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Vancouver International Film Festival 2017 | Sep 28 - Oct 13 | viff.org
Sponsors
Panorama — From Far and Wide:
Features from Latin America, UK, and USA
Special Presentation
Latin America
Countries from Latin America that are featured include:
Argentina • Brazil • Chile • Cuba
Dominican Republic • Colombia • Mexico
UKUSA
VIFF News

VIFF is proud to present its selection of films from Latin America, the UK and the USA. These films are part of our popular series Contemporary World Cinema, presented by Delta Air Lines. Here audiences will find a loving tribute to architecture, a harrowing thriller, a children's classic brought to life and much more. The festival is committed to bringing visions from all around the world to its audience. No film is too different, too adventurous, too daring for VIFF; originality and integrity are all that is required. The Special Presentations introduced here are stories about women made with compassion and commitment. Top of the Lake: China Girl is the VIFF screening of Jane Campion's six-hour opus, a feminist mystery that will draw viewers through a web of intrigue and a cross-section of Australian society. A Fantastic Woman is the powerfully dramatic story of a trans woman (Daniela Vega) fighting against oppression and bigotry.

Panorama Special Presentation Films | VIFF 2017

A Fantastic Woman
(Una mujer fantástica)
SEBASTIÁN LELIO, CHILE/GERMANY/USA/SPAIN, 2017, 104 MIN.
When her older lover Orlando (Francisco Reyes) dies suddenly, transgendered Marina (a stunning Daniela Vega) faces horrible prejudice from officials investigating his death—and worse from the man’s family. Director Sebastián Lelio (VIFF 13 standout Gloria) has fashioned a radiant tribute to one woman’s strength. “Five Stars! [This] trans tale stands alongside Almodóvar… It may be a timely film, but it is its timelessness, as well as its depths of compassion, that qualify it as a great one.”—Guardian

Top of the Lake: China Girl
JANE CAMPION, ARIEL KLEIMAN, NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA, 2017, 360 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
The scene of the crime has changed—rural New Zealand has been replaced by downtown Sydney, Australia—but all the qualities that made Jane Campion’s feminist police procedural a must-see show four years ago are here in the follow-up: Elizabeth Moss, superb, as detective Robin Griffin; an engrossing mystery; and Campion’s emotional intelligence, sharp social conscience and keen cinematic eye. “[A]s beautiful and soul-stirring as anything you’ll see on any kind of screen this year.”—David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Breathe
Breathe
ANDY SERKIS, UK, 2017, 117 MIN.
In the kind of technically accomplished and emotionally involving role that often captures Academy Award-voters’ hearts, Andrew Garfield plays Robin Cavendish, a handsome and charming young man apparently living a blessed life—until, at 26, shortly after learning he is to become a father, he’s struck down by polio and left paralyzed, unable even to breathe without the help of machines. The directorial debut of Andy Serkis charts Robin’s spiritual recovery as he rediscovers the will to live and love.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
YORGOS LANTHIMOS, UK, 2017, 121 MIN.
From the twisted mind of Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) emerges another wildly original, surreal and disturbing parable about what it means to be human. Colin Farrell plays a heart surgeon whose happy home is threatened by a teenage interloper who convinces him that he must sacrifice one of his own family—son, daughter or wife (Nicole Kidman)—or lose them all. So: who to choose? This is a ruthlessly controlled but utterly unhinged shocker that is funniest when it’s scariest, and vice versa.

Call Me by Your Name
LUCA GUADAGNINO, USA/ITALY/FRANCE, 2017, 131 MIN.
Set in the sun-drenched countryside of Italy’s Lombardy region, Luca Guadagnino’s visually ravishing tale of first love is a flawlessly acted wonder. Ensconced in his family’s villa for the summer, 17-year-old Elio (Homeland’s Timothée Chalamet, superb) finds himself drawn to his professor-father’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) research assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). What follows is guaranteed to stir your soul. “Masterful… reminiscent of the best of Eric Rohmer, Bernardo Bertolucci and André Téchiné.”—Guardian

The Florida Project
SEAN BAKER, USA, 2017, 115 MIN.
In a group of dilapidated motels near Disney World in Orlando, troubled, down-at-heel families try to make do. But whatever the problems faced by their parents, six-year-old Moonee (an unstoppable Brooklynn Prince) and her two friends are having none of it: for these wonderfully feral kids, they live in a magical adventureland and they plan on exploiting it to the full… Sean Baker’s (Starlet, VIFF 12) immersive and moving drama is “near-perfect… brilliant, buoyant, and ultimately heart-wrenching…”—Vulture

Panorama Stream Films from Latin America | VIFF 2017

Countries from Latin America that are featured include:
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico

At the End of the Tunnel
(Al final del tunel)
RODRIGO GRANDE, ARGENTINA/SPAIN, 2016, 120 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Referencing Reservoir Dogs, Rear Window, The Maltese Falcon and more, Rodrigo Grande’s visually stylish and nastily entertaining thriller revels in its clever plot twists and reversals. After hearing voices on the other side of his basement wall, a paraplegic (Leonardo Sbaraglia) installs a camera and discovers a plot to rob a bank—and sees that his female boarder is deeply involved… “An expertly paced caper film with enough twists and turns to keep audiences in a heightened state of suspense.”—Variety

The Desert Bride
(La novia del deserto)
CECILIA ATÁN, VALERIA PIVATO, ARGENTINA/CHILE, 2017, 78 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
The wonderful Paulina García, best actress winner for Gloria at Berlin 13, stars as Teresa, maid to the same family for three decades, who finds herself out of a job. En route to her new position in distant San Juan (in the western Argentinean desert), her bus breaks down, leading to a chance encounter and possibilities she’d never even dreamt of before… “A delicate late-life love story that is also a tale about the empowerment of a woman who has lived her whole life in the shadow of others.”—Screen

Last Days in Havana
(Últimos días en La Habana)
FERNANDO PÉREZ, CUBA/SPAIN, 2016, 93 MIN.
North American Premiere
Fernando Pérez’s tragicomic tale expertly captures Havana’s faded glory while detailing the lives of those caught up in uncertain times. Exuberant Diego (Jorge Martinez) has AIDS and is confined to his bed; lifelong friend Miguel (Patricio Wood) is a dishwasher who takes care of his every need. When Diego’s spunky (and pregnant) 15-year-old niece Yusi (Gabriela Ramos) arrives on the scene, his days liven up considerably… “A touching celebration of love, devotion and stoical endurance.”—Screen

Cocote
NELSON CARLO DE LOS SANTOS ARIAS, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/
ARGENTINA/GERMANY/QATAR, 2017, 106 MIN.
Rare is a film like Cocote, Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias’ fascinating opus. Learning of his father’s murder, Alberto treks across the Dominican Republic to participate in death rituals that offend his evangelical sensibilities. As his family plots revenge and the ritual becomes more boisterous, Alberto’s agitation grows, with this restlessness mirrored by shifting film stocks and a barrage of camera styles. Cocote “speaks to a country’s irrepressible urge to give free rein to emotion…”—Slant

Los Perros
MARCELA SAID, CHILE/FRANCE, 2017, 94 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
In Marcela Said’s (The Summer of Flying Fish, VIFF 13) icily effective drama, wealthy upper class married woman Mariana (a nuanced Antonia Zegers) is drawn to her riding instructor Juan (Alfredo Castro), known as “The Colonel.” Her infatuation doubles when she learns he is being investigated for human rights abuses during the Pinochet era. Used to getting her own way, Mariana is unprepared for what comes next… “Supremely assured and intriguing… Said’s precise filmmaking… rivets the attention.”—Variety


The Dragon Defense
(La defensa del dragon)
NATALIA SANTA, COLOMBIA, 2017, 80 MIN.
North American Premiere
The shabby bars, cafés, chess clubs and casinos of Bogotá serve as the atmospheric setting for Natalia Santa’s winsome debut, a tale of three amiable, middle-aged losers that plays like Latin-flavoured Kaurismäki. Samuel (Gonzalo de Sagarminaga) ekes out a living playing chess for cash and, like his two friends, seems resigned to his lot—but is he really…? “This wry, compassionate female perspective on some uncomfortably familiar midlife male traits… repays the viewer in deadpan charm.”—Hollywood Reporter

Good Manners
(As boas maneiras)
JULIANA ROJAS, MARCO DUTRA, BRAZIL/FRANCE, 2017, 135 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Clara, a lonely, lower-class black nurse from the outskirts of São Paulo, is hired by the mysterious, wealthy and white Ana to be the nanny of her unborn child. The two women develop an unlikely bond, which, under the full moon, eventually becomes sexual. But all is not well with Ana, and a fateful night changes their plans and alters the film itself. Creating a dreamy, stylized São Paulo, Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra tell their story as a political fairy tale, creating a warped Walt Disney film.

Gabriel and the Mountain
(Gabriel e a Montanha)
FELLIPE BARBOSA, BRAZIL/FRANCE, 2017, 131 MIN.
North American Premiere
While on a long trip that culminated in an exploration of parts of Africa, director Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa’s friend Gabriel Buchmann died on a mountain in Malawi. Buchmann (winningly played by João Pedro Zappa) was a generous and friendly idealist who gave away large parts of his budget, and Barbosa sensitively dramatizes his story, enlisting the help of those who knew Buchmann to play themselves. Gorgeously shot, “this uplifting drama… [is] a moving look at the transformative nature of travel…”—Screen

Vazante
DANIELA THOMAS, BRAZIL/PORTUGAL, 2017, 116 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Set in 1820s Brazil, Daniela Thomas’ first solo directorial effort (she co-directed three films with Walter Salles) centres on mine owner Antonio (Adriano Carvalho), a widower whose ineffectual colonial ways and fading estate, powered by increasingly rebellious slaves, mirror the decline of Portuguese fortunes in general. “[A] striking study of racial and gender politics in colonial Brazil… The arresting black-and-white cinematography and the intriguing, textured sound design [are] first rate.”—Screen


Tales of Mexico
(La habitación)
CARLOS CARRERA, DANIEL GIMÉNEZ CACHO,
CARLOS BOLADO, ERNESTO CONTRERAS,
ALFONSO PINEDA ULLOA, ALEJANDRO VALLE,
IVÁN ÁVILA DUEÑAS, NATALIA BERISTÁIN,
MEXICO/POLAND, 2016, 120 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
The eight enthralling narratives that make up this kaleidoscopic anthology film are anchored by the single studio apartment that serves as their shared setting. Over a hundred-year span, we witness the growing pains of a Mexico in flux, with revolution and human trafficking but two sources of conflict. Remarkable cinematography turns the same room into eight unique time capsules, and accomplished performances led by Irenè Jacob (Three Colors: Red) transform this into a visceral experience.

Panorama Stream Films from the UK | VIFF 2017

Swallows and Amazons
PHILLIPPA LOWTHORPE, UK, 2017, 96 MIN.
Pippa Lowthorpe’s loving adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s 1930 novel is a delightful throwback, a Tom Sawyer-like tale of four children adventuring on a lake, where they encounter imaginary pirates and possibly less-imaginary spies. The past is as strange as an alternate universe here, but the film’s values (integrity and curiosity, endeavour and courage) are as potent as ever. “A charmingly old-fashioned family adventure—one that you can imagine several generations of a family gathering to watch…”—Time Out

God's Own Country
FRANCIS LEE, UK, 2017, 104 MIN.
Announcing himself as a major talent with this remarkable, award-winning debut, writer-director Francis Lee has crafted a sharply observed, richly textured and thrillingly sensual story about the redemptive powers of love and self-acceptance. Josh O’Connor is outstanding as mistrustful Johnny, who slowly opens up to the possibility of happiness with the help of gentle Gheorghe, a ruggedly handsome Romanian farmhand whose soulful appreciation for rural life provides the catalyst for transformative change.

The Party
SALLY POTTER, UK, 2017, 71 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
When a Westminster politician (Kristin Scott Thomas) invites some of her most acid-tongued, comically contemptible friends (including Cillian Murphy, Patricia Clarkson and Timothy Spall) to a celebratory dinner, those subjects that aren’t to be discussed in polite company start being hurled around like pies in a food fight. Delightfully ill-mannered, wickedly dry and wildly entertaining, Sally Potter’s film is “a deliciously heightened, caviar-black comedy… played with relish by a dream ensemble.”—Variety

Panorama Stream Films from USA | VIFF 2017

Columbus
KOGONADA, USA, 2017, 104 MIN.
The Columbus, Indiana, of the film’s title is home to some gorgeously designed buildings; it’s that kind of beauty that brings Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) and Jin (John Cho) together. He’s a book translator returning home from South Korea; she’s a high school grad with a deep love for architecture. It’s clearly a love shared by director Kogonada, who makes inspired use of the city’s buildings and other locales for this spellbinding film about art, conversation and other essentials of life.

Lucky
JOHN CARROLL LYNCH, USA, 2017, 88 MIN.
Harry Dean Stanton is a mainstay of American acting, and this film is his valediction: a funny, poignant portrait of a man approaching death with all the dignity he can muster. Stanton’s Lucky is a man who lives life on his own terms: from his yoga exercises to the pack of smokes he consumes every day, he does it his way, all the time. But now he’s approaching the end of the road, and it’s time to take stock…Stirring monologues, lovable characters and, of course, superb acting make this film a winner.

En el séptimo día
JIM MCKAY, USA, 2017, 92 MIN.
International Premiere
Jim McKay’s return to filmmaking is a genuine triumph, a throwback to the early 1990s (when he helmed Sundance hit Girls Town) as well as to neorealism. Set in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, this classical drama explores the “invisible” life of a neighbourhood by trailing José, an illegal Mexican immigrant, who must balance his work as a delivery man and his obligations to his pregnant wife (who’s still in Mexico) and his soccer team (who are about to compete for a championship). "Exquisitely crafted…"—Variety

Sweet Virginia
JAMIE M. DAGG, USA/CANADA, 2017, 92 MIN.
Drawing comparisons with the Coen brothers’ work at its noirish best, Jamie M. Dagg’s dark drama is set in small-town Alaska and features a stone-cold killer (Christopher Abbot), a nasty femme fatale (Imogen Poots) and a retired rodeo star (Jon Bernthal) who cross paths when a murder plot goes awry, spreading collateral damage everywhere… “Part neo-noir, part latter-day Western, this exceptional indie thriller… yields one of the gnarliest and most unsettling movies we’re likely to get this year.”—Variety

Thirst Street
NATHAN SILVER, USA, 2017, 83 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Nathan Silver (Exit Elena, Soft in the Head, both VIFF 13) takes a step up with this blackly comic thriller about amour fou, set largely in Paris. Flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burdge), reeling from her lover’s suicide, has a one-night stand with sleazy Parisian bartender Jerôme (Damian Bonnard) and then promptly moves to Paris in order to pursue the "love of her life"—despite Jerome’s lack of interest… Fuelled by Burdge’s high-octane performance, this is an unforgettably twisted story of neurotic passion.

Information - VIFF 2017viff.org

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

  • PanoramaFrom France to FinlandEastern Europe, India, Middle East and Africa Latin America, UK & USA Documentaries Galas and Special Presentations – The world's boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year's most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.
  • Sea to Sky – 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 – Interactive screen-based experiences, talks and sessions with creative leaders designed to educate and inspire public and professional attendees alike.
  • 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 – Genre-bending features that defy traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits.

Important Dates
Advance VIFF Pass + Packs on sale now at viff.org (ONLINE only)

THU SEP 7 - Full Program available online.
ONLINE: VIFF Single Tickets on sale at viff.org

THU SEP 14
IN-PERSON: Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie. (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm - 7pm)

VIFF+ Discover more. viff.org/plus


VIFF
Vancouver International Film Festival
September 28 - October 13, 2017

Discover more viff.org

Greater Vancouver International Film Society
1181 Seymour Street Vancouver BC Canada V6B 3M7
Box Office Helpline: 604.683.3456
Film selections are subject to change.


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