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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.
Charlie Kaufman, the celebrated screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and director of Synecdoche, New York, and Duke Johnson venture into the world of stop-motion animation with this fable about a motivational speaker seeking to transcend his monotonous existence.—Toronto International Film Festival
This assured, astute biopic from the late René Féret actually winds its way through an entire formative decade for the physician-turned-playwright (Nicolas Giraud) as he discovers his voice and purpose, and intrigues us at every turn. “This can be credited not only to Féret’s precise writing and direction but also to the strength of Giraud as a performer, as he manages to project his character’s emotions with just a look or the tiniest of facial movements.”—Hollywood Reporter
Having butted heads with would-be rock ‘n’ roll messiahs (Dig!) and full-blown cult leaders (Join Us), Ondi Timoner now takes on Russell Brand, a pop culture figure who often seems more ego-and-contradictions than flesh-and-blood. As seen in this comprehensive and fascinating profile, he’s played the celebrity game like he wrote the rulebook and yet seems to have emerged as a born revolutionary. “The antics, the vulgarity, the hilarity and the howls for attention aren’t anywhere near as arresting as [the] revelation of Brand’s own deep-seated humanity."—Screen
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).
Think Pan’s Labyrinth meets Carnivale and you’ll still be unprepared for this astonishing debut from Done Four Productions and director Nicholas Humphries. In this Dust Bowl-era reimagining of The Little Mermaid, an amphibious siren (Katelyn Mager) falls prey to a nefarious benefactor (Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon) and ends up in a magical turf war. Sumptuous production design and sinister storytelling conjure a seductive fantasy world.
You’ve never seen Chinese officials like this. Geng Yanbo, the outlandishly charismatic mayor of Datong, has granted amazing access to documentarian Zhou Hao, who shoots an insider’s portrait of one way to wield power in China. Charming, brutal, wheedling and commanding, Geng is bent on transforming his dusty provincial capital into a tourist showpiece. His subjects/citizens acclaim his rule or get out of his way. People’s defender or oppressor? You decide. Shelly Kraicer
The titular “club” in Pablo Larraín’s incendiary follow up to No is a group of disgraced priests who’ve been banished to a purgatorial halfway home on the Chilean coast. When the church investigates a tragic incident involving these men, the findings lay to waste any notions of a good/evil binary. Likewise, Larraín proves that comedy and condemnation needn’t be mutually exclusive. “The film’s compassion is strongly felt, its mordant humour glinting like a blade.”—Guardian
An “intertidal artist” ambitiously crafts a memorial out of the marine debris from the great East Japan earthquake and tsunami that washes ashore in Tofino.
With a mesmerizing Michael Eklund starring as photographer Eadweard Muybridge, Kyle Rideout crafts a complex and compelling portrait of the man who’d be immortalized as both the godfather of cinema and the last American to receive a justifiable homicide verdict (for killing his wife’s lover). As fascinations distort into obsessions, Rideout skilfully employs techniques indebted to the infamous pioneer to convey Muybridge’s psychological unravelling.
In Ciro Guerra’s vibrant and wildly original feature, two explorers embark on parallel journeys—albeit 40 years apart—down the Colombian Amazon. Both are in search of a sacred flower with mythical healing powers. Both encounter a native shaman and his tales of colonialism’s devastating toll. As unlikely friendships take root, Guerra’s drama enwraps viewers in seductive visuals and alluring ethnographic details. “A soulful, strange and stunning discovery.”—Indiewire
“The Exquisite Corpus is based on various erotic films and advertising rushes. I play on the “cadavre exquis” technique used by the Surrealists, drawing disparate body parts constellating magical creatures. Myriad fragments are melted into a single sensuous, humorous, gruesome, and ecstatic dream.”
June 1940: German troops march into Paris. Jacques Jaujard (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) and Count Franziskus Wolff Metternich (Benjamin Utzerat) work to protect the treasures of the Louvre Museum… This is just the jumping-off point for Russian master Alexander Sokurov’s (Russian Ark) gorgeously shot (by Amélie’s Bruno Delbonnel) exploration of the relationship between art, culture and power that traverses the centuries. "Sophisticated, complex and thoroughly absorbing…"—Guardian
Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, Virginia Heath’s montage film offers a kaleidoscopic tour of mid-20th century Scotland. As we glimpse evocative vignettes of labour and leisure, protests and parades, strife and revelry, we enter a world seemingly conjured from the realms of fantasy rather than reels of found footage. And playing throughout are King Creosote’s lush chamber pop songs, which lend a captivating sense of lore to every scene and heighten the film’s intimacy. "An immersive, moving and, at times, truly magical window on the past…"—Guardian
Ishii’s Gonin (VIFF 1995) set the standard for neo-noir gangster movies. Gonin Saga brings the story up to date, first by showing what happened next, then by having some of the sons of the original mavericks mount another raid on the Goseikai—again provoking violent reprisals. It’s all kinda complicated (check the original on DVD as prep!), but all the acts of treachery and betrayal cohere into an ultra-hard-boiled vision of “yakuza DNA.” Tony Rayns
Nine animated black-and-white screens show Chinese (or are they non-Chinese) utopias? Or are they dystopias? (SK)
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
VIFF favourite Charles Wilkinson (Oil Sands Karaoke) returns with a visually stunning paean to breathtaking Haida Gwaii and the spirited people who populate it. The natural beauty of this culturally rich archipelago has served as a backdrop for tragedies such as outbreaks of smallpox and the exploitation of natural resources. And yet, the Haida Nation remains undaunted, preparing for a showdown over the Northern Gateway pipeline and planning for a more sustainable future.
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 1985, Steve Fonyo ran his “Journey For Lives” marathon, covering almost 8,000km of Canada and raising $14 million for cancer research. He was subsequently named an Officer of the Order of Canada, becoming the youngest person to ever receive that honour. Then things began to fall apart. He repeatedly ran afoul of the law and was convicted of various crimes. His Order of Canada was revoked. Refreshingly, Alan Zweig (15 Reasons to Live) tells the story of Fonyo’s downfall with great sensitivity—and without ever lapsing into sentimentality.
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.