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Vancouver International Film Festival 2016 | Sep 29 - Oct 14 |
Panorama: Opening Gala & Spotlight on France
Opening Gala FilmSpotlight on FranceVIFF News

VIFF honours the rich cinematic culture that continues to flourish in France by highlighting the nation's finest big-screen offerings. This year's series includes directors readily familiar to film-lovers like Assayas and Ozon, some great new cinematic discoveries and two chances to hit the road with Gérard Depardieu.

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.

Opening Gala | VIFF 2016

Canada/Ireland | Dir: Aisling Walsh
Thu. Sep 29, 6:30 pm, Centre for Arts
Sat. Oct 1, 1:00 pm, Playhouse
Mon. Oct 10, 6:30 pm, Playhouse
The life of legendary Canadian folk artist Maude Lewis is painted in exquisite detail in this impeccably acted, incredibly affecting biopic. At the beating heart of Aisling Walsh’s film is Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), who not only captures the contorted physicality of this self-taught painter, who contended with rheumatoid arthritis, but also exudes the creative spirit raging within her despite her debilitated frame. “Hawkins’ performance splendidly carries the day.”—Hollywood Reporter

Guest in attendance for the opening night screening.

Spotlight on France | VIFF 2016

France | Dir: Roschdy Zem
Sat. Oct 8, 3:45 pm, Playhouse
Sun. Oct 9, 6:30 pm, Centre for Arts
Omar Sy (The Intouchables) is brilliant as the former slave who found fame as a comedic circus performer known only as “Chocolat” in Belle Époque Paris. Together with partner George Footit (here played with an astounding physicality by James Thiérrée, Chaplin’s grandson, who also choreographed the routines), Chocolat had it all—until personal demons and racism brought about his fall. “Roschdy Zem’s bittersweet historical drama is a marvellous showcase for… [Sy’s] talents and effortless charisma.”—Screen

After Love
(Economie du couple)
France/Belgium | Dir: Joachim Lafosse
Mon. Oct 3, 4:00 pm, Intl Village 10
Thu. Oct 6, 6:45 pm, Intl Village 10
Joaquim Lafosse (Our Children) turns his gimlet eye on the final stages of a marital breakdown in this terrifically scripted and acted drama. Bérénice Bejo and noted director Cédric Kahn play the wounded couple, she wanting to move on with her life and he refusing to leave the house that he renovated (with her money…). “It’s like Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage condensed into a shorter timeframe… although its depiction of a crumbling relationship can be just as complex…”—Hollywood Reporter

Being 17
(Quand on a 17 ans)
Mon. Oct 10, 12:30 pm, Playhouse
Thu. Oct 13, 9:00 pm, Centre for Arts
Set in the French Pyrenees, André Téchiné’s (Wild Reeds) latest charts the coming of age and sexual awakening of two lads, one the son of farmers, the other a brainy kid from town. Initially enemies, Tom (Corentin Fila) and Damien (Kacey Mottet Klein) grow to share a profound connection that is both moving and unsentimental. “This quiet stunner represents a return to peak form for Téchiné… It’s an intimate epic that builds in wholly unexpected ways to a final act of searing poignancy.”—Hollywood Reporter

France/Germany | Dir: FRANÇOIS Ozon
Fri. Oct 7, 9:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Tue. Oct 11, 4:15 pm, Intl Village 10
Hot young star Pierre Niney, known to North American audiences for his lead role in Yves Saint-Laurent, teams up with writer-director François Ozon (Young & Beautiful, Under the Sand) for this gorgeous post-World War I period piece. Niney plays Adrien, a mysterious Frenchman whose visit to the graveside of his friend Frantz, a German soldier killed in the war, causes passions to run high in the small German town where Frantz is buried. Among those most affected is Frantz’s fiancée, Anna (Paula Beer)…

French Tour
(Tour de France)
France | Dir: Rachid Djaïdani
Fri. Sep 30, 9:00 pm, Intl Village 9
Mon. Oct 3, 1:00 pm, Playhouse
The time-honoured “mismatched buddies hit the road” movie receives an inspired remix in Rachid Djaïdani’s dramedy, which lands an on-the-lam French-Arab rapper (the mono-monikered Sadek) in the passenger seat of a curmudgeonly racist (Gérard Depardieu) who’s intent on retracing the steps of an 18th-century painter. As they contend with generational, religious and racial differences, their road trip makes heartfelt, comical and insightful stops en route to a fateful night of reckoning in Marseille.

Personal Shopper
France | Dir: Olivier Assayas
After Clouds of Sils Maria (VIFF 14), director Olivier Assayas and star Kristen Stewart re-team for this gripping suspense tale about a young woman (Stewart) who makes ends meet by assisting a super model/fashion designer–until, that is, her psychic forays seem to put her in touch with her long-dead twin... "[This is a] captivating, bizarre, tense, fervently preposterous and almost unclassifiable scary movie... Assayas' best film for a long time, and Stewart's best performance to date...Five stars!" – Guardian

Best Director, Cannes

Staying Vertical
(Rester Vertical)
France | Dir: Alain Guiraudie
Wed. Oct 12, 6:30 pm, Playhouse
Thu. Oct 13, 4:45 pm, Intl Village 10
Alain Guiraudie (Stranger by the Lake) again rejects a heteronormative worldview in this provocative and offbeat almost-fairy tale about a sexually fluid would-be screenwriter, Léo (Damien Bonnard), who, after fathering a child with a shepherdess, finds himself raising the baby alone in a region of the French countryside populated by foul-mouthed farmers and dangerous wolves… “Effective and thought-provoking. Adventurous viewers will… be charmed by this delightfully queer oddity.”—Hollywood Reporter

Thanks, Boss!
(Merci Patron!)
France | Dir: FRANÇOIS Ruffin
Tue. Oct 4, 3:45 pm, Playhouse
Thu. Oct 13, 9:15 pm, Rio
A surprise hit this year in France, journalist-turned-filmmaker François Ruffin’s funny and acute documentary takes a page from the Michael Moore playbook as it tries to hunt down France’s richest man—LVMH head Bernard Arnault—and hold him to account for the closure of a French factory. Posing as the son of broke former LVMH workers Serge and Jocelyn Klur, Ruffin skewers the labour practices of Arnault, seeks compensation for the Klurs and shows just how far Arnault will go to protect his image…

Saint Amour
France/Belgium | Dir: Benoît DELÉPINE, Gustave Kervern
Sat. Oct 1, 6:45 pm, Intl Village 10
Thu. Oct 6, 4:15 pm, Intl Village 9
In Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern’s (Mammuth) latest, Jean (Gérard Depardieu) and Bruno (Benoît Poelvoorde) are estranged father-and-son farmers attending Paris’ Agricultural Fair. Attempting reconciliation, Jean hires a taxi to take them on a wine-region tour, with unpredictable, wine-fuelled results… “Its joyously tacky humour and… eccentric lovability are a tonic and a trip. It shares narrative DNA with about half of the back catalogue of Alexander Payne… but [it’s] twice as funny.”—IndieWire

The Son of Joseph
(Le fils de Joseph)
France/Belgium | Dir: EUGÈNE Green
Sat. Oct 8, 9:30 pm, Intl Village 10
Wed. Oct 12, 4:45 pm, Intl Village 10
A bare-bones synopsis—disgruntled teenager goes in search of his unknown father—cannot begin to reveal the quirky visual and thematic charms scattered throughout iconoclast Eugène Green’s bejewelled, biblically-inflected modern-day allegory. Starring Victor Ezenfis, Mathieu Amalric, Natacha Régnier and Fabrizzio Rongione. “Offbeat French formalist Green delivers his most accessible work to date with this delightful comedy of misplaced paternity… [A] honey-drizzled, farcically funny fable…”—Variety

Things to Come
France/Germany | Dir: Mia Hansen-LØVE
Wed. Oct 5, 3:45 pm, Playhouse
Sun. Oct 9, 6:15 pm, Playhouse
The great Isabelle Huppert gives a profoundly moving performance as a philosophy teacher who finds her life unmoored by a wholly unexpected divorce in Mia Hansen-Løve’s terrific exploration of one woman’s complex emotional and intellectual response to late-middle-aged trauma. “Hansen-Løve and Isabelle Huppert prove a dream partnership in the director’s gorgeous, heart-cradling post-divorce drama… This is major, many-shaded work even by [Huppert’s] lofty standards.”—Variety

Information - VIFF Sep 29 - Oct 14, 2016

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

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

Program Guides are now available for pick up at The Vancouver International Film Centre. Distribution in various locations will be posted on soon.

VIFF+ Discover more.