11-year-old Aslan finds a wounded fighting dog left to die in a ditch. He adopts the dog - Sivas - and they become friends. Meanwhile, Osman, Aslan’s rival-in-love and son of the village head, clinches the role of Prince in the school play. As Osman gets closer to Ayşe, the “princess” of the village, Aslan tries to impress her with his newfound friend. And Sivas, having found a new lease on life, wins one fight after another, strengthening Aslan’s hand.
"[A] tough, imposing debut feature… distinguished by its muscular technical brio and rich, integral sense of place." Guy Lodge, Variety
"The best thing about Sivas is the sense of the uncomfortable age at which Aslan finds himself, no longer a true kid but not yet a full-fledged teenager either… And as Aslan, the nonprofessional Izci, often very intense, is a true find…" Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter
Two short films from the Vancouver based producer, writer, director Jonathan Kitzen, including last year’s Academy Award-winning non-fiction short subject The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life (a portrait of 109 year old Holocaust survivor Alcie Herz Sommer), and his new film, Soldiers’ Stories, a war remembrance document that draws parallels between the Battle of the Somme in WWI and today’s conflicts. The latter is presented in 3D and introduced by Jonathan Kitzen.
Jonathan Kitzen will be in attendance and introduce the films
Set in modern-day Naples, Song’e Napule (Neapolitan dialect for “I am from Napoli”) is a hugely entertaining comedy with an endearing cast that will leave audiences whistling the catchy award-winning tunes with a silly grin on their face.
"A tuneful, genre parody casting a loving glance on Naples and its criminal underworld." Screen Daily
Former intelligence officer John Le Carre wrote his first espionage novel in 1962, just a year after the completion of the Berlin Wall, which loomed large in the book. That same wall - demolished 25 year ago, Nov 9, 1989 - also figures in the opening and closing scenes of Martin Ritt’s acclaimed film adaptation. It’s one of the key Cold War movies, the antithesis of James Bond escapism, and features arguably Richard Burton’s finest screen performance.
The title is a prison term for the graduation from a youth offenders’ detention centre to an adult correctional facility, which happens to be the journey taken by 19 year old Eric (Jack O’Connell) in this explosive British drama. The prison also happens to be home to Eric’s estranged father (Ben Mendelsohn), though the reunion is not a happy one…
"An edgy, teeming thriller, brilliantly disorienting." New York Magazine
"Starred Up is an edgy, teeming thriller, brilliantly disorienting, making strange a world we thought we knew, at least from other movies." David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"O’Connell bristles with terrifying hair-trigger unpredictability. Watching him, you feel like you’re witnessing the arrival of a new movie star." Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
"Brutal and boisterous… Turns the complicated dynamic between a young prisoner and his problematic mentor into a ferocious psychodrama that locks you in and refuses to let you go." AO Scott, The New York Times
After all the dark and quirky weirdness Lynch shifts into first gear, faces the sun and gives us a gentle, lingering meditation of a man who hopes to make amends with his brother. Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) drives his lawnmower 320 miles from Lauren, Iowa to Mount Zion, Wisconsin to try and heal the rift. After working solidly in Hollywood since 1937, Farnsworth’s final film is the triumph of his career. Presented by Dawna Friesen (Global News).
Tacoma garage rock band Girl Trouble has always traveled on their own unique and idiosyncratic musical path. For over 30 years, they have been standard- bearers for the collaborative spirit and do-it-yourself aesthetic that the Northwest’s indie rock scene was founded on. Director Isaac Olsen weaves together the band’s treasure trove of treasured memorabilia with present-day interviews with the band’s numerous collaborators, including Neko Case, Calvin Johnson, and Art Chantry. But ultimately, Olsen wisely lets the band members tell the story of their journey from self-proclaimed “weirdos” to Tacoma’s local champions and defenders of rock and roll.
Discovered by a wood cutter inside a shining stalk of bamboo, a tiny girl lights up the life of this childless peasant and his wife - even though they’re perplexed by the lightning speed with which she grows into an exquisite young lady. Their "little princess" enthralls everyone she meets, and bestows such bounty on the family that they wood cutter moves them to a city mansion, where she is courted by the most eligible bachelors far and wide. A gem of a film from Studio Ghibli’s other master, Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).
“Princess Kaguya has the feel of a true Takahata film, from its unshrinking emotional fidelity to its sudden, exhilarating leaps into fantasy […] There is a deep wisdom in this film, but a deep sadness too. If it is Takahata’s farewell, it’s one that will have a long echo, just like his 1,000-year-old source.” Mark Schilling, Japan Times
"A visionary tour de force." Maggie Lee, Variety
A pinnacle of animation in the new millennium." Matt Patches, IGN Movies
Genuine affection is paired with trenchant reflection in Daniele Luchetti’s subtle, sharply perceptive and partially autobiographical look back at (what could be) his parents’ marriage. An avant garde artist (Kim Rossi Stuart) is not above dallying with his frequently nude models, but expects a more conventional loyalty from his wife (Micaela Ramazzotti). But on a feminist retreat she begins to have other ideas…
Thou Gild’st the Even is a fantastically surreal fable depicting the existential ennui of the super power possessing residents of a rural Aegean town. The film centers on Cemal (Ali Atay), a chronically anxious young man who falls deeply in love with the beguiling Yasemin (Demet Evgar) after a failed suicide attempt. Laden with a heavy Shakespearean influence that imbues magical realism into the quotidian life and bearing intense outbursts of sporadic violence that may even put Tarantino to shame, this film is a true cinematic gift to the sincere cinephile.
"Thou Gilds’t the Even is a beautiful shimmery thing, shot in black and white of the lush variety. Infused throughout with wit, deadpan humor, and charming visual effects, the movie is quite unlike anything else you’ll see this year." Brandy Dean, Pretty Clever Films
"The real strength of Ünlü’s films lies in their ability to create a dramatic impact despite all their absurdity and the constant bombardment of over-the-top jokes. In Thou Gild’st the Even, Ünlü is at his best creating an utter sense of desolation even during the funniest moments, and interrupting the most dramatic scenes with unexpected jokes." Berke Göl, FIPRESCI
"Moving at a staccato rhythm, Unlu’s film benefits from a cast that intuitively seems to blend into their parts." Dan Fainaru, Screen
Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, an atmospheric backdrop to the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia.
Just in time for Christmas … the noirest of the noir and the last extravaganza that Orson Welles directed for a Hollywood studio, Touch of Evil is considered to be one his greatest movies achievements. There is a lot of plot, but it’s more of a character story about the grunting, wheezing detective Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), a man who is truly in hell. The concept of borders and "crossing the line" is essential to Touch of Evil as many taboo topics are addressed in this baroque nightmare of a south-of-the-border mystery.
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
Remember that summer when you were 22, a young adult, but too young to know the difference? Responsibility was still something your parents talked about. There was work but nothing you cared about. Same thing with sex. And mostly, that summer, there was time on your hands. Time to dream, time to think, time to do nothing much at all… That’s where Nicole is at, in Stephane Lafleur’s droll comedy, a black and white Canadian gem that captures a moment of transition with easy poetic grace and just a touch of absurdist genius.
"An affecting, funny, eccentric and gorgeously shot coming-of-age film." Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter
"Wonderfully droll… the kind of film dream from which you feel reluctant to wake." Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Delightful… the hidden gem of Cannes." Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist (Indiewire)
Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.
The documentary Turkish Passport tells the story of the diplomats posted to Turkish embassies and consulates in several European countries who saved numerous Jews during the Second World War.
Join us for a night of scorching music, film, mojitos and traditional Cuban food. The evening will begin with a special screening of the classic Cuban documentary We Are the Music (Nosotros La Musica), a vivid panorama of the island’s music and dance legends from the early 1960s, featuring the likes of Ignacio Villa, Celeste Mendoza, Ana Glorai, Charanga Francesa and many more. Made in 1964 by Rogelio Paris, the film can be considered the unofficial father of Buena Vista Social Club.
After the screening, join us in the atrium for Cuban food, live music from Afro-Cuban Dimensions and of course every opportunity to dance! Tickets $15 include film, music and food - mojitos extra.
Once upon a time in Vancouver, there was a baseball team called the Asahi, This was in the 1930s, when the city had a small Japantown on the downtown wharves, and the team was formed by the Canadian-born kids of immigrants. Smaller, and weaker, than the Caucasian teams, they struggled at first - but then they figured out a smarter way to win… Like a Fred Herzog exhibition brought to life, this is a lavish historical piece, a more philosophical type of sports movie than we’re used to in N America, but something that we can recognize as part and parcel of our own cultural heritage.
"From a Vancouver perspective it’s a fascinating film. Beautifully shot, it recreates a lost world in Japantown, when Powell Street was all Japanese businesses and the Powell Street Grounds (today’s Oppenheimer Park) was a baseball park filled with throngs of Asahi fans." John Mackie, Vancouver Sun
The Vancouver Serbian FilmFest is an annual celebration of the best in current film production of Serbia. Every year, a chosen selection of recently produced Serbian movies is shown over the course of four nights. With the attendance of guest actors and filmmakers who, after each movie, engage in Q&A session with the audience, this event has been growing steadily and attracting a loyal following. See www.vsfilmfest.com for program info.