In this remarkable documentary, the storied ring road that encircles Rome doubles as a grand stage for the everyday dramas of the eccentrics who reside along it. Gianfranco Rosi “brings humor and sensitivity to his filming… The recurring characters, almost all of them funny in an absurd, gentle way, make this intelligent film a curious outsider…”—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Golden Lion, Venice 2013.
Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado’s magnetic portrait of photographer Sebastião Salgado, is "illuminating and uplifting… [It moves] from his early years growing up on a Brazilian farm… through to his increasingly large-scale photographic projects that took him to many of the world’s most hostile and dangerous conflict zones… A moving tribute to a peerless talent."—Guardian. Winner, Special Jury Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.
A celebrated Swiss architect and his wife embark on a trip to Ticinio and Rome in hopes that it will reinvigorate them (and kickstart his book about baroque architect Francesco Borromini). An encounter with teenage siblings dramatically changes the course and purpose of their journey. “A work that’s both weighted with scholarly inquiry and an undercurrent of poignancy unlike anything else.”—Indiewire
VIFF regular Shinozaki brings a touch of his enthusiasm for horror-fantasy movies to the tragic story of a teacher who has lost her fiancé in the 2011 tsunami. Her traumatizing loss meshes with her interest in precognitive dreams… and with the post-tsunami play developed by one of her students. Hirabayashi’s brilliant short also explores the aftershocks of the disaster. Tony Rayns
Finishing his late grandfather’s final model ship, a young boy drifts between surreal dreams and waking life.
Ana Valine’s darkly comic drama centres on mother/daughter con artists who just can’t catch a break. Seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Sammie (Paloma Kwiatkowski)—who lives with her pill-popping, alcoholic mom Marlene (Suzanne Clément)—this bittersweet journey leads us through dysfunction, love and addiction, before culminating with an unusual deliverance for this compelling pair. Winner, Best Director, Leo Awards 2014.
Isolated teen Leila is forced into difficult choices after a guy at the swimming hole comes on to her.
Did the universe begin with a yin-yang globe or with an egg? The most plausible, science-based insight into the mystery of everything since The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Tony Rayns
The director of Futon (VIFF 2013) returns with a sensual meditation on the snow in Kamakura, her home town… and on sewing. Tony Rayns
Acclaimed filmmaker Thomas Burstyn (This Way of Life) turns his inquisitive camera on his aunt and uncle: Yolanda Sonnabend, a London artist who resides in decaying splendor, and Joseph Sonnabend, an esteemed AIDS physician who’s returned to a house he hates and sister he can’t relate to. The enthralling result is a film about family relations, fractured sibling love, gender, art, science, diaspora and legacy—and the uncomfortable role of the filmmaker as voyeur, confidant, family.
While identities and genders are alluringly fluid in Ester Martin Bergsmark’s narrative debut, the desire for connection is unrelenting. Initially trepidatious to explore a feminine side, Sebastian—who sometimes prefers to be called Ellie—falls hard for Andreas, a straight man. But when Andreas proves a fast friend but reluctant lover, Ellie rushes to the fore. Winner, Hivos Tiger Award, Rotterdam 2014.
Carol (Arabella Bushnell) has a unique way of dealing with her frustrations with family, friends and co-workers: writing brutally honest songs (that frequently feature threats of violence) and leaving them on their voicemail. Carol’s creative catharsis has some immediate and unexpected consequences in this hilarious, offbeat comedy from writer-director Kris Elgstrand.
Nil Malmros draws on an incident from his own life—due an array of tragic circumstances, his wife killed their baby—to forge an intense, empathetic and bracingly intelligent drama. "The images have a sober, self-effacing beauty, the acting is subdued, and the fatal deed itself is never shown… Sorrow and Joy is a… melodrama about grace—a small miracle in today’s cinema."—Film Comment
Dietrich Brüggemann’s conceptually daring story of a devout teenager’s trials is eloquently told in 14 chapters, each a masterful single take. As Maria becomes a “warrior of Christ,” the film proves itself both a condemnation of fundamentalist religion and a testament to faith. “While stark, it’s far from chilly—Brüggemann has a sense of humor about his subject matter.”—Village Voice. Winner, Best Screenplay, Berlin 2014.