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.
Deniz Gamze Ergüven
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from Istanbul," Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s spirited and moving debut—part story of female empowerment and part critique of outdated Turkish mores—tells of the fallout when the sisters’ harmless horseplay on the beach with a group of boys is misinterpreted as some form of sexual adventurism…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
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
Sean Garrity (Lucid, Blood Pressure) returns with a distinctly Canadian comedic drama. An unemployed gambling addict drags his pot-smoking teenage daughter on a road trip to Churchill, Manitoba, in hopes of showing her the Northern Lights before a disorder renders her blind. With a bookie in pursuit, they’re forced to confront each other, their pasts and their respective loves for poker and weed. Starring Jonas Chernick, Emily Hampshire, Joey King and Kevin Pollak.
After his terminally ill daughter (Olivia Martin) claims to have had a past life as an astronaut, a Christian teacher (Charlie Carrick) experiences a profound crisis of faith. Obsessively seeking answers, he risks his marriage and his remaining days with his child to determine whether she’s lived before… and might live again. Reflective and provocative, Connor Gaston’s debut is one of the year’s most unique Canadian features.
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.
Some ascents to stardom are meteoric. Others are a gruelling marathon. Ballerina Misty Copeland learned early on that not everything comes easily for a teen prodigy. Especially when you’re African-American and racial homogeny is part of ballet’s exclusivity. Nelson George’s inside look at the art and industry of ballet invites us to marvel at Copeland’s courage and grace but question what goes on behind closed curtains. Most importantly, it gives us a real-life heroine to root for with all our hearts. “Inspirational doesn’t begin to describe it.”—Rolling Stone
Bach’s beautiful St. Matthew’s Passion and how it has profoundly affected the lives of, among others, opera director Peter Sellars, conductor Pieter Jan Leusink, writer Anna Enquist and soprano Olga Zinovieva, are the twin subjects of Ramón Gieling’s stunningly shot and exquisitely choreographed inquiry into "a language beyond understanding." In an abandoned Amsterdam church, a homeless choir joins Leusink’s orchestra and soloists in a performance sure to raise goosebumps for music-lovers of all persuasions.
What would it be like to live alongside one of the shapers of human events, in their youth, before they’ve transformed history? In Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis’ documentary, we follow Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer locked in a battle with the oil and gas industry. He may become one of this generation’s great leaders—if he can discover how to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him through the blending of the modern tools of law with ancient wisdom.
Sebastian’s reflections on the transcendent love he feels for his wife and soul-mate, Clara, encompass infatuation through obsession to possessiveness.
The joy a son feels when playing with his father. The pride a father takes in playing with his son. Oh that those times might never end.
Miguel Gomes’ (Tabu, Our Beloved Month of August) astonishing three-volume, six-hour epic draws inspiration from the tales of Scheherazade (here played by Crista Alfaiate) and once again uses a fascinating combination of reality and fiction to comment on Portugal’s past, present and future. "There’s Bunuelian satire, lo-fi crime, Brechtian allegory, and high fantasy all in the mix. It’s dizzying stuff… a film that’s moving, sad, exciting, fiery, and funny."—Indiewire
J.M. Quevedo González
Retired police profiler Ricardo passes his days mired in boredom, which is manifested in an ambiguous morality and a dark secret fetish.
What’s it like growing up transgender? Five transgendered young people talk about what life has been like for them.
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
A young girl, ignored by her volatile, separated parents, does increasingly desperate things to earn money for a school trip to the aquarium.
Hailing from opposite ends of the Earth, two accomplished acrobats work towards the same goal: to use the art form of circus to instill hope in the youth who languish in the impoverished communities the artists once called home. Nimbly shuttling us between Nunavet and Guinea, Susan Gray’s uplifting documentary invites us to marvel as these men, whose athleticism is only exceeded by their altruism, guide the most marginalized of youth from their first tentative backflips to centre stage at the Vancouver Olympics and Cirque du Soleil.
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 meeting with a Holocaust survivor (Eli Wallach, in his last performance) teaches a self-involved young man that life can change in a moment.
It’s a scenario familiar to Canadians: oppressed indigenous people fighting to rebuild and assert their rights. On this occasion, the setting is New Zealand’s beguiling Te Urewera forest region. The players? A fiercely independent Tuhoi tribe negotiating a settlement and apology from the Crown while constructing an architectural gem of a community centre through sustainable methods. This confluence of honoured tradition and progressive environmentalism begets a stirring depiction of indigenous pride, and both architectural and diplomatic ingenuity. Directed with finesse, sensitivity and clear eyes by Sarah Grohnert.