Search Films by Director

Thomas Balmès

The Best of Hot Docs
Director: Thomas Balmès

Having never left his Himalayan village, an eight-year-old monk eagerly awaits the imminent arrival of television and internet (and the window they offer to the wider world). This strikingly beautiful film allows us to witness huge change through this young monk’s eyes.

"Outstanding… Happiness is a film to cherish." POV Magazine

"This is nonfiction film making at its finest." The Matinee

Jeff Barnaby

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Jeff Barnaby

Dark, delirious and made under the sign of Scorsese, Rhymes for Young Ghouls is the angriest, punkiest, least "Canadian" Canadian movie you’ll see all year, and an electrifying feature debut from writer-director Jeff Barnaby. "Weed princess" Aila (the sensational Kawennahere Devery Jacobs) is used to looking out for herself on the Red Crow res, but when her old man gets out from prison things only get harder…

"It’s a tough, gritty piece of work, long on the violence but invested with the poetic sensibility you find in a Cormac McCarthy novel or Tom Waits song… [It] marks the arrival of a genuine cinematic intelligence, one sensitive to life’s more intimate, tender, even spiritual moments yet not averse to slamming the sledgehammer as circumstances require."—James Adams, Globe and Mail

’Exhibiting a vivid eye for potent imagery and a striking sense of the downtrodden vitriol [Rhymes For Young Ghouls] is a tremendously rousing film that announces the arrival of an exciting new voice in Canadian cinema." Scott A Gray, exclaim

"It has been years, probably since Xavier Dolan emerged with I Killed My Mother, since a Canadian director has debuted with a movie as impressive as Jeff Barnaby and Rhymes for Young Ghouls." Marina Antunes, Row Three

Xavier Beauvois

(Des hommes et des dieux)
Mongrel Media 20th Anniversary
Director: Xavier Beauvois

Loosely based on a real incident involving a Cistercian order of monks kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists in Algeria, Beauvois’s film is an austere but gripping meditation on faith and fraternity.

"Of Gods and Men, a transcendent drama of uplift and inspiration, reveals the cavernous divide between heaven and Earth." Peter Howell, Globe and Mail

"Beautiful, somber and rigorously intelligent." AO Scott, New York Times

Dana Ben-Ari

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Dana Ben-Ari

With unexpected humor, with an unflinching camera, with some guilt and some pain, this film takes the unusual risk of examining what breast milk truly means. We are often told that breast milk is better. Better for babies, better for mothers, better for nutrition, health, well-being, and society. Many accept this and yet there are still very few women who succeed in breastfeeding exclusively for the recommended six months and beyond. What would it take to change?

"There are Portlandia-worthy moments amid the talk of breast pumps, latching and engorgement, and also surprising insights with implications beyond the nursery."Sheri Linden, LA Times

"Gently affecting and insightful."Variety

Malik Bendjelloul

Music Mondays
Director: Malik Bendjelloul

One of the most acclaimed - and revelatory - music documentaries in the last few years, this Academy Award-winning film investigates, the life, work and mysterious disappearance of the 70s singer-songwriter Rodriguez. Screening in tribute to director Malik Bendjelloul, who committed suicide earlier this year.

"A hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing." Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"All you really have to know about this surprising and emotive music doc is that you should see it." Trevor Johnston, Time Out

Joe Berlinger

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Joe Berlinger

When Jack Nicholson played a merciless Boston gangster in Scorsese’s The Departed, it was immediately recognised as a portrait of the notorious Whitey Bulger - at that time, still topping the FBI’s Most Wanted List (though that didn’t stop him attending the Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver in 2011). When Whitey was eventually brought to trial, at last his victims had a chance to face this killer and extortionist face justice. But in a bizarrre twist, many found themselves siding with the case for the defence, as they attempted to prove that, contrary to Government claims, Bulger was not and never had been an FBI informant.

"Like five seasons of The Wire distilled into one epic episode."  Globe and Mail

"A chilling, immediate true-crime story."  NOW magazine

Clio Bernard

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Clio Bernard

Set on the outskirts of Bradford in Northern England, the second feature from Clio Barnard (The Arbor) follows two young lads, Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas), and their dealings with a local scrap dealer. Boldly cinematic and featuring astonishing performances from the two leads, The Selfish Giant cements Barnard’s reputation as a visionary filmmaker.

"Devastating in its simplicity and honesty, The Selfish Giant is a colossus of feeling." Inkoo Kang, Village Voice

"Boldly, broodingly cinematic… jaggedly moving." Guy Lodge, Variety

"A film of such power and beauty that there will be no escaping it." David Thomson, New Republic

Tom Berninger

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Tom Berninger

When Matt Berninger, the lead singer of The National, invited his under-achieving younger brother Tom along as a roadie on the band’s European tour, he thought he was doing him a favour. What he hadn’t banked on was Tom filming the whole thing - even as he screws up the most rudimentary tasks asked of him, like catching the tour bus, for example… A tour film like no other, this is oddly touching, very honest, and very funny.

"Poignant and hilarious." NME

"Brutal, hilarious, unexpectedly honest." The Hollywood Reporter

"The best documentary we have seen all year." The New York Observer

Bernardo Bertolucci

(Io e te)
Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor, Last Tango In Paris, The Conformist) returns to his native Italy for what may be his swansong, an intimate yet refreshingly innocent chamber piece about a teenage boy who ducks out of a school field trip and hides out in a disused basement. But his plans for a perfect getaway are thrown when his older half sister discovers his whereabouts…

"Bertolucci’s witty, potent little film showed Cannes that he is still a force to be reckoned with."Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"A masterclass in small-scale filmmaking."Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

Eve Best

Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen
Director: Eve Best

From its mesmerising first moments to the last fulfilment of the witches’ prophecy, Shakespeare’s gripping account of the profoundest engagement with the forces of evil enthrals the imagination.

"A cracking, at times terrifying, production."Daily Telegraph

Doug Block

The Best of Hot Docs
Director: Doug Block

Over the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supported his career with a side business of videotaping weddings. Long curious about how their marriages have turned out, he tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples - with funny, insightful and deeply moving results.

"Quirky, entertaining, and heartwarming." Toronto Film Scene

"Simple in execution, but unmistakably rich in dialogue of the complexities of married life, Doug Block has lensed a wonderfully playful, startlingly tragic film that will surely move anyone who’s ever been in love and question anyone considering marriage themselves." Jordan M Smith, Ion cinema

"Block finds the extraordinary in the patient observation of everyday life." Michel Gondry

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Doug Block

Over the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supported his career with a side business of videotaping weddings. Long curious about how their marriages have turned out, he tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples - with funny, insightful and moving results.

"Quirky, entertaining, and heartwarming." Toronto Film Scene

"Simple in execution, but unmistakably rich in dialogue of the complexities of married life, Doug Block has lensed a wonderfully playful, startlingly tragic film that will surely move anyone who’s ever been in love and question anyone considering marriage themselves." Jordan M Smith, Ion cinema

"Block finds the extraordinary in the patient observation of everyday life." Michel Gondry

AJ Bond

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: AJ Bond

Two friends make a bet to see which of them can withstand a week of psychological torture at the hands of the other. What starts out as a bizarre but humourous reality TV scenario gradually spirals out of control.

Stress Position is an intelligent, thought-provoking film, which can only become increasingly relevant … the overall effect is a film you both want to see again because of its numerous admirable qualities, and never want to re-endure because the psychological tortures are so convincing and the verisimilitude too unnerving.” Alex Fitch, Electric Sheep Magazine

"A nearly flawless debut feature which jumps head first into psychological terror." Film Bizarro

"Stress Position is an attractive, inventive, creative film well worth seeing." David Jaffer, exlaim

Bong Joon-ho

Director: Bong Joon-ho

In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a bullet train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. From acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho (The Host; Mother; Memories of Murder) comes the coolest action pic of the summer, a class allegory delivered with slambang violence, visual panache, and delirious conviction - and starring Captain America himself!

"Politically provocative and visually spectacular Snowpiercer — the best action film of 2014, and probably the best film, period." — Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

"Watching it, I was reminded of the first time I experienced The Matrix or District 9Snowpiercer sucks you into its strange, brave new world so completely, it leaves you with the all too rare sensation that you’ve just witnessed something you’ve never seen before ... and need to see again and again. A" — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

"Gets at a kind of daring, giddy excitement that plays like something our movies have lost." — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

Jason Bourque

Black History Month
Director: Jason Bourque

Presented in association with Black History Month, Music for Mandela explores the role music played in the remarkable life of one of the world’s few genuinely heroic politicians. Musical performances include celebrated artist Vusi Mahlasela, Grammy award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and new music from the internationally acclaimed Soweto Gospel Choir. Interviews include the legendary BB King, Sean Paul, Estelle, Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins and Mandela’s grandson, hip hop artist Bambatha Mandela.

Live musical tribute performed post screening by Benin musician Yoro Noukoussi.

Kathy Brew

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Kathy Brew

Italian-born Massimo and Lella Vignelli are among the world’s most influential designers. Throughout their long career, their motto has been, ’If you can’t find it, design it.’ From graphics to interiors to products and corporate identities, the film brings us into the work and everyday moments of the Vignellis’ world, capturing their intelligence and creativity, as well as their humanity, warmth, and humor.

Nancy Buirski

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Nancy Buirski

Of the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. She mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike - her elongated, race-horse physique became the new prototype for the great George Balanchine. The muse to both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, they loved her as a dancer and a woman. Balanchine married her and Robbins created his famous Afternoon of a Faun for Tanny. She was the foremost dancer of her day until it suddenly all stopped. At age 27, Tanny was struck down by polio and paralyzed. She never danced again.

"It is almost as though you are beholding mythological deities who have alighted briefly on the earth….one of the great ballerinas of the 20th century." - Stephen Holden, New York Times

"The ballet movie we’re swooning over." Marie Claire

"Classical dance great Jacques d’Amboise calls Tanaquil LeClercq’s style a ’path to heaven.’ And this lovely documentary by Nancy Buirski makes it clear that he’s right." - Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

James Ward Byrkit

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: James Ward Byrkit

Imagine Luis Bunuel’s Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie crossed with Shane Carruth’s Primer and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia… Or just imagine a dinner party with friends, a dinner party that starts out quite normally, but which takes a dramatic turn towards the surreal when the power goes out – apparently connected to the proximity of a passing comet. Two guests venture out to the one house in the vicinity which mysteriously still has power. Before the night is done everyone present will have to rethink what they’re doing there, their longest and most intimate relationships, and indeed, who they really think they are…

"You walk away from it with your brain on fire." Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

"The result is an uncommonly clever genre movie, reliant not on special effects—of which there are basically none—but on heavy doses of paranoia." AA Dowd, AV Club

"No budget filmmaking at its most delectably inventive." Mike D’Angelo, The Dissolve