Path Alias: 

Carmen, from the Royal Opera House

Program Running Time 180 min.

Films in Program

(GB, 2014, 180 mins, DCP)

Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.

Sung in French with English subtitles

Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.

The Beautiful Game: Linha de Passe

(2008, 113 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In Portuguese with English subtitles
CAST Sandra Corveloni, João Baldasserini, Vinícius de Oliveira


"Amid the ensemble cast of Walter Salles’s sensationally shot, tough-knocks urban drama one face stands out, the kind of face that owns a film and haunts you long after you’ve seen it.

It’s the face of Dario, who dreams of being a professional footballer. The actor playing him has a ravaged magnetism, just about the worst skin you’ve ever seen, and holds the screen with his hopes and surliness, like Jean-Pierre Léaud in Truffaut’s The 400 Blows.

Then the penny drops. Amazingly, this is Vinícius de Oliveira, whom Salles cast as the orphaned urchin Josué in his breakthrough film Central Station (1998).

He’s scarcely recognisable, and the realisation unleashes a shockwave of empathy, making you wonder what he’s been up to for the past decade, how things are working out. Salles and his co-director Daniela Thomas, who worked together on the 1996 movie Foreign Land, made this follow-up to chart the changes in Brazilian society over the past 10 years. But they hold up no better mirror to these than the pitted and pleading face of this no-longer-boy.

De Oliveira grew up as a wannabe soccer star, too, fatherless, with two brothers. Dario has three, from different fathers, and a mother trying her best, played in the film’s most tender and accomplished performance by Cannes Best Actress-winner Sandra Corveloni.

The template for this oddly lyrical inner-city dirge, with each of the four boys struggling to improve his lot, is Italian neorealism - Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers, especially - but it is not a nostalgic piece, and, for me, it’s the better film.

The gifted cinematographer Mauro Pinheiro Jr and that master of darkly keening sound-worlds Gustavo Santaolalla play up poverty and loneliness, the yawning despair of São Paulo’s empty highways at night.

The shame and terror of criminal enterprise hits with more force here than the high-octane machismo of other Brazilian hits."

Tim Robey, The Daily Telegraph

"A beguiling blend of urban poetry and extremely well-observed social realism."Wally Hammond, Time Out

"The film’s title refers to the line of players down which the ball is passed when all are playing properly together. It could hardly be more appropriate for a film that confirms that the unflashy virtues of teamwork are as vital in cinema as they are in life."Paul Julian Smith, Sight & Sound

Best of Hot Docs: An Honest Liar

(2014, 91 mins)


There will be a Q&A over Skype with co-director Tyler Measom after both screenings of An Honest Liar.

James "The Amazing" Randi is an 85-year-old magician and escape artist who’s been enchanted with illusions from a young age. Dedicating his life to learning the tricks of the trade, Randi became a sensation who toured the world, always honest about being a “liar, cheat and charlatan.” When people start using the same tricks but calling themselves "psychics"—like spoon-bender Uri Geller or "faith-healing" like televangelist Peter Popoff—Randi is angry and afraid for the people who are duped. Devoting himself to a new cause, Randi follows the deceivers from city to city, publicly debunking their claims. But when the FBI arrests Randi’s partner of 26 years for identity fraud, the layers of deception become blurred.

"Directors Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom apply the same relentless scrutiny to their subject that Randi brings to bear on the phonies he exposes."NOW Toronto

"(The filmmakers) turn a standard bio-doc about an extraordinary man into a rumination on the blurred line between trickery and truth."Toronto Star

Best of Hot Docs: I Am Big Bird

(2014, 85 mins, DCP)
Classification: PG


I Am Big Bird tells the extraordinary story of Caroll Spinney, the whimsical and endearing man behind Sesame Street’s beloved Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. While inspiring generations of kids for more than 40 years, not much has been known about the man inside the bird. Now, with Spinney approaching 80, we get to peek at how the magic was made. With an epic love story, a life-changing adventure in China and an almost-trip to space aboard the Challenger, both Caroll Spinney and his feathered friend Big Bird have had some incredible adventures and tragedies. Through an extensive collection of home movies and behind-the-scenes Sesame Street footage, the filmmakers capture an intimate portrait. If your heart warmed to the big yellow bird that entertained generations, your heart will melt in this loving portrait of the creative genius who brought him to life. (Heather Haynes)

“3.5/4 stars: thoroughly entertaining…a joy to watch.” Globe and Mail

“The triumphant tearjerker of this year’s Hot Docs film festival…speaks to the heart of a viewer and brings out the softie in everyone” POV Magazine

“One of the most emotionally effective performing arts docs that’s ever been made." Dork Shelf

Best of Hot Docs: Happiness

(80 mins)


In 1999, TV and the Internet came to Bhutan. In the remote village of Laya, perched high in the Himalayas, 900 residents have been waiting patiently for 15 years to get electricity. Eight-year-old Peyangki is one of the only residents who has never left the village, and he eagerly awaits the imminent arrival of the new technologies as a window to the wider world. After her husband’s death, unable to afford all six of her children, Peyangki’s mother sent the boy to the local monastery. Struggling with his new life there, Peyangki is stuck between two worlds, the old and the new. In this strikingly beautiful film, director Thomas Balmès (Babies) allows us to witness huge change through the eyes of this young monk’s life, from leaving the village for the first time to what it means for one of the last remaining villages to become connected. (Charlotte Cook)

"Outstanding… Happiness is a film to cherish." POV Magazine

"This is nonfiction film making at its finest." The Matinee

Best of Hot Docs: Divide in Concord

(2013, 82 mins)


There will be a Q&A over Skype with filmmaker Kris Kaczor after the screening.

Jean Hill, a fiery octogenarian, is deeply concerned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—the world’s largest landfill. She spends her golden years attending city council meetings and cold-calling residents. Since 2010, she’s spearheaded a grassroots campaign to ban the sale of single-serve plastic bottles in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. So far, her attempts to pass a municipal bylaw have failed. As she prepares for one last election, Jean faces the strongest opposition yet, from local merchants and the International Bottled Water Association. But her fiercest challenge comes from Adriana Cohen, mother, model and celebrity publicist-turned-pundit, who insists the bill is an attack on freedom. When Adriana thrusts Jean’s crusade into the national spotlight, it’s silver-haired senior versus silver-tongued pro. In the same town that incited the American Revolution and inspired Thoreau’s environmental movement, can one little old lady make history? A tense nail-biter of a vote will decide. (Angie Driscoll)

"The stuff great films are made of… Haunting." Huffington Post

Finding Vivian Maier

(2013, 83 mins, DCP)
FEATURING John Maloof, Mary Ellen Mark, Joel Meyerowitz, Phil Donahue, Duffy Lavant


When Vivian Maier passed away only four years ago almost nobody knew it, or cared. She had lived an anonymous life, never married, estranged from her family and virtually friendless, a professional nanny who had failed to forge lasting, long-term relationships. She was secretive, private and obsessed with her hobby, photography – though typically she kept her photos to herself.

It was only when amateur historian John Maloof happened to pick up a job-lot of her belongings in a thrift auction that anyone had the first inkling Vivian was an artist, a photographer whose astonishing images merit comparison with such giants as Diane Arbus, Weegee, Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The right man in the right place, Maloof recognized the treasure trove he had chanced across, and movie camera in hand he set about uncovering Maier’s mysterious and (as it turns out) extraordinary life story. At the same time, he discovered her storage locker, gaining access to hundreds and thousands of prints and undeveloped rolls of film. Interviewing the families she lived with and some of today’s top photographers, Maloof constructs a compelling and eye-opening introduction to a major body of work.

"Compelling… haunting… captivating." Variety

"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." Globe and Mail

Apocalypse WW1 Film Screenings

(2014, 260 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In English
Country of Origin: Canada, France





Co-presented by VIFF Vancity Theatre, the Consulate General of France of Vancouver and Idéacom International.

Commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of what British propagandists dubbed both "The Great War" and "The War to End All Wars", Apocalypse is a monumental undertaking, French-Canadian co-production led by French documentarians Isabelle Clark and Daniel Costelle. Culled from more than 500 hours of archival material, this is WWI as you have never experienced it before: artfully colorized in a painstakingly researched process that brings the footage to life with unprecedented impact.

Unfolding in five 52-minute installments, Apocalypse WWI takes us to the battlefields, inside the minds of those who govern, and to the heart of the everyday life of civilians behind the lines. It transports us from the trenches in northern France to the front lines of Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Palestine and the Arabian deserts.

In the first part, Fury, we examine the root causes of the conflict, kickstarted by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, June 28, 1914. In Fear (episode 2), Germany repels the Russian advance at the Battle of Tannenberg, but the Germans are themselves bogged down by the French at the Battle of the Marne, and the imperial powers call in colonial troops to make this truly a global war. In Hell (episode 3), the devastating consequences of modern technology lay waste to millions of lives throughout the years 1915 and 1916, culminating in the bloody carnage of the Battle of the Somme, where British losses top 30 000 in just a few hours.

In Rage (episode 4) mutinies begin to break out on all sides, and the US enters the war. General Pershing lands in France, June 1917. In July, the senseless slaughter continues at the Battle of Passchendaele. Finally, in Deliverance (episode 5), American troops swing the conflict decisively away from Germany, and on November 11, 1918, armistice brings the fighting to an end.

Producer Josette D Normandeau will join us to introduce these special screenings, and participate in two panel discussions over the weekend.

Tickets are available for programs of two episodes back to back at our standard prices, or as a $21 ticket pack for all 5 episodes. Panel discussions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.


Friday June 13

  • 6.30 Apocalypse FURY + Apocalypse FEAR

Saturday June 14

  • 1.30 Apocalypse FURY + Apocalypse FEAR 
  • 4.30 Apocalypse HELL + Apocalypse RAGE
  • 7.00-8.30 FREE Panel: Cinema, War, Commemoration, Memory and the Archive with moderator: Colin Browne (SFU). Participants: Josette Normandeau (CEO and producer - Idéacom International), Roxanne Panchasi (Associate Professor, Department of History, SFU), and Nicolas Kenny (Assistant Professor, Department of History, SFU)
  • 8.45 Apocalypse DELIVERANCE

Sunday June 15

Apocalypse WWI is presented with the support of the following consulates general based in Vancouver: Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, United States of America.

Charles Lloyd: Arrows into Infinity

(2013, 114 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
FEATURING Charles Lloyd
VIFF dedicates this screening to the memory of our dear friend and colleague Carl Chinn.


Charismatic, ceaselessly evolving and crossing boundaries, reed man Charles Lloyd has been in the vanguard of jazz for over 50 years with his unique, flowing yet swinging sound. This intimate portrait, co-directed by his painter/filmmaker wife, conveys the astonishing range of Lloyd’s career, including his Memphis roots; his counterculture crossovers in the 1960s; seclusion in the 1970s; collaborations with Keith Jarrett, the Beach Boys, Burgess Meredith, Charles Bukowski, Michel Petrucciani etc; and the comeback that began in the late 1980s and is still going strong.

“One of the greatest saxophonists on the planet…never out of touch with his audience.”—BBC Radio 3

The Beautiful Game: Fla v Flu

(2014, 85 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In Portuguese with English subtitles
Canadian Premiere
FEATURING Zico, Renaldo


Our celebration of the Brazilian World Cup Finals kicks off with this Gala Canadian premiere of the new documentary by Renato Terra (A Night in 67), a rousing chronicle of the passion and fanaticism driving Brazil’s national sport, soccer. Featuring interviews with legends like Zico and Romário, rabid fans and archival footage, the film focuses on the rivalry between two of the largest football clubs in Brazil: Flamengo (’Fla’) and Fluminense (’Flu’).

The Gala ticket price includes live music performance by the Celia Enestrom band and caipirinhas.

"Transports us into the football stadium and the emotions that come with it, causing goose bumps to any supporter’ Paulo Vinicius Coelho, Folha de São Paulo