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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.
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
UK, USA, Belgium
It seems The Wolfpack doesn’t have the market cornered when it comes to exceedingly strange New York apartment stories. In October 2003, New York City police stormed the top floor of a Harlem high-rise after being alerted that a Bengal tiger and alligator were being kept as pets. A dozen years on, Phillip Warnell has taken an inspired approach to exploring this remarkable story, trading the sensationalistic for actual sensations. Through meticulous reconstructions, we’re immersed in this odd habitat of restless, trapped animals, and filled with awe.
The art and unbridled personality of acclaimed British artist David Hockney are brought to vivid life in Randall Wright’s treatise on the man’s memorable and influential career and personal history. Intimate and insightful, the portrait delves deeply to reveal a charismatic rebel, still searching for new ways of seeing, whose passion for art remains intense, and whose wry sense of humour still shines through. "A wealth of intimate home-movie footage and an affinity with his subject invigorate Wright’s unashamedly affectionate portrait of a British icon."—Observer
In 2006, a serial killer cut a bloody swath through Ipswich’s red light district. Rufus Norris’ gripping adaptation of Alecky Bythe’s radical stage show draws its script from actual interviews with area residents, police, media and sex workers, and sets them to an enthralling score. What unfolds is a remarkable true story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences. “An utterly gripping, macabre but finally very moving cine-opera…”—Guardian
Remember the montage of stolen movie kisses the projectionist cuts together in Cinema Paradiso? Kim Longinotto’s glorious valentine to love does something quite similar: it’s an assemblage of flirtation, courtship, weddings and a bit of hanky-panky. Some scenes are familiar but mostly these are forgotten films, or they’re home movies, snippets of old newsreels, orphan sequences lost and found. Artfully entwined and set to Richard Hawley’s luxuriant ballads, they become the most romantic movie you’ll see this year.
Imbued with the sensual, dreamy, mysterious air of adolescent longing and becoming, Carol Morley’s first dramatic feature is set in an all-girls school in late 60s Britain. A sudden death sparks a series of unsettling incidents that shake both the student body and faculty: is it a virus, mass hysteria or mischief-making? Featuring a spectacular turn from Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, this tantalizing, enigmatic film suggests some clues but leaves much to the imagination.
An emergency-services operator fields a call from a desperate young mother whose house is on fire.
When elderly Ingrid offers old friend Gavin some cherry cake in exchange for his help with the yard work, it’s only one of the delights on the table.
A brilliantly conceived and executed work that is as emotionally affecting as it is intellectually questioning, David Evans’ layered documentary follows two elderly men, both the sons of high-ranking Nazis responsible for thousands of deaths, on a trip to Poland and Ukraine. Once there, ghosts from the past are unearthed, and profound psychological insights about the ties that bind come to light. "A bracingly rigorous examination of inherited guilt and pain, [this] is an extraordinary documentary…"—Screen
Ben Rivers often draws upon that most under-appreciated genre—the film about filmmaking—in his work. His latest is a daring depiction of two mirrored fictional worlds: one in the Atlas mountains, where a new film by Galician director Oliver Laxe is being made; the other incorporating Laxe’s experience into a filmic consideration of Paul Bowles’ short story, "A Distant Episode." The result, both exciting and transgressive, provides ample rewards for patient viewers.
With reunions now de rigueur, it’s heartening to see beloved troupes mustered for the right reasons. Performing together for the first time in 34 years, Monty Python’s Flying Circus don’t miss an absurdist beat, rediscovering their old idiosyncratic rhythms and legitimately driving each other to hysterics. Their enthusiasm and affection proves infectious, lending Roger Graef and James Rogan’s insightful documentary the sense that we’re amongst old friends. "A lovely reminder of what makes the Pythons so special, both individually and as a team."—Nerdist
In the late 60s, India experienced a Western invasion as outsiders flooded over the border in hopes of finding enlightenment. The Beatles may’ve been the highest profile pilgrims, but Hannah Nydahl, a young Danish woman, was ultimately the most influential. She and her husband were the first westerners to study under His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and then spread his teachings abroad. Part biography, part adventure film, Adam Penny and Marta György-Kessler’s documentary celebrates a true pioneer. "Visually, the film is a pleasure…"—Village Voice
Louise Osmond’s uplifting documentary tells an underdog tale for the ages. Determined to crash the “sport of kings,” 23 Welsh working-class friends invest everything in a thoroughbred foal, vaulting it from a squalid paddock in a depressed town to the winner’s circle at Wales’ most prestigious horse races. It’s funny, it’s moving, it has a great soundtrack and visual style. "Unforgettable… A shuddering, but delicately handled, exploration of that most basic human desire: to leave a mark and to forge a legacy."—Telegraph
When Sami breaks into a house, he is confronted by Sophia, who lures him into her bathtub—where things get even more surreal.
Siena is one of the world’s most picturesque cities and the Palio is its crowning glory. Held twice a summer, this often ruthless bareback horse race brings pageantry and unparalleled intensity to the tight turns of the medieval town’s Piazza del Campo. Cosima Spender’s breathtaking documentary centres on a young upstart intent on making his mark in this cutthroat competition. “A remarkably concise and clear explanation of a complex, ancient tradition… How can something like this still exist? And how can one film capture it in such elegant detail?”—Vanity Fair
For a lonely man, an online relationship has helped him mask his cruel speech impediment.
UK, Canada, Ireland
Lured from Ireland by the American Dream, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) instead lands in a hardscrabble reality of cramped boarding houses and grungy dancehalls. As homesickness grips her, she’s also torn between two admirers (Domhnall Gleeson and Emory Cohen). With Nick Hornby scripting, John Crowley crafts a stirring 50s-era immigration tale that also serves as an exhilarating profile of female empowerment. "Classily and classically crafted in the best sense."—Hollywood Reporter
In his compelling drama/documentary hybrid, Sasha Snow explores the complexities of Grant Hadwin, a logging engineer who chainsawed down a 300-year-old sacred tree on Haida Gwaii as a protest against rampant logging in the area. Inspired by John Vaillant’s Governor General’s Award-winning book, The Golden Spruce, Snow focusses on the more mysterious elements of Hadwin’s story and fate, crafting “[a] gorgeously photographed, compulsively watchable, sympathetic doc…”—Globe & Mail
Renowned Canadian film and video installation artist Mark Lewis takes us on a tour of art and architecture that transports us from Toronto to São Paolo to Paris’ Musée du Louvre. Likened to the great city symphony films of the silent era, Lewis’ new work is at once mesmerizingly beautiful, technically awe-inspiring and intellectually challenging. As the Louvre (which commissioned a series from him that has been on exhibition this past year) put it, Lewis’ work "suggests that film came before cinematographic technology, invented in the eye of the viewer."
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