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Vancouver International Film Festival 2016 | Sep 29 - Oct 14 | viff.org
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Panorama: The Cinemas of Australasia / Latin America / USA
FilmsVIFF News

This is shaping up to be a banner year for American cinema, with Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea and Barry Jenkins' Moonlight both being hailed as masterpieces, while Erica Fae's To Keep The Light and Kris Avedisian's Donald Cried have introduced exciting new voices from the independent scene. From Down Under, VIFF favourite Alison Maclean returns with a stellar new film featuring a standout performance from Kerry Fox. And, from Latin America arrives a late career tour de force from Alejandro Jodorowsky, as well as discoveries that run the gamut from absurd comedies to vital documentaries.

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.

Australasia Films | VIFF 2016

The Rehearsal
ALISON MACLEAN, NEW ZEALAND, 2016, 102 MIN.
FRI SEP 30, 10:45 AM, INTL VILLAGE 10
SAT OCT 8, 6:30 PM, PLAYHOUSE
SUN OCT 9, 3:45 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
Canadian-born, New Zealand-raised Alison Maclean (remember Crush from VIFF 93?) makes a fine comeback with this deeply felt and superbly directed drama about a group of acting students coming to grips with their personal and professional lives under the tutelage of a great teacher (Kerry Fox, perfect). Unfolding over one school year, the film is honest, profound and beautifully acted. “Narratively teasing, structurally taut and emotionally textured… A drama that’s as piercing as it is potent.”—Screen

Tanna
MARTIN BUTLER, BENTLEY DEAN, AUSTRALIA/VANUATU, 2015, 104 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
SAT OCT 8, 4:00 PM, SFU-GCA
TUE OCT 11, 6:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
Set on the South Pacific island that lends the film its name, this is a rousing story rooted in a world of tribes, chiefs and shamans. The tale was inspired by true events and developed by directors Martin Butler and Bentley Dean in collaboration with the local villagers, whose way of life the movie so lovingly depicts. If you’re looking for adventure and beauty, this is a movie that will transport you. “[A] soulful folktale… told with captivating simplicity and yet richly cinematic.”—Hollywood Reporter

Goldstone
IVAN SEN, AUSTRALIA, 2016, 110 MIN.
FRI OCT 7, 6:15 PM, PLAYHOUSE
MON OCT 10, 11:00 AM, INTL VILLAGE 10
A slow-burn mix of film noir and the Western, Ivan Sen’s sensational thriller takes Indigenous detective Jay Swann (a deliciously slovenly Aaron Pedersen), in search of a missing woman, to the frontier town of Goldstone, where corruption is rife… While Sen offers a smart critique of racism and misogyny, it’s the cracking crime story that will keep you riveted. “A masterpiece of Outback noir that packs a political punch… It’s a gorgeous film to watch, but a better and bigger one to think about…”—Guardian

Latin American Films | VIFF 2016

Aquarius
KLEBER MENDONÇA FILHO, BRAZIL, 2016, 145 MIN.
SAT OCT 1, 2:30 PM, RIO
WED OCT 5, 9:00 PM, SFU-GCA
Four years after taking VIFF by storm with Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho returns with this socially conscious, stylistically assured character study. When a property developer lays its sights on her beachfront apartment, a widowed music journalist (Brazilian legend Sônia Braga) digs in her heels, leaving her the dilapidated building’s only resident. That said, every furnishing and object is laden with vibrant memories. “A potent portrait of personal and political struggle…”—Sight & Sound

Endless Poetry
(Poesía sin fin)
ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY, CHILE/FRANCE, 2016, 128 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
WED OCT 5, 9:00 PM, PLAYHOUSE
FRI OCT 7, 3:15 PM, SFU-GCA
Cult legend Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo), now in his 80s, looks back on his youth and fashions this wildly inventive, criminally charming chronicle of the young poetry- and sex-mad Alejandro (the director’s son, Adan) let loose among the bohemians of Santiago, Chile, in the 1940s and 50s. “[Jodorowsky] has managed to reinvent himself in the most spectacular and unlikely way… [This] is the most accessible movie he has ever made, and it may also be the best. It’s Felliniesque and moving.”—Variety

Hermia & Helena
MATÍAS PIÑEIRO, ARGENTINA/USA, 2016, 87 MIN.
TUE OCT 4, 9:00 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
THU OCT 6, 12:45 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
Beautifully acted and wholly mesmerizing, Matías Piñeiro’s (The Princess of France) latest riff on Shakespeare follows Camila (Agustina Muñoz) from Buenos Aires to NYC where she begins a residency program aimed at completing a translation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Comedy vies with feeling as Camila’s life intertwines with the Bard’s text… Pure cinematic pleasure! “The film’s shift from cerebral game-playing into pure, beautifully understated emotion is both unexpected and hugely impressive…”—Slant

The Human Surge
(El auge del humano)
EDUARDO WILLIAMS, ARGENTINA/BRAZIL/PORTUGAL, 2016, 97 MIN.
THU OCT 6, 6:30 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
THU OCT 13, 10:30 AM, VANCITY
From Argentina to the Philippines via Mozambique, Eduardo Williams’ remarkably accomplished debut follows groups of disaffected teens in each of these three countries, showing how, in our most technologically wired of worlds, the kids’ similarities far outweigh their cultural differences. A fresh, visually daring drama that speaks volumes about globalization and its discontents. “The most ambitious debut film of the year… careens through three different countries with ceaseless innovation…”—IndieWire

The Infinite Flight of Days
(El Infinito Vuelo de los Dias)
CATALINA MESA, COLOMBIA, 2016, 78 MIN.
TUE OCT 4, 8:15 PM, VANCITY
THU OCT 6, 10:30 AM, VANCITY
A renowned hub for religious tourism, Jericó, Colombia, brims with colourful characters. Inhabiting striking homes that share a birthday cake’s palette, the village’s residents are inordinately happy with their humble lives. Catalina Mesa’s elegant documentary paints this community through the distinct stories of its eldest women. "Eloquently capturing the vibrant history of the village, [the] film offers a poetic and intimate examination of love, loss, heartbreak, poverty and faith."—Cinema Axis

Kékszakállú
GASTÓN SOLNICKI, ARGENTINA, 2016, 72 MIN.
SAT OCT 8, 6:30 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
THU OCT 13, 9:00 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
Gastón Solnicki’s (süden, VIFF 08; Papirosen, VIFF 11) entrancing first fiction feature, indirectly inspired by Béla Bartók’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle, uses his documentarian’s eye to chronicle the lives of several young women existing in a world bordered by privilege on one side and economic and spiritual recession on the other. Roving from Buenos Aires to Punta del Este, Solnicki has fashioned a charming and melancholic—and truly captivating—tale of youthful inertia tinged with a sense of hope.
In Spanish with English subtitles

Neruda
PABLO LARRAÍN, CHILE/ARGENTINA/SPAIN/FRANCE, 2016, 108 MIN.
SUN OCT 2, 6:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
SUN OCT 9, 1:00 PM, PLAYHOUSE
Another robust and inventive drama from Pablo Larraín (No, VIFF 12; The Club, VIFF 15), Neruda, set in 1948 Chile, features Gael García Bernal (terrific) as a somewhat inept yet self-aggrandizing police detective who makes it his mission to hunt down Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) after the poet is forced into hiding for his beliefs… “[This represents] the director at his stunning best with a work of such cleverness and beauty, alongside such power, that it’s hard to know how to parcel out praise…”—Variety

Panamerican Machinery
(Maquinaria Panamericana)
JOAQUÍN DEL PASO, MEXICO/POLAND, 2016, 86 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
MON OCT 10, 9:15 PM, RIO
TUE OCT 11, 11:00 AM, INTL VILLAGE 9
The aging, affable employees of Mexico City’s Panamerican Machinery are preparing for the weekend when bad news abruptly arrives in threes: their beloved boss has dropped dead, the company’s finances have imploded and their pensions have disappeared. Suddenly masters of their own destinies, they circle the wagons (and lock the gates for good measure) and look to stave off the factory’s closure. Joaquín del Paso reveals the absurdity that ensues when the influences of Buñuel and Chaplin intersect!

Sin Alas
BEN CHACE, USA/CUBA, 2015, 84 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
FRI OCT 7, 6:45 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
SUN OCT 9, 3:15 PM, RIO
The first American film shot in Cuba since the revolution, Ben Chace’s love story seems simple at first but accrues considerable depth and emotion. Elderly Luis (Carlos Padrón) reads the obituary of a famous dancer—his lover from long ago. His memories and dreams are tinged with a half-recalled melody, a tune that he tries to track down with the help of an amigo. As the song leads Luis on a melancholy journey through a painful but passionate past, Chace immerses us in the rhythms and textures of Havana.

Tempestad
TATIANA HUEZO, MEXICO, 2016, 105 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
FRI SEP 30, 4:00 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
SUN OCT 9, 8:15 PM, VANCITY
Demonstrating equal measures of artistry and outrage, Tatiana Huezo’s haunting film is both powerful cinema and damning indictment. Weaving together the stories of two women who’ve suffered extreme trauma and persecution at the hands of Mexico’s legal system, Tempestad paints an unflinching portrait of modern-day Mexico and its citizens, who are often the prey of a vicious ecosystem in which justice has eroded and corruption reigns supreme. “[A] smouldering, incendiary documentary…”—IndieWire

USA Films | VIFF 2016

Moonlight
BARRY JENKINS, USA, 2016, 111 MIN.
FRI OCT 7, 9:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age tale eschews tired tropes in favour of an urgent, deeply felt take on what it means to be a black man in America today. Jenkins masterfully traces the life of Chiron (played as an adult by Trevante Rhodes) from his boyhood in the ‘80s Miami crack epidemic to adulthood, shattering stereotypes along the way. “It’s a thrilling, deeply necessary work that opens up a much-needed and rarely approached on-screen conversation about the nature of gay masculinity.”—Guardian

The Architect
JONATHAN PARKER, USA, 2016, 95 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
TUE OCT 11, 6:30 PM, PLAYHOUSE
THU OCT 13, 11:00 AM, INTL VILLAGE 9
FRI OCT 14, 9:15 PM, VANCITY
Jonathan Parker’s cutting comedy stars Parker Posey and Eric McCormack as a couple looking to build the perfect home on the Seattle seaside. First they need the perfect architect, but what they get instead is the wildly ambitious, blather-spewing Miles Moss (James Frain) who insists on getting deeply in touch with them in order to realize their dream. As the project spirals out of control and tensions mount, Parker crafts some sharp insights into real estate realities and contemporary romance.

The Birth of a Nation
NATE PARKER, USA, 2016, 119 MIN.
SAT OCT 1, 5:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
In this provocatively named and extraordinarily powerful historical drama, we’re thrust into the slave rebellion in the southern US led by the preacher Nat Turner (writer-director Nate Parker) in 1831. Scarred by the vicious treatment accorded his fellow slaves, the pacifistic preacher decides to organize the bloody uprising that reverberates in the American psyche to this day. “A biographical drama steeped equally in grace and horror, it builds to a brutal finale that will stir deep emotion…”—Variety

Donald Cried
KRIS AVEDISIAN, USA, 2015, 85 MIN.
MON OCT 3, 8:45 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
WED OCT 5, 3:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
Fancying himself a Wall Street player, Peter (Jesse Wakeman) must confront his inglorious past when tragedy calls him back to his dirtbag hometown and a cruel twist of fate lands him at the door of his childhood buddy Donald (writer-director Kris Avedisian). Initially encouraging us to look down our noses at this mullet-bearing burnout, Avedisian’s tragicomedy masterfully uses its 24-hour time frame to incrementally alter our perception of its should-be protagonist. “Nothing short of brilliant…”—MUBI

Green / Is / Gold
RYON BAXTER, USA, 2016, 85 MIN.
International Premiere
WED OCT 5, 9:00 PM, RIO
FRI OCT 7, 3:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
A basement grow-op serves as the unlikely backdrop for a coming-of-age tale in this emotionally authentic rough gem. With his dad serving hard time, 13-year-old Mason (Jimmy Baxter) is sentenced to living with his estranged brother Cameron (writer-director-actual-older-sibling Ryon Baxter) on his pot plantation. As the siblings bond over the cultivation of killer bud, they also experience their first brushes with pride, adopting the credo, “If you’re going to do wrong, make sure you do it right.”

Kate Plays Christine
ROBERT GREENE, USA, 2016, 113 MIN.
TUE OCT 4, 9:15 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
THU OCT 6, 1:00 PM, VANCITY
Drifting from fact to fiction like an anxious sleeper sliding into a lucid dream, Robert Greene’s study of the craft of acting and the toll it exacts on identity is one of the year’s most enthralling films. Recruited to play Christine Chubbuck, a troubled Florida newscaster who killed herself on-air in 1974, actress Kate Lyn Sheil throws herself into her research and preparation with no regard for her own psychological well-being. “A tour de force in the blending and bending of genres…”—New Yorker

Paterson
JIM JARMUSCH, USA, 2016, 113 MIN.
SUN OCT 2, 3:45 PM, PLAYHOUSE
TUE OCT 11, 8:45 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
FRI OCT 14, 6:00 PM, RIO
Adam Driver is Paterson, a bus driver and aspiring poet in Paterson, New Jersey, and Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani is his wife, Laura, in Jim Jarmusch’s delightful ode to love, life, inspiration and William Carlos Williams. “A lovely… fable about the fragile, fruitful and just occasionally fraught relationship between creativity and everyday life… There’s so very much to enjoy here: Jarmusch’s wry script and beautifully becalmed direction, Fred Elmes’ quietly glowing photography…”—Time Out

Manchester by the Sea
KENNETH LONERGAN, USA, 2015, 136 MIN.
THU OCT 6, 6:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
SAT OCT 8, 2:15 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
WED OCT 12, 8:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
An all-star cast, a riveting script and a smart narrative puzzle give Kenneth Lonergan’s (Margaret; You Can Count on Me) drama devastating power. Casey Affleck is superb as a taciturn Boston handyman Lee, who returns to his salty hometown after his brother (Kyle Chandler) dies. There, past and present collide with a force that few could survive. “[An] extraordinary swirl of love, anger, tenderness and brittle humour… [This is a] beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama.”—Variety


Short Stay
TED FENDT, USA, 2015, 61 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
SAT OCT 8, 8:30 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
THU OCT 13, 4:00 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
Ted Fendt’s impeccably crafted comic gem marks 2016’s great deadpan discovery from the American indie scene. "Affectless" barely begins to describe Mike (Mike Maccherone), who stays the stone-faced course as he drifts between meaningless jobs. Fendt has created something quite remarkable here: an anti-hero’s non-journey in which inertia couldn’t feel more alive. “This is slacker cinema for people who can’t even be bothered to light a joint—in its own strange way, a marvelous thing.”—Village Voice

To Keep the Light
ERICA FAE, USA, 2015, 85 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
FRI OCT 7, 6:00 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
SUN OCT 9, 10:45 AM, INTL VILLAGE 10
After assuming her ailing husband’s responsibilities as a lighthouse keeper, Abbie (writer-director Erica Fae) is horrified to discover a Swedish seaman (Antti Reini) washed up outside her keep. Did she cause a shipwreck? The local authorities are certainly eager to assert this. Set in the 19th century, Fae’s film displays a gift for both masterful composition and mesmerizing drama as she imparts this involving story of an embattled woman relegated to the fringes of society but determined to be respected.

Tower
KEITH MAITLAND, USA, 2016, 82 MIN.
SAT OCT 1, 9:30 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
MON OCT 3, 3:30 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
FRI OCT 14, 6:30 PM, CINEMATHEQUE
It’s a day that lives on in American lore: August 1, 1966, when Charles Whitman took the lives of 16 people at Texas University. In this bracing documentary, director Keith Maitland brings us right into the middle of that event, with re-enactments and witness interviews rendered through evocative rotoscoped animation. Courage, desperation and defiance all come through vividly as Maitland delivers nail-biting tension and powerful human testimony. “A gripping dramatic reconstruction…”—Variety

Information - VIFF Sep 29 - Oct 14, 2016 viff.org

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

  • Panorama: Special PresentationsDocumentariesSpotlight on FranceContemporary World CinemaCinemas of India/Iran/Africa/Middle EastCinemas of Australasia/Latin America/USA – 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.
Tickets + Guide
Tickets, Passes + Ticket Packs On Sale Now
Tickets available online at viff.org 24 hours a day.
In Person Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm - 7pm)

The Complete Festival Guide
Program Guides are now available on-line and for pick up at The Vancouver International Film Centre. For select outlets around town visit here for locations.

THU SEP 29
The 35th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival opens. All venue box offices open, 30 minutes before the first screening of the day.

VIFF+ Discover more. viff.org/plus