Film Festival Series


Path Alias: 

Portrait of the Artist

Program Running Time 127 min.


Antoine Barraud, Producer, c/o Alberto Alvarez Aguilera, Reel Suspects
Oct 02 01:00 pm
Oct 03 06:00 pm

Films in Program

(Le Dos rouge)
Directed By: Antoine Barraud
(France, 2015, 127 mins, DCP)

A filmmaker (played by director Bertrand Bonello) in search of the definitive image of "the monstrous" forms the backbone of Antoine Barraud’s fascinating mélange, one part drama, one part art history lesson, one part homage to past cinematic masters Buñuel and Hitchcock. Jeanne Balibar and Géraldine Pailhaus (playing the same art historian) accompany our intrepid director through a tour of some of Paris’ most quixotic museums. The effect is "spellbinding."—ArtForum

Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories

Program Running Time 102 min.

Sep 24 09:00 pm
Oct 05 01:00 pm

Films in Program

(Cha Và Con Và)
Directed By: Phan Dang Di
(France, Vietnam, 2015, 102 mins)

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


Program Running Time 102 min.

Sep 30 01:15 pm
Oct 03 04:15 pm
Oct 05 06:45 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Prashant Nair
(India, 2015, 102 mins, DCP)

Rama (Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma) is flushed out of rural life when he learns that his brother is missing in Mumbai. As a search for answers thrusts him into the metropolis’ chaos, he forges letters from his sibling to his mother in hopes of sparing her heartbreak. In turn, Prashant Nair crafts a moving story about devotion and discovery. "The film’s takes on immigration, country-city contrasts and youthful dreams of the future are lovingly detailed…"—Hollywood Reporter

Jafar Panahi's Taxi

Program Running Time 82 min.

Oct 01 04:15 pm
Oct 03 06:45 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Jafar Panahi
(Iran, 2015, 82 mins, DCP)

Despite the ban against him, Iranian master Jafar Panahi continues to find ingenious ways to make films. Here, taxi driver Panahi cruises Tehran, picking up family, friends, film colleagues and nonprofessionals, all of whom take on roles. The result is "a beautifully humane fable… a good-humoured jeu d’esprit, a piece of freewheeling cinephile activism… It’s a rueful but insistent statement to the effect that he is down but not out…"—Guardian

Second Mother

Program Running Time 112 min.

Oct 01 06:00 pm
Oct 06 04:15 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Anna Muylaert
(Brazil, 2015, 112 mins, DCP)

Anna Muylart has crafted one of the year’s biggest crowd pleasers! A cheerful São Paulo housekeeper (the wonderful Regina Case) finds her life—and the lives of the high class family she cares for—comically turned upside down when her estranged daughter (Camila Mardila) shows up and unleashes a welter of issues relating to class difference, infatuation, motherhood and privilege. "Beautifully written and acted with precision, this film’s a winner."—Hollywood Reporter

600 Miles

Program Running Time 85 min.

Oct 02 04:45 pm
Oct 05 08:30 pm

Films in Program

(600 Millas)
Directed By: Gabriel Ripstein
(Mexico, 2015, 85 mins, DCP)

Gripping and gritty, Gabriel Ripstein’s assured debut is a nimble, intense thriller that delves into cross-border crime. Arnulfo has a tidy little racket going—legally purchasing Arizona firearms and flipping them to Mexican cartels—until he’s targeted by an ATF agent (Tim Roth). Bad luck and even worse decisions conspire to set these two men on a treacherous journey that neither expected and both are wholly unprepared for. “A lean, careful, clever tale…”—Indiewire

I am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced

Program Running Time 99 min.


Khadija Al-Salami, Director, c/o Matthias Angoulvant, WIDE Management
Sep 25 01:30 pm
Sep 26 06:00 pm
Oct 07 10:30 am

Films in Program

(Ana Nojoom bent alasherah wamotalagah)
Directed By: Khadija Al-Salami
(Yemen, France, United Arab Emirates, 2014, 99 mins, DCP)

In 2009, the story of Yemeni teenager Nojoom Ali’s bid to legally extricate herself from an abusive, arranged marriage to a much older man made headlines. Khadija Al-Salami has beautifully adapted the subsequent bestseller into an emphatic drama featuring a wonderful performance from Reham Mohammed as the young Ali and a striking backdrop of Yemen’s astonishing mountain villages and ancient “skyscrapers.” "A powerful, moving and provocative debut drama…"—Screen

Three Stories of Love

Program Running Time 140 min.

Sep 30 09:00 pm
Oct 02 10:30 am

Films in Program

Directed By: Hashiguchi Ryosuke
(Japan, 2015, 140 mins, DCP)

Hashiguchi has likely given more pleasure to VIFF audiences over the years than any other Japanese director, and this is his crowning achievement to date: three interwoven tales of individuals learning to cope when love slips through their fingers. The protagonists are a bereaved bridge-repairman, an unhappy housewife with creative ambitions and an elite gay lawyer. Wildly funny in parts, but the overall tone is worldly and very wise. Tony Rayns

Wondrous Boccaccio

Program Running Time 123 min.

Oct 01 12:30 pm
Oct 06 08:30 pm

Films in Program

(Maraviglioso Boccaccio)
(Italy, 2015, 123 mins, DCP)

Boccaccio’s Decameron without sex may seem surprising, but desire, delight and the beauty of youth are everywhere here. A tapestry of colour and the supreme natural beauty of the medieval Italian countryside, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s resplendent work, set in 1348, features ten young Florentines who hide from the plague in a country villa. To pass the time, they tell stories "that seem to vibrate with erotic passions inflamed by the presence of death."—New Yorker

Dead Slow Ahead

Program Running Time 74 min.

Sep 27 01:15 pm
Sep 29 07:00 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Mauro Herce
(Spain, France, 2015, 74 mins, DCP)

An immersive experience that casts a hypnotic spell, Mauro Herce’s sui generis drama can be read as an allegory for late capitalism or taken at face value as a haunting look at the freighter Fair Lady and its Filipino crew on a mission that only comes to light when a natural disaster occurs. Awash in reds and greens, the film gives off an otherworldly glow—we could just as easily be ensconced in a spaceship on a science-fiction journey… Transfixing.