Find Your Film
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.
Spain, Finland, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s otherworldly terrain provides a striking backdrop for Miguel Llanso’s post-apocalyptic love story. There’s a faint whiff of The Wizard of Oz to this fairy tale about a diminutive scavenger’s (Daniel Tadesse) quest across a strange land where Michael Jackson’s Dangerous is currency, Michael Jordan shrines are worshipped and a tyrannical overlord dresses as Santa Claus. Add Nazis, a looming spaceship and bowling alleys to the surreal mix and it all assumes the form of a wondrously distorted dream. “A rare and beautiful thing.”—Indiewire
France, Lithuania, Netherlands
A flight of fancy from Alanté Kavaïté, this dreamy, coming-of-age story focuses on 17-year-old Sangailé (Julija Steponaitytė), a young woman with a fascination for flying and a contradictory fear of the same. Until, that is, she meets the fearless Auste (Aistė Diržiūtė) and the two young women fall in love… Punctuated by a charmingly aestheticized eroticism that is entirely appropriate to this crisply told tale, Sangailé is a touching and deeply empathetic gem.
Iran, France, Germany
Before the Islamic Revolution banned solo performances by women, Iran boasted popular female vocalists like Delkash and Googoosh. No longer willing to see women’s voices silenced, musician Sara Najafi aspires to stage a concert in Tehran. Her brother Ayat helms this revealing documentary that details the bureaucratic obstacles and theological arguments that stand between her and such a seemingly simple goal. And while the women’s glorious songs lend the film uplift, it’s Sara’s courageous determination in battling institutional discrimination that truly inspires.
Egypt, France, Jordan, Netherlands, South Africa
A beautifully realized paean to art and democracy, set in Istanbul, Cairo, Beirut and Alexandria, François Verster’s ambitious, multilayered documentary combines the tale of Shahrazad (and the 1001 stories she tells) with many other stories of the modern Arab world. From the National Youth Orchestra in Istanbul, to a troupe of actors/storytellers in Cairo, to a lone tapestry artist (amongst many others), Verster’s profoundly secular-humanist work skips back and forth through time and space to weave its own striking tapestry about the modernizing force of art.
In recent years, Su Rynard noticed that birds she used to see—grosbeaks, flycatchers, barn swallows—were nowhere to be found. Indeed, songbirds are rapidly disappearing and their absence is a message to us all. Humans share an ageless bond with birds and their songs: in ancient times, we looked to bird’s flight patterns and listened to their melodies to predict the future. Today, the birds once again have something to tell us. "The Messenger hums with the kind of restless energy that’s all too rare for an eco-doc."—POV Magazine
An emotionally piercing youthful romance between the adolescents Paul (Quentin Dolmaire, terrific) and Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet), told in flashback from the adult Paul’s (Mathieu Amalric) perspective, Arnaud Desplechin’s (A Christmas Tale) supremely intelligent drama is visual storytelling at its finest. "Rich and intensely personal… A roving, restless tale, [it features] some of the most fluid, emotionally resonant filmmaking of Desplechin’s career…"—Variety
In Simon Rouby’s evocative animated feature, a 12-year-old West African boy tracks his older brother’s journey from village to port, to troop carrier and on to the war-torn fields of France, 1914. Despite the chaos, he clings to the hope that his brother can be returned home safely. Reminiscent of War Horse in its knack for conjuring fresh perspectives on well-trodden ground, this gorgeous fable will appeal to teens and pre-teens, as well as their parents and grandparents.
Luc Jacquet (the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins) returns to the Antarctic to trace the fascinating life and groundbreaking work of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, now 83. Lorius discovered that, by drilling into ice and extracting cores from enormous depths, effectively travelling back through time, one could show the link between man-made greenhouse gases and climate change… "Jacquet’s film is… a call to arms to the environmental movement destabilised and buffeted by the denial industry… A powerful testament, and one that ought to have a considerable impact."—Guardian
Two of France’s greatest young stars—Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Colour)—are at the centre of Elie Wajeman’s exhilarating drama. A cop (Rahim) in Belle Époque Paris insinuates himself into an anarchist cell, only to find his loyalty wavering when he falls for the sensual Judith (Exarchopoulos)… "A vastly entertaining police-infiltration thriller that uses fin-de-siècle radicalism as an exquisitely atmospheric backdrop…"—Guardian
Alix Delaporte’s quietly affecting drama gives us 14-year-old Victor (a captivating Romain Paul) who lives in a trailer outside Montpellier with his very ill mother (Clotilde Hesme). Preparing him for life after she’s gone, she puts him in touch with the father he’s never known—an imposing orchestra conductor who’s just arrived in town to perform Mahler’s Sixth Symphony… "An intimate drama in which words play second fiddle to situations and images."—Hollywood Reporter
Based on a short story by Doris Lessing, Jean-Paul Civeyrac’s subtle, emotionally resonant drama about class and race looks at the life of the titular character (Guslagie Malanda, a revelation) in her roles as lover, mother and black woman in modern Paris. When the orphaned Victoria, age 8, is invited into a well-to-do (white) artsy couple’s bourgeois home, her view of the good life sets in motion a chain of events that will reverberate into her adulthood…
A filmmaker (played by director Bertrand Bonello) in search of the definitive image of "the monstrous" forms the backbone of Antoine Barraud’s fascinating mélange, one part drama, one part art history lesson, one part homage to past cinematic masters Buñuel and Hitchcock. Jeanne Balibar and Géraldine Pailhaus (playing the same art historian) accompany our intrepid director through a tour of some of Paris’ most quixotic museums. The effect is "spellbinding."—ArtForum
Male narcissism and infidelity are analyzed in veteran Philippe Garrel’s gorgeously shot (in 35mm!) B&W drama about a married documentary filmmaker (Stanislas Merhar) who falls for a younger woman… "The currents of desire, jealousy and resentment that flow through a relationship over time receive an exquisite close-up from director Garrel in [this] tightly focused romantic drama that exudes… the lucid craftsmanship of a filmmaker in full command of the medium."—Variety
China, Canada, France, France, Belgium
Jordan Paterson’s involving docudrama delves into a little-known chapter of Canadian history. During World War I, 140,000 indentured Chinese labourers were secretly transported from Vancouver to Halifax in locked trains and then shipped to the Western Front to dig trenches and clear the dead. Through intrepid research, interviews, rotoscoped animation and re-enactments, Paterson backs Voltaire’s assertion that “history is nothing but a pack of tricks we play upon the dead.”
France, Norway, Denmark, France, Denmark
When a war photographer (Isabelle Huppert) dies on assignment, her husband (Gabriel Byrne) struggles to mount a retrospective while dealing with his grieving sons (Jesse Eisenberg, Devin Druid) and her combative colleague (David Strathairn). Joachim Trier (Oslo, 31st August) poses tough questions about family, marital responsibility and balancing one’s calling and kin. “A smart, measured tale steeped in understatement and complimented by first-rate performances…”—Indiewire
UK, Italy, France, Switzerland
Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Rachel Weisz anchor Paolo Sorrentino’s gorgeous follow-up to The Great Beauty. Fred (Caine), a retired composer, and friend Mick (Keitel), a film director, are sojourning in a stunning Swiss alpine spa. Surrounded by bodies old and young, supple and sagging, they reconsider their pasts—while Sorrentino choreographs the action with exquisite control. "Sorrentino’s… brightly effusive visual imagination can be intoxicating…"—New York Times
UK, France, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands
The pressures of courtship are pushed to absurdist extremes in this outrageous comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth). Confined to an isolated resort, singles (including Colin Farrell) must take a mate within 45 days or be transformed into animals. As Farrell falls in with a band of rebel loners (who count Rachel Weisz among their members), Lanthimos wrings much pathos from his outlandish premise. “A wickedly funny, unexpectedly moving satire… Perversely romantic…”—Variety
As Freudians will guess from the title, Phan’s stunning film has a lot to do with patriarchy and the penis. When Vietnam’s government offered cash incentives to fathers to undergo vasectomies, they didn’t expect that unmarried, fun-loving kids would sign up, just for pocket money. Student slacker Vu resists his father’s order to get married, but down which deviant paths will life take him? Tony Rayns
Chile, Spain, France
Patricio Guzmán explores the watery Patagonian Archipelago and its meaning in Chilean history—from its use by Chile’s Indigenous peoples to its function as a grave site for Pinochet’s desaparecidos… "Applying the same mix of lyrical nature and space imagery, voice-over narration, archive photos and footage, and interviews [that he used in Nostalgia for the Light], the director crafts another deeply poetic but also committedly, at times even angrily, humanist meditation on buried traces of the past and how they determine our present and future…"—Screen
At the foot of a Guatemalan volcano, 17-year-old Maria (a transfixing María Mercedes Coroy) and her parents scratch out a living by working on a coffee plantation. Promised to the plantation’s overseer, Maria, instead, falls for a youth her own age… First-time director Jayro Bustamante has fashioned "a transporting, hypnotically beautiful debut feature… downright Herzogian… in its surfeit of physical detail, observed ritual and looming clash of civilizations."—Variety