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BOLD NEW LATIN AMERICAN AND AFRICAN CINEMA AT VIFF 2014

TICKETS NOW ON SALE AT VIFF.ORG and in person at the Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street)

 

VIFF: The Complete Guide is now available!

Our completely revamped official festival guide is now available all over town. Plus: It’s completely free.


LATIN AMERICAN FILMS

Latin American films have certainly made their mark at recent editions of VIFF, including Sebastián Lelio’s heartfelt Gloria, Amat Escalante’s harrowing Heli, Pablo Larrain’s formally adventurous No and Kleber Mendonça Filho’s eerie Neighbouring Sounds. With this region proving to be a hotbed of emerging filmmaking talent, we unveil an even more varied and vibrant sampling of Latin American films this year, including a psychological thriller that’s dominated Peru’s box office (The Womb), a sensual Brazilian portrait of life in the tropics (August Winds) and the Argentine omnibus film that was Cannes’ breakout hit (Wild Tales).
HISTORY OF FEAR
(Historia del miedo)

Tue. Sep 30, 1:00 pm, SFU-GCA
Wed. Oct 8, 9:30 pm, Vancity
Fri. Oct 10, 2:00 pm, Rio

Argentina / France / Germany / Uruguay / Qatar

DIR: Benjamin Naishtat | Review

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There are echoes of VIFF 12 standout Neighbouring Sounds in this anxiety-fuelled thriller. As increasingly odd events unfold in an affluent Buenos Aires suburb, anxiety escalates, setting the stage for an intoxicatingly tense climax. Benjamín Naishtat "invokes a sinister vibe [and] dramatizes the point at which desire for safety sublimates into paranoid acquiescence."—Film Comment.

Winner, Grand Prize, Jeonju 2014; New Directors Prize, San Francisco 2014.

JAUJA

Sat. Oct 4, 1:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Thu. Oct 9, 6:30 pm, SFU-GCA

Argentina / Denmark / France / Mexico / Germany / Brazil

DIR: Lisandro Alonso | Trailer | Review

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Lisandro Alonso returns with a gorgeous, 19th century-set existential exploration. Viggo Mortensen is a Danish engineer who heads into the Patagonian wilderness in search of his missing daughter. "This hallucinatory head-trip Western remains unmistakably Alonso’s film... a metaphysical road movie in which origin and destination are markedly less important than the journey itself." —Variety.

Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.

MERCEDES SOSA: THE VOICE OF LATIN AMERICA
(Mercedes Sosa: La voz de Latinoamérica)

Sun. Sep 28, 2:00 pm, Vancity
Mon. Sep 29, 7:00 pm, Rio

Argentina

DIR: Rodrigo H. Vila

Trailer | Review | Article

Canadian Premiere

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Argentina’s Mercedes Sosa (1935-2009) was one of the most talented and politically engaged singers of the 20th century. Known as "the voice of the voiceless ones," she was a mainstay of the nueva canción folk movement, dazzled audiences worldwide and won numerous Grammy awards. Rodgrigo H. Vila’s loving portrait melds archival concert footage and contemporary interviews to breathtaking effect.

Winner, Audience Award, Panama 2013.

THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE
(La princesa de Francia)

Fri. Sep 26, 6:30 pm, Intl Village 8
Sat. Sep 27, 1:45 pm, Intl Village 8

Argentina

DIR: Matías Piñeiro | Review

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Droll and seductive, Matías Piñeiro’s romantic drama revolves around young theatre director Victor (Julián Larquier Tellarini), working on a radio adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost in Buenos Aires, who gets caught up in the lives of the five actresses he’s directing... "The film underlines the fluidity of romantic attachments... bringing to mind the complexity of the amorous allegiances in the Bard’s work."—Hollywood Reporter

TWO SHOTS FIRED
(Dos Disparos)

Sun. Sep 28, 4:15 pm, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 1, 9:00 pm, Intl Village 8

Argentina / Chile / Germany / Netherlands

DIR: Martín Rejtman

Original Language Trailer | Facebook

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One of the New Argentine Cinema's mainstays, Martín Rejtman returns with this funny, deliberately episodic study of 18-year-old flute player Mariano (Rafael Federman) and his circle of friends and family. "A nearly uncategorizable seriocomedy whose string of non-sequiturs oddly mimics life’s implausibilities... There’s a great deal of humor built in to the characters, whose instability has a certain endearing quality." —Variety

WILD TALES
(Relatos salvajes)

Sat. Oct 4, 6:00 pm, Centre for Arts
Mon. Oct 6, 3:30 pm, Centre for Arts

Argentina / Spain

DIR: Damián Szifrón | Trailer | Review

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For sheer entertainment value, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this outrageous anthology film. One of Cannes' most buzzed about discoveries, Damián Szifrón’s third feature plays like a calling card from a preposterously talented newcomer, it’s so chock-full of crazy ideas and verve. "Delicious, horrible, scary and scabrous... Szifrón brings off a very difficult trick: making something genuinely funny and genuinely scary at the same time."—Guardian

AMAZONIA 3D

Sat. Sep 27, 2:15 pm, Intl Village 10
Sat. Oct 4, 4:00 pm, Intl Village 9
Sun. Oct 5, 7:30 pm, Intl Village 10

Brazil / France

DIR: Thierry Ragobert | Website & Trailer

Classification: G (no advisory)

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A circus-trained capuchin must quickly adapt to life in the wild when it suddenly finds itself lost in the Amazon rainforest. This unwitting, endlessly expressive little guide leads us through Thierry Ragobert's awe-inspiring, family-friendly docudrama, acquainting us with this lush wonderland’s exotic denizens and other breathtaking splendours. "A thrilling tale... the cinematography is exceptionally vivid throughout..."—Hollywood Reporter

AUGUST WINDS
(Ventos de Agosto)

Sun. Sep 28, 6:30 pm, Intl Village 8
Tue. Sep 30, 2:00 pm, Rio
Fri. Oct 3, 4:00 pm, Intl Village 8

Brazil

DIR: Gabriel Mascaro | Trailer

North American Premiere

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Lyrical, sensual and poetic, yet grounded in a bracing naturalism that speaks to Brazilian documentarian Gabriel Mascaro's roots, August Winds tells the tale of a young couple who discover a skull while diving for octopus. It's a prismatic evocation of seaside life in the rural tropics. "...a beautiful meditation on life and death... a striking accomplishment..."—Indiewire

THE BOY AND THE WORLD
(O Menino e o Mundo)

Thu. Sep 25, 1:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Sun. Sep 28, 10:30 am, Intl Village 9
Thu. Oct 2, 7:00 pm, Intl Village 10

Brazil

DIR: Alê Abreu

Official Website | Teaser | Trailer | Review

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Alê Abreu's animated odyssey follows a young boy as he journeys from the country into a towering metropolis in search of his father. Awaiting him is a world where music gives birth to birds, cities float in the sky and good and evil clash in a riot of colour. "A simple, universal parable... An enchanting visual treat..."—Variety

CASA GRANDE

Sat. Sep 27, 1:30 pm, Rio
Wed. Oct 8, 4:15 pm, Rio
Fri. Oct 10, 9:00 pm, SFU-GCA

Brazil

DIR: Fellipe Barbosa | Trailer

Canadian Premiere

Classification: 14A (sexually suggestive scenes; nudity)

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Balancing sharp comedy and commentary, Fellipe Barbosa’s well-observed film charts the increasingly disparate fortunes of a Brazilian bourgeoisie family. While father Hugo (Marcello Novaes) shamefully conceals his bankruptcy, his teenage son Jean (Thales Cavalcanti) experiences the exhilaration of defiance and self-discovery. Of course, coming of age also means finally seeing the unjust world for what it is.

DOMINGUINHOS

Fri. Sep 26, 2:30 pm, Vancity
Wed. Oct 1, 4:30 pm, Rio
Thu. Oct 9, 7:15 pm, Vancity

Brazil

DIR: Joaquim Castro, Eduardo Nazarian, Mariana Aydar | Facebook | Article

Canadian Premiere

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Legendary accordionist, composer and singer José Domingos de Morais—better known as Dominguinhos—died last year, but not before participating in Joaquim Castro, Eduardo Nazarian and Mariana Aydar's celebration of his life and music. With his wide smile and prodigious talent, Dominguinhos and his unique mix of bossa nova, jazz and pop, all anchored by his baião rhythms, will leave you delighted.

THE SALT OF THE EARTH
(Le Sel de la Terre)

Mon. Oct 6, 12:30 pm, Centre for Arts
Thu. Oct 9, 8:45 pm, Centre for Arts

France / Italy / Brazil

DIR: Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

Review | Trailer

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Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado's magnetic portrait of photographer Sebastião Salgado, is "illuminating and uplifting... [It moves] from his early years growing up on a Brazilian farm... through to his increasingly large-scale photographic projects that took him to many of the world's most hostile and dangerous conflict zones... A moving tribute to a peerless talent."—Guardian.

Winner, Special Jury Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.

TO KILL A MAN

(Matar a un hombre)

Thu. Sep 25, 12:15 pm, Cinematheque
Fri. Oct 3, 9:15 pm, Cinematheque
Sat. Oct 4, 11:00 am, Intl Village 8

Chile / France

DIR: Alejandro Fernández Almendras | Trailer

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Beautifully wrought and meticulously controlled, Alejandro Fernández Almendras' taut drama follows a bullied man as he wrestles with the moral implications of revenge... "A terrifically tense first half culminates in a truly brilliant scene... [and it] all ends with a dramatic pop as sharp as the first of only two gunshots in this menacing, morally agnostic film."—Guardian.

Winner, World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Sundance 2014.

GENTE DE BIEN

Mon. Sep 29, 3:45 pm, SFU-GCA
Fri. Oct 3, 4:15 pm, Rio
Mon. Oct 6, 9:00 pm, SFU-GCA

Colombia

DIR: Franco Lolli | Review

Canadian Premiere

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It’s Christmas in Bogotá and 10-year-old Eric has been sent to live with his impoverished handyman father. When a wealthy client takes pity on them, and invites them to stay at her family’s country villa over the holidays, tensions and discomfort soon begin to crackle, exposing the gap between Christian charity and the starker realities of the class structure. "An engrossing, sensitive and admirably nuanced social drama."—Hollywood Reporter

MANOS SUCIAS

Fri. Oct 3, 2:00 pm, Rio
Sun. Oct 5, 9:00 pm, Rio
Tue. Oct 7, 2:00 pm, Rio

Colombia / USA

DIR: Josef Wladyka | Trailer | Facebook

Canadian Premiere

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Two young Colombian brothers, stymied by a dearth of legitimate job opportunities, decide to run drugs up the coast in a fishing boat... "Shot on location in and around Buenaventura, the movie has a frantic, gritty energy attuned to its characters' frustrations... It's a fierce snapshot of reckless behavior enacted by helpless men."—Indiewire.

Winner, Best New Narrative Director; Audience Award runner-up, Tribeca 2014.

MARMATO

Sun. Sep 28, 9:00 pm, SFU-GCA
Mon. Sep 29, 1:15 pm, SFU-GCA
Thu. Oct 2, 2:00 pm, Rio

Colombia / USA

DIR: Mark Grieco | Website & Trailer

Canadian Premiere

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Colombian miners find their livelihoods and way of life threatened when a Canadian mining company sets up shop in their small town and targets the immense gold deposit that lies under their humble homes. Mark Grieco’s stirring documentary "impressively presents a beautifully shot (the views from the houses over the surrounding valleys are stunning) portrait of resistance..."—Screen.

Winner, Grand Jury Prize: Documentary, Seattle 2014.

BEHAVIOR

(Conducta)

Tue. Oct 7, 9:30 pm, Rio
Thu. Oct 9, 1:30 pm, Playhouse

Cuba

DIR: Ernesto Daranas | Trailer | Article

Classification: PG (coarse language; violence; sexually suggestive scene)

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In a vibrantly depicted Havana, 11-year-old Chala industriously cares for carrier pigeons and dogs on his apartment balcony. Trouble is, there’s easy money in dog fighting. The most important champion in his life however is his aging teacher, Carmela (the marvelous Alina Rodríguez), a woman who refuses to let the boy fall between the cracks and endures government reprisals as a result. Director Ernesto Daranas demonstrates equal bravery in confronting Cuba's social ills.

Winner, Audience Award, Málaga 2014.

ASTEROID

(Asteroide)

Wed. Oct 1, 9:30 pm, Intl Village 10
Sat. Oct 4, 11:15 am, Intl Village 10
Tue. Oct 7, 4:15 pm, Cinematheque

Mexico

DIR: Marcelo Tobar | Facebook | Music | Variety Review | Screen Daily Review

Canadian Premiere

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After personal problems send free spirit Cristina (Sophie Alexander-Katz) scurrying for the comforts of her family home, her taciturn ex-addict brother's relationship with a new girlfriend threatens the orphan siblings' fragile peace... "Sibling rivalry is kept at a low, slow simmer in [Marcelo Tobar's] fractiously intimate family drama... Thanks to flinty performances... it’s a film of subtle but not insubstantial emotional rewards." —Variety.

FOOD CHAINS

Sat. Sep 27, 10:00 am, Vancity
Mon. Sep 29, 6:00 pm, Intl Village 9
Wed. Oct 1, 4:30 pm, Intl Village 10

USA

DIR: Sanjay Rawal

Canadian Premiere

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It's a grim irony that while food has become a topic of constant debate, the plight of field workers is more hidden than ever. In the States these workers are often Mexicans, and we get a lot of our food from their labours. Likening the role of food pickers to that of modern-day slaves, Sanjay Rawal documents the abuses suffered, while enlisting a stellar group of commentators—Eric Schlosser and Robert Kennedy Jr. among them—to suggest ways forward.

GÜEROS

Tue. Sep 30, 9:30 pm, Intl Village 10
Sun. Oct 5, 1:30 pm, Rio
Thu. Oct 9, 4:00 pm, Playhouse

Mexico

DIR: Alonso Ruíz Palacios

Canadian Premiere

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A hugely enjoyable black-and-white homage to the Nouvelle Vague set against 1999's student demonstrations in Mexico City, Alonso Ruíz Palacios' debut focuses on teenaged Tomás, his slacker older brother and their search for a folk-music icon who once made Bob Dylan cry... Playful and charming, it's "full of life and related with intelligence and a sense of humour."—Slant.

Special Jury Mention: Best New Narrative Director, Tribeca 2014.

THE INCIDENT

(El Incidente)

Wed. Oct 8, 2:30 pm, Cinematheque
Fri. Oct 10, 11:30 pm, Rio

Mexico

DIR: Isaac Ezban | Review

Canadian Premiere

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When reality is knocked for a loop, desperate characters are stranded in infinitely repeating realms. As limbo distorts their psyches, Isaac Ezban delivers mind-bending sci-fi that recalls Philip K. Dick while revealing a brilliant new voice in genre cinema. "One of the most intriguing Mexican films of the year... bright and concise, perfectly expressing its director's (very human) concerns while also offering an exciting alternate world."—Twitch.

NAVAJAZO

Thu. Oct 2, 7:00 pm, Vancity
Fri. Oct 3, 5:00 pm, Cinematheque

Mexico

DIR: Ricardo Silva | Facebook

Canadian Premiere

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Ricardo Silva's controversial, disturbing and unclassifiable film features interviews (and, be warned, much more) with various marginal characters existing on the fringes of Tijuana, Mexico. "[An] utterly transfixing fiction-documentary hybrid... The total lack of delineation between staging and real life [adds] an additional layer of fascination... Mesmerizing..."—Slant.

Winner, Cineasti del presente Award, Locarno 2014.

QUE CARAMBA ES LA VIDA
(Das schöne Scheißleben)

Sat. Sep 27, 4:15 pm, Rio
Mon. Oct 6, 9:30 pm, Vancity
Wed. Oct 8, 10:00 am, Vancity

Germany

DIR: Doris Dörrie

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VIFF favourite Doris Dörrie (Cherry Blossoms) immerses us in the mayhem of Mexico City's bustling Plaza Garibaldi and introduces us to the female Mariachis—still a rare breed—who perform there. While their passionate voices suggest indomitable spirits, moving confessional interviews reveal the discrimination and personal doubts they must contend with on a daily basis. "The female performers are dynamite... Inspiring."—NOW Toronto.

THE WOMB

(El Vientre)

Mon. Sep 29, 3:30 pm, Intl Village 9
Wed. Oct 1, 5:45 pm, Intl Village 9
Fri. Oct 3, 3:00 pm, Cinematheque

Peru

DIR: Daniel Rodríguez Risco

Official Website | Trailer | Facebook

International Premiere

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A monstrous case of manipulation lies at the heart of Daniel Rodríguez Risco's stylish psychothriller. Obsessed with having a child, 45-year-old widow Silvia (Vanessa Saba) tricks the naïve Mercedes (Mayella Lloclla) into accepting a room in her home and arranges a meeting with young handyman Jaime (Manuel Gold). When Mercedes gets pregnant, Silvia will stop at nothing to claim the baby...

THE LIBERATOR

(Libertador)

Sun. Sep 28, 3:00 pm, Centre for Arts
Sun. Oct 5, 9:15 pm, Centre for Arts

Venezuela / Spain

DIR: Alberto Arvelo | Trailer

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The extraordinary life of South American hero Simón Bolívar (the mesmerizing Édgar Ramírez, Carlos) is given appropriately epic treatment in Alberto Arvelo's sumptuously mounted period piece. Beginning in the early 1800s and spanning 30 years in the great revolutionary's struggles to free South Americans from the yoke of Spanish occupation, Arvelo's impressive achievement is a rousing and entertaining corrective to Bolívar's relative anonymity in North America.

OTHER SPANISH-LANGUAGE FILMS AT VIFF 2014 (pictured: Beautiful Youth)

BEAUTIFUL YOUTH (Hermosa juventud)

Spain / France | DIR: Jaime Rosales

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THE CREATOR OF THE JUNGLE

(Sobre la marxa)

Spain | DIR: Jordi Morató

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LIVING IS EASY WITH EYES CLOSED
(Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados)

Spain | DIR: David Trueba

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HORSE MONEY (Cavalo Dinheiro)

Portugal | DIR: Pedro Costa

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AFRICAN FILMS

As many African nations attempt to reconcile tradition and transition, compelling stories emerge, taking the form of both incredibly personal documentaries and riveting narrative films. The five diverse films featured below all boast the enthralling urgency of stories that need to be told.

THE ROOFTOPS

(Es-Stouh)

Fri. Sep 26, 7:00 pm, Cinematheque
Mon. Sep 29, 11:00 am, Intl Village 8

Algeria / France

DIR: Merzak Allouache

Canadian Premiere

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Five neighbourhoods, five different rooftops, five tragic stories. With these tales, veteran director Merzak Allouache takes the pulse of Algiers, a city rife with crime, teeming with intrigue and reeling from the clash of cultures. Allouache’s view is at once panoramic and intimate: he reaches across the city and pulls us close to its people. "Confident, composed and full of contemporary relevance."—Filmmaker.

DIFRET

Fri. Oct 3, 7:00 pm, Intl Village 10
Sun. Oct 5, 10:30 am, Vancity

Ethiopia

DIR: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

Website & Trailer | Twitter

Canadian Premiere

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In parts of Ethiopia, tradition calls for a man to abduct his wife-to-be, sometimes without her consent. When 14-year-old Hirut (Tizita Hagere) resists and ends up killing her abductor, the death penalty awaits. Enter Addis Ababa lawyer Meaza (Meron Getnet) determined to present a case for self-defense... Based on a true story, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari's debut is "a quiet and powerful drama."—Hollywood Reporter.

THE WILD YEARS
(Els anys salvatges)

Wed. Oct 8, 7:15 pm, Cinematheque
Fri. Oct 10, 12:30 pm, Cinematheque

Spain / Ethiopia

DIR: Ventura Durall | Trailer

North American Premiere

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Three of the 270,000 kids living on the streets of Ethiopia's Addis Ababa are the focus of Ventura Durall's moving and complex portrait of survival and solidarity. Daniel, 9, lives in an abandoned car with Yohannes and Habtom, both 12. They scrounge, thieve and evade the violent gangs that surround them. Eventually, they decide to journey to their respective villages for the first time in years...

RUN

Fri. Sep 26, 8:45 pm, Intl Village 8
Mon. Sep 29, 1:30 pm, Intl Village 8
Thu. Oct 2, 11:00 am, SFU-GCA

Ivory Coast / France

DIR: Philippe Lacôte | Trailer 1 | Trailer 2

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Beginning with an assassination that makes it obvious why our protagonist (Abdoul Karim Konaté) is called "Run," Philippe Lacôte's alternately oneiric and ultra-realistic coming-of-age tale is mesmerizing cinema. "Run makes one young man’s picaresque adventures into a magical realist microcosm of the Ivory Coast’s recent history... The current hotness of African cinema just got a little hotter."—Hollywood Reporter.

NELSON MANDELA, THE MYTH AND ME

Sun. Oct 5, 7:00 pm, Vancity
Wed. Oct 8, 11:00 am, SFU-GCA

South Africa / Germany

DIR: Khalo Matabane | Trailer | Review

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Completed just prior to Mandela's passing, Khalo Matabane's deeply personal documentary finds the celebrated filmmaker wrestling with his conflicted feelings concerning the icon's life and legacy. Posing provocative questions to world leaders, South Africans and himself, he foregoes nostalgia and assembles "a wonderful exploration of a complicated man and even more complicated issues that feels like vital viewing."—POV Magazine.

Winner, Special Jury Prize, IDFA 2013.


PREVIOUS PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS

Highlights From Cannes

Award Winners

Extraordinary Places and Amazing Visions

BC Spotlight

Highlights, Galas, and Special Presentations

More Canadian and US Films at VIFF 2014

Dragons & Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia + Best New Director Nominees

TIFF at VIFF 2014


MARK YOUR CALENDARS

 

PASSES + TICKET PACKS on sale at viff.org
Registration is now open for the VIFF INDUSTRY CONFERENCE at viff.org
FULL FESTIVAL PROGRAM posted to viff.org + ADVANCE BOX OFFICE open (online only)
VIFF COMPLETE FESTIVAL GUIDE available at locations around town

September 13
ADVANCE IN-PERSON SALES start at Vancity Theatre Box Office, 1181 Seymour Street, noon — 7pm

September 25
33rd ANNUAL VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL opens

October 1
VIFF INDUSTRY CONFERENCE opens

 


 

Vancouver International Film Festival

September 25 - October 10, 2014