A sobering look at how encroaching modernity is threatening the livelihoods and traditions of three families in different parts of Cambodia, Kalyanee Mam’s vérité documentary "handles its material so deftly that you can’t help but become an active participant in the journey."—The AU Review. Winner, World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary, Sundance 2013.
In this piercing masterpiece, Rithy Panh grapples with the horrors Cambodia faced under the Khmer Rouge. "A series of painstakingly crafted dioramas… at once extremely fragile and necessarily distanced… A dam constructed to control the flow of an ocean of sorrow."—Film Comment. Winner, Best Film, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2013.
A familiar river brings back old memories for a man. The last time he was there, it was with a girl. And they wanted very different things.
Danishka Esterhazy’s provocative and challenging film is a tale of survival against all odds, updating the story of Hansel and Gretel to reflect some grim contemporary realities: single parenthood, substance abuse, child neglect, pedophilia and serial murder. It’s a potent mix, and the performances are superb.
Kelly O’Brien’s visually arresting, deeply personal documentary is a lyrical-yet-candid account of her family’s experiences raising a disabled child.
Director Amy Miller (Carbon Rush, VIFF 2012) exposes the devastating human cost of agricultural land grabbing—the contentious issue of large-scale agricultural land acquisitions by domestic and transnational companies, governments and individuals.
In the blink of an eye, an unassuming stretch of Russian countryside becomes a historical site. And only a girl and her grandmother are there to witness it.
An intimate, ephemeral character study of a disaffected girl being shuttled between foster homes and taking refuge in her memories.
Enduring episodes of spontaneous teleportation, an understandably disoriented man struggles to find his way back home.
A standard issue interrogation scene takes a dramatic turn when the players are asked to not only establish motive but also find their motivation.
In a town where job prospects amount to turning tricks at the truck stop, two young women plan their escape.
A personal documentary featuring 5,000 still photographs taken over a period of 25 years. A life flashing in front of your eyes in rapid, hypnotic fashion.
The operations in the tar sands of Fort McMurray are certainly ripe for discussion. However, the subject is so polarizing that meaningful debate is rare. Charles Wilkinson’s documentary addresses the tension between work and worldliness in fluid interviews with a handful of workers who are also preparing for a karaoke contest.
Sculpture and kinetic performance collide to breathtaking effect in this explosive piece exploring the art of destruction.
Inside Crafty’s Art and Supply, a standoff ensues between a man in desperate need of the washroom and an employee diligently enforcing company policy.
An immersive sensory experience that takes us on a trip from the mythic Forest of Storms to an orbiting international space station.
A small-time criminal kidnaps his estranged daughter and takes off on a road trip with ideas of starting a new life in Canada. Staring Dominic Fumusa (Kevin in Nurse Jackie).
Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother), one of Canada’s most provocative and boundary pushing filmmakers, dips his toes into the mainstream with this gripping psychological thriller. Dolan plays the grief-stricken Tom, who ventures into the bucolic Quebec countryside for his lover’s funeral, only to become a pawn in a savage, sadistic game perpetrated by members of the grieving family. Winner, FIPRESCI International Critics Award, Venice 2013.
Oliver Hockenhull’s eye-popping documentary is a lively, in-depth analysis of psychedelic drugs in light of current scientific and cultural knowledge. He examines the validity of psychedelics as adjuncts to therapy, as crucial but neglected taboo medicines and as paths to consciousness. Note: The Oct. 1 matinee will be the alternate Understanding Psychedelic Medicines "pop version." See viff.org for details.
When M.S. suddenly robbed filmmaker Jason DaSilva of his ability to walk, the Emily Carr graduate did what came naturally: started making a documentary. This intimate, affecting piece spans seven years and charts both DaSilva’s slow acceptance of his degenerative condition and staunch refusal to relinquish his lust for life. Winner, Best Canadian Feature, Hot Docs 2013.