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.
Sophie Deraspe’s investigative documentary is the latest reminder to be skeptical of everyone you encounter online. Deraspe tells the cautionary tale of the infamous Gay Girl in Damascus Internet hoax. A blog that purported to be a boots-on-the-ground look at life as an out lesbian in fractious Syria turned out to be something else entirely. "What begins as an account of an online affair gradually morphs into a commentary on identity in the Information Age. [A] slippery, deftly woven narrative…"—Variety
Sean Garrity (Lucid, Blood Pressure) returns with a distinctly Canadian comedic drama. An unemployed gambling addict drags his pot-smoking teenage daughter on a road trip to Churchill, Manitoba, in hopes of showing her the Northern Lights before a disorder renders her blind. With a bookie in pursuit, they’re forced to confront each other, their pasts and their respective loves for poker and weed. Starring Jonas Chernick, Emily Hampshire, Joey King and Kevin Pollak.
Think Pan’s Labyrinth meets Carnivale and you’ll still be unprepared for this astonishing debut from Done Four Productions and director Nicholas Humphries. In this Dust Bowl-era reimagining of The Little Mermaid, an amphibious siren (Katelyn Mager) falls prey to a nefarious benefactor (Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon) and ends up in a magical turf war. Sumptuous production design and sinister storytelling conjure a seductive fantasy world.
Two siblings endure the impact a residential school has on their relationship with themselves, one another and nature itself.
Sonia Boileau’s debut is a taut psychological drama about Lydia, a young Innu woman who works at a convenience store in a small First Nations community in rural Quebec. As she prepares to close up shop one night, a masked robber holds her up at gunpoint. This traumatic experience becomes even more troubling when Lydia recognizes her assailant. She’ll soon have to make a decision that will change the course of her life. “[An] engaging social-issue drama…”—Variety
Hélène Choquette’s documentary examines the symbiotic relationships that form between homeless people and their faithful canine companions. On the sometimes mean streets of Montréal and Toronto, the dogs and their owners offer one another company, protection and unconditional love. This remarkably candid film provides genuine insight into the homeless experience from an unusual angle, inspiring newfound compassion and understanding.
With a mesmerizing Michael Eklund starring as photographer Eadweard Muybridge, Kyle Rideout crafts a complex and compelling portrait of the man who’d be immortalized as both the godfather of cinema and the last American to receive a justifiable homicide verdict (for killing his wife’s lover). As fascinations distort into obsessions, Rideout skilfully employs techniques indebted to the infamous pioneer to convey Muybridge’s psychological unravelling.
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?
A fever dream within a dream, the latest transmission from celluloid fetishist Guy Maddin (assisted by young co-director Evan Johnson) is part campy, whacked out tribute to vintage Hollywood melodrama, part anguished crypto-confessional and all brilliant: a passionate, virtuoso pastiche that is also perversely original and sui generis. The perfect date movie for mad cinephiles! “[An] inventive, audacious, and outright hilarious tour de force whatzit.”—Cinema Scope
Directors Tony Massil and Pablo Alvarez-Mesa’s creative documentary follows Frank Furko, an 80-year-old eccentric living in a Pittsburgh suburb. The film focuses on Frank’s celebrity, which derives from a deeply felt friendship with Pudgie Wudgie, his 20-pound performing house cat. Supported by Frank’s 20 years of VHS video archives—mesmerizing footage that is strange, often hilarious and oddly beautiful—this is an intimate and thoughtful portrait of an older man struggling to come to terms with his very unusual past.
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
VIFF favourite Charles Wilkinson (Oil Sands Karaoke) returns with a visually stunning paean to breathtaking Haida Gwaii and the spirited people who populate it. The natural beauty of this culturally rich archipelago has served as a backdrop for tragedies such as outbreaks of smallpox and the exploitation of natural resources. And yet, the Haida Nation remains undaunted, preparing for a showdown over the Northern Gateway pipeline and planning for a more sustainable future.
In 1985, Steve Fonyo ran his “Journey For Lives” marathon, covering almost 8,000km of Canada and raising $14 million for cancer research. He was subsequently named an Officer of the Order of Canada, becoming the youngest person to ever receive that honour. Then things began to fall apart. He repeatedly ran afoul of the law and was convicted of various crimes. His Order of Canada was revoked. Refreshingly, Alan Zweig (15 Reasons to Live) tells the story of Fonyo’s downfall with great sensitivity—and without ever lapsing into sentimentality.
In Paul Gross’ film, ripped from the headlines, a sniper, who has never allowed himself to think of his targets as human, becomes implicated in the life of one of them. An intelligence officer, who has never contemplated killing, becomes the engine of a plot to kill. A legendary Mujahideen warrior, who had put war behind him, is now deeply involved. Three different men, three different worlds, three different conflicts, yet all stand at the intersection of modern warfare.
The BC coastal forest is in all its glory as a father and his two daughters drive off to their remote and idyllic getaway home. They have little sense at first of the growing apocalypse that they are leaving in their wake. It will come to them. Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, and Callum Keith Rennie star in this Patricia Rozema-directed adaptation of Jean Hegland’s novel.
A beautiful experimental tribute to the filmmaker’s grandmother and to her people, who’ve survived the trials of history and remained strong.
The latest involving documentary from Chelsea McMullan (My Prairie Home) exemplifies excellent storytelling and artful execution. When two Canadian siblings travel to Thailand to find out what really happened to their murdered father, they discover that he fled Canada due to his involvement with a biker gang, only to land in deeper corruption in Thailand and the Philippines. Furthermore, he has two kids in Thailand with the same names as them. McMullan creates a creepy and subtly condemning portrait of foreigners doing very bad things.
Arriving in Story, Arkansas (pop. 89), Joni and Wes realize they’re not in L.A. anymore. There to settle their estranged father’s estate, they’ve arrived on Decoration Weekend, when locals celebrate their dearly departed. As a clearer picture of their father emerges, decisions become less obvious. This affecting dramedy from Nicolas Citton (That Burning Feeling’s screenwriter) is a bittersweet celebration of community and family.
Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) returns with an energetic, laugh-out-loud political comedy that couldn’t be more timely. Steve Guibord (Patrick Huard, brilliant) is an independent Quebec MP travelling to his northern riding with a new Haitian intern. Soon after finding themselves caught in the crossfire of activists, miners, truckers, politicians and aboriginal groups, it turns out that Guibord somehow holds the decisive vote in a national debate that will decide whether Canada will go to war in the Middle East! The fabulous Suzanne Clément co-stars.
Over four decades after the infamous Sir George Williams Affair was sparked by allegations of faculty discrimination against black students, Ninth Floor reopens the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations and one of the most contested episodes in the nation’s history. Making an audacious foray into nonfiction, writer and director Mina Shum (Double Happiness) engages the original protagonists in a compassionate cinematic exercise of reckoning and redemption.