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Vancouver International Film Festival |
VIFF's ALT Stream Bends Genres with Films that Defy Classification
Ten Features, 35 Canadian Shorts and 34 International Shorts Announced
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VANCOUVER, B.C. (August 23, 2017) – VIFF announced its ALT stream programming today, including the popular Altered States film series. Featuring cinema that expresses the most daring of creator visions and often defies traditional classification, this year’s Altered States lineup demands audiences to experience their worlds and follow their rules. As VIFF boldly declares, “This where the strange ones come out to play.”

Screening at the 36th annual VIFF, running September 28 to October 13, the Altered States series includes ten features that run the gamut from UFO death cult thriller The Endless to surreal relationship drama Animals to Maritime gothic The Crescent to the stylistically bombastic Housewife.

VIFF also announced the launch of MODES, a new film series that explores how far the form of cinema is capable of bending. Highlighting international video and screen-based artists uninhibited by the limits of traditional approaches, this series is provocative, insightful and aesthetically astounding, existing onscreen in the liminal spaces between different modes of digital expression. This year's works expand the frame on art, politics and human experience, questioning the subjective notion of 'being' and inevitably asking us to consider unexplored thresholds of reality.

Finally, the festival announced its full lineup of Canadian and International short films from both established and emerging filmmakers that will introduce VIFF audiences to some of the world’s most exciting creators exploring short form storytelling. The full lineup of Altered States films includes::

dirs. Greg Zglinski, Switzerland/Austria/Poland
After running headlong into an sheep in the Swiss Alps, a feuding couple are thrust into a cracked-mirror reality stocked with doppelgängers, temporal loops and other surreal phenomena. Seemingly born under the total eclipse of a Lynch-Hitchcock Venn diagram, this mind-bender from Kieslowski protégé Greg Zglinski will leave viewers warily eyeing both their better halves and their own reflections. “Edgy marital drama, inky black comedy and blood-freezing horror combine to intoxicating effect…"—Variety

Bad Day for the Cut
dir. Chris Baugh, Northern Ireland
When his elderly mother is inexplicably murdered by organized criminals, Donal (Nigel O’Neill), an unassuming farmer, ensures that the assailants reap what they’ve sown. But just as his quarry foolishly underestimates this shotgun-wielding hayseed, our unkempt, sad-eyed anti-hero is wholly unprepared for the revelations his rampage will unearth. A fatalistic revenge thriller in the bloody vein of Blue Ruin, Chris Baugh’s debut is “an unusually soulful genre outing… resolutely unconventional."—Screen

dir. Marianna Palka, USA
With her psyche ripped to shreds by her unfaithful spouse and unruly brood, Jill’s (Marianna Palka) repressed fury is unleashed in primal fashion, leaving her conducting herself like a junkyard dog hopped up on amphetamines. As she claims the basement as her territory, her husband (a wonderfully hapless Jason Ritter) is forced to step up and clumsily embrace domestic responsibilities. Boldly written and directed by Palka, this feral satire is “a hilarious and vicious bite at the patriarchy."—Screen Anarchy

The Crescent
dir. Seth A. Smith, Canada
Retreating to a remote beach house, a mother (Danika Vandersteen) and her two-year-old son (Woodrow Graves, giving a toddler performance for the ages) are bedeviled by both the personal torment that drove them to this desolate outpost and the otherworldly figures lurking outside. Inventively employing an arsenal of practical effects to conjure psychedelia and shifting realities, Seth Smith’s astonishingly ambitious Maritime Gothic is the trippiest Canadian genre film this side of Beyond the Black Rainbow.

The Endless
dir. Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, USA
Continuing their rewrite of the genre rulebook, the endlessly resourceful directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (the Linklater-meets-Lovecraft Spring) also play brothers who ill-advisedly return to the compound of the “UFO death cult” they escaped years earlier. That’s but the beginning of the enthralling illogic that fuels this descent into an uncanny realm, one in which menace manifests itself in many haunting forms. “The kind of fantastical horror that creeps under your skin…”—Screen Anarchy

Friendly Beast
dir. Gabriela Almeida, Brazil
When two thieves botch a holdup of his eatery, a harried restaurateur (Murilo Benício) abandons the forced congeniality instilled by the service industry in favour of unhinged ferocity as he takes the perpetrators, as well as his patrons and staff, hostage. Hints of Dog Day Afternoon and The Exterminating Angel are to be savored in Gabriela Amaral Almeida’s carnal, grisly Grand Guignol confection. “Weird and uncomfortable and strangely alluring… It’s fascinating to watch it all unfold.”—Bloody Disgusting

dir. Can Evrenol, Turkey
Saddled with a self-involved husband and the psychological baggage of her childhood trauma, Holly (Clémentine Poidatz) is shaken from her complacency when she attends a motivational seminar by an infamous “dream surfer” (David Sakurai) whose beliefs make Scientology seem sensible. As she’s set adrift in a swirling, Argento-indebted phantasmagoria and a band of cultists close in, Can Evrenol (Baskin) ramps up the delirium and Housewife escalates to an utterly deranged climax that’s one for the end times.

dir. Ryan Prows, USA
Cranking the volume and amping the carnage, Ryan Prows’ crime drama hits like an adrenaline shot to the heart, reminding us just how exhilarating rampant badassery can be when conducted with a ringleader’s flair. Ex-cons, luchadores and other reprobates are part of thug life’s rich pageant in the alternately darkly comic and unrelentingly tense vignettes that depict an illicit world of organ harvesting, human trafficking and, as one might expect, vengeance. “A seriously nasty treat…”—Hollywood Reporter

Tiger Girl
dir. Jakob Lass, Germany
Condemned to playing rent-a-cop after flunking police academy, meek Maggie (Maria Dragus) finds a brash mentor in Tiger (Ella Rumpf), who helps her channel her inner “Vanilla the Killer.” As this rampaging pair turns Berlin into their playground and men into their chew toys, Jakob Lass employs kinetic camerawork and swaggering improvisation to heighten his film’s anarchic appeal. "An anthem to the marginalized youth of Europe… and women who need to kick ass if they are going to survive."—Screen Anarchy

Tragedy Girls
dir. Tyler MacIntyre, USA/Canada
Like many teens, Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla (Alexandra Shipp) just want to be “liked.” Granted, their sociopathic bid for social media immortality hinges on boosting their online followers by reporting on a killing spree that they’re also perpetrating. Deftly balancing comedy and commentary, Tyler MacIntyre’s film recalls Heathers while crafting a blood-soaked snapshot of our selfie-involved times. “One of the freshest, funniest horror-comedies to emerge in Scream’s long wake.”—Variety

The following films fall into the MODES series:

489 Years (dir. Hayoun Kown, South Korea/France)
Batrachian's Ballad (Balada de um Batráquio) (dir. Leonor Teles, Portugal)
Charged Landscapes (dir. Sara Naomi Goodman, USA)
Find Fix Finish (dir. Sylvain Cruiziat, Mila Zhluktenko, Germany)
Green Screen Gringo (Tele Verde Gringo) (dir. Douwe Dijkstra , Brazil/Netherlands)
Jardins d'Été (dir. Quayola, Italy/UK)
Martin Cries (Martin Pleure) (dir. Jonathan Vine, France)
A Photo of Me (dir. Dennis Tupicoff, Australia)
Roadside Attraction (dirs. Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan , USA)
Strange Says The Angel (Étrange dit l'ange) (dir. Shalimar Preuss, France)
Studies on the Ecology of Drama (dir. Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Finland)
Tall Tale (dir. Maya Schweize, Ireland/Germany)
Tashlikh (cast off) (dir. Yael Bartan, Israel/Netherlands)

The following films fall into the Canadian shorts series:

Bickford Park (dir. Linsey Stewart, Dane Clark, Canada)
Beyond Blue Waves (dir. Evan DeRushie, Canada)
Birdlime (dir. Cory Bowles, Canada)
Cherry Cola(dir. Joseph Amenta, Canada)
Crème de menthe (dir. Jean-Marc E. Roy, Philippe David Gagné, Canada)
The Crying Conch(dir. Vincent Toi, Canada)
Do We Leave This Here (dir. Julia Hutchings, Canada)
Fence (dir. Alexis Fortier Gauthier, Canada)
Flood (dir. Amanda Strong, Canada)
Full Moon Party (dir. Gabriel Adelman, Canada/Thailand)
The Glow Is Gone (dir. Ryan Ermacora, Canada)
Go Play Outside (dir. Adib Alkhalidey, Canada)
The Good Fight (dir. Mintie Pardoe, Canada)
Grandmother (dir. Trevor Mack, Canada)
His Name Is Willy (dir. Liz Cairns, Canada)
The Knits (dir. Lisa Birke, Canada)
La pesca (dir. Pablo Álvarez-Mesa, Fernando López Escrivá, Canada/Colombia)
Let Your Heart Be Light (dir. Deragh Campbell, Sophy Romvari, Canada)
Lira's Forest (dir. Connor Jessup, Canada)
Lost Paradise Lost (dir. Yan Giroux, Canada)
Lower Plenty Garden Views (dir. Adrian St. Louis, Canada)
The Martyr (dir. Devan Scott, Will Ross, Canada)
Memeory of the Peace (dir. Jennifer Chiu, Jean Parsons, Canada)
Milk (dir. Heather Young, Canada)
The Mountain of SGaana (dir. Christopher Auchter, Canada)
Rupture (dir. Yassmina Karajah, Canada)
Scratchy (dir. Marv Newland, Canada)
Sea Monster (dir. Daniel Rocque, Kassandra Tomczyk, Canada)
Shadow Nettes (dir. Phillip Barker, Canada)
Slap Happy (dirs. Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli, Canada)
The Tesla World Light (dir. Matthew Rankin, Canada)
Thug (dir. Daniel Boos, Canada)
Voices of Kidnapping (dir. Ryan McKenna, Canada)
Where Do Cats Go After 9 Lives? (dir. Marion Duhaime, Canada)
A Woman on the Telephone (dir. Erica Genereux Smith, Canada)

The International Shorts program is made up of the following films:

7ÚN3L (dir. Klych López, Colombia)
Afterglow (dir. Akira Kamiki, Brazil)
American Psychosis (dir. Amanda Zackem, USA)
Animal (dir. Atasay Koç, Turkey)
Backstory (dir. Joschka Laukeninks, Germany)
Bullroarer (dir. Francesco Saviano, USA)
Chasing Stars (dir. Markus Eichenberger, Switzerland)
Damn Bro! (dir. Travis Frick, USA)
Don't Be Afraid of the Light (dir. Jason A. Rostovsky, USA)
Fashion Show (dir. Lucy Lumsden, United Kingdom)
Flag (dir. Matan Ben Moreh, Israel)
Forever Now (dir. Kristian Haskjold, Denmark)
Game (dir. Jeannie Donohoe, USA)
Good Girls (dir. Clara Roquet, Spain)
Home, Sweet Home (dir. Carlos Polo, Spain)
I Love You Forever Now (dir. Youyang Yu, United Kingdom)
Images of Nowhere (dir. Rubén Guzmán, Argentina)
Kodachrome Elegies (dir. Jay Rosenblatt, USA)
Land of Happy Dreams (dir. Josh Auter, USA)
Language of Ball (dir. Ramón Rodríguez, USA)
Marlon (dir. Jessica Palud, France)
Maxwell's Demon (dir. Marcos Vaz, Brazil)
Nobody Likes You(dirs. Mark Sean Haynes, Kelly Wydryk, Canada/USA)
Outlines (dir. Ellie Rogers, United Kingdom)
Overlove (dir. Lucas Helth, Denmark)
Promise (dir. Neville Pierce, United Kingdom)
Rhythm of Being (dir. Giada Ghiringhelli, Switzerland/United Kingdom)
Sissyman (dir. Joshua Atesh Litle, USA)
Sisters (dir. Toni Kamula, Denmark)
There Was a Man, a Girl, and a Rocket (dir. Terence Chim, United Kingdom)
TV In The Fish Tail (dir. Iesh Thapar, India/USA/United Kingdom)
Walt & Me (dir. Yaz Canli, USA)
Wave (dirs. Benjamin Cleary, TJ O'Grady Peyton, Ireland)
Yes, God, Yes (dir. Karen Maine, USA)

Short films with Features include:

American Psychosis (dir. Amanda Zackem, USA)
Canton Novelty (dir. Fang Lu, China)
Chasing Stars (dir. Markus Eichenberger, Switzerland)
Divide (dirs. Rabbia Arshad, Alysha Siddigi, USA/Pakistan)
Hsiang Yi (dir. Wu Zi En, Taiwan)
Invisible Line (dirs. Shahnawaz Chachar, Sourath Behan, Danial Shah, USA/Pakistan)
Lunar Dial (dir. Gao Yuan, China)
Shepherd's Purse (dir. Dong Hao, China)

Weekly announcements of confirmed titles and programmed events continue next week.

Tickets start at $15. Passes and ticket packs are available online on August 28th, with single tickets available online September 7th and in-person at the Vancity Theatre Box Office starting September 14th. All tickets will be available for purchase at

Passes for Totally Indie Day are available for morning and afternoon sessions. Full day passes are also available, and include entrance to the after party. More information will be available at on September 8th.

VIFF would like to thank Premier Partner Telus, Premier Supporters Telefilm Canada and Creative BC as well as our other generous partners, sponsors and suppliers.

Each year VIFF relies on the hard work of more than 1,000 volunteers to assist in running the festival. Volunteer registration is now open at

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) and the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre. VIFF produces screenings, talks and events that act as a catalyst for a diverse community to discover, discuss and share the creativity and craft of storytelling on screen. In its 36th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 28-October 13, 2017 as it showcases the top international, Canadian and BC films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe.

  • Media accreditation to attend VIFF 2017 is now open. Apply until September 11th here.
  • Films, talks and events programming will continue to be announced weekly throughout August and September. A press conference will be held on September 6th at the Vancouver International Film Centre (1181 Seymour St) with final festival announcements including the Closing night film.
  • To stay up to date with year-round Film Centre programming, request to be added to our media distribution list.
  • For more information on VIFF, to obtain media assets, or to request an interview, please contact or call 778-328-7813
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For more information, please contact
Darren Johnson
Communications Manager
Vancouver International Film Festival

Greater Vancouver International Film Society