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.
A masterpiece of world cinema, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s exquisitely beautiful swordplay fantasy is both an instant classic and a profound work of art. Trained assassin Nie Yinniang (superstar Shu Qi) is compelled by her master to assassinate her childhood sweetheart, Governor Tian Ji’an (Chang Chen), but her assignment becomes increasingly morally ambiguous. Bursts of swordplay; soul-infused landscapes; the silence of philosophy. Wuxia cinema distilled to its essence. Shelly Kraicer
On the fringes of Taipei, Rat, who’s dating a mute prostitute, holes up with both his brother Shanghe, who dances in gay bars, and their friend Shuo, a successful gigolo, who also happens to be sleeping with Shanghe’s cousin… Using a deck consisting only of wild cards, Chang Tso-Chi deals out a succession of surprises in a drama that leads us through the city’s nightclubs and alleyways, and sets the brothers on a collision course with a gangster hell-bent on revenge.
Mourning begets tenderness, maturity and surprising passion in this sophisticated Taiwanese drama of loss and rebirth. Ming (Hong Kong-Canadian star Karena Lam) and Yuwei (Taiwanese rocker Stone) each lost a spouse and each finds a pathway, through despair and denial, to something close to a revelation. Tom Lin’s beautifully crafted images and tender, attentive camera bathe the film in lovely muted colours, where sadness can suddenly yield to quiet rapture. Shelly Kraicer
Taiwan, Hong Kong
Mei (Isabella Leong) is a painter in love with a struggling boxer (Joseph Chang). She lost track of her brother Nan (Lawrence Ko), a tour guide, after their mother (Angelica Lee) took her away from home on Taiwan’s Green Island as a child. Actress/superstar/producer/director Sylvia Chang’s sophisticated, elegiac time-shifting intergenerational family drama is a beautifully shot and emotionally powerful film suffused with longing, nostalgia and hope. Shelly Kraicer
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
When the owners of a cargo company go bankrupt, six seaman are forced to spend months alone on a stranded ship off the coast of Egypt while the legal issues are sorted out. Trying desperately—and failing miserably—to maintain a sense of normality in the face of increasingly strange goings-on, the crew unravels… Tolga Karaçelik’s psychological thriller is both a tense, atmospheric huis clos and an hallucinatory allegory that will haunt your waking dreams.
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
Following his Patience (After Sebald), visual essayist Grant Gee turns his lens toward another great writer, Turkey’s Orhan Pamuk, and to Istanbul and the museum—both actual and fictional—that Pamuk created there. Simon Schama describes this Museum of Innocence as "the single most powerfully beautiful, humane and affecting work of contemporary art anywhere in the world." It has inspired this beguiling film which turns cinema back to its roots in dreams, visions, the search for meaning and communal memorialization.