 86-year-old’s fight has gone out of him. "This short, sharp, smart essay-film makes excellent use of Chomsky’s insights…"—Hollywood Reporter
The immense oil boom that has gone on in North Dakota for the past six years and how that boom has affected local landowners, state officials and the Indigenous Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation serve as the entry points for Noah Hutton’s artful big-picture investigation of climate, time and our planet’s geologic record. Hutton has cited Michael Madsen’s eerie nuclear-waste documentary Into Eternity (VIFF 10) as a major influence and that is in evidence here in the careful attention paid to uncanny visuals and an urgent, otherworldly score.
Ishii’s Gonin (VIFF 1995) set the standard for neo-noir gangster movies. Gonin Saga brings the story up to date, first by showing what happened next, then by having some of the sons of the original mavericks mount another raid on the Goseikai—again provoking violent reprisals. It’s all kinda complicated (check the original on DVD as prep!), but all the acts of treachery and betrayal cohere into an ultra-hard-boiled vision of “yakuza DNA”. Tony Rayns
Luc Jacquet (the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins) returns to the Antarctic to trace the fascinating life and groundbreaking work of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, now 83. Lorius discovered that, by drilling into ice and extracting cores from enormous depths, effectively travelling back through time, one could show the link between man-made greenhouse gases and climate change… "Jacquet’s film is… a call to arms to the environmental movement destabilised and buffeted by the denial industry… A powerful testament, and one that ought to have a considerable impact."—Guardian
A man offers a significant sum of money to a worthy person in need who comes to his office on May 9 and makes a convincing appeal. But how to deal with the throngs of needy candidates who assemble? How does he decide who’s actually the most worthy? From a simple premise, Vahid Jalilvand employs formal finesse and unforgettably urgent performances (including the great Niki Karimi) to craft a profound study of human nature and social and economic realities.
Dragons & Tigers Award-winner Jang Kunjae returns with a made-in-Japan movie which is the indie hit of the year in Korea. It’s a film of two halves (one in colour, one in monochrome) about a Korean director and his woman translator visiting the town of Gojo to see if it’s worth making a movie there. Their encounters with locals spark the ‘fantasia’ of the second half, in which everything and everyone is transformed. Intensely felt and very touching. Tony Rayns
In the Canadian arctic, a man is haunted by a young girl that the rest of the country has forgotten. (This project was produced with the guidance of Reel Youth mentors at Inuvik Youth Centre.)
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
Adam Garnet Jones
In Adam Garnet Jones’ first feature, a teenage girl commits suicide in a remote Anishinaabe community and it’s up to her brother Shane (Andrew Martin) to take care of their family. Shane was supposed to move to the city for university in the fall and was desperately trying to convince his secret boyfriend (Harley Legarde-Beacham) to come with him. When forced to choose between devotion to his family or his desire to dictate his own future, what will he do?
The title translates as "Bravo!" and director Radu Jude (Everybody in Our Family) means it in the most darkly ironic way possible here. In early 19th-century Wallachia, a burly constable and his son track an escaped Roma slave; in the process Jude draws on the tropes of the Western to fashion a gorgeously shot drama rife with meanings for today. "An exceptional, deeply intelligent gaze into a key historical period, done with wit as well as anger."—Variety