Film Festival Series
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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.
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 Marine returns from combat severely wounded, he and his young wife face imposing changes to their lives.
The one thing Josephine (“Jo”) Bradley believes about herself is that she’s a good cop. Suddenly, the body of Charles Xie, the reformed junkie son of a prominent billionaire, is found ritualistically buried. Charles’s case get assigned to Jo on one of the worst days of her life following a cancer diagnosis and a difficult decision about treatment. Given this news, she is forced to put her personal issues aside when she goes head-to-head with the tyrannical and powerful patriarch, Li-Rong Xie. Risking her career, Jo will tear the Xie family apart and reveal long held secrets in order to solve the murder of their youngest son.
Directionless and homeless after a breakup, a sawmill worker pulls out his wrestling unitard and climbs back into the ring.
When a Quebecois mother enters her four-year-old daughter in a Florida beauty pageant, a game of cat-and-mouse commences.
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
Shifting between a prosecutor for whom death is mundane, his bulimic daughter who’s fading away and the girl’s therapist who’s also a spiritual medium, Malgorzata Szumowska’s deadpan dramedy is impeccably acted and unexpectedly humorous, offering wry insights into how we see ourselves and what might await us after this life. “Bold, wise, and incredibly funny… A poignant tale about the confrontation of faith with skepticism, hope with despair, and love with hate.”—culture.pl
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.
Having butted heads with would-be rock ‘n’ roll messiahs (Dig!) and full-blown cult leaders (Join Us), Ondi Timoner now takes on Russell Brand, a pop culture figure who often seems more ego-and-contradictions than flesh-and-blood. As seen in this comprehensive and fascinating profile, he’s played the celebrity game like he wrote the rulebook and yet seems to have emerged as a born revolutionary. “The antics, the vulgarity, the hilarity and the howls for attention aren’t anywhere near as arresting as [the] revelation of Brand’s own deep-seated humanity."—Screen
Ten years ago, Mark Dornford-May and the Isango Ensemble burst upon the scene with Berlin Golden Bear-winner U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, their stirring adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen. Drawing once again from an operatic source—Puccini’s La bohème—Dornford-May and team bring the Xhosa language, exceptional singing voices and traditional instrumentation to a Cape Town-set tragedy focusing on the doomed love of university student Lungelo (Mhlekazi Mosiea) for the tuberculosis-stricken Mimi (Busisiwe Ngejane).
Lured from Ireland by the American Dream, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) instead lands in a hardscrabble reality of cramped boarding houses and grungy dancehalls. As homesickness grips her, she’s also torn between two admirers (Domhnall Gleeson and Emory Cohen). With Nick Hornby scripting, John Crowley crafts a stirring 50s-era immigration tale that also serves as an exhilarating profile of female empowerment. "Classily and classically crafted in the best sense."—Hollywood Reporter
A humorous spectacle reveals the fallacy of the selfie while restoring the humanness of the stripped-down “calendar girl.”
Somewhere in Isan, in Thailand’s Deep Northeast, an ancient royal cemetery is being disturbed by developers. Nearby a school pressed into service as an army hospital houses soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness. What’s the connection? Apichatpong’s inimitable mix of dream, fact and speculative fiction teases out the answer, with some steely political implications. Very different in tone and style from Uncle Boonmee, but no less haunting. Tony Rayns