When the first manned mission to Mars hits turbulence due to personality clashes amongst the crew, the higher-ups devise a high concept solution: create a simulacrum of the spacecraft, stock it with five surrogates who possess the same personalities as the feuding astronauts, and have them re-enact the events occurring light minutes away. And so it is that David (Steve Laplante), a P.E. teacher, achieves an approximation of his childhood dream to journey to the stars. And while he earnestly believes he’s making a difference, it seems far more likely that he’s being made the butt of some cosmic joke. Is it possible to find your purpose when you’ve been stripped of all of your agency?
Marking the long-awaited return of Stéphane Lafleur (Tu dors Nicole), Viking never speculates whether there’s intelligent life on Mars. However, it certainly contends that there’s rampant absurdity here on Earth. To use the parlance of the film, Lafleur’s cast displays “complete commitment to the mission” by dialing into the film’s deadpan wavelengths and mining poignancy from this folly.
Special Mention for Best Canadian Feature Film (Amplify Voices), TIFF 2022
Steve Laplante, Larissa Corriveau, Fabiola N. Aladin, Hamza Haq, Denis Houle, Marie Brassard
In French and English with English subtitles
Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre
Someone Lives Here
Throughout the COVID pandemic, Toronto has seen a catastrophic increase in homelessness. Sick of seeing his city unable to care for its unhoused people, Khaleel Seivwright quit his job as a full-time carpenter and dedicated himself to building insulated shelters--called 'tiny shelters.'
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Animation
The best animated shorts of the year, according to the Academy... films from Iran, Israel, France and the USA. This program will also feature a handful of "best runners-up".
Big Fight in Little Chinatown
Set against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and an unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses, and community organizers whose neighborhoods are facing active erasure.
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Live Action
This year's nominees for Best Live Action Short Films include a mini-masterpiece from Wes Anderson and French Canadian entry, Invincible.
The Invisible Fight
Fans of Black Sabbath, kung fu, and/or wacky comedy won't want to miss The Invisible Fight. This gonzo Estonian martial arts movie is an unholy cross between Aki Kaurismaki and Edgar Wright; a true one-off.
Manufacturing the Threat
Shining a light into the murky world of police infiltration, incitement, and agent provocateurs, Manufacturing The Threat shows how Canada’s policing and national security agencies, granted additional powers after 9/11, routinely break laws with little to no accountability or oversight.
Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Stéphane Lafleur, Eric K. Boulianne
Organ Mood, Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux, Mathieu Charbonneau
Stéphane Lafleur is a filmmaker, musician, and film editor. His first feature film, Continental, un film sans fusil (2007), had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival’s Venice Days section and won the Citytv Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF. En terrains connus (2011) won the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Berlinale, Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Prize at the Taipei Film Festival. Tu dors Nicole (2014), his third feature, premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes and screened at TIFF and other film festivals.
Filmography: Continental, un film sans fusil (2007); En terrains connus (2011); Tu dors Nicole (2014)