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.
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 externalises 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
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 transgendered 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.
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
Casablanca, Notorious, Voyage to Italy… That Ingrid Bergman, three-time Oscar winner, is one of filmdom’s all-time greats is inarguable. Narrated by Swedish (and now Hollywood) star Alicia Vikander, Stig Björkman’s intimate exploration of Bergman’s personal and professional life benefits immensely from the cooperation of Bergman’s daughter Isabella Rossellini, who allowed him access to never-before-seen private footage, notes, letters, diaries and interviews. The result is a rich and multicoloured portrait of this extraordinary human being—in her own words.
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.
A young man, awoken by his parents, is suddenly confronted by a highly disturbing litany of confessions from them that call into question his very existence.
Three men are interviewed for a job that might offer them a new start in life. Their answers grow increasingly revealing.
The BC coastal forest is in all its glory as a father and his two daughters drive off to their remote and idyllic getaway home. They have little sense at first of the growing apocalypse that they are leaving in their wake. It will come to them. Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella and Callum Keith Rennie star in this Patricia Rozema-directed adaptation of Jean Hegland’s novel.