Film Festival Series
High School Outreach
Last year, VIFF welcomed almost 1,200 secondary students to weekday matinee screenings and offered them the chance to experience the very best in contemporary international cinema. In 2015, we've selected another set of films that are particularly relvant for today's youth. Whether it's a Yemeni teenager's bit to legally extricate herself from an arranged marriage, a youth orchestra fashioning instruments out of trash or a precious tween dealing with her sister's eating disorder, these are vibrant stories that resonate with younger audiences and offer exciting glimpses into the same planet/different worlds that we inhabit.
Teachers can book screenings by contacting email@example.com
Special ticket price of $8 per student attending as a high school group.
* PLEASE NOTE THE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM TICKET RATES APPLY TO THE WEEKDAY MATINEE SCREENINGS ONLY
Films in this Series
Hailing from opposite ends of the Earth, two accomplished acrobats work towards the same goal: to use the art form of circus to instill hope in the youth who languish in the impoverished communities the artists once called home. Nimbly shuttling us between Nunavet and Guinea, Susan Gray’s uplifting documentary invites us to marvel as these men, whose athleticism is only exceeded by their altruism, guide the most marginalized of youth from their first tentative backflips to centre stage at the Vancouver Olympics and Cirque du Soleil.
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
In Latin America’s largest landfill, a garbage picker uncovers the raw materials for makeshift musical instruments. As cellos and violins are fashioned from stray detritus, a group of local children are likewise transformed into the Recycled Instruments Orchestra of Cateura. Reminiscent of VIFF ’10 standout Waste Land, Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley’s documentary is an inspiring tale of resilience and transcendence. “A secret treasure… A story of the dull throb of existence gleefully recalibrated by the thundering heartbeat of music.”—Austin Chronicle
A precocious tween on the cusp of sexual maturity (Rebecka Josephson, granddaughter of Bergman regular Erland Josephson) is forced to make some hard decisions when her gorgeous older sister (Amy Deasismont, aka pop star Amy Diamond) accidentally reveals that she has a serious eating disorder… "Swedish writer-director Sanna Lenken’s debut feature breathes warmth and humor into a potentially dry topic thanks largely to its terrific young cast."—Hollywood Reporter
Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) returns with another enviro-doc that doubles as a top-flight thriller. Racing against the clock to stave off a mass extinction, Psihoyos’ undercover activists infiltrate underground marketplaces trafficking in endangered marine life and immerse us in oceans turning toxic from our energy consumption. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The call to action couldn’t be more urgent. “A mesmeric entertainment and enlightenment… A chilling call to action to stop ocean poisoning before it results in destruction of the planet.”—Hollywood Reporter
Once again VIFF is proud to partner with The Reel Youth Film Festival, a compelling and humorous collection of international youth-made shorts. Chosen by a youth-selection team from 700+ submissions from 20 countries, the festival shows us the world through fresh eyes. Whether an Indian psychological thriller, a Georgian music video about love and diversity, or an Australian romantic comedy about insects, laughing and learning are guaranteed.
Andrew Cividino’s remarkable debut is a story of friendship, confusion, betrayal and peer pressure. Fourteen-year-old Adam is enduring a dull summer in a small Lake Superior beach community when he meets local boys Foster and Rizzo. “The cast and filmmakers illuminate not just the wit and charm of young men, but also the callow cruelty of youth, driven by a killer combination of naïve idealism, solipsism, poor self-esteem and raging hormones.”—Hollywood Reporter
"Chloé Zhao’s plaintive first feature is a heartfelt dramatized contemplation of life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, experienced partly through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl… [The] project clearly was made with profound respect for its subjects, from families ravaged by alcoholism to daredevil young bull-riders to those who cling through tough times to their belief in community."—Hollywood Reporter
Imbued with the sensual, dreamy, mysterious air of adolescent longing and becoming, Carol Morley’s first dramatic feature is set in an all-girls school in late 60s Britain. A sudden death sparks a series of unsettling incidents that shake both the student body and faculty: is it a virus, mass hysteria or mischief-making? Featuring a spectacular turn from Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, this tantalizing, enigmatic film suggests some clues but leaves much to the imagination.
Documentarian David André follows five teenagers from depressed Boulogne-sur-Mer throughout their final year at school, with the life-determining "baccalauréat" exams awaiting them at the end. Their lives, dreams and ambitions are captured in poetic visuals, in songs that the teenagers themselves provide, and in a captivating mélange of anger, humour, frustration and boredom…"Glee meets To Be and To Have… A touching film, [this] hybrid French docudrama-musical comedy… deserves extra credit for trying to pull off something new."—Hollywood Reporter