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Canadian Images

Danishka Esterhazy’s provocative and challenging film is a tale of survival against all odds, updating the story of Hansel and Gretel to reflect some grim contemporary realities: single parenthood, substance abuse, child neglect, pedophilia and serial murder. It’s a potent mix, and the performances are superb.

Adventures Outdoors, Family Relations, Fantasy, Under 18 May Attend, Women Directors
Altered States

Despite his best efforts, Beto can no longer mask the fact he’s dead and rapidly decomposing. Sebastián Hofmann’s melancholic, meditative film mines Beto’s final days amongst the living for dark humour, horror and, ultimately, transcendence. "A disturbingly stylish and surrealistic drama…"—Screen

Experimental & Avant Garde, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-fi & Horror, Action, Thrills & Suspense
International Shorts

Hank thought life was pretty exciting, until beautiful Patricia noticed him…

Canadian Images

An intimate, ephemeral character study of a disaffected girl being shuttled between foster homes and taking refuge in her memories.

Animation, Women Directors
(Malloneun Himdeuleo)
Dragons & Tigers

Another brilliant storytelling riddle from Lee Kwangkuk, director of Romance Joe.

(Uroki garmonii)
Cinema of Our Time

With its culture of intimidation, the playground has always resembled a prison yard. Lyrical and jarring, Emir Baigazin’s commanding debut centres on a teenager trapped in a cycle of mind games and bullying. "Poetic, formally disciplined and psychologically gripping…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Best New Director, Seattle 2013; Outstanding Artistic Contribution, Berlin 2013.

Drama, Human Rights
Cinema of Our Time

Cannes 2013’s Steven Spielberg-led jury awarded Best Director to Amat Escalante for this tale ripped from blood-soaked headlines. "New Wave Mexican style: raw, gritty, and force fed… A film about supporting others as you yourself are written out of the picture. A damning indictment of contemporary Mexico, capturing its institutionalised corruption, its endemic cruelty."—Guardian Winner, Best Director, Cannes 2013.

Drama, Action, Thrills & Suspense
Cinema of Our Time

When an unwelcome guest crashes a wedding, his presence casts a pall over the fairytale occasion. Capping the trilogy that includes VIFF favourites Kawasaki’s Rose and Innocence, Jan Hřebejk crafts a compelling reminder of Faulkner’s assertion, "The past is never dead. It’s not even past." Winner, Best Director, Karlovy Vary 2013.

Drama, Queer Interest, Action, Thrills & Suspense
Cinema of Our Time

In a crisis, should you look back at the past or forward to a better future? Lisa Langseth’s (Pure) haunting drama poses this question when a young woman in mental disarray (Alicia Vikander, A Royal Affair) turns her back on therapy and moves from hotel to hotel with a group of like-minded sufferers, searching for peace of mind…

Drama, Health (Mental & Physical), Women Directors
Canadian Images

Taking us around the globe to examine national and ethnic attitudes, Vic Sarin’s documentary shines a light on skin colour—not race in itself—as a factor in shame and bigotry. The film starts from a personal position—Sarin’s insecurity about his colour—and becomes an act of catharsis for himself, for his subjects and, hopefully, for many in the audience.

Biography, Family Relations, Human Rights, Immigration