Peace Officer is a documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of ’Dub’ Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Driven by an obsessed sense of mission, Dub uses his own investigation skills to uncover the truth in this and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community, while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: William "Dub" Lawrence, star of Peace Officer
There is so much interest in food these days yet there is almost no interest in the hands that pick that food. In the US, farm labor has always been one of the most difficult and poorly paid jobs and has relied on some of the nation’s most vulnerable people. While the legal restrictions which kept people bound to farms, like slavery, have been abolished, exploitation still exists, ranging from wage theft to modern-day slavery. These days, this exploitation is perpetuated by the corporations at the top of the food chain: supermarkets. Their buying power has kept wages pitifully low and has created a scenario where desperately poor people are willing to put up with anything to keep their jobs.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: Pablo Godoy, National Representative, UFCW Canada; National Coordinator, Students Against Migrant Exploitation (S.A.M.E.); and Vice President, Ontario Federation of Labour
As tuition rates spiral beyond reach and student loan debt passes $1 trillion (more than credit card debt), Ivory Tower asks: Is college worth the cost? From the halls of Harvard, to public colleges in financial crisis, to Silicon Valley, filmmaker Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) assembles an urgent portrait of a great American institution at the breaking point.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: Kathy Corrigan, MLA, Official Opposition Deputy Chair and spokesperson for Advanced Education
A quietly lyrical film filled with genuine suspense, Kinderwald is set in 1854 Pennsylvania. Flora, her two children and her dead husband’s brother, John, have arrived to homestead. When the young boys disappear without a trace, the neighboring community first helps, seeking them in the surrounding landscape. However, it isn’t long before suspicions arise, and the young couple must search for the boys alone. Troubling interferences and a brutal attack from criminal elements lead to a trial of faith for both Flora and John, which the film explores with a realism that steps beyond the real.
Preceded by the short film: Blood (12 min)
50 years ago: cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging, and at the vanguard was The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. "What is clear from this sober yet electrifying film is that the power of the Panthers was rooted in their insistence - radical then, radical still - that black lives matter." AO Scott, New York Times
Witness the magnificence of the African elephant and experience the gentle souls that lie within their awesome grey bulk. They roamed all of Africa a century ago, but now are left with tiny parcels of land and nowhere to run as they face extinction. These charismatic giants are under constant threat by fierce and unrelenting human predators from the worldwide yet illegal ivory trade. The documentary examines and exposes the elephant poaching crisis in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, including the militarization of the anti-poaching response. Revealing painful truths, this documentary not only points to the damage humanity is inflicting upon both elephants and itself, but furthers the discussion regarding the possibility of conservation and sustainability.
Preceded by the short films: Sniff! The Art of Tasting (5 min) + Norma’s Story (5 min)
This screening will feature a panel discussion.
Gore Vidal, Robert Fisk, Niall Ferguson and John Mearsheimer are among the interviewees examining how Hollywood and the media portrays Muslims and Arabs in this important documentary.
After the screening join the filmmaker and fellow activists at a reception to thank all of you for attending.
Who knew the tango came from Africa? Filmmaker Dom Pedro reveals the depth of the footprints of the African music on the tango, through this rich movie combining musical performances and interviews from many tango fans and historians in Latin America and Europe, including the renowned Argentinean pianist Juan Carlos Caceres.
A deserted stretch of lonely highway is all it takes to pull together this eerie anthology film, a remarkably cohesive and consistent collaborative effort pulled together by the makers of V/H/S.
"This anthology of five horror tales is the rare group effort without a dud, as it cruises through variations on the genre with style and confidence." Film Comment
Join JFL Northwest and VIFF in celebrating one of the seminal film comedies of the last quarter century, a jewel of am-dram endeavor and imagination harnessing some of the most gifted comic actors of their generation, including Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. Set in Blaine, Missouri, this "mockumentary" chronicles the burg’s preparations and execution of its sesquicentennial anniversary, a celebration that is to be capped off by a fabulous amateur show helmed by former New Yorker Corky St. Clair. Corky has high hopes for his "Red, White and Blaine" extravaganza…
Three Harvard graduates start a national humor magazine for adults, launching the careers of some of Hollywood’s most legendary talent. But success and excess among its brilliant and subversive contributors begins to challenge its existence.
If you attended any film at VIFF last year you will recall the clip of the balding gentleman who blows raspberries into his microphone. Fair warning: this is not your Vegas stand up shtick. Rather, it’s a poke in the eye and the ear and the chest, an anti-entertainment that may be the bravest, ballsiest movie to come out of the US last year.
A local institution (they ought to be in one), the Gentlemen Hecklers supply the commentary you wish you had thought of to the best bad movies. In their Vancity Theatre debut, Eric Fell, Patrick Maliha, and Shaun Stewart turn their sites on the 1989 Rowdy Herrington "classic", Road House, starring Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch and Sam Elliott.
In which Greta Garbo is a Communist emissary from Soviet Russia, an idealogue whose stony heart melts under the decadent charm of Melvyn Douglas in a sublimely romantic Paris. Scripted by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, and directed by MGM’s master of classy comedy Ernst Lubitsch, this is about as irresistible a defense of the high life as you could wish for.
Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Battered Women’s Support Services and the screening will include a pop-up shop by My Sister’s Closet.
"Like Breaking Bad in real life," (Newsweek), Cartel Land plunges us into the heart of darkness, the front lines of Mexico’s narco wars, where the Knights Templar wreak havoc on anyone who opposes them, and into Arizona’s "Cocaine Alley", where paramilitaries vainly attempt to bolster the border patrols.
An important pioneer, Nell Shipman challenged what it was to be both a woman and a filmmaker in the early 20th century. Leaving the safety of the Hollywood studios, she ventured into the wilderness to make stories of her own. While in Idaho she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in at least 25 independent silent films. And yet, she is now all but forgotten, a fate not uncommon for many women filmmakers. In this documentary, Nell’s story is paralleled with the stories of others, highlighting their immense but largely hidden legacy. + Panel Discussion
Drone covers diverse and integral ground from the recruitment of young pilots at gaming conventions and the re-definition of “going to war”, to the moral stance of engineers behind the technology, the world leaders giving the secret “green light” to engage in the biggest targeted killing program in history, and the people willing to stand up against the violations of civil liberties and fight for transparency, accountability and justice.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: Brandon Bryant, founder, Project Red Hand, star of Drone
The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Research shows that compared to girls, boys in the U.S. are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives.
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: David Hatfield, Leadership consultant and facilitator
Each year the Vancity Theatre is proud to present the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Short Film in the Live Action and Animation categories. Nominations are announced January 14. Check viff.org for program details.