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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.
While pilgrims flock to Varanasi to bathe in the Ganges, other visitors seek out the world’s finest silk. Having become part of the fabric of this ancient Hindu city over the course of a millennium, a Muslim weaving community now faces epochal change wrought by globalization. Charting a day in their lives, Pat Murphy’s documentary is an intimate look at an endangered tradition. “While rich with luscious shots of fabrics, dye and crumbling architecture, [the film] remains rigorous in its focus on the aesthetics and economics of this ancient industry.”—Irish Times
“Tandem” is Pinoy slang for the robbers (or worse) who work in pairs on the streets of Manila, one snatching bags, the other driving the getaway motorbike. Palisoc’s confident debut combines true-crime realism with noir-ish social commentary. Roman and his volatile kid brother Rex are a team, scraping by on earnings from petty crime, but their complicated love lives and the temptations of a major heist bring their world crashing down. Tony Rayns
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.
Renowned Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden returns to VIFF with his stirring new feature about a shepherd named Tharlo. In town to procure a proper ID card, Tharlo has his hair washed by seductive hairdresser Yangtso and is instantly smitten. She urges him to trade his pastoral life for contemporary urban pleasures: smoking, drinking, singing karaoke. A passionate love story with darker stirrings, set amidst a Tibet in tension between tradition and modernity. Shelly Kraicer
A young man will do anything to protect his younger sister after witnessing her abuse as a child. That doesn’t make things easy for either of them as the girl tries to spread her wings. Mixing theatricality, naïveté, innocence and shocking violence in a highly distinctive way, Ernest Nkosi’s dramatization of siblings struggling to carve out an existence in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg is tender and tragic by turns. An extraordinarily plaintive score adds another dimension to this heartfelt debut.
Naomi Klein (Shock Doctrine) has risen to prominence around the world as one of Canada’s most forceful and relevant public intellectuals. Her cogent call to direct action has inspired youth and helped chart roadmaps for social progressives and environmentalists. Yet, it’s also worried those who believe that her critique of capitalism plays into the hands of right-wingers who think climate change is a socialist plot. Join us, Naomi Klein and director Avi Lewis for this special presentation of This Changes Everything.
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.
Hashiguchi has likely given more pleasure to VIFF audiences over the years than any other Japanese director, and this is his crowning achievement to date: three interwoven tales of individuals learning to cope when love slips through their fingers. The protagonists are a bereaved bridge-repairman, an unhappy housewife with creative ambitions and an elite gay lawyer. Wildly funny in parts, but the overall tone is worldly and very wise. Tony Rayns
In this searing drama set in a remote Kosovar village after the war with Serbia, Isa Qosja explores a patriarchal society rattled by the revelation that their women were violated by enemy soldiers. The immaculately shot film hinges on a showdown between an iron-fisted mayor intent on covering up their shame and a progressive teacher who refuses to tolerate his victim-blaming. “A powerful human story with the timeless, elemental feel of a revenge Western.”—Hollywood Reporter
Alice, now a woman, awakes in a magical land with no idea how she got there, and her very life is at stake if she cannot escape.
While harbouring impure thoughts in the shower, Haim-Aaron (Aharon Traitel), a young ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva student, suffers the ultimate existential crisis. Therefore, so too must his father. In Tikkun, God’s test of Abraham is turned upside down against the dark night of contemporary Jerusalem. Avishai Sivan’s supremely controlled study of newly minted doubt—and decidedly un-Orthodox behaviour—is unlike any Israeli film you’ve seen. Prepare to be shocked.
Continuing the visual experimentation with time-lapse photography and landscape that made his Tectonics such a unique and mesmerizing event, Peter Bo Rappmund turns his camera lens on one of the world’s longest crude oil pipelines, the 1,300-kilometre Trans-Alaska Pipeline, stretching from Prudhoe Bay in the north to Valdez in the south. "Astonishing images and rhythms arise, capturing the complex intersections at which industrial and natural sublimes meet, and suggesting a new politics of the petro-image."—Museum of Modern Art
Former martial arts champion Andreas Marquardt’s life isn’t defined by victories but rather by vicious cycles. The product of unthinkably abusive parents, contempt came easily, setting him on a self-destructive path demarcated by pimping and prison. Rosa von Praunheim’s unflinching docudrama reopens Marquardt’s old wounds through stylish re-enactments and profiles how one woman’s devotion—or is it masochism?—steers him towards hard-won redemption.
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.
Following the untimely passing of her mother, a middle-aged woman struggles to cope with caring for her elderly father in their family home.
Romanian auteur Corneliu Porumboiu is at the height of his low-key powers in this affectionate tale of Costi, a dutiful father who’s plunged into a stone-faced caper comedy when he catches wind of a fortune supposedly buried on a nearby estate. Indulging his fantasies of striking it rich, Costi instead spends a fateful weekend unearthing old disappointments, revisiting Romanian history and navigating the loopholes presented by local bureaucrats. “A deadpan gem…”—Variety
An Australian and a Turkish soldier encounter one another between the Turkish trenches during WW1.
Jordan Paterson’s involving docudrama delves into a little-known chapter of Canadian history. During World War I, 140,000 indentured Chinese labourers were secretly transported from Vancouver to Halifax in locked trains and then shipped to the Western Front to dig trenches and clear the dead. Through intrepid research, interviews, rotoscoped animation and re-enactments, Paterson backs Voltaire’s assertion that “history is nothing but a pack of tricks we play upon the dead.”
This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Andrew Morgan’s The True Cost is a ground-breaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on an untold story and asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing? "Gut-wrenching and alarming."—Elle