Tortoise Under the Earth
Shishir Jha enters the scene with this richly layered cultural snapshot, thoughtfully excerpting an intimate tragedy to contextualize the wider environmental disaster enveloping the Santhal tribe, an ethnic group native to India and Bangladesh, whose lives are at risk by their proximity to uranium mining.
Centering on the story of a young couple trying to come to terms with the loss of their daughter, Tortoise Under the Earth captures a heartbreaking sense of yearning, gradually expanding on the narrative scope to include regional specificities. Jha adopts a hybrid docu-fiction format to accentuate the layers of subtext at play, weaving ethnological and anthropological elements, and elegantly casting a macro lens over a heartfelt micro storyline. The gentle, observational gaze results in mesmerizing imagery, glimpsing tribal traditions and folklore, and a spiritually rich way of life in harmony with nature. Jha impresses with fresh, intuitive filmmaking, drawing from an immersive process that results in a sense of immediacy and powerful humanist messaging.
Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre
Bradley Cooper's second film as director is a symphonic portrait of the composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, with Cooper in the title role and Carey Mulligan as his wife, actress Felicia Montealegre. One of the films of the year.
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.
Diving in a Drop
Frédéric Swierczynski is one of the best cave divers in the world. Sébastien Devrient, director, is also a mountain guide. The two friends set off to dive solo in the highest lake in the world, on the slopes of the Ojos del Salado volcano in Argentina.
Arthur Erickson's Dyde House
Nestled among the aspen parkland of Alberta, a hidden masterpiece by one of Canada's most celebrated architects has been found. Arthur Erickson’s Dyde House tells the story of an undiscovered piece of history and the architects fighting for its future.
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.
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.
Vinay Mishra, Pallavi Rohatgi, Preety Ali, Raghavan Bharadwaj, Shishir Jha, Mritunjay Jha
Durga Prasad Murmu
Shishir Jha is a Mumbai-based filmmaker born in 1988 in Bihar, India. He graduated from the National Institute of Design with a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Video Communication Design. He then did a Master’s in Film Direction at the Sarajevo Film Academy, and has received a Filmmaking diploma from the late Abbas Kiarostami’s workshop at Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión (EICTV) in Cuba. He is one of the directors of Shuruaat Ka Interval (2014), an anthology film released by PVR Director’s Rare.