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BC Spotlight & First Nations Stories
BC Spotlight and First Nation Stories
  • Mark Your Calendars
    Tickets, Passes + Ticket Packs ON SALE NOW (online only at
  • In-Person Advance Vancity Theatre Box Office Sales SEP 12 (Noon - 7pm)
BC Spotlight

VIFF once again showcases some of the year's best British Columbia-produced films, including two world premieres, one North American premiere and two Canadian premieres.

Starting Saturday, September 12, visit to preview BC features and shorts, learn more about local creators, help build buzz for these films and vote for your most anticipated BC feature film.
Charlotte's Song
Sat. Sep 26, 9:15 pm, Vancity
Thu. Oct 1, 3:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Think Pan's Labyrinth meets Carnivale and you'll still be unprepared for this astonishing debut from Done Four Productions and director Nicholas Humphries. In this Dust Bowl-era reimagining of The Little Mermaid, an amphibious siren (Katelyn Mager) falls prey to a nefarious benefactor (Game of Thrones' Iwan Rheon) and ends up in a magical turf war. Sumptuous production design and sinister storytelling conjure a seductive fantasy world.

World Premiere

Canada | Dir: Connor Gaston
Fri. Oct 2, 9:00 pm, Intl Village 8
Sun. Oct 4, 12:45 pm, Intl Village 8
After his terminally ill daughter (Olivia Martin) claims to have had a past life as an astronaut, a Christian teacher (Charlie Carrick) experiences a profound crisis of faith. Obsessively seeking answers, he risks his marriage and his remaining days with his child to determine whether she's lived before... and might live again. Reflective and provocative, Connor Gaston's debut is one of the year's most unique Canadian features.

North American Premiere

Canada | Dir: Kyle Rideout
Fri. Oct 2, 1:30 pm, Intl Village 9
Mon. Oct 5, 8:45 pm, Playhouse
With a mesmerizing Michael Eklund starring as photographer Eadweard Muybridge, Kyle Rideout crafts a complex and compelling portrait of the man who'd be immortalized as both the godfather of cinema and the last American to receive a justifiable homicide verdict (for killing his wife's lover). As fascinations distort into obsessions, Rideout skilfully employs techniques indebted to the infamous pioneer to convey Muybridge's psychological unravelling.

Canadian Premiere

Fractured Land
Canada | Dir: Damien Gillis, Fiona Rayher
Sun. Sep 27, 6:00 pm, Rio
Wed. Sep 30, 4:10 pm, Intl Village 9
What would it be like to live alongside one of the shapers of human events, in their youth, before they've transformed history? In Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis' documentary, we follow Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer locked in a battle with the oil and gas industry. He may become one of this generation's great leaders—if he can discover how to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him through the blending of the modern tools of law with ancient wisdom.

Hadwin's Judgement
Canada/UK | Dir: Sasha Snow
Thu. Oct 1, 9:00 pm, Playhouse
Mon. Oct 5, 1:30 pm, Playhouse
In his compelling drama/documentary hybrid, Sasha Snow explores the complexities of Grant Hadwin, a logging engineer who chainsawed down a 300-year-old sacred tree on Haida Gwaii as a protest against rampant logging in the area. Inspired by John Vaillant's Governor General's Award-winning book, The Golden Spruce, Snow focusses on the more mysterious elements of Hadwin's story and fate, crafting "[a] gorgeously photographed, compulsively watchable, sympathetic doc..." — Globe & Mail

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
Canada | Dir: Charles Wilkinson
Tue. Sep 29, 9:00 pm, Playhouse
Sat. Oct 3, 1:30 pm, Playhouse
Fri. Oct 9, 12:00 pm, Vancity
VIFF favourite Charles Wilkinson (Oil Sands Karaoke) returns with a visually stunning paean to breathtaking Haida Gwaii and the spirited people who populate it. The natural beauty of this culturally rich archipelago has served as a backdrop for tragedies such as outbreaks of smallpox and the exploitation of natural resources. And yet, the Haida Nation remains undaunted, preparing for a showdown over the Northern Gateway pipeline and planning for a more sustainable future.

My Good Man's Gone
Canada | Dir: Nick Citton
Tue. Sep 29, 6:15 pm, Intl Village 8
Sat. Oct 3, 4:00 pm, Intl Village 8
Arriving in Story, Arkansas (pop. 89), Joni and Wes realize they're not in L.A. anymore. There to settle their estranged father's estate, they've arrived on Decoration Weekend, when locals celebrate their dearly departed. As a clearer picture of their father emerges, decisions become less obvious. This affecting dramedy from Nicolas Citton (That Burning Feeling's screenwriter) is a bittersweet celebration of community and family.

Canadian Premiere

Ninth Floor
Canada | Dir: Mina Shum
Sat. Sep 26, 6:00 pm, Rio
Tue. Sep 29, 1:15 pm, Intl Village 10
More than four decades after the infamous Sir George Williams Affair was sparked by allegations of faculty discrimination against black students, Ninth Floor reopens the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race-relations and one of the most contested episodes in the nation's history. Making an audacious foray into nonfiction, writer and director Mina Shum (Double Happiness) engages the original protagonists in a compassionate cinematic exercise of reckoning and redemption.

No Men Beyond This Point
Canada | Dir: Mark Sawers
Sat. Sep 26, 8:30 pm, Rio
Fri. Oct 2, 4:00 pm, SFU-GCA
In a world where women procreate asexually, male babies have become passé and an entire gender faces extinction... What's a guy to do? Well, the youngest man alive (Patrick Gilmore), who toils as a housekeeper for a West Vancouver all-female family, is unaware that he's about to become a key player in a battle for survival. Camera Shy's Mark Sawers is at the height of his satirical powers with this wry speculative mockumentary.

The Sandwich Nazi
Canada | Dir: Lewis Bennett
Sun. Sep 27, 8:45 pm, Rio
Sat. Oct 3, 4:00 pm, Rio
If you can't take the nudity and coarse language, stay out of Salam Kahil's deli. The moment Lewis Bennett's fascinating documentary takes us inside the shop, the hilariously crass Salam lets fly with a barrage of profane insults and ribald anecdotes. As he rewrites his own history on a whim, we're left to wonder how an irascible Lebanese male escort actually ended up in Surrey serving the largest sandwiches known to man. With humour and humanity, Bennett unearths the truth.

Tricks on the Dead
Canada/China/ France/Belgium | Dir: Jordan Paterson
Wed. Sep 30, 6:45 pm, Intl Village 10
Sun. Oct 4, 3:45 pm, SFU-GCA
Jordan Paterson's involving docudrama delves into a little-known chapter of Canadian history. During World War I, 140,000 indentured Chinese labourers were secretly transported from Vancouver to Halifax in locked trains and then shipped to the Western Front to dig trenches and clear the dead. Through intrepid research, interviews, rotoscoped animation and re-enactments, Paterson backs Voltaire's assertion that "history is nothing but a pack of tricks we play upon the dead."

World Premiere

First Nations Stories

This year, VIFF is proud to present another outstanding selection of films telling the stories of Aboriginal peoples from around the world. And while each of these films stands on its own, it's remarkable to see the patterns that emerge to connect them.

Deep Time
USA | Dir: Noah Hutton
Thu. Oct 1, 10:45 am, SFU-GCA
Fri. Oct 2, 9:30 pm, Vancity
The immense oil boom that has gone on in North Dakota for the past six years, and how that boom has affected local landowners, state officials and the Indigenous Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation serve as the entry points for Noah Hutton's artful big-picture investigation of climate, time and our planet's geologic record. Hutton has cited Michael Madsen's eerie nuclear-waste documentary Into Eternity (VIFF 10) as a major influence and that is in evidence here in the careful attention paid to uncanny visuals and an urgent, otherworldly score.

Ever the Land
New Zealand | Dir: Sarah Grohnert
Thu. Oct 1, 6:15 pm, SFU-GCA
Sat. Oct 3, 11:00 am, SFU-GCA
It's a scenario familiar to Canadians: oppressed indigenous people fighting to rebuild and assert their rights. On this occasion, the setting is New Zealand's beguiling Te Urewera forest region. The players? A fiercely independent Tuhoe tribe negotiating a settlement and an apology from the Crown while constructing an architectural gem of a community centre through sustainable methods. This confluence of honoured tradition and progressive environmentalism begets a stirring depiction of indigenous pride, and both architectural and diplomatic ingenuity. Directed with finesse, sensitivity and clear eyes by Sarah Grohnert.

Jumbo Wild
Canada | Dir: Nick Waggoner
Thu. Oct 8, 6:15 pm, SFU-GCA
Fri. Oct 9, 11:00 am, SFU-GCA
Nick Waggoner's gorgeous, gripping documentary captures a decades-long struggle over the future of Jumbo Valley, deep within the raw, rugged Purcell range of B.C.'s Columbia Mountains. Exploring a tug-of-war between a proposed (and long-delayed) $450-million ski resort near Invermere versus community members, conservationists and the Ktunaxa Nation and Shuswap Indian Band who are determined to see Jumbo kept wild, Waggoner's film documents the fierce ideological battle surrounding how we value land.

The Pearl Button
(El botón de nácar)
Chile/France/Spain | Dir: PATRICIO GUZMÁN
Fri. Sep 25, 8:30 pm, Intl Village 9
Wed. Sep 30, 4:00 pm, Playhouse
Patricio Guzmán explores the watery Patagonian Archipelago and its meaning in Chilean history—from its use by Chile's Indigenous peoples to its function as a grave site for Pinochet's desaparecidos... "Applying the same mix of lyrical nature and space imagery, voice-over narration, archive photos and footage, and interviews [that he used in Nostalgia for the Light], the director crafts another deeply poetic but also committedly, at times even angrily, humanist meditation on buried traces of the past and how they determine our present and future..." — Screen

Previously announced First Nations Stories:

USA | Dir: Susan Gray
Thu. Oct 1, 1:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Sun. Oct 4, 6:40 pm, Intl Village 9
Canada | Dir: Sonia Bonspille Boileau
Tue. Sep 29, 6:30 pm, Rio
Fri. Oct 2, 3:30 pm, Intl Village 8

(El abrazo de la serpiente)
Colombia/Venezuela/Argentina | Dir: Ciro Guerra
Thu. Oct 1, 9:00 pm, SFU-GCA
Fri. Oct 2, 1:45 pm, Intl Village 10
Tue. Oct 6, 1:30 pm, Playhouse
Canada | Dir: Adam Garnet Jones
Thu. Oct 1, 9:00 pm, Intl Village 8
Sat. Oct 3, 1:15 pm, Intl Village 8

Guatemala/France | Dir: Jayro Bustamante
Sat. Oct 3, 10:30 am, Intl Village 9
Tue. Oct 6, 6:00 pm, Intl Village 9
(Guibord, s'en va-t-en guerre)
Canada | Dir: Philippe Falardeau
Fri. Sep 25, 6:15 pm, Centre for Arts
Sun. Sep 27, 12:45 pm, Intl Village 9

Canada | Dir: Alex Williams
Wed. Sep 30, 9:45 pm, Intl Village 8
Fri. Oct 2, 1:00 pm, Intl Village 8
Tue. Oct 6, 8:30 pm, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 7, 1:30 pm, Cinematheque

Canada/usa | Dir: Avi Lewis
Wed. Oct 7, 6:15 pm, Centre for Arts

Passes + Ticket Packs On Sale Now (online only at
The Complete Festival Guide is now available at the VIFF Advance Box Office (Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St.) and select outlets around town. Visit here for a list of locations.

In-Person Advance Sales start at Vancity Theatre Box Office, 1181 Seymour St (Noon-7pm).

The 34th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival opens.
All venue box offices open, 30 minutes before the first screening of the day.

VIFF Industry Conference
SAVE THE DATE: September 29 – October 3, 2015

What's the use of creating the best content in the world, if no one can find and enjoy it? In a socially connected world where media is everywhere, building an audience is challenging and discoverability is an essential part of the process. With 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, how do producers and media companies ensure their content is DISCOVERED, WATCHED and SHARED? Learn more.

About VIFF

Founded in 1982, the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society is a not-for-profit cultural society and federally registered charitable organization that operates the internationally acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), the annual VIFF Industry Conference and the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre. Its mandate is to encourage understanding of the world's cultures through the art of cinema, to foster the art of cinema, to facilitate the meeting in British Columbia of cinema professionals from around the world, and to stimulate the motion picture industry in British Columbia. In its 34th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 24-October 9, 2015 as it showcases the top BC, Canadian and international films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe.