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Use our search function below to sort the films by their English title, the names of directors, or their country of origin. Films can also be filtered by series, genre, or Vancouver International Film Festival venue. You can also browse by film series by visiting our Browse By Series page.
The majority of films in the Vancouver International Film Festival are unrated and you must be 18 and purchase a $2 VIFF membership to attend a screening. However, a selection of films are open to all ages.
Before you make your purchase, please note The Rio is 19+ exclusively with the exception of the rated High School Screenings at this venue.
Maybe location isn’t quite everything in these short films but it’s certainly integral. A haunted lighthouse, eerie acoustics lab and sleepy prairie community are but some of the atmospheric environments that these compelling stories immerse us in. Featured films: Bison, Broken Face, Chamber Drama, Eclissi, Fallow, Lifers, Light and Sleeping Giant
Wild fish populations in BC have been declining since the late 70s, at about roughly the same time the open-net fish-farm industry began to grow fish in marine waters. Focusing on the research of biologist Alexandra Morton, filmmaker Scott Renyard links the crash of many fish species on Canada’s West coast to diseases spread from fish farms in this persuasive and urgent call to action.
Chile, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands
One of the New Argentine Cinema’s mainstays, Martín Rejtman returns with this funny, deliberately episodic study of 18-year-old flute player Mariano (Rafael Federman) and his circle of friends and family. "A nearly uncategorizable seriocomedy whose string of non-sequiturs oddly mimics life’s implausibilities… There’s a great deal of humor built in to the characters, whose instability has a certain endearing quality."—Variety
Beautifully wrought and meticulously controlled, Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ taut drama follows a bullied man as he wrestles with the moral implications of revenge… "A terrifically tense first half culminates in a truly brilliant scene… [and it] all ends with a dramatic pop as sharp as the first of only two gunshots in this menacing, morally agnostic film."—Guardian. Winner, World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Sundance 2014.
Among the most eloquent voices advocating for Tibet and its people is that of Beijing-based Tibetan writer/blogger/activist Tsering Woeser. This sharply designed, formally innovative documentary is completely in her own voice: combining readings from her secret government “dossier” with her own passionate, moving account of her political awakening and unrelenting advocacy Shelly Kraicer
The radiant Gong Li is magnificent in this staggering period piece about a woman with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms who anxiously awaits her husband’s return despite the fact he’s already come home to her. "Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s… family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution [is] heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinary lives affected by political upheaval."—Variety
Ex-con Shengli, whose rough exterior hides a gentle soul, has a nutty plan: open a kindergarten with his dancer-cum-nurse partner. But he can’t shake the violent shadows of his past. Zhang Meng’s controversial winner at the Shanghai Film Festival is a rare Chinese commercial film that’s dramatically powerful, absurdly comic, politically astute and somehow censor-approved. Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Shanghai 2014. Shelly Kraicer
Diao Yi’nan’s film noir is a stylish, exhilarating descent into a nightmarish wintery Manchurian mystery. Following a series of murders, alcoholic former cop Zhang Zili’s (Liao Fan) suspicions are aroused by laundress Zhichen (Taiwan superstar Gwei Lun-mei), who seems intimately linked to the victims. China’s biggest art-house box-office hit so far. Winner, Golden Bear (Best Film), Silver Bear (Best Actor), Berlin 2014. Shelly Kraicer
Based on Bi Feiyu’s best-selling novel, Lou Ye’s sensual drama explores a Nanjing massage parlour and the desires of the sightless masseurs and masseuses employed there. As the camera and actors (including the extraordinary Guo Xiaodong and Qin Hao) grow as intimate as lovers and Lou artfully conveys how his characters experience the world, the film becomes "entirely engrossing…”—Variety. Winner, Best Cinematography, Berlin 2014.
Abandoned by his mother, a small village boy sets out to find her on a Dickensian adventure through the horrors of China’s brutal economy. First he’s a factory slave, then he’s abducted by thieves… Zhang’s film, however, is shockingly, poetically beautiful, with a black and white floating camera-eye that turns every shot into lyrical poetry. Shelly Kraicer
China, Hong Kong
Fresh from Venice, Ann Hui’s masterly new film tells the life story of China’s greatest modern woman writer Xiao Hong, brilliantly played by Tang Wei. In the background, Japan’s invasion of China in the 1930s. In the foreground, a woman in love with a feckless man, negotiating the sexual and political rivalries of her day with honesty, clarity and beauty. Tony Rayns
It’s Christmas in Bogotá and 10-year-old Eric has been sent to live with his impoverished handyman father. When a wealthy client takes pity on them, and invites them to stay at her family’s country villa over the holidays, tensions and discomfort soon begin to crackle, exposing the gap between Christian charity and the starker realities of the class structure. "An engrossing, sensitive and admirably nuanced social drama."—Hollywood Reporter
In a vibrantly depicted Havana, 11-year-old Chala industriously cares for carrier pigeons and dogs on his apartment balcony. Trouble is, there’s easy money in dog fighting. The most important champion in his life however is his aging teacher, Carmela (the marvelous Alina Rodríguez), a woman who refuses to let the boy fall between the cracks and endures government reprisals as a result. Director Ernesto Daranas demonstrates equal bravery in confronting Cuba’s social ills. Winner, Audience Award, Málaga 2014.
Nil Malmros draws on an incident from his own life—due an array of tragic circumstances, his wife killed their baby—to forge an intense, empathetic and bracingly intelligent drama. "The images have a sober, self-effacing beauty, the acting is subdued, and the fatal deed itself is never shown… Sorrow and Joy is a… melodrama about grace—a small miracle in today’s cinema."—Film Comment
In parts of Ethiopia, tradition calls for a man to abduct his wife-to-be, sometimes without her consent. When 14-year-old Hirut (Tizita Hagere) resists and ends up killing her abductor, the death penalty awaits. Enter Addis Ababa lawyer Meaza (Meron Getnet) determined to present a case for self-defense… Based on a true story, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s debut is "a quiet and powerful drama."—Hollywood Reporter
Finland, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Czech Republic
Thirty years after achieving the zenith of his career in grease paint, an acclaimed actor returns from self-imposed exile for one last show in Prague. Reunited with his former partners, he and his colleagues attempt to restage their greatest performance, stave off old rivalries and ensure that time doesn’t have the last laugh. Viktor Tauš’ poignant film reminds us that tragicomedy is the lifeblood of clowning.
A family runs into the unbending rules of airport regulations which conspire against them.
Dietrich Brüggemann’s conceptually daring story of a devout teenager’s trials is eloquently told in 14 chapters, each a masterful single take. As Maria becomes a “warrior of Christ,” the film proves itself both a condemnation of fundamentalist religion and a testament to faith. “While stark, it’s far from chilly—Brüggemann has a sense of humor about his subject matter.”—Village Voice. Winner, Best Screenplay, Berlin 2014.
France, Turkey, Germany
"Nuri Bilge Ceylan [Once Upon a Time in Anatolia] is at the peak of his powers with [this] richly engrossing and ravishingly beautiful magnum opus… [The film] tunnels into the everyday existence of a middle-aged former actor turned comfortably situated hotel owner—and emerges with a multifaceted study of human frailty whose moral implications resonate far beyond its remote Turkish setting."—Variety. Winner, Palme d’Or, Cannes 2014.
Passionate and utterly compelling, Hüseyin Karabey’s beautifully crafted film is founded in political absurdity. When the Turkish military surrounds a Kurdish village, takes alleged rebels into custody and demands the return of nonexistent guns, a little girl and her grandmother set off in search of a weapon—any weapon—that might earn her father’s freedom. Breathtaking vistas and nerve-wracking suspense await. Winner, Audience Award, Istanbul 2014.