An eco-animated gem, this fable about a small boy tracing his missing father’s footsteps from a rural cabin to the big city (and beyond) doesn’t need words to spell out its message about the devastating impact of globalization. But Ale Abreu’s film is also a breathtakingly beautiful and inventive example of the animator’s art, a film of kaleidoscopic visual rhapsodies and delightfully curious investigations into shape and colour, transforming both natural and industrial landscapes into dazzling child’s-eye tableaux. With an infectious Brazilian-inflected score by Ruben Feffer and Gustavo Kurlat.
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.
Peace Officer is a documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of ’Dub’ Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Driven by an obsessed sense of mission, Dub uses his own investigation skills to uncover the truth in this and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community, while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: William "Dub" Lawrence, star of Peace Officer
Adrien runs a garage in a small Quebec town. He needs a new kidney, but that won’t be happening any time soon. Through the recurring cycles of dialysis and ebbing energy, he quietly struggles to balance his work and marriage. Things take an intriguing turn when he hires a young man to help around the garage, and reconsiderations of his past help him move forward. Screened at many festivals around the world, this atmospheric and moving film explores inner strength and personal dignity, capturing compelling characters in an exquisite rural landscape.
Rob is finding it hard to get over his tragically deceased girlfriend Nina. Even more so when she pops up in bed as he’s getting intimate with new flame Holly. At first Holly is shocked and repulsed. But then she decides to give the relationship a chance, threesomes and all… This deliciously macabre Valentine from the Blaine Brothers maybe sick and (literally) twisted, but it’s also surprisingly moving, funny and sexy as hell.
Knitting Nannas Against Gas is a group of sweet ladies who ‘protest’ by unfolding some lawn chairs, popping the kettle on and knitting. The KNAGs, who formed in Australia in 2012, campaign against the growing coal-seam gas (CSG) industry, which they argue threatens to destroy prime farmland and unspoiled ecosystems. They are also absolutely delightful and effective.
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
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
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
Marin De Valk
Cop or killer? She’s convinced he murdered her daughter, and today is payback. His pleas of innocence fall on deaf ears. Lies are useless, mind games backfire, the truth doesn’t work. In the end, the only way he can stop this death-ride could kill them both.
TRUNK, an audience favourite at the 2015 Victoria Film Festival, is a BC-created independent feature from Chiaro Productions, Produced and Directed by Martin de Valk, Written by Keith Digby and Brian Paisley – and the first in their triptych of “claustrophobic thrillers’. The second film, CONTAINER, is now in development.
Hit with a diagnosis of cancer, Saffron wants to ensure the well-being of her children. With a lack of reliable friends and a deadbeat ex-boyfriend, she resorts to her last hope - finding her biological mother. This emotionally nuanced film builds on a strong female lead, one capable of facing reality, no matter how daunting, and charting a path towards hope and reconciliation . This mother-daughter drama shines with stellar performances by actors Gabrielle Rose and Camille Sullivan.
Plus short film: The Vocation (7 min)
“One of the year’s best films. An urgent, illuminating dive into the headwaters of second-wave feminism. Wise, moving, upsetting, and sometimes funny. That defiant sisterhood changed the workplace, our sexual politics, our language. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is the best filmed account of how that happened you could ever expect to see.”
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
The biggest box office champ the movies have ever seen (adjusted for inflation), Gone with the Wind stands at the pinnacle of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the ultimate studio romantic epic. On the eve of the American Civil War, rich, beautiful and self-centered Scarlett O’Hara (Vivian Leigh, in her Oscar-winning role) has everything she could want—except Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). As the war devastates the South, Scarlett discovers the strength within herself to protect her family and rebuild her life.
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.
After 1953 Iranian coup d’état, when General Fazlollah Zahedi is appointed as prime minister, a delegation is sent to Russia to reclaim the World War 2 indemnity. This is the beginning of some perilous adventures for Colonel Takin who is commissioned to fetch eleven tons of Gold to Iran…
Presented in partnership with Vancouver Iranian Film
Caleb Behn sports a Mohawk and tattoos, hunts moose, and wears a business suit. His father is a devout environmentalist and residential school survivor. His mother is in a senior position in the oil and gas industry. His people, at the epicenter of some of the largest fracking operations on earth, are deeply divided. How does Caleb balance their need for jobs with his sacred duty to defend their territory?
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: Caleb Behn, star of Fractured Land
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.
Academy Award nominee: Best Foreign Language Film, Guerra’s film is a bewitching Amazonian odyssey inspired by two historical forays deep into the jungle by European anthropologists. Filmed in stunning black and white, this is a potent, poetic, political film reminiscent of Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre.
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…
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.