An ambitious drag racer’s dreams are undermined by the realities of his personal life.
Cinematographer/director Jody Lee Lipes slips us inside The New York City Ballet’s storied confines and observes Justin Peck’s creation of the company’s 422nd original piece. Punctuated by instances of divine inspiration and profound frustration, the film celebrates movement while illustrating how arduous creativity can sometimes be. “A delight for balletophiles, the film [represents] a beautifully crafted entree into the intricacies of collective endeavor.”—Variety
We are thrilled to offer this coveted gala spot to the winner of the #mustseeBC competition, where audiences will have the power to tell us which film they want to see at this exciting event. Check out http://mustseebc.viff.org for details!
Incisively and with great compassion, Jaime Rosales sketches the lives of Spain’s lost generation through the relationship of Carlos (Carlos Rodríguez) and Natalia (Ingrid García Jonsson). "An intelligent, bracing study of Spanish twentysomethings doomed to unemployment and disillusion… Brilliant, challenging… [The] whole film is an audacious leap into real lives and real experiences… A powerful and heartfelt film."—Guardian
At California’s Zeno Actors Camp, disabled people band together to make an old-fashioned Western costume drama in which they contribute to every element of the production and play starring roles. Michael Barnett documents their endeavour, celebrating the discipline and creativity demanded by such an undertaking while also calling into question why we so rarely see actual disabled actors on the big screen.
It’s closing night for popular Belgian cabaret Gardenia and its gay and trans stars face reintroduction into reality. Mixing avant-garde choreography with confessional interviews, Thomas Wallner offers “an endearing recollection of life as an outsider, a sincere exploration of queer identity, and a stunning celebration of the communion we achieve in art.”—Indiewire. Winner, Special Jury Prize: Canadian Feature, Hot Docs 2014.
In a vibrantly depicted Havana, 11-year-old Chala industriously cares for carrier pigeons and dogs on his apartment balcony. Trouble is, there’s easy money in dog fighting. The most important champion in his life however is his aging teacher, Carmela (the marvelous Alina Rodríguez), a woman who refuses to let the boy fall between the cracks and endures government reprisals as a result. Director Ernesto Daranas demonstrates equal bravery in confronting Cuba’s social ills. Winner, Audience Award, Málaga 2014.
Guided by Dominik Graf’s skilled directorial hand and anchored by remarkable performances, the tale of writer Friedrich Schiller’s notorious love triangle with the Lengefeld sisters is woven into a sophisticated, sprawling costume drama full of fervour and resonance. “A work of unimposing power, Beloved Sisters renders its minimal story on the grand scale of a three-hour epic with quaint elegance.”—Film Comment
At a Saskatchewan cattle ranch during branding season, a blue-collar kid is rattled by an unsettling discovery.
Diao Yi’nan’s film noir is a stylish, exhilarating descent into a nightmarish wintery Manchurian mystery. Following a series of murders, alcoholic former cop Zhang Zili’s (Liao Fan) suspicions are aroused by laundress Zhichen (Taiwan superstar Gwei Lun-mei), who seems intimately linked to the victims. China’s biggest art-house box-office hit so far. Winner, Golden Bear (Best Film), Silver Bear (Best Actor), Berlin 2014. Shelly Kraicer
Jake Henson (Dakota Daulby) is a troubled teen haunted by the deaths of his parents—his father in a hunting accident and mother by suicide—who escapes an abusive uncle to reconnect with his older brother (Matthew MacCaull). In director Jason Bourque’s thriller, their reunion on an isolated island shows that blood may be thicker than water but it’s still blood. And it’s messy as hell.
Based on Bi Feiyu’s best-selling novel, Lou Ye’s sensual drama explores a Nanjing massage parlour and the desires of the sightless masseurs and masseuses employed there. As the camera and actors (including the extraordinary Guo Xiaodong and Qin Hao) grow as intimate as lovers and Lou artfully conveys how his characters experience the world, the film becomes "entirely engrossing…”—Variety. Winner, Best Cinematography, Berlin 2014.
After having this hand lopped off by a gangster he’s offended, a brash underground cartoonist watches the disembodied appendage return to life and become a reanimated avenging angel/defender of free speech. Deliriously irreverent, wantonly vulgar and perversely gory, Matt O’Mahoney’s splatter horror flick is one of the year’s most gonzo genre offerings and “signals an underground spirit thriving in Vancouver…”—Spectacular Optical
Alê Abreu’s animated odyssey follows a young boy as he journeys from the country into a towering metropolis in search of his father. Awaiting him is a world where music gives birth to birds, cities float in the sky and good and evil clash in a riot of colour. “A simple, universal parable… An enchanting visual treat…”—Variety