"Like Breaking Bad in real life," (Newsweek), Cartel Land plunges us into the heart of darkness, the front lines of Mexico’s narco wars, where the Knights Templar wreak havoc on anyone who opposes them, and into Arizona’s "Cocaine Alley", where paramilitaries vainly attempt to bolster the border patrols.
At a popular bakery café, residents of New York’s Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. Behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Then the workers decide to form an independent union…
Psychologist and filmmaker Jan Haaken revisits the region where she spent childhood summers on her aunt and uncle’s dairy farm, following four Pacific Northwest families as they try to survive amidst intense pressures that have led most dairies to go under.
Gore Vidal, Robert Fisk, Niall Ferguson and John Mearsheimer are among the interviewees examining how Hollywood and the media portrays Muslims and Arabs in this important documentary.
After the screening join the filmmaker and fellow activists at a reception to thank all of you for attending.
An important pioneer, Nell Shipman challenged what it was to be both a woman and a filmmaker in the early 20th century. Leaving the safety of the Hollywood studios, she ventured into the wilderness to make stories of her own. While in Idaho she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in at least 25 independent silent films. And yet, she is now all but forgotten, a fate not uncommon for many women filmmakers. In this documentary, Nell’s story is paralleled with the stories of others, highlighting their immense but largely hidden legacy. + Panel Discussion
In 1952, Ousmane Sembéne, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. Sembene! a feature-length documentary, tells the incredible true story of the “father of African cinema,” the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give African stories to Africans.
Who knew the tango came from Africa? Filmmaker Dom Pedro reveals the depth of the footprints of the African music on the tango, through this rich movie combining musical performances and interviews from many tango fans and historians in Latin America and Europe, including the renowned Argentinean pianist Juan Carlos Caceres.
A quietly lyrical film filled with genuine suspense, Kinderwald is set in 1854 Pennsylvania. Flora, her two children and her dead husband’s brother, John, have arrived to homestead. When the young boys disappear without a trace, the neighboring community first helps, seeking them in the surrounding landscape. However, it isn’t long before suspicions arise, and the young couple must search for the boys alone. Troubling interferences and a brutal attack from criminal elements lead to a trial of faith for both Flora and John, which the film explores with a realism that steps beyond the real.
Preceded by the short film: Blood (12 min)
Worlds collide when a former neo-Nazi skinhead and the gay victim of his hate crime attack meet by chance 25 years after the incident that dramatically shaped both their lives. Together they embark on a journey of forgiveness that challenges both to grapple with their beliefs and fears, eventually leading to an improbable collaboration…and friendship.
Academy Award Nominee, Documentary Short Subject 2014
A deserted stretch of lonely highway is all it takes to pull together this eerie anthology film, a remarkably cohesive and consistent collaborative effort pulled together by the makers of V/H/S.
"This anthology of five horror tales is the rare group effort without a dud, as it cruises through variations on the genre with style and confidence." Film Comment
Witness the magnificence of the African elephant and experience the gentle souls that lie within their awesome grey bulk. They roamed all of Africa a century ago, but now are left with tiny parcels of land and nowhere to run as they face extinction. These charismatic giants are under constant threat by fierce and unrelenting human predators from the worldwide yet illegal ivory trade. The documentary examines and exposes the elephant poaching crisis in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, including the militarization of the anti-poaching response. Revealing painful truths, this documentary not only points to the damage humanity is inflicting upon both elephants and itself, but furthers the discussion regarding the possibility of conservation and sustainability.
Preceded by the short films: Sniff! The Art of Tasting (5 min) + Norma’s Story (5 min)
This screening will feature a panel discussion.
Join JFL Northwest and VIFF in celebrating one of the seminal film comedies of the last quarter century, a jewel of am-dram endeavor and imagination harnessing some of the most gifted comic actors of their generation, including Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. Set in Blaine, Missouri, this "mockumentary" chronicles the burg’s preparations and execution of its sesquicentennial anniversary, a celebration that is to be capped off by a fabulous amateur show helmed by former New Yorker Corky St. Clair. Corky has high hopes for his "Red, White and Blaine" extravaganza…
Three Harvard graduates start a national humor magazine for adults, launching the careers of some of Hollywood’s most legendary talent. But success and excess among its brilliant and subversive contributors begins to challenge its existence.
Drone covers diverse and integral ground from the recruitment of young pilots at gaming conventions and the re-definition of “going to war”, to the moral stance of engineers behind the technology, the world leaders giving the secret “green light” to engage in the biggest targeted killing program in history, and the people willing to stand up against the violations of civil liberties and fight for transparency, accountability and justice.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: Brandon Bryant, founder, Project Red Hand, star of Drone
If you attended any film at VIFF last year you will recall the clip of the balding gentleman who blows raspberries into his microphone. Fair warning: this is not your Vegas stand up shtick. Rather, it’s a poke in the eye and the ear and the chest, an anti-entertainment that may be the bravest, ballsiest movie to come out of the US last year.
The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Research shows that compared to girls, boys in the U.S. are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: David Hatfield, Leadership consultant and facilitator
A local institution (they ought to be in one), the Gentlemen Hecklers supply the commentary you wish you had thought of to the best bad movies. In their Vancity Theatre debut, Eric Fell, Patrick Maliha, and Shaun Stewart turn their sites on the 1989 Rowdy Herrington "classic", Road House, starring Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch and Sam Elliott.
USA, Italy, Nicaragua
For over a year, the filmmaker followed the most unlikely President of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann – a Nicarguan priest, a revolution theologian, an advocate of the developing world, a reformer.
From director George Miller, originator of the post-apocalyptic genre and mastermind behind the legendary Mad Max franchise, comes Mad Max: Fury Road, a return to the world of the Road Warrior, Max Rockatansky. Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa (Charlize Theron). They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.
Each year the Vancity Theatre is proud to present the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Short Film in the Live Action and Animation categories. Nominations are announced January 14. Check viff.org for program details.