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Vancouver International Film Festival 2016 | Sep 29 - Oct 14 |
ALT: Pushing Cinematic Boundaries
FilmsCanadian ShortsInternational ShortsAwardsVIFF News

Featuring fantastic cinema that defies traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits, the Vancouver International Film Festival's ALT stream, announced today, will wow viewers with the possibilities presented by cinema that doesn't much care for playing by the rules.

This year, VIFF expands the frame to create multi-experiential programming streams that include curated screenings fused with related talks and events in a unique 'film plus' model. You can now find what you already love even more easily and discover new areas of interest. For a list of our streams and announcements click here.

Alt Films | VIFF 2016

Another Evil
USA | Dir: Carson Mell
Who says that alcohol and exorcism don't mix? Certainly not Os (Mark Proksch), the booze-swilling gonzo ghostbuster who's hired to rid Dan's (Steve Zissis) home of a sinister presence but seems preoccupied with his personal demons. Just as Proksch elevates Os' account of a "pretty gnarly" memory into a Jaws-calibre monologue, Carson Mell's horror-comedy evolves into a chilling cautionary tale about dismissing a delusional man at our own peril. " "Beautifully written, funny and awkward..." — Sight & Sound

The Eyes of My Mother
USA | Dir: Robert Kenner
Anyone wondering how witnessing your mother's slaughter might distort an impressionable girl's psyche need look (or peek through trembling fingers) no further than Nicolas Pesce's immaculately shot, intricately calibrated descent into madness. Alluring newcomer Kika Magalhaes is the serene sadist who claims her pound of flesh over the course of decades. "Part German Expressionism, part American Gothic, this austere [film] is fuelled as much by ideas as it is by the power to shock." — Little White Lies

In a Valley of Violence
USA | Dir: Ti West
With his faithful dog at his side (and stealing scenes), an unassuming drifter (Ethan Hawke) wanders into a desolate outpost and immediately lands on the wrong side of a lawman (John Travolta) and his petulant son (James Ransone). Revered for The House of the Devil, a subtle modern horror classic, Ti West indulges his every whim in this over-the-top Western that comes loaded for bear, armed with cartoonish villains and inventively staged shootouts. "A classic revenge tale with a smirk..." — IndieWire

Canada | Dir: Ed Gass-Donnelly
In the wake of a car crash, repressed horrors from Jane's (Abbie Cornish) past start creeping into her present. Conjuring potent atmospherics that call to mind The Others, Ed Gass-Donnelly displays a masterful touch with set-pieces, be it an anxiety-inducing foray into a hay maze or the macabre staging of an accidental massacre. "[Lavender] reconfirms the efficacy of its genre's most hallowed conventions... [with] its baroque aesthetic gestures and a captivating turn from [Cornish]." — Variety

Little Sister
USA | Dir: Zach Clark
At the precipice of becoming a full-fledged a nun, a former goth (Addison Timlin) is lured back to her dysfunctional family home to visit her brother (Keith Poulson), who's been left disfigured by the War on Terror. Opening with a 9/11-inspired interpretive dance and climaxing with a mushroom trip, this is "an eccentric, earnest, blackly comic family screwball from Zach Clark... one of the most profoundly empathetic filmmakers to ever point his camera at the delinquent and underserved..." — Village Voice

The Love Witch
USA | Dir: Anna Biller
Set in a Technicolor fantasia and fuelled by delirium, this is the sordid tale of Elaine (Samantha Robinson, seemingly discovered in a 1960s-era time capsule alongside the lavish sets and costumes), a woman who's looking for love and willing to dabble in the dark arts to attain it. "[Anna Biller's] film pulsates with furious creative energy throughout, sparking excitement and giddy amazement that it even exists... The astounding humor of The Love Witch often ascends to intentional hysteria." — New Yorker

Operation Avalanche
Canada/USA | Dir: Matt Johnson
In 1967, movie geeks from the CIA's A/V Department are recruited to help NASA stage the moon landing. Operating in true guerrilla fashion (including actually infiltrating NASA to shoot scenes), director-star Matt Johnson and his resourceful team have created a truly audacious conspiracy thriller, with every frame infused with the delirious (and wholly infectious) joy of troublemakers who can't believe that they're getting away with it. "A sly little comedy-thriller... An act of movie love." — Vulture

She's Allergic to Cats
USA | Dir: Michael Reich
Funded by his work as a Daft Punk body double, former dog groomer/video artist Michael Reich's certifiably demented debut is the tale of a Hollywood dog groomer/video artist (Michael Pinkney) harbouring big-screen ambitions: namely, an all-cat remake of Carrie. Habitually drifting into a fever dream that mimics his garish, lo-fi video work, he finds new purpose when he meets Cora (Sonja Kinski). However, his odyssey grows all the more surreal... "A must-see piece of alt-comedy weirdness." — Birth.Movies.Death

Under the Shadow
UK/Jordan/Qatar | Dir: Babak Anvari
With the Iran-Iraq conflict raging on, Shideh (Narges Rashidi) discovers that her Tehran apartment is no sanctuary when a missile crashes through the roof but fails to detonate. The Damoclean dread is further stoked when a djinn manifests and malevolently targets her daughter, proving itself the most terrifying paranormal interloper since The Babadook. Director Babak Anvari has crafted a small-scale masterpiece rich in subtext. "[A] delectable, increasingly unnerving shiver-fest..." — The New York Times

We Are the Flesh
(Tenemos la carne)
Mexico/France | Dir: Emiliano Rocha Minter
In post-apocalyptic Mexico, siblings fall under the sway of a Mephistophelean figure (a malevolent Noé Hernández), who coerces them into depravity that would make the Marquis de Sade blush. Endorsed by Oscar-winning countrymen Cuarón and Iñárritu, Emiliano Rocha Minter is undeniably the next big (read: monstrous) thing in Mexican cinema. "[A] joyously demented portrait of humanity... [This] thoroughly arresting vision could squat quite comfortably alongside Hieronymus Bosch’s depiction of hell." — Variety

Short Films Canadian | VIFF 2016

Short Films Canadian
The following films fall into the Canadian shorts series presented by Lexus:
24.24.24 (dir. Daniel Dietzel, Canada)
Beyond Blue Waves (dir. Joëlle Desjardins Paquette, Canada)
Black Cop (dir. Cory Bowles, Canada)
Blind Vaysha (dir. Theodore Ushev, Canada)
A Brief History of the Apocalypse (dir. Erica Genereux Smith, Canada)
By the Pool (dir. Karine Bélanger, Canada)
Cabbie (dirs. Jessica Parsons, Jennifer Chiu, Canada)
The Cameraman (dir. Connor Gaston, Canada)
Cave of Sighs (dir. Nathan Douglas, Canada)
Clouds (dir. Diego Maclean, Canada)
Data Mine (dir. Tim Tracey, Canada)
Einst (dir. Jessica Johnson, Canada)
Emma (dir. Martin Edralin, Canada)
Fish (dir. Heather Young , Canada)
Four Faces of the Moon (dir. Amanda Strong, Canada)
Fantassút / Rain on the Borders (Forgetness) (dir. Federica Foglia, Canada)
Ganjy (dir. Benjamin Ratner, Canada)
Here Nor There (dir. Julia Hutchings, Canada)
Homesick (dir. Sophie Jarvis, Canada)
I am Here (dir. Eoin Duffy, Canada)
Imitations (dirs. Markus Henkel, Milos Mitrovic, Ian Bawa, Fabian Velasco, Canada)
It's No Real Pleasure in Life (dir. Nikolay Michaylov, Canada)
Last Night (dir. Joel Salaysay, Canada)
Late Night Drama (dir. Patrice Laliberté, Canada)
The Lift (dir. Manny Mahal, Canada)
Mamie (dir. Janice Nadeau, Canada)
The Movieland Movie (dir. Zachary Kerrholden, Canada)
The New Canada (dir. Alexander Carson, Canada)
Nine Behind (dir. Sophy Romvari, Canada)
Nutag – Homeland (dir. Alisi Telengut, Canada)
Oh What a Wonderful Feeling (dir. François Jaros, Canada)
Old Man (dir. Alicia Eisen, Canada)
Parent, Teacher (dir. Roman Tchjen, Canada)
Popsong (dir. Matthew Taylor Blais, Canada)
Ranger (dirs. Sandra Ignagni, Trevor Meier, Canada)
Seven Stars (dirs. Sofia Banzhaf, Matthew Swanson, Canada)
Sigismond Imageless (dir. Albéric Aurtenèche, Canada)
Srorrim (dir. Wayne Wapeemukwa, Canada)
Stone Makers (dir. Jean-Marc E. Roy, Canada)
The Taste of Vietnam (dir. Pier-Luc Latulippe, Canada)
Those Who Remains (dir. Mathieu Vachon, Canada)
Two (dir. Christopher Spencer-Lowe, Canada)
Wild Skin (dir. Ariane Louis-Seize, Canada)
Your Mother and I (dir. Anna Maguire, Canada/UK)

Short Films International | VIFF 2016

Short Films International
The International Shorts programme, presented by Lexus, is made up of the following films:
Aeris (dir. Lukas Huffman, USA)
Albedo Absolute (dir. Vlad Marsavin, USA)
Après Suzanne (dir. Félix Moati, France)
As One (dir. Alan Powell, UK)
Between Them (Bodas) (dir. Alexia Maltner, Brazil)
Catch (dirs. Dominic Rees-Roberts, Paul Cooke, UK)
Champion (dir. Andrés Passoni, Argentina)
Don't Leave Me (No me quites) (dir. Laura Jou, Spain)
Éclair (dir. Hugo Keijzer, Netherlands)
Eden Hostel (Hostel Eden) (dir. Gonzaga Manso, Spain)
Encounter (dir. Fabrizio Rinaldi, Italy)
Fabrizio's Initiation (El inicio de Fabrizio) (dir. Mariano Biasin, Argentina)
Friday Night (dir. Alexis Michalik, France)
Her Paradise (dir. Shobi Seneviratne, USA)
I Love Anna (Rakastan Annaa) (dir. Joonas Rutanen, Finland)
The Law of Moments (dir. Emma Samms, USA/UK)
Litterbugs (dir. Peter Stanley-Ward, UK)
Lock In (dir. Neville Pierce, UK)
Minor Setback (dir. Augustine Frizzell, USA)
On the Roof (En la azotea) (dir. Damià Serra Cauchetiez, Spain)
Out of the Village (dir. Jonathan Stein, USA)
Paris, 1971 (dir. David Khachatorian, USA)
The Sparrow's Flight (dir. Tom Schroeder, USA)
Stars (dir. Krista Vernoff, USA)
This Modern Man is Beat (dir. Alex Merkin, USA)
Three Minute Warning (dir. Iqbal Mohammed, Palestinian Territories/UK)
Tide (dir. Alexander von Hofmann, Australia)
Today They Took My Son (dir. Pierre Dawalibi, Lebanon/United Arab Emirates)
Walden Pink (dir. Peter Bolte, USA)
When Day is Done (dir. Brandon Roots, USA)
Winds of Furnace (Aire quemado) (dir. Yamil Quintana, Mexico)
Without You (Sensiz) (dir. Nariman Aliev, Ukraine)

ALT Awards | VIFF 2016

Best Canadian Short Film
Sponsored by Lexus, a $2,500 prize is awarded for the Best Canadian Short Film. As the sponsor of VIFF's Canadian and International short film programmes, Lexus also hosts a reception during the festival where makers of short films have the opportunity to connect, share industry knowledge and learn about new opportunities for themselves and their work.
Most Promising Canadian Director of a Short Film
VIFF presents the Most Promising Canadian Director of a Short Film with a $2,000 prize (sponsored by an anonymous donor).

Information - VIFF Sep 29 - Oct 14, 2016

The festival's programming will be featured in the following streams:

  • Panorama: Special PresentationsDocumentariesSpotlight on FranceContemporary World CinemaCinemas of India/Iran/Africa/Middle East – The world's boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year's most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.
  • Ignite – A showcase of the inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.
  • True North – A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.
  • Impact – Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.
  • Next – Virtual reality, gaming, music and emerging digital platforms serve as a catalyst for ground-breaking ideas and unforgettable next-level experiences.
  • Gateway – Journey into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia's most adventurous artists.
  • M/A/D – Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream that's enhanced by exhibitions and live performances.
  • ALT – Fantastic cinema that defies traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits.
Important Dates
VIFF+ Cardholder day! Silver and Gold members save 25% on passes and ticket packs JOIN TODAY! *while quantities last.

ONLINE: VIFF Passes + Packs on sale at

ONLINE: VIFF Single Tickets on sale at
(Full program available online. Program guides begin distribution throughout Vancouver and are available at the Vancity Theatre)

IN-PERSON: Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm - 9pm)

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