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VIFF 2023 Films A-Z

About Dry Grasses

197 min

In a remote village in eastern Turkey, an art teacher enters his fourth and final year at a state-mandated teaching post, but finds himself having to navigate two tricky relationships which force him into existential crisis.

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Aitamaako'tamisskapi Natosi: Before the Sun

88 min

A thrilling portrait of a young Siksika woman as she trains for one of the most dangerous horse races in the world: on bareback. Logan Red Crow is an Indian Relay rider who vaults from horse to horse in exhilarating races. She is a champion in the making.

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All Ears

112 min

How do you want to be remembered after death? All Ears tackles this heavy subject with a lightness of touch and sense of humor. A failed scriptwriter leverages his knowledge of storytelling into a job writing obituaries.

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Anatomy of a Fall

151 min

When Samuel is found dead outside his alpine cabin it's clear he fell from the attic. But did he jump, or was he pushed? Justine Triet became only the third woman to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes, for this thoroughly engrossing courtroom drama.

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Animal

117 min

Residents of a Greek island prepare for fellow European tourists seeking the best summer experience their modest earnings can buy, the "animatuers" at the local hotel resort dust off their shiny costumes and dance to keep the masses entertained.

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Animalia

90 min

An unexpected meteorological phenomenon means that a heavily pregnant young Moroccan woman, Itto, is forced to flee from her comfortable home alone and brave an increasingly otherworldly and apocalyptic milieu. A singular, hard-to-classify debut feature.

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The Animal Kingdom

130 min

In a world where mysterious mutations are gradually evolving humans into animal hybrids in an unpredictable and frightening way, a father tries to protect his 16-year-old son who is starting to acquire beastly characteristics.

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Anselm

93 min

A stunning documentary presents the work of contemporary German artist Anselm Kiefer, who for decades has rattled history and shown a mirror to post Second World War complacency and forgetfulness. Presented in 3D.

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Apolonia, Apolonia

116 min

Filmed over thirteen years, viewers follow Apolonia Sokol's seemingly storybook life. In a portrait of the vibrant, charismatic force that is Apolonia, in tandem with a remarkable document of the creative interplay between the filmmaker and her subject.

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Asog

101 min

Jaya, a teacher and comedian, travels across the typhoon-ravaged Philippines in a bid to win a beauty pageant. En route, they pick up an unlikely companion. Comic, sorrowful, and political, Asog examines the climate crisis through a kaleidoscopic lens.

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Between Revolutions

70 min

In a hybrid film comprised entirely of archival footage, two fictional women are torn from each other by the tides of repressive political and patriarchal systems. A haunting, lyrical tale of longing for freedom amongst connection.

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Bitten

90 min

Françoise wakes up from an ominous dream that seems to foreshadow her imminent death. Not wanting to waste a minute of her remaining time, she consults her crystal pendulum and convinces her best friend Delphine to attend a mysterious costume party.

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Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry

110 min

Etero, a 48-year-old woman living in a small village in Georgia, never wanted a husband. She cherishes her freedom as much as her cakes. But her choice to live alone is the cause of much gossip. Unexpectedly, she finds herself falling in love.

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The Boy and the Heron

124 min

Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki returns from retirement with an enchanting swansong, the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.

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The Braid

120 min

Laetitia Colombani's assured, involving adaptation of her own best-selling novel weaves together three stories of female perseverance across three continents, in India, Italy, and Canada. This is a strongly acted movie with a big emotional pay-off.

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Caiti Blues

84 min

In a deserted mining town, 29-year-old Caiti Lord faces existential ennui. As her childhood aspirations feel impossible, Lord has taken a life as a struggling singer songwriter, working at her local bar. Captured through the quiet rhythms of her hometown.

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Call Me Dancer

84 min

When a self-taught street dancer struggles in the search for paid work, his raw determination and artistic passion pushes him to attend classical training. Call Me Dancer is a fight for a dream despite all odds.

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Chronicles of a Wandering Saint

85 min

Boasting absurdist humour and one of the most audacious storytelling gambits you'll see on screen this year, this is the story of Rita, a devout senior with an ill-advised scheme to stage a miracle and thus enshrine her reputation as a living saint.

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Close to You

100 min

In his first feature film role since 2017, Elliot Page delivers a deeply felt and nuanced performance as a young man reuniting with his family for the first time since his transition, four years earlier.

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Common Ground

105 min

An impassioned plea to care for the very thing that feeds us, balances the climate, and sustains life on earth: soil. Common Ground unveils the potential of regenerative farming, to show us how saving the soil can help save us along with it.

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A Cooler Climate

72 min

In a recollection of veteran filmmaker James Ivory's unfinished film about Afghanistan. Old footage provides a pronounced air of mystery to compliment its rough beauty, setting the scene for a look back into Ivory's life.

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Creature

87 min

In an Arctic research facility, a mysterious creature is found and captured, finding unexpected love with a woman working under the organization. Portrayed through polished ballet, Creature tells the story of unfettered emotion through kinetic movement.

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Days of Happiness

119 min

Emma, a gifted young orchestra conductor is at a crossroads. Audiences are enraptured by her work, however, her career is steered by her controlling father, who’s also her agent. She also has a secret relationship. Tensions build, swell, crescendo...

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Deep Rising

94 min

Exploring the luminous ecosystems deep in the Pacific Ocean alongside the countries and companies hoping to reap the lucrative deposits of precious metals lining depths of the ocean. Deep Rising asks if this may end our search for efficient green power.

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The Delinquents

189 min

In the heart of Buenos Aires, two bank clerks live a gray, mind-numbingly routine existence—that is, until one of them commits a crime that upends both their lives. Invigorating, precisely composed, and endlessly inventive.

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Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World

163 min

Radu Jude takes two days in the life of a stressed Romanian p.a. and gives us an urgent, pissed off, sourly funny polemic on the state of late capitalism. Exploitation, discrimination and hypocrisy are his targets; dialectics are his dynamite.

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Dust in the Wind

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At the end of the 1960s, high-school sweethearts Wan and Huen leave their little mining town in search of greater opportunities in Taipei, where the vicissitudes of life take their toll on the relationship.

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Evil Does Not Exist

105 min

After the international success of Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi quietly made this small-scale independent film, a work of simplicity and grace about a rural community and the developers who want to build a "glamping" retreat in the woods.

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The Face of the Jellyfish

77 min

Thirty-something Marina wakes up to a completely new face. Cutting herself off from friends and colleagues, she pours through family archives to make sense of the surreal development. With no practical solution in sight, a world of possibility opens up.

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Fallen Leaves

81 min

Ansi meets Holappa, and these two lonely souls feel they are meant for each other, but Fate may have other ideas... Aki Kaurismäki crafts a poignant and pertinent comedy which picked up the Jury Prize at Cannes.

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The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed

87 min

A mid-thirties Jewish woman with an interest in BDSM struggles to maintain casual relationships with various “masters.” Witty, wry, and sexually frank, this off-kilter comedy finds humour in the absurd ways that our bodies move through the world.

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Fitting In

105 min

16 and ready to lose her virginity, Lindy is distressed to learn she has a rare condition which means she will never conceive and penetrative sex will require intervention. McGlynn's raw, funny film resonates with debates around sex and gender conformity.

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Float

100 min

The summer before college, a city girl finds herself in Tofino, alienated by the local beach culture—that is, until she falls for the charming local lifeguard, which throws her carefully planned future into question.

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Four Daughters

107 min

A stimulating and cathartic docu-drama from Academy-Award nominee, Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania, about a mother who lost two teenage daughters when they fled to Libya to fight for ISIS.

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Four Little Adults

122 min

Upon learning of her husband's year long affair, Juulia proposes an open marriage free of secrets. As a polyamory guide becomes their bible, Juulia falls in love with someone new, filling their journey in polyamory with love, compassion, and compromise.

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Gamodi

98 min

Inside an unfinished apartment tower in Tblisi, Georgia, a legendary drag queen and teenage drifter live in purgatorial languor. Are they still inhabiting this plane of existence? A poetic fable that conjures a legitimately dreamlike milieu.

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Goodbye Julia

127 min

Leading up to South Sudan’s secession, a retired singer is wracked with guilt from her connection to a murder. To make amends, she hires the new widow as her maid. This artfully composed drama weaves friendship, deceit, and awakening to inequities.

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Green Border

147 min

In her seventies Agnieszka Holland has made a ferocious, emotionally charged film about the brutal treatment of refugees arriving over the Polish land border from Belarus. This is a vehement denunciation of resurgent fascism and utterly compelling cinema.

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Hello Dankness

70 min

In the finest tradition of MAD Magazine, found footage from classic US film and television is combined to create a fictitious American neighborhood, reflecting modern American life from 2016 - 2021 in a wildly unconventional and absurdist satire.

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Here

82 min

Following a construction worker and a Belgian-Chinese biologist writing a dissertation on moss, this is a sensuous wonder and a luminous exploration of the visible world. A film about two strangers united by their mutual delight in their surroundings.

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Hey Viktor!

102 min

25 years after the success of the iconic film Smoke Signals, a disheveled former child actor decides to create a sequel to relive his fame. This mockumentary follows him on the chaotic uphill journey to do whatever it takes to make it big again.

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Housekeeping for Beginners

107 min

She never wanted to be a mom, but fate presents Dita (Anamaria Marinca) with her girlfriend's two daughters to raise -- a recipe for chaos, laughter and heartache, all jumbled up together.

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How to Have Sex

98 min

Sixteen-year-old Tara and her two best friends arrive to a Greek party town ready to let their hair down. But while Tara is indeed down for some summer fun, her boundaries keep getting trampled on by those closest to her.

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Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

90 min

Meet Sasha, the world’s most compassionate young vampire. Her family is at their wits' end with her refusal to embrace their lethal traditions and threaten to cut her off -- until she meets a brooding boy hoping to end his life, and strikes a unique deal.

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I Am Sirat

87 min

I Am Sirat is a personal documentary about Sirat, a transwoman in India, who lives a dual life. While supported by a queer network of friends in Delhi, Sirat reverts to the closet at home as she’s forced to maintain a son’s familial and cultural responsibilities.

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I Don't Know Who You Are

103 min

A gay Toronto musician is sexually assaulted one night and is in a panicked race against time to pay for HIV-preventive PrEP treatment, all the while trying to navigate the legal system and deal with the emotional aftermath of the trauma.

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If Only I Could Hibernate

98 min

In the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, a story unfolds of perseverance under a truly daunting predicament. A teen with a gift for physics enters a national competition, struggling to make ends meet while pushing to succeed against all odds.

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Il Boemo

137 min

In the baroque courts of 18th Century Venice, the egos of patrons and artists clash in the rise and fall of one of history’s greatest unsung composers, Josef Mysliveček.

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I'm Just Here for the Riot

78 min

Vancouver, June 15, 2011. Hours after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, rioters laid waste to blocks of downtown. In this absorbing documentary, Kathleen S. Jayme (The Grizzlie Truth) and Asia Youngman revisit that chaotic night.

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In Broad Daylight

106 min

In a powerful film based on actual events, a hard-bitten journalist investigates abuse in a Hong Kong care home. The film sidesteps no hard hitting questions, neglects cop-outs or easy answers, and offers a resounding moral challenge to us all.

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In Flames

98 min

Returning to his birthplace, Karachi, Pakistan, writer-director Zarrar Kahn immerses us a tense tale of a mother and daughter trying to survive malevolent patriarchal forces.

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International Shorts: Conflicts of the Heart

106 min

This program of short films offers a range of LGBTQ2S+ lives and experience stories, from youthful romance to estranged seniors.

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International Shorts: Family Adventures

113 min

The challenges of relations with one's family are the basis for the short films in this program.

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International Shorts: Nothing Comes Easy

108 min

In this program of short films our protagonists discover that sorting out their lives can be much more difficult to achieve than they realized.

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International Shorts: Not Your Everyday Drama

107 min

There is high drama a plenty in this program of short films where uncommon scenarios turn into transformative life and death experiences.

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International Shorts: Relational Baggage

110 min

The short films in this program illustrate some of the barriers or difficulties people run into with their personal relationships.

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The Invention of the Other

145 min

In 2019, FUNAI, a Brazilian state protection agency working for Indigenous rights, sent an expedition of 30 people into the Amazon rainforest to make first contact with the Korubo. This powerful film is an immersive ethnographic journey.

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Invisible Beauty

115 min

Since her breakout as one of the most high-profile Black models in the 1970s, fashion world titan Bethann Hardison has advocated for diversity both on and off the runway. This elegant documentary traces her attempt to revolutionize the fashion world.

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Irena's Vow

121 min

In German-occupied Poland, a young woman, Irene Gut Opdyke (Sophie Nélisse) risks her life by hiding 12 Jews in the cellar of a villa where she serves as housekeeper for a Werhmacht officer. But one day, he discovers the truth... Based on a true story.

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It's Only Life After All

123 min

For many growing up in the 1990s, Indigo Girls was the band that defined a generation, admired for their unique alt-folk sound, and gender norm defiance. In a recollection of their 40-year career, their legacy is solidified through earnest interviews.

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I Used to Be Funny

105 min

Sam Cowell (Rachel Sennott) used to spend her nights working the comedy clubs of Toronto and her days as an au pair for Brooke (Olga Petsa). Now Sam hides from the world, tormented by PTSD and grappling with the news of Brooke’s disappearance.

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Joint Security Area

109 min

Park Chan-wook's 2000 domestic box office hit investigates a deadly incident in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

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Joonam

100 min

Sierra Urich embarks on a personal quest to make sense of her mixed-race Iranian identity, interviewing her grandmother, Behjat, with her mother, Mitra, as translator. This delightful doc will make you laugh out loud and bring tears to your eyes.

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Just the Two of Us

105 min

Beginning as a sunny romance, this film slowly, subtly becomes a defiant feminist drama. When Blanche meets Greg at a seaside party, she’s quickly won over by his confidence and charm, but once they’re married, he reveals a much darker side.

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Kidnapped

125 min

Veteran director Marco Bellocchio (The Traitor) returns with a passionate historical drama about a Jewish child abducted by Pope Pius IX in 1865 on the grounds that he had been secretly baptized. This is a rich, operatic film that resonates strongly.

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Kim's Video

80 min

New York institution Kim’s Video closed its doors in 2008. Fifteen years later, filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin set out to find out what happened to the 55,000 film collection and uncover a story of corruption, deception, and intrigue.

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La Chimera

130 min

Rohrwacher's first feature since Happy As Lazzaro is an exhilaratingly wild, mysterious, rough and tumble tale of a disheveled English tomb raider (Josh O'Connor) living with a roisterous group of Italian bohemians: singers, smugglers and petty thieves.

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Last Summer

104 min

When lawyer Anne begins a taboo affair with her 17-year-old stepson, the balance of her life is threatened. In an exploration of power dynamics, Last Summer lures you in and refuses to shy away from discomfort.

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Les Filles du Roi

102 min

Corey Payette's rousing microbudget musical (adapted from the Urban Ink stage production he cowrote with Julie McIsaac) chronicles the friendship between a seventeenth century French woman and a Mohawk trader and his sister.

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Let Me Go

92 min

This erotically charged drama centers on a mature single woman seeking companionship through intimate encounters with men staying at a remote Swiss mountain chalet. A modern romance featuring an enigmatic, meticulously put-together dame.

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Let the River Flow

118 min

Ester, a young Sami woman, tries to conceal her ethnicity to avoid ostracism in 1970s Norway without betraying her family roots. Struggling to navigate her shifting cultural identity, she protests a local dam with Sami activists.

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Lonely Oaks

100 min

In 2018, when a police raid evicted tree-house dwelling activists in Hambach Forest, student and journalist Steffen Meyn fell to his death. His classmates compiled the two years of footage he'd shot, asking whether a cause is ever worth dying for.

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Lynx Man

82 min

A reclusive farmer begins to reconnect with Finland's near-extinct Eurasian lynxes after finding them on his land. Through a series of wildlife encounters, the farmer performs primal, moonlit rituals, blurring the distinctions between man and beast.

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Mareya Shot, Keetha Goal: Make the Shot

72 min

This spirited sports doc follows four junior hockey players of South Asian descent through the 2021-2022 season as they strive to make it to the NHL. Among them, Surrey’s own Arsh Bains, who signs with the Vancouver Canucks.

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Measures of Men

116 min

Germany's historical bigotry against Africans, and its servitude toward legitimizing mass slaughter is documented in this historical drama. Set in turn-of the century Berlin, demonstrating what has been called the 20th century's first genocide.

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Mighty Afrin: In the Time of Floods

92 min

From the floodplains of Brahmaputra River to Bangladesh’s capital city, this stunning hybrid-documentary captures the catastrophic effects of climate change upon the country’s people and landscape. Told through an orphan's personal odyssey.

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The Mission

102 min

In 2018, an American missionary traveled illegally to one of the most isolated places on Earth– North Sentinel Island, determined to convert one of the world’s most isolated populations to Christianity. This misguided mission would quickly see him killed.

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MODES 1

78 min

At the intersection of the natural world, technology and the ongoing pursuit of colonization, sits a necessary reflection on worlds, cities, and people, and how they change over time.

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MODES 2

79 min

Questioning the nature of our material world, artists from South Africa, Spain, Iran and Brazil invite conditional realities to ponder memory, history and the length of existence. Witness and wonder, prepare to confront the possible meaning of it all.

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The Monk and the Gun

107 min

On the eve of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s momentous transition to democracy in 2006, a monk sets off on a mysterious quest for his master, while an American collector arrives in a small town searching for a rare, valuable artefact.

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Monster

126 min

In a poignant and piercing critique on homophobia, Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda explores the tension between a schoolboy and his teacher from various vantage points. This is a moral mystery tale, complex and gratifying.

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The Mother of All Lies

96 min

As her parents and grandmother prepare to leave the Casablanca home they have lived in for decades, Asmae El Moudir takes the opportunity to probe the past, unraveling repressed truths buried within her own family and Moroccan political history.

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Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe

90 min

A celebration of Canada's favourite children's show, Mr. Dressup, which built a legacy of kindness, patience, inclusiveness, and creativity, all while enriching the lives of five generations.

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My Animal

103 min

Outcast teen hockey goalie Heather has it rough: she's a closeted lesbian with an alcoholic mum and something far worse than the usual menstrual cycle. This full-blooded creature feature weds the classic werewolf mythos with its own sapphic sensibility.

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A Normal Family

116 min

During a fancy dinner with their wives, two brothers with divergent moral principles learn of a disturbing situation involving both their teenage kids. In the fallout of this dreadful discovery, the families are faced with an unimaginable choice.

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Numb

91 min

After kindergarten boys and girls in Iran study separately, but at ages five and six they're only beginning to learn to navigate gender, and this is the theme of this beguiling film from Amir Toodehroosta.

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The Oceans Are the Real Continents

119 min

Set in San Antonio De Los Baños, a sleepy town in inland Cuba, and shot in langurous black and white tableaux, The Oceans Are the Real Continents traces the stories of three generations of townspeople. "An exquisite love poem to Cuba." The Film Verdict.

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Octopus Skin

99 min

Three siblings live with an emotionally stunted mother on a remote island off the coast of Ecuador, cocooned and deeply mistrustful of the world outside their bubble. But dark secrets loom, pulling the eldest daughter toward city life.

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The Old Oak

113 min

The local pub is virtually the last community gathering place in an impoverished northern town. when an influx of Syrian refugees stokes xenophobic backlash, TJ, the bar's owner steps up and help the newcomers -- to the anger of some of his regulars.

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One Day All This Will Be Yours

105 min

Lisa is lured to a rare gathering with her parents and two siblings at the family's forest home. The purpose is to decide which child may inherit the vast land and take over the family business. A sensitive and funny portrayal of a dysfunctional family.

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Only the River Flows

101 min

Wei Shujun's unpredictable neo-noir pits a detective against a serial killer terrorizing a small hamlet. The cop is not only trying to outwit the murderer, but must also deal with uncooperative villagers, inept colleagues, and his own unraveling mind.

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On the Adamant

109 min

On the Seine in central Paris, not far from the city’s cultural landmarks, is a huge, floating barge called The Adamant, a psychotherapy day centre with a special focus on art therapy. This tender doc won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale.

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On the Go

72 min

Questioning her desire to have a child, a mid-thirties woman embarks on a road trip with her best friend, who is working through his own commitment issues. Their journey turns into a whirlwind of roadside drama and unexpected self-discoveries.

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Orlando, My Political Biography

98 min

Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the transgressive novel is used as a framework to investigate the very real contemporary struggles of trans and non-binary people. Winner of the Teddy Award and Encounters Jury Prize at Berlin Film Festival.

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Peppermint Candy

129 min

Backtracking from his suicide as a broken and depressed man, the film recounts the life of Yong-ho, from his tragic demise to his innocent youth, in reverse order.

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Physician, Heal Thyself

78 min

One of the world's foremost experts on addiction and trauma, Dr Gabor Maté shares not only his theories, but also his own story: his difficult childhood in Hungary and his long years of therapeutic practice in and around Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

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PIANOFORTE

89 min

A thrilling glimpse into what it takes to compete in the renowned International Chopin Competition, which takes place every five years and can bestow overnight fame on the victor. This doc conveys the nerves, camaraderie and of course the glorious music.

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The Pot-au-Feu

134 min

Set in France in 1885, and photographed like an Impressionist painting, this sublime foodie film surveys the intuitive, intimate partnership between famed gourmand Dodin (Benoit Magimel) and his beloved cook Eugénie (Juliette Binoche).

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Priscilla

113 min

Priscilla Beaulieu (Cailee Spaeny) is just 14 when she meets Elvis Presley (Jacob Elordi, Euphoria) on a US military base in Germany, 1959. Courteous, respectful and a little sad, he sweeps her off her feet. But this fairy tale romance is an illusion.

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The Promised Land

127 min

In this enthralling period melodrama set in mid-18th century Denmark, Mads Mikkelsen tries to establish a farm on the gritty Jutland heath land, but must contend with the enmity of a ruthless local landowner. From the director of A Royal Affair.

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Puan

107 min

After the death of his mentor a professor of philosophy finds his professional standing is in jeopardy, and his own students are threatening to revolt. What use are Rousseau, Hobbes et al when his life is spiraling out of control?

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Raging Grace

100 min

In this riveting revenge thriller, winner of the Grand Jury Award at SXSW, Joy, an undocumented Filipino woman becomes a housekeeper for a terminally ill British aristocrat in his secluded home. But all is not what it seems...

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The Rapture

97 min

In this evocative, enigmatic psychological thriller, an unhappy, lonely Parisian midwife tells a foolish lie and then has to live with the consequences...

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Red Rooms

118 min

In this unsettling and enthralling drama from the director of Nadia, Butterfly, Kelly-Anne (Juliette Gariépy) becomes obsessed with the trial of Ludwig Chevalier (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos), a loner accused of the torture and murder of three teenage girls.

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Restore Point

111 min

Central Europe, 2041. Citizens have the right to be revived from unnatural deaths. When a scientist is murdered and revived through an unstable, outdated backup detective Em Trochinowska pursues her prime suspect, a hacker tied to a Luddite terror cell.

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Richelieu

97 min

Witnessing the brutal treatment of migrant workers while working at a corn plant in the Richelieu Valley in Quebec, French-to-Spanish translator Ariane (Ariane Castellanos) is forced to decide between risking her job and sticking up for the labourers.

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Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling

93 min

No artist instills a sense of sublime awe like the legendary Robert Irwin, Elusive yet down to earth, Irwin is a true original. His extraordinary work is honored in this stunning portrait of one of the most influential contemporary artists of our age.

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Robot Dreams

101 min

Living a solitary existence in Manhattan, Dog is tired of being alone, and builds his own friend: Robot. Their friendship blooms while exploring 1980s New York. This enchanting 2D animation brims with love, loss, and friendship.

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The Royal Hotel

91 min

In Kitty Green's harrowing follow up to The Assistant, Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick) are backpacking across Australia. Running low on funds, they decide tending bar in an Outback mining town could be a lark. This proves a mistake.

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The Sacrifice Game

99 min

1971. Sam and Clara are stuck at their elite boarding school for the Christmas holidays, along with a teacher, her boyfriend, and, soon enough, a murderous gang of occult killers, led by Mena Massoud (Aladdin), who mean to call up a long-dormant demon...

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Sculpting the Giant

87 min

This remarkable film documents a 28-year quest for glory. Indonesian sculptor Nyoman Nuarta’s goal is to build the world’s largest brass and copper structure. To do so, he must contend with public opposition, and political turmoil.

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The Sea and Its Waves

83 min

Like a film poem, The Sea and Its Waves follows a brother and sister as they pass through an almost deserted Beirut on their way out of the country. Bathed in moonlight and flickering city lights, this is atmospheric, transcendental cinema.

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Seagrass

115 min

With their parents tending to their crumbling marriage, 11-year-old Stephanie is drawn to a pack of unruly teens, while six-year-old Emmy answers an eerie cave's siren call. A deftly orchestrated, deeply moving portrait of a family about to implode.

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The Settlers

97 min

In this nihilistic Chilean south western, notorious cattle rancher Menéndez dispatches a trio of hired guns (a Brit, an American cowboy and a local mestizo) to scout and scourge Tierra del Fuego. A searing critique of white supremacist foundational myths.

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Seven Veils

107 min

Haunted by disturbing memories Jeanine allows her repressed trauma to reshape the present as she re-enters the opera world in order to remount her former mentor's most famous work, Salome. Atom Egoyan's latest is a fractured mirror of abuse and catharsis.

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Seven Winters in Tehran

97 min

This compelling, urgent true crime documentary carefully lays out the story of 19-year-old Iranian architecture student Reyhaneh Jabbari, who, in 2007, stabbed a man in self-defence after he tried to rape her. Jabbari was arrested and sentenced to death.

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Short Fuse

102 min

An innovative and eye-opening collection of animated and experimental Canadian shorts. A collection that inspires new approaches to the moving image on screen and re-imagines compelling perspectives, histories, memories and formative life experiences.

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Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

89 min

Within the confines of a smoke sauna deep in an Estonian forest, groups of women gather to cleanse themselves in both body and soul, sharing in traditional sauna-based rituals, while also revealing their hurts and longings, joys and pains.

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Snow in Midsummer

116 min

Haunting, mysterious, and mournful, Chong Keat Aun’s powerful film explores the legacy of May 13, 1969, when mob violence in Kuala Lumpur led to many killings--mostly of Chinese Malaysians.

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Someone Lives Here

75 min

In the summer of 2021, Khaleel Seivwright, a carpenter, decided to build tiny homes for Toronto’s homeless population. Soon afterwards, the city closed him down. An important story for our times of housing insecurity.

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Suddenly

113 min

In her 40s, Reyhan inexplicably loses her sense of smell. Impetuously, she decides to disappear from her old life and find a new one without obligations, possessions, or even aspirations. Is this... Freedom?

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Swan Song

99 min

Legendary ballet dancer Karen Kain chose to direct Swan Lake at the National Ballet of Canada as her swan song. Chelsea McMullen's thrilling backstage documentary shows the grueling physical and emotional toil required to produce artistry at this level.

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The Teachers' Lounge

94 min

When a grade 6 student is accused of theft, idealistic young math teacher Ms Nowak decides to set up a sting to find the true culprit... with disastrous results. This buzzy Berlin film festival title is an ethics master class.

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Terrestrial Verses

77 min

Nine interlocking vignettes of everyday life offer a panoramic, politically charged view of state repression and bureaucracy in contemporary Tehran. Terrestrial Verses resonates strongly with the recent Woman, Life, Freedom protests.

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There's No Place Like Home

106 min

Estranged from her controlling parents, after coming out as a lesbian, Leonora learns of her mother's terminal cancer in an interview on live TV. When visiting her family in hospice, memory and reality begin to blur into a surreal nightmare.

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They Shot the Piano Player

103 min

The fate of a prodigious Brazilian samba pianist murdered in Argentina in 1976 fuels this animated docu-fiction from the team who gave us the Academy Award-nominee Chico & Rita. Jeff Goldblum voices the writer who digs into Francisco Tenório Jr's story.

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Tiger Stripes

95 min

Winner of Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prix, Tiger Stripes is a coming-of-age body horror film set in a Malaysian girls' school. 12-year-old Zaffan’s body starts to change before everyone else’s, and she becomes convinced she's turning into a monster.

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Toll

101 min

Suellen, an unhappy toll booth attendant, prays everyday at a cliff-side shrine for one thing: that her teenage son will be “cured” of homosexuality. In order to pay for conversion therapy, she helps her boyfriend steal wristwatches from wealthy motorists.

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Tomorrow Is a Long Time

105 min

In this stirring coming-of-age drama grounded in the complex father-son dynamic, 16-year-old Meng is trying to find common ground with his emotionally distant father and military service is on the horizon.

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Tótem

95 min

During the chaotic preparations for the birthday of her terminally ill father, a seven-year-old girl finds herself caught amid a complex adult world interspersed with a sense of change. A Buñuelian class study keyed to the interior life of a child.

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A Tour Guide

94 min

The tribulations of adapting to a new place are explored with freshness and sympathy in this film about a defector from North Korea struggling to make a better life for herself in Seoul. A gentle, low-key movie with a touching performance from Sul Lee.

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Tsugaru Lacquer Girl

118 min

Lacquerwork kitchenware is the Aoki family's legacy. When Seishiro wants to hand it down to his son Yu, he is faced with conflict, as his daughter Miyako cares far more for the craft, pushing a collision of gender politics and traditional domestic roles.

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The Tuba Thieves

91 min

Drawing on her experience as a d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing person, director Alison O’Daniel transcends assumptions of sound, silence, and language in this groundbreaking hybrid doc framed around a string of unsolved tuba thefts in L.A.

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Undercurrent

144 min

Kanae is reopening the bathhouse she shut down when her husband Satoru vanished without a trace. As someone shows up looking for work, an uneasy companionship forms, causing Kanae to handle two burdens, her lost husband and a secret she dare not reveal.

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Union Street

79 min

Interspersing interviews with archival footage, Union Street documents the history of Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, the formerly Black neighbourhood which was destroyed by the construction of the Georgia viaduct in the 1970s.

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Valley of Exile

106 min

Early in the Syrian war, two sisters escape to a refugee camp in Lebanon. Shot in an actual refugee settlement, this is a deeply felt exploration of family within the extremes of war, and a bold testament to the strength and resilience of refugee women.

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VIFF Short Forum: Program 1

120 min

As time moves ever the more forward, histories are revisited. Some continue to be honoured while others are called for a reckoning.

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VIFF Short Forum: Program 2

122 min

Get in for a rollercoaster journey through the depths of struggle and perseverance. Not for the faint of heart, this collection is as difficult as it is beautiful.

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VIFF Short Forum: Program 3

120 min

The femme experience as told through various disciplines and genres, each a distinctly inimitable perspective.

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VIFF Short Forum: Program 4

121 min

To locate one's self, the desire to be seen and the need to hide one’s desires are in constant negotiation.

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VIFF Short Forum: Program 5

120 min

Cosmological, geological, and speculative potentials provide hope in periods of doubt and hardship.

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WaaPaKe

80 min

WaaPaKe is a story about resilience, love and transformation. Examined through an Indigenous lens, the stories of residential school Survivor-Warriors and their families offer an understanding of both intergenerational trauma and healing.

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The Wait

99 min

On the brink of destitution, a gamekeeper on a remote ranch in southern Spain takes a bribe from a hunting party. When (inevitably) this leads to tragedy, Eladio's world falls apart, as unnatural forces extract a terrible price.

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When Adam Changes

96 min

Most teenagers are impressionable, but Adam's body literally morphs in response to mockery. Called fat, his waist grows. But in some ways this is the least of his problems, in this delightfully absurd reflection on teen life in the 1990s.

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White Plastic Sky

110 min

2123: When Stefan's wife consents to a macabre metamorphosis before her appointed time, he races across a devastated landscape to save her. This richly detailed rotoscoped dystopia is a spectacle to behold, and a warning to be heeded.

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Wild Goat Surf

104 min

Scrounging and scheming her way through the summer, 12-year-old Goat talks a big game about becoming a world-class surfer... Despite having never actually surfed or even seen the ocean. A charming tale about trying to slip the shackles of circumstance.

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Wild Swans

95 min

Set in a small village on the India/Bhutan border, this story depicts a group of women who live alongside and ultimately support each other. Wild Swans shares a glimpse into a culture and community that is rarely seen in cinema.

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Winter Chants

102 min

This moving doc zooms in on Ho Chung Village, which lies in the hilly rural area of Hong Kong. Once a decade, its citizens hold the Peace and Light Festival as a tribute to their village, its departed souls, and the gods that preside over them all.

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A Woman Under the Influence

155 min

Cassavetes' greatest success is built on a fearless, tour-de-force performance of Mabel Longhetti, a working class wife and mom who struggles to keep it all together. Her husband is also ashamed of her. Love, as the song goes, will tear you apart. This is grand opera in hard hats.

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The Zone of Interest

105 min

Glazer's chilling, scrupulously restrained account of the domestic life of Rudolph Höss (Christian Friedel) and wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller) never takes over the wall separating their idyllic villa from his work -- the Concentration Camp at Auschwitz.

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19B

95 min

In Cairo, a lonesome property guard tends to a run-down villa long-since vacated by its affluent owners. His peaceful little world is overturned when an ex-convict occupies the property, forcing the old man to confront his sorrows.

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