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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.
A leader of the Egyptian independent film scene, Ahmad Abdalla (Microphone) gets a much bigger budget than usual to fashion this lustrous black-and-white homage to classical Egyptian cinema. Female production designer Maha (Horeya Farghaly) finds reality shifting when, instead of working on her current melodrama, she begins to live it… "Shades of Sirk, Cassavetes, Bergman and even Woody Allen can all be detected on the film’s glistening monochrome surface."—Variety
Having played gods and monsters with aplomb, Tom Hiddleston takes centre stage as country music legend/renegade Hank Williams. In turns as rambunctious as a barn dance and as reflective as a ballad, Marc Abraham’s film chronicles Williams’ rapid ascent to stardom and the tragedy of a career cut short by substance abuse. Laid to rest at only 29, Williams left behind a truly remarkable body of work. Handling the singing chores himself, Hiddleston does the man—and his music—proud.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Frank) and based on the best-selling Man Booker Prize-nominated novel by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue, this is the story of five-year-old Jack, who lives in an 11-by-11-foot room with his mother. Since it’s all he’s ever known, Jack believes that only "Room" and the things it contains (including himself and Ma) are real. Then reality intrudes and Jack’s life is turned on its head… A remarkable and disturbing work.
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
After a traumatic incident at a raging party, 17-year-old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) discovers that a grotesque creature is following her like a shadow. Alarmingly, their bond grows increasingly symbiotic. Is this psychosis or living proof that every teenage year is a fresh hell? A title card advises of the health hazards of the stroboscopic visuals found in AKIZ’s EDM-propelled “narcotic-mindf**k-melodrama.” However, nothing warns of the unshakeable disquiet that lingers well after the last beat. "A raucous mashup of It Follows and Basket Case…"—Hollywood Reporter
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
In Muayad Alayan’s comedy-thriller, a Palestinian petty thief steals a car in order to fund an escape to Italy. Instead, an awful surprise stowed in the trunk draws the interest of Palestinian militants and Israeli intelligence, and thrusts him into a deadly dilemma. Shot in sleek black and white, mixing menace and humour, and playfully fusing realism and genre trappings, this is a film that recalls the French New Wave while remaining of-the-moment in terms of its politics.
Massimo Ali Mohammad
Bringing to mind Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist and Peter Jackson’s Forgotten Silver, Massimo Ali Mohammad’s charming mockumentary concerns the "miraculous" discovery and restoration of a long-lost WWI silent film melodrama made by the "Lumini brothers." After the scholars wax eloquent and the restorers perform their magic, we are treated to the 45-minute film—a doomed romance set in 1915—in toto… "A deeply sincere exercise in movie-nerd fantasy…"—Hollywood Reporter
Jeremy Peter Allen
It’s not easy to brave the gaze of others at the beach when your body still bears the traces of a tragic event.
In Latin America’s largest landfill, a garbage picker uncovers the raw materials for makeshift musical instruments. As cellos and violins are fashioned from stray detritus, a group of local children are likewise transformed into the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura. Reminiscent of VIFF ’10 standout Waste Land, Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley’s documentary is an inspiring tale of resilience and transcendence. “A secret treasure… A story of the dull throb of existence gleefully recalibrated by the thundering heartbeat of music.”—Austin Chronicle
Delving into the psychological manipulation and shock therapy of Yale’s infamous “obedience experiments” of the 60s, Michael Almereyda unleashes daring cinema that demands to be seen. As pioneer/puppet master Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) pushes subjects past their breaking point, he also shatters the fourth wall, offering haunting glimpses into the mind of a man who’d be branded a monster. "A conceptually exciting, intellectually searching portrait…"—New York Times
Directors Tony Massil and Pablo Alvarez-Mesa’s creative documentary follows Frank Furko, an 80-year-old eccentric living in a Pittsburgh suburb. The film focuses on Frank’s celebrity, which derives from a deeply felt friendship with Pudgie Wudgie, his 20-pound performing house cat. Supported by Frank’s 20 years of VHS video archives—mesmerizing footage that is strange, often hilarious and oddly beautiful—this is an intimate and thoughtful portrait of an older man struggling to come to terms with his very unusual past.
In Rick Alverson’s latest surreal, post-Dadaist comedy, a glum stand-up (Gregg Turkington) wanders the Mojave Desert, bound for his estranged daughter but seemingly condemned to repeat the same hellish performance. Melding pungent melancholy and intoxicating psychedelia, this marks a brave and frequently brilliant offering from one of American cinema’s most independent thinkers. “It’s what new films ought to strive for: to strike back against the familiar.”—Village Voice
Cal Arts film essayist Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself) has crafted a film lover’s dream, inspired partly by the cinema theory of the brilliant French philosopher Gilles Deleuze but based mostly on his own lifelong erudite engagement with the history and seductive power of the movies. Whether zeroing in on lyrical abstraction, ruminating on Nazis, communists and spies, or comparing Maria Montez and Debra Paget’s Orientalist snake dances, this is a gift for anyone who believes in cinema as art, as a form of thought and as a source of great pleasure.
Documentarian David André follows five teenagers from depressed Boulogne-sur-Mer throughout their final year at school, with the life-determining "baccalauréat" exams awaiting them at the end. Their lives, dreams and ambitions are captured in poetic visuals, in songs that the teenagers themselves provide, and in a captivating mélange of anger, humour, frustration and boredom…"Glee meets To Be and To Have… A touching film, [this] hybrid French docudrama-musical comedy… deserves extra credit for trying to pull off something new."—Hollywood Reporter
This dream exists in the borders between self and others, life and death, present and future. (TR)
Delinquent teenager Donnie ends up back in a juvenile detention facility, caught in a perennial cycle of conflict he seems unable to break.
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