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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.
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
Appealing and affecting, Home Care is a humanist tale that puts a poignant spin on that perennial staple of Czech cinema, the village dramedy. When a selfless home-care nurse (Alena Mihulová) suddenly requires care herself, she, her family and patients must redefine their roles and relationships. Written and performed to perfection, Slávek Horák’s tragicomic film captures the details of small-town life through piquant observation. “Wryly humorous and bittersweet…”—Variety
By day, Mark Reay enjoys an enviable life as a New York fashion freelancer, snapping photos, visiting fashion houses and using upscale eateries as makeshift offices. At night, he retreats to a rooftop where he lives under a tarp. This photographer-actor is a well-coifed embodiment of contradictions: classy but destitute; talented but unlucky at life. However, rather than simply trying to pay the rent, he doggedly chases the dream. Thomas Wirthensohn’s documentary “is an adventure… and an often beautiful portrait of [New York’s] promise and cruelty.”—Village Voice
Beginning its journey as an ominous sandstorm in Senegal, then heading west across the Atlantic to toss enormous ships and waves topsy-turvy before finally crashing into the jungles of the Caribbean, Hurricane Lucy is our home for 82 minutes, and it is a truly awesome, scary and incredible place. Lizards, bats, frogs, horses, homeless men, rivers, ocean reefs, the US Gulf coast… all bend before Lucy’s immense power. Andy Byatt (Blue Planet) and Cyril Barbançon teamed up with NASA to create this genuinely thrilling and immersive experience that must be seen on the big screen!
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.
In Paul Gross’ film, ripped from the headlines, a sniper, who has never allowed himself to think of his targets as human, becomes implicated in the life of one of them. An intelligence officer, who has never contemplated killing, becomes the engine of a plot to kill. A legendary Mujahideen warrior, who had put war behind him, is now deeply involved. Three different men, three different worlds, three different conflicts, yet all stand at the intersection of modern warfare.
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
Water projects and externalizes what is happening in the mind of a young boy. Award for Excellence, Image Forum Festival 2015. (TR)
Middle-class Miguel (Diego Calva) and barrio-dweller Johnny (Eduardo Martínez) are young lovers who finance their skateboarding lifestyles by selling their blood—and the blood of others—to underground clinics in Mexico City. One day they take on a delivery for some gangsters and things go wrong… Meshing a romance, an ultra-realistic depiction of the skate scene and some noirish tropes, Julio Hernández Cordón’s beautifully shot drama takes young love to the limit…
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.
Luc Jacquet (the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins) returns to the Antarctic to trace the fascinating life and groundbreaking work of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, now 83. Lorius discovered that, by drilling into ice and extracting cores from enormous depths, effectively travelling back through time, one could show the link between man-made greenhouse gases and climate change… "Jacquet’s film is… a call to arms to the environmental movement destabilised and buffeted by the denial industry… A powerful testament, and one that ought to have a considerable impact."—Guardian
Would god-like powers have solved your childhood problems? This stop-motion memoir suggests that they certainly might’ve helped.
Rarely have classical music feuds been as acrimonious as the clash between creative heavyweights captured in Carmen Cobos’ riveting documentary. Despite his distaste for symphony orchestras, celebrated avant-garde composer Louis Andriessen is coerced into collaborating with Mariss Jansons and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Andriessen’s piece is characteristically challenging but also extremely personal, ensuring that the imposition of Jansons’ traditional sensibilities is seen as an affront. Will the world premiere leave their reputations in tatters?
What’s it like growing up transgender? Five transgender young people talk about what life has been like for them.
A program of beautiful, haunting and often disturbing short films—though sometimes in these dark reaches we find hope.
A new worker’s first night of mortuary pickup turns into more than he bargained for.
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
In this beautiful and disturbing period piece, a family faces a dramatic decision on a night that will be remembered always.
Intimate, revealing, philosophical, spiced with dollops of whimsy—these are qualities associated with the work of the late, legendary documentarian Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens), and his final film (co-directed with Lynn True, Nelson Walker, David Usui and Ben Wu) has them in spades. On a three-day train trip from Chicago to Seattle, the team—through encounters with other passengers—captures a snapshot of American life. "Lovely… A folk odyssey through northern landscapes that proves a fitting farewell to an American ethnographer."—Variety
Afflicted by an aggressive motor neuron disease, Niels opts to die with dignity and asks his nurse, Maria, to escort him to a Swiss clinic. As they make the trek, Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm crafts a bold drama that’s profoundly moving without ever feeling manipulative. There’s emotional ugliness lying in wait but it’s ultimately rendered beautiful by its honest insights. An undeniably important film, this is a “provocative query into what makes life worth living.”—Variety