Film Festival Series
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.
Czech Republic, Slovak Republic
Appealing and affecting, Home Care is a humanist tale that puts a poignant spin on that perennial staple of Czech cinema, the village dramedy. When a selfless home-care nurse (Alena Mihulová) suddenly requires care herself, she, her family and patients must redefine their roles and relationships. Written and performed to perfection, Slávek Horák’s tragicomic film captures the details of small-town life through piquant observation. “Wryly humorous and bittersweet…”—Variety
Ten years ago, Mark Dornford-May and the Isango Ensemble burst upon the scene with Berlin Golden Bear-winner U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, their stirring adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen. Drawing once again from an operatic source—Puccini’s La bohème—Dornford-May and team bring the Xhosa language, exceptional singing voices and traditional instrumentation to a Cape Town-set tragedy focusing on the doomed love of university student Lungelo (Mhlekazi Mosiea) for the tuberculosis-stricken Mimi (Busisiwe Ngejane).
In Johannesburg, 21-year-old Afro-hipster Ayanda (the captivating Fulu Moguvhani) fights to keep alive her late father’s legacy—his car-repair garage. How? Add some style! Sara Blecher’s (Otelo Burning) multicultural, colourful and vibrant drama captures the "Afropolitan" nature of the new South Africa. "Absolutely worth seeing for its representation of a modern African story, which is uniquely, distinctively African, but also urban, fresh, and contemporary…"—Indiewire
A young man will do anything to protect his younger sister after witnessing her abuse as a child. That doesn’t make things easy for either of them as the girl tries to spread her wings. Mixing theatricality, naïveté, innocence and shocking violence in a highly distinctive way, Ernest Nkosi’s dramatization of siblings struggling to carve out an existence in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg is tender and tragic by turns. An extraordinarily plaintive score adds another dimension to this heartfelt debut.
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.
Kenya, Uganda, Germany, South Africa
Conceived as an homage to the classic Bicycle Thieves, Donald Mugisha and James Tayler’s unsparing look at life on the streets of Kampala—neorealism "with a youthful edge" in their words—is anchored in the story of Abel, 15, who takes over his father’s motorcycle taxi (the "boda boda" of the title) and is immediately confronted by a corrupt world where a wrong turn, vehicular or otherwise, can have drastic consequences. "Poignant as well as entertaining."—Indiewire
The term “costume drama” takes on a whole new meaning in Lee Wonsuk’s sumptuous period melodrama, which centres on the rivalry between the official tailor to the king’s court and a handsome young upstart with new ideas and techniques. Their conflict plays out amid a welter of fabrics, passions and protocols, with several top stars adding dramatic weight. The attention to the details of tailoring is awesome. Tony Rayns
The funniest and most disquieting Korean black comedy in a decade, Ahn’s debut feature is a Candide for our times. Soonam may not be the sharpest pin in the cushion, but she tries to do the right thing, she really does. So why does everything keep going wrong around her? Bone-shaking farce meets political satire in a film with wildly exciting visuals and even wilder action. Tony Rayns
Kwak’s magnificent thriller recreates a Busan kidnapping case from 1978, a time of student protests against fascistic government—and of rampant police corruption. The month-long search for a missing schoolgirl brings seen-it-all cop Gilyoung into conflict with rival sections of the force, and into an uneasy alliance with a psychic. Important truths about Korean society are unearthed along the way, but the suspense is killing. Tony Rayns
Chinese-Korean director Zhang Lu doesn’t do mainstream entertainments, but this four-chapter conundrum is funny/sad in a way that’s actively seductive. Studded with top Korean stars—and featuring a Chinese translation of Borges, a Memories of Murder clip and much else—it looks at love and madness, acting and being, presence and absence. A high-protein menu, but Zhang’s touch is unfailingly light and witty. Tony Rayns
Making a splash with his debut feature, Kim Gwangtae has transposed the "Pied Piper of Hamelin" story to a Korean mountain village in the early 1950s, the time of the Korean War. This piper is a charming peddler with a bad leg, trudging in search of treatment for his tubercular son. Their brief stay in a village plagued by rats uncovers some very guilty secrets: astonishing spectacle meets dark allegory. Tony Rayns
Park Kiyong’s new documentary is a companion-piece to his Garibong (VIFF 2013), which looked at Chinese-Korean immigrants in Seoul. This time he’s in Yanji, the booming Chinese city closest to the North Korean border, looking at its almost hallucinatory mix of Chinese and Korean foods, trades and cultures. As before, he goes beyond sociology to some very human insights. Tony Rayns
The smartest of all the graduates from Hong Sangsoo’s school of hard knocks, Lee Kwangkuk runs rings around both linear storytelling and Freudian dream-interpretation in his delicious new feature. An actress storms out of a play when nobody shows up to see it but soon finds herself tangled up with a mysterious cop—while trying to dump her boyfriend. Ineffably droll and consistently surprising, this is a comic experience like no other. Tony Rayns
What’s right, what’s wrong in relationships, especially when you’re married and edging towards an act of adultery? Hong’s scintillating new film offers two antithetical versions of events over two days and one night in Suwon, a town near Seoul. A man arrives a day early for an appointment and kills time flirting with a painter and her friends. The situation makes for another wry comedy of manners, laced with heavy drinking and regrets. Tony Rayns
Argentina, South Korea
Shot in luminous black and white and set in the desert-like Pampas during the early 19th century, Benjamin Naishtat’s eerie combination of post-apocalyptic sci-fi and post-modern Western posits a land fallen into anarchy and populated by armed groups vying for supremacy… "Gorgeously shot and edited with edgy intensity… Like Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja, Naishtat’s haunting sophomore feature provides a poetic access point for grappling with Argentinean identity."—Indiewire
Japan, South Korea
Dragons & Tigers Award-winner Jang Kunjae returns with a made-in-Japan movie which is the indie hit of the year in Korea. It’s a film of two halves (one in colour, one in monochrome) about a Korean director and his woman translator visiting the town of Gojo to see if it’s worth making a movie there. Their encounters with locals spark the ‘fantasia’ of the second half, in which everything and everyone is transformed. Intensely felt and very touching. Tony Rayns
Spain, France, Argentina
Carlos Saura’s latest sumptuous documentary plunges us into the heart of traditional Argentine dance and music, via a succession of choreographed tableaux retracing a history rich in métissage. With a unique approach to its mise en scène, documentary images from different regions of Argentina gracefully mix with awe-inspiring traditional songs, performed by the country’s greatest singers, including a tribute to the much revered Mercedes Sosa. Both poetic and fascinating, Saura’s film conjures the entire history of the country and sets it to the tune of guitars and accordion.
Having seduced audiences with his revered “flamenco trilogy,” Carlos Saura now returns to the allure of the tango. Ravishing images from Argentina’s diverse regions combine with a series of immaculately choreographed dance pieces to create a swirling, intoxicating milieu. In turn, staggering performances of traditional Argentine folk songs from revered vocalists such as Soledad Pastorutti and El Chaqueño Palavecino immerse us in the country’s rich history. Lyrical and moving, Argentina is also a glorious reminder that every film should be a passion project.
When Andorra—that tiny-yet-wealthy principality high in the Pyrenees—decided it needed a fabulous new art gallery to rival Bilbao’s, invitations went out to the world’s top architects. Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Dominique Perrault were among the heavy-hitters who not only took on the design competition but consented to be part of this warts-and-all film. “A documentary that exposes how ’starchitects’ really work… Compulsive viewing."—Guardian
In an absorbing mystery that recalls True Detective, disparate homicide investigators must solve a series of grisly murders in a remote, rotten-to-the-core community. Employing southern Spain’s harsh landscapes to sublime atmospheric effect, Alberto Rodríguez plunges us into a world in which menace takes myriad forms. Winner of 10 Goyas, including Best Film, Best Screenplay & Best Actor. “A brilliant, compelling edge-of-your-seat detective thriller infused with a spirit of uncanny gothic redolent of David Lynch and David Fincher.”—Sight & Sound