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Vancouver International Film Festival 2017 | Sep 28 - Oct 13 | viff.org
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Opening & Closing Galas, Special Events and Special Presentations
Opening GalaClosing Gala
Special EventsSpecial Presentations
VIFF News

VIFF is excited to announce its Special Presentations, Galas and Special Events. Every year the festival brings films from around the globe to its audience, inviting viewers to share great stories and unique personal visions in a communal, celebratory environment. This year the festival kicks off with the latest from Vancouver's own Mina Shum. Opening Gala film Meditation Park is a moving exploration of marriage and infidelity, as well as a humorous tribute to Vancouver itself. Special Presentations are programmed for large audiences and great big-screen venues. This year they include the riveting tennis drama Borg vs. McEnroe, the hilarious art-world satire The Square and the Chinese action spectacular The Hidden Sword. There are two Special Events this year that will thrill audiences. VIFF favourite Bong Joon Ho will return to Vancouver to present his latest film Okja, and Canadian great Guy Maddin will join forces with co-directors Evan and Galen Johnson for The Green Fog - A San Francisco Fantasia with Kronos Quartet, a cine-musical re-imagining of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. The festival season ends with our Closing Gala: Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck is a luminous tale of two children and the special inspiration that drives them.

Opening Gala | VIFF 2017

Meditation Park
MINA SHUM, CANADA, 2017, 94 MIN. Sea to Sky
THU SEP 28, 7:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
SAT SEP 30, 12:30 PM, PLAYHOUSE
WED OCT 11, 6:15 PM, RIO
Maria (Cheng Pei Pei) has spent decades of devoted marriage dutifully excusing the prejudices and vices of her husband (Tzi Ma). But when she discovers another woman’s thong in his pocket, she embarks on some unintentionally comic sleuthing which soon introduces her to new East Vancouver communities and ultimately sets her on the course to self-discovery. Mina Shum makes an inspired return to narrative feature filmmaking with this richly detailed, emotionally rewarding and unmistakably Vancouver story.

Presented by Movie Nights Across Canada - Vancouver

Closing Gala | VIFF 2017

Wonderstruck
TODD HAYNES, USA, 2017, 117 MIN. Panorama
Canadian Premiere
FRI OCT 13, 7:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
FRI OCT 13, 9:15 PM, PLAYHOUSE
Todd Haynes (Carol) returns with a marvellous time-travelling tale that follows the parallel fortunes of two deaf 12-year-olds—Ben (Oakes Fegley), a lad in 1977 Michigan, and Rose (luminous newcomer Millicent Simmonds), a girl in 1927 New Jersey—who, for seemingly different reasons, are drawn to a gloriously rendered New York City in search of their own burgeoning identities… “Intricate and ambitious… Embraces so many shimmery, evanescent ideas, it’s a marvel that any one picture… can hold them.”—Time

Special Events | VIFF 2017

The Green Fog
Rehearsal photo by Pamela Gentile
GUY MADDIN, EVAN JOHNSON, GALEN JOHNSON, USA/CANADA, 2017, 65 MIN. M/A/D
Canadian Premiere
TUE OCT 10, 8:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
This multi-experiential, visual and sound collage created by award-winning filmmaker and cultural iconoclast Guy Maddin and collaborators Evan and Galen Johnson (The Forbidden Room) re-imagines Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Originally commissioned by SFFILM with support from Nion McEvoy and Stanford Live, this must-attend event features the world-renowned Kronos Quartet performing live the score composed by Jacob Garchik.
Okja
BONG JOON HO, SOUTH KOREA/USA, 2017, 121 MIN. Gateway
SAT SEP 30, 7:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
A Special Presentation screening of Okja as part of a celebration of the filmmaking achievements of director/co-writer, Bong Joon Ho. Included in the event is a presentation honoring Director Bong as a VIFF Visionary and an extended, 'In Conversation' session presented by IATSE LOCAL 891, with Bong Joon Ho, a VIFF alumnus, and Oscar award-winning VFX supervisor Erik-Jan de Boer of Method Studios.

This special opportunity to see Director Bong in conversation alongside a big screen presentation of his beloved Okja is not to be missed.



Panorama Stream - Documentaries | VIFF 2017

Borg vs. McEnroe
JANUS METZ, SWEDEN/DENMARK/FINLAND, 2017, 100 MIN. Panorama
SAT OCT 7, 8:45 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
WED OCT 11, 6:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
FRI OCT 13, 3:30 PM, PLAYHOUSE
One of the greatest tennis matches of all time—the 1980 Wimbledon Men’s Final between Björn Borg and John McEnroe—provides the baseline drama for this riveting sports movie. Director Janus Metz shoots the game in ways we have never seen before and elicits superb performances from Shia LaBeouf as McEnroe and Sverrir Gudnason (an uncanny lookalike) as Borg. Like all the best tennis games, the Final proves a nail-biting psychological thriller. This is the first tennis movie to truly ace it.

Breathe
ANDY SERKIS, UK, 2017, 117 MIN. Panorama
FRI SEP 29, 6:15 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
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.

Call Me by Your Name
LUCA GUADAGNINO, USA/ITALY/FRANCE, 2017, 131 MIN. Panorama
THU OCT 5, 9:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
SUN OCT 8, 9:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
THU OCT 12, 3:15 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
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

A Fantastic Woman
(Una mujer fantástica)
SEBASTIÁN LELIO, CHILE/GERMANY/USA/SPAIN, 2017, 104 MIN. Panorama
MON OCT 2, 3:45 PM, PLAYHOUSE
THU OCT 5, 6:15 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
WED OCT 11, 9:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
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

The Florida Project
SEAN BAKER, USA, 2017, 115 MIN. Panorama
SAT OCT 7, 6:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
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

Happy End
MICHAEL HANEKE, FRANCE/AUSTRIA/GERMANY, 2017, 107 MIN. Panorama
TUE OCT 3, 6:15 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
THU OCT 5, 3:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
SUN OCT 8, 6:15 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
With Michael Haneke directing, you know the title of his latest work is nothing if not deeply ironic. As the Calais refugee crisis unfolds, the rich, disaffected Laurent family—including paterfamilias Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and aunt Anne (Isabelle Huppert)—is sundered by the arrival of Anne’s 13-year-old niece (Fantine Harduin, superb)… “Distinguishes itself from much of [Haneke’s filmography] in the deployment of unexpectedly approachable dark wit and thriller-ish sensibility.”—Sight & Sound

The Hidden Sword
(Daobei cangshen)
XU HAOFENG, CHINA, 2017, 136 MIN. Gateway
WED OCT 4, 9:00 PM, PLAYHOUSE
SAT OCT 7, 2:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
WED OCT 11, 9:00 PM, RIO
In 1933, Chinese soldiers led by Shen Feixue defeat a Japanese attack on the Great Wall using only swords. But Shen disappears, and an imposter takes his place. Allied with the glamorous and lethal beauty Zhihui, they try to steal Master Kong’s ultimate sword techniques. But heroic young Kong Dingyi stands in their way. China’s new master of elegant chivalric swordplay, Xu Haofeng, spices brilliantly choreographed action with sparkling eroticism in this dazzling, star-studded, comic-action masterpiece.

Indian Horse
STEPHEN CAMPANELLI, CANADA, 2017, 100 MIN. Sea to Sky
SAT SEP 30, 6:30 PM, PLAYHOUSE
MON OCT 2, 1:45 PM, INTL VILLAGE 10
In this moving adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s novel, Stephen Campanelli condemns Canada’s most deplorable transgression while celebrating our national game’s transcendent power. Languishing in a residential school, Saul Indian Horse finds salvation on a sheet of ice. But while a preternatural hockey sense lets him slip bodychecks with a dancer’s grace, he can’t evade the ramifications of past abuses. Saul’s strength in this struggle is a testament to the Indigenous peoples’ indomitable spirit.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
YORGOS LANTHIMOS, UK, 2017, 121 MIN. Panorama
MON OCT 2, 9:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
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.

Loving Vincent
DOROTA KOBIELA, HUGH WELCHMAN, POLAND/UK, 2017, 95 MIN. Panorama
THU SEP 28, 6:30 PM, RIO
SAT SEP 30, 4:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
In Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s remarkable animated work—“the world’s first fully painted feature”—the paintings of Vincent van Gogh are brought to life via a mystery wherein the postmaster’s son (Douglas Booth) in Arles tries to parse the painter’s sad last days. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames was hand-painted by one of 115 professional oil-painters, making for “a truly awe-inspiring portrait… [that pulls] audiences into the delirious, hyper-sensual world suggested by van Gogh’s oeuvre.”—Variety

Mountain
JENNIFER PEEDOM, AUSTRALIA, 2017, 74 MIN. Panorama
North American Premiere
SUN OCT 8, 4:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
THU OCT 12, 6:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
Scale the heights with this breathtaking, immersive documentary, as director Jennifer Peedom takes us up the peaks in her exploration of mountain climbing. Along for the thrill ride are Richard Tognetti and his Australian Chamber Orchestra, who give us a succession of rousing pieces to carry us through the journey. Narrated by Willem Dafoe and graced with some moments of quieter beauty to go with the thrills, this is doc filmmaking at its most powerful and a big-screen experience if ever there was one.

The Square
RUBEN ÖSTLUND, SWEDEN/GERMANY/FRANCE/DENMARK, 2017, 145 MIN. Panorama
FRI SEP 29, 9:00 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
TUE OCT 3, 3:15 PM, PLAYHOUSE
Ruben Östlund’s (Force Majeure, VIFF 14) hilarious yet deadly serious satire sees selfish Swedish art curator Christian (Claes Bang, perfect) preparing an upcoming piece called The Square, an interactive work described as “a sanctuary of trust and caring.” Hardly… Soon things are spiralling out of control in Christian’s personal and professional life. “A potent, disturbing work that explores the boundaries of political correctness, artistic liberty and free speech in provocative ways.”—Hollywood Reporter

Top of the Lake: China Girl
JANE CAMPION, ARIEL KLEIMAN, NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA, 2017, 360 MIN. Panorama
Canadian Premiere
SUN OCT 1, 10:30 AM, VANCITY
SUN OCT 8, 11:30 AM, INTL VILLAGE 10
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: Elisabeth 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.”—IndieWire

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 – Accelerating the advancement and innovation of screen-based industries in British Columbia.
  • 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



Pickford Film Center Doctober
Each October, just across the border in Bellingham, WA, Pickford Film Center presents Doctober: a month long celebration of documentary films featuring some of the most diverse and varied programming offered all year. With over 50 films in the lineup, "something for everyone" is hardly an exaggeration.

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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