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
Qatar, France, Turkey, Germany
Narrated by the youngest of five orphaned sisters living in a small community "1,000 miles from Istanbul," Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s spirited and moving debut—part story of female empowerment and part critique of outdated Turkish mores—tells of the fallout when the sisters’ harmless horseplay on the beach with a group of boys is misinterpreted as some form of sexual adventurism… "A gripping film… The Virgin Suicides in Anatolia is a sweet, sad Turkish delight."—Guardian
France, Germany, Netherlands
June 1940: German troops march into Paris. Jacques Jaujard (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) and Count Franziskus Wolff Metternich (Benjamin Utzerat) work to protect the treasures of the Louvre Museum… This is just the jumping-off point for Russian master Alexander Sokurov’s (Russian Ark) gorgeously shot (by Amélie’s Bruno Delbonnel) exploration of the relationship between art, culture and power that traverses the centuries. "Sophisticated, complex and thoroughly absorbing…"—Guardian
UK, France, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand
Somewhere in Isan, in Thailand’s Deep Northeast, an ancient royal cemetery is being disturbed by developers. Nearby a school pressed into service as an army hospital houses soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness. What’s the connection? Apichatpong’s inimitable mix of dream, fact and speculative fiction teases out the answer, with some steely political implications. Very different in tone and style from Uncle Boonmee, but no less haunting. Tony Rayns
Yemen, France, United Arab Emirates
In 2009, the story of Yemeni teenager Nojoom Ali’s bid to legally extricate herself from an abusive, arranged marriage to a much older man made headlines. Khadija Al-Salami has beautifully adapted the subsequent bestseller into an emphatic drama featuring a wonderful performance from Reham Mohammed as the young Ali and a striking backdrop of Yemen’s astonishing mountain villages and ancient “skyscrapers.” "A powerful, moving and provocative debut drama…"—Screen
An immersive experience that casts a hypnotic spell, Mauro Herce’s sui generis drama can be read as an allegory for late capitalism or taken at face value as a haunting look at the freighter Fair Lady and its Filipino crew on a mission that only comes to light when a natural disaster occurs. Awash in reds and greens, the film gives off an otherworldly glow—we could just as easily be ensconced in a spaceship on a science-fiction journey… Transfixing.
USA, Chile, France
Having cajoled a friend (Kristen Wiig) into carrying their baby, a Brooklyn artist (director Sebastián Silva) discovers that his sperm count isn’t up to snuff and taps in his unenthused partner (Tunde Adebimpe). His disastrous video installation and increasingly unstable neighbour ensure that chaos reigns in Silva’s incisive, merciless satire. "A startling drama of extreme moral ambiguity… [and] a vibrant, thoughtful piece about modern life…"—Hollywood Reporter
This assured, astute biopic from the late René Féret actually winds its way through an entire formative decade for the physician-turned-playwright (Nicolas Giraud) as he discovers his voice and purpose, and intrigues us at every turn. “This can be credited not only to Féret’s precise writing and direction but also to the strength of Giraud as a performer, as he manages to project his character’s emotions with just a look or the tiniest of facial movements.”—Hollywood Reporter
Jacques Audiard’s (A Prophet, Rust and Bone) latest dramatic inquiry into life on society’s margins is an alternately gripping and tender love story about the eponymous former Tamil fighter (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) and his improvised family, who exchange war in Sri Lanka for violence of another kind in Paris. "A searing yet hopeful slow-burn drama… Audiard delivers another distinctive [work] with this portrait of a family forged out of necessity…"—Hollywood Reporter
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
Beginning its journey as an ominous sandstorm in Senegal, then heading west across the Atlantic to toss enormous ships and waves topsy-turvy before finally crashing into the jungles of the Caribbean, Hurricane Lucy is our home for 82 minutes, and it is a truly awesome, scary and incredible place. Lizards, bats, frogs, horses, homeless men, rivers, ocean reefs, the US Gulf coast… all bend before Lucy’s immense power. Andy Byatt (Blue Planet) and Cyril Barbançon teamed up with NASA to create this genuinely thrilling and immersive experience that must be seen on the big screen!
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
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.”