Path Alias: 


Program Running Time 93 min.

May 20 06:20 pm
May 21 04:00 pm
May 22 03:00 pm
May 23 01:45 pm
May 26 06:30 pm
Jun 07 04:00 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Grímur Hákonarson
(Iceland, 2015, 93 mins, DCP)

One of the hits of VIFF last year, this tale of Icelandic sheep farmers beset by disaster is a sleeper hit. Gummi and Kiddi are siblings and neighbours who have not spoken to each other for decades, but when one of their flock goes down with disease the stakes go sky high. The film is funny, raw, and surprisingly lean. It begins as absurdist comedy but winds up closer to existential tragedy.

Men & Chicken

Program Running Time 104 min.

May 20 10:30 pm
May 21 05:50 pm
May 22 07:10 pm
May 25 06:30 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Anders Thomas Jensen
(Denmark, 2015, 104 mins, DCP)

When the man they knew as their father passes away, brothers Gabriel (David Dencik) and Elias (Mads Mikkelsen) are in for a shock: turns out both were put up for adoption by their real dad, Evelio Thanatos. Taboo, or not taboo? This outrageous, philosophical farce crosses Hamlet with The Island of Dr Moreau, and perhaps a smattering of Step Brothers… Call it what you will, it’s a wildly unorthodox comedy which couches some deep thinking about genetics, nature vs nurture, and bestial behaviour in slapstick pratfalls, dumb and dumber jokes, and good old fashioned sibling rivalry.

Song of Lahore

Program Running Time 82 min.

May 16 06:30 pm

Films in Program

(Pakistan, 2016, 82 mins, DCP)

Documentary celebrating Izzat Majeed Sachal Studios, a recording space for traditional South Asian music. A smash jazz/South Asian album caught the imagination of Wynton Marsalis.


"Like Buena Vista Social Club set to the beat of traditional Pakistani music, Song of Lahore is a feel-good exploration of making music as an act of defiance and the unifying property of love of the arts. Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who won her second Oscar this year for the short doc A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, directs with Andy Schocken." Toronto Star

Song of Lahore

(2016, 82 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Sachal Jazz Ensemble, Wynton Marsalis, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra


May 16 06:30 pm

With its ancient palaces and stately gardens, the Lahore of Pakistan’s 1947 independence was a haven and a muse for musicians, artists, and poets. The city came alive to the beat of a tabla drum; with a musical culture passed down over centuries and a thriving film industry, opportunities were great for the legion of musicians that called Lahore home. Today, this vision of Lahore exists only in myth. Islamization, ethnic divisions, war and corruption have torn apart the cultural fabric of Pakistan, and the sounds of the tabla no longer drift through the old city’s bazaar.

In 2004, Izzat Majeed founded Sachal Studios to create a space for traditional music in a nation that had rejected its musical roots. After convincing a number of master musicians to pick up their instruments again, they quietly released some classical and folk albums. But it is an experimental album fusing jazz and South Asian instruments that brings Sachal Studios worldwide acclaim. Their rendition of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five becomes a sensation, and Wynton Marsalis invites them to New York to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. After a groundbreaking week of rehearsals fusing the orchestras from Lahore and New York, the musicians take to the stage for a remarkable concert.

Despite their rising international acclaim, Sachal Studios remains virtually unknown in Pakistan. The ensemble is faced with a daunting task; to reclaim and reinvigorate an art that has lost its space in Pakistan’s narrowing cultural sphere.

"The moment when we hear a sitar move seamlessly from an Eastern melody into the opening notes of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five is one of pure symphonic bliss." Chris Knight, National Post 3 stars out of 4.

"Like Buena Vista Social Club set to the beat of traditional Pakistani music, Song of Lahore is a feel-good exploration of making music as an act of defiance and the unifying property of love of the arts. Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who won her second Oscar this year for the short doc A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, directs with Andy Schocken." Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

DGC Master Class Series: Adam Arkin

(90 mins)


May 28 03:00 pm

Launching in May 2016, the Directors Guild of Canada is pleased to present a series of Master Classes in partnership with VIFF. The DGC Master Class Series will feature multiple award-winning speakers from some of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed films and TV shows. The year-round sessions are designed to educate and inspire everyone from established to emerging directors, screenwriters and producers. Plus: the sessions are also open to the general public.

Four Master Classes will be scheduled at the Film Centre and we are thrilled to announce our inaugural guest, ADAM ARKIN, a director, and actor with multiple Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his work on Chicago Hope and Northern Exposure. His TV directing credits include the award-winning series Fargo, Masters of Sex, Justified, Backstrom, Sons of Anarchy and Secrets and Lies to name but a few. Join us for a fascinating master class with Adam on May 28th as he takes us into his experiences from behind the camera.

Reception to follow.

Reel Jazz, Part 2: Swingin' Hot & Blowin' Blue presented by Michael van den Bos

(110 mins)
FEATURING Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Glenn Miller,Diana Ross, Lester Young
Classification: G


Jun 14 06:30 pm

Vancouver film scholar Michael van den Bos follows up his 2015 Reel Jazz show with an all-new compilation of red-hot and blue jazz performances from the movies.  This pulsating program features clips from live-action features and animated cartoons spanning the hot jazz of the early 1930s, through the swinging syncopation of the World War II big band era, to the post-war sounds of the soloists.  Michael will introduce clips of real-life jazz musicians who performed as themselves in guest-star roles and who played fictional musician characters narratively integrated into the story.  Included is a look at the jazz bio-pic, how the movies portrayed the darker notes of a troubled jazz life, and a tribute to the most influential jazz musician and singer of them all—the man whose artistry and ebullience revolutionized and popularized the genre—Louis Armstrong. 

The Fits

(2016, 72 mins, DCP)
CAST Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Antonio A.B. Grant Jr.
Classification: PG


Jun 24 06:30 pm
Jun 25 06:20 pm

"This visually lush and uncommon coming-of-age story pivots on Toni (Royalty Hightower), an 11-year-old who tags after her older brother during his trips to the boxing gym of a neighborhood rec center. One day, Toni spies young female dancers practicing a routine that’s fiercer than any slugfest, and is wholly transfixed. She signs up, joining a sorority that initiates her into a surprisingly, satisfyingly complex femininity. Beat by beat, thrilling move by move, the director Anna Rose Holmer — making an impressively assured feature debut — proves that the his-and-her spaces of the boxing ring and dance floor are more multilayered than they seem." Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Taiwanese FF: Elena

(2015, 138 mins)
In Hoklo, Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles


Jun 12 08:35 pm

This screening will be preceded by the short film: New Human (4 mins).

"Part romantic comedy, part Taiwanese soap opera, the film, set in the industrial city of Kaohsiung, tells the story of a woman in search of love and happiness, but fixes its gaze on social ills and political injustice in Taiwanese society." Tapei Times

Taiwanese FF: The Laundryman

(2015, 112 mins, DCP)
In Taiwanese, Mandarin
CAST Joseph Chang, Sui Tang, Wan Qian, Yeo Yann Yann


Jun 11 07:15 pm

In this kinetic horror/kung-fu mash-up, an innocuous-seeming dry cleaners fronts for a hitman-for-hire operation. When a nameless contract killer becomes haunted by his former targets, he enlists a psychic for help, but their quest to make peace with the past puts them at odds with his ruthless employer. Colorful and brimming with unforgettable characters, The Laundryman puts the stylish influences of Wong Kar-Wai on the spin cycle. (Chicago Film Festival)

"Starting off as a horror comedy and concluding with a hard-knuckle free-for-all, Taiwanese filmmaker Lee Chung’s first fictional feature works as a knowing and entertaining genre blender, its relentlessly manic energy propped up by its stars — some of them cast remarkably against type — and throbbing imagery." Clarence Tsui, Hollywood Reporter

"An assassin haunted by the ghosts of his victims is the tantalizing conceit of The Laundryman, the feature debut by up-and-coming director Lee Chung. There is a bit of everything in this black comedy — from a healthy dose of romance and suspense to abundant action. To top it all off, this boisterous genre concoction is made with sleek production values and an A-list cast." Taipei Times

Taiwanese FF: Panay, Children of the Sun

(2015, 99 mins, DCP)
In Mandarin, Taiwanese, Amis with English subtitles
CAST Ado Kaliting Pacidal, Dongi Kacaw, Rahic Kulas, Kaco Lekal, Bokeh Kosang


Jun 11 03:00 pm
Jun 12 06:20 pm

Based on a true story, up and coming directors Yu-Chieh Cheng and Lekal Sumi weave a wonderfully shot story about aboriginal rights. When Panay, a single mother, returns to her home village to attend to her sick father, she discovers a plan to turn their lands into large resorts. Rekindling her love for her home, she works with the villagers to revive the village and save their lands. As the first to leave the village and receive a college education, Panay sees the struggles of marginalized groups in society, and it is through this that she is able to reconcile with her aboriginal roots. Panay: Children of the Sun is a story of reclamation: the reclamation of the rightful land of the Pancah, and Panay’s reclamation of a culture she left behind. Its beautiful scenery will draw you into a world still strongly integrated with nature.

Note: the screening Sunday June 12 will be preceded by the short film, Behind the Scene (11 min).

"Essentially Local Hero in paddy fields… the idyllic surroundings, naturalistic performances and overwhelmingly earnest message ultimately win out." South China Morning Post