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Vancouver International Film Festival 2017 | Sep 28 - Oct 13 | viff.orgSponsors
Bringing You the World:
VIFF Goes Global with its Panorama Stream
Panorama Films VIFF News

In this stream, VIFF crosses the boundaries of nationality to deliver the best of cinema from Europe, Latin America, Middle East and many more places. Viewers are given a chance to come together, bonding over what different cultures share and learning from the rich diversity they present. In this sampling of the Panorama stream, audiences can immerse themselves in the beauty of rural Wales, the rock scene in early-80s Russia, the Inuit culture of Siberia and so much more—all on the big screen, where cinema has its greatest impact.

The films below, listed alphabetically by country, offer a bounty of rich experiences. But there’s even more to come: the full Panorama stream consists of over 70 films, including the annual Spotlight on France and two new sections. Focus on Italy, presented by the Consulate General of Italy, brings us prizewinners and premieres from a country that has given us so much of cinema’s best. Vanguard offers an array of radical, innovative work, including films that can go so far as to change one’s view of reality and the way it can be portrayed.

Be sure to check out the full offering of Panorama titles, along with the rest of VIFF’s program, when it becomes available at viff.org on September 6th. Passes and ticket packs are available as early as August 23rd.

Panorama Films

The Snatch Thief
(El Motoarrebatador)
AGUSTÍN TOSCANO, ARGENTINA, 2018, 93 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Urban Argentina: Miguel (Sergio Prina) makes his living by driving a motorbike by people while his accomplice (Daniel Elias) grabs their belongings. It’s a dubious trade, to say the least, but the rottenness of it really hits home for our protagonist when a theft of his causes brutal injury to an old woman (Liliana Juárez). Miguel winds up concealing his identity and caring for her—an act that, it turns out, is not wholly altruistic. Prina and Juárez make a great screen pair in this subtly tense film.

The Dead and the Others
(Chuva é Cantoria na Aldeia Dos Mortos)
JOÃO SALAVIZA, RENÉE NADER MESSORA, BRAZIL/PORTUGAL, 2018, 114 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora lived with the indigenous Krahô people in northern Brazil before making this beautifully modulated drama. Young Ihjãc (Henrique Ihjãc Krahô) resists voices from the spirit world insisting that he become a shaman. He falls ill and decides to visit a doctor in the “outside” world… The glory here is in the visual detail and the way the directors immerse us in the lush natural settings. “Great visual poetry, with an impeccable balance of drama and intrigue.”—Cineuropa


Ága
MILKO LAZAROV, BULGARIA/GERMANY/FRANCE, 2018, 96 MIN.
North American Premiere
Nanook (Mikhail Aprosimov) and his wife Sedna (Feodosia Ivanova) are Inuits living in Siberia. The titular character is their daughter, who has left the family; Nanook has never forgiven her for an earlier transgression, but Sedna is now gravely ill and yearns for the two to reconcile. The film is directed with an eye for wintry beauty, and its theme of nostalgia is conveyed with wonderful grace. "[A] winning combination of the cozily intimate and the sublimely epic."—Hollywood Reporter

Barefoot
(Po strništi bos)
JAN SVĚRÁK, CZECH REPUBLIC, 2017, 104 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Jan Svěrák (Kolya, Dark Blue World) returns with a prequel to his Oscar-nominated The Elementary School; it portrays life during WWII as seen through the eyes of eight-year-old Eda (ball-of-energy Alois Grec), a city boy exiled to the countryside. For Eda, this new life is one big adventure… “An able touch of sardonic East European humour keeps things smart and light… [The film] describes the experience of war from a bold, unfamiliar perspective: through the eyes of innocents.”—Hollywood Reporter

Holiday
ISABELLA EKLÖF, DENMARK/SWEDEN/NETHERLANDS/TURKEY, 2018, 93 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Isabella Eklöf’s directorial debut—an unsparing and bold study of the gilded prison inhabited by the girlfriend of a drug dealer—packs a wallop. In a lavish Turkish villa, Sascha (Victoria Carmen Sonne) is allowed a life of leisure, but only if she adheres to rules laid down by gangster boyfriend Michael (Lai Yde). When she starts flirting with another man (Thijs Römer), the consequences are shattering… Warning: graphic scene of sexual violence. “Astonishing… Holiday is a fearless work…”—IndieWire

Yomeddine
A.B. SHAWKY, EGYPT, 2018, 97 MIN.
North American Premiere
Forty-year-old former leper Beshay (Rady Gamal, himself a member of an Egyptian leper colony) seeks to reunite with his long lost family in A.B. Shawky’s picaresque road movie. Unbeknownst to Beshay, his cart contains a stowaway: a 10-year-old ragamuffin (Ahmed Abdelhafiz) with the nickname of Obama… “A simple story told with abundant gentleness, Yomeddine looks at a group of outcasts with such compassion and generosity that it has the good manners not to artificially inflate their tale with phony uplift.”—Screen

Styx
WOLFGANG FISCHER, GERMANY/AUSTRIA, 2018, 94 MIN.
Both a parable about the West’s reaction to the refugee crisis and an exhilarating exercise in pure cinema, Wolfgang Fischer’s drama features Susanne Wolff (amazing) as a doctor who sets out on a solo ocean voyage. She soon encounters a sinking trawler full of refugees and radios the coast guard, who tell her to back off. What can she do? “This is All Is Lost with a spinning moral compass and a topical dimension that proves even more gripping than its brilliantly achieved visceral action.”—Variety

Pity
(Oiktos)
BABIS MAKRIDIS, GREECE/POLAND, 2018, 99 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
A mordant black comedy that is played deadpan straight, Babis Makridis’ latest gives us a weak-willed lawyer (Yannis Drakopoulos) grieving over his comatose wife. When he realizes that he’s happier as a sad sack, he decides to stay that way… Co-written by Yorgos Lanthimos’ regular collaborator Efthimis Filippou, this proves the Greek “Weird Wave” is still thriving. “A disturbing and oftentimes very funny satire-drama… about that complex, primal human craving called empathy…”—RogertEbert.com

Sir
ROHENA GERA, INDIA/FRANCE, 2018, 99 MIN.
This smart romantic drama from Rohena Gera has young widow Ratna (Tillotama Shome), who dreams of a career in fashion, moving from her village to Mumbai, where she gains employment as a servant to the scion of a rich family. A romance soon develops, but problems of class and caste—and patriarchal traditions that refuse to die—are a continuing threat to the young couple. “A delicately observed and attractive drama with some great Mumbai cityscapes and an excellent performance from Shome.”—Guardian

3 Faces
JAFAR PANAHI, IRAN, 2018, 100 MIN.
Despite the ban imposed on him by the Iranian authorities, Jafar Panahi continues to find ways to make masterful films. His latest is a deceptively simple tale wherein he and actress Behnaz Jafari—both playing themselves—travel to a remote village to investigate the veracity of a video Panahi received, in which a teenage girl with show-business dreams seems to kill herself… “This is Jafar Panahi… turning a deeply respectful, artful and compassionate eye outward, to the struggles of others…”—Variety


Working Woman
MICHAL AVIAD, ISRAEL, 2018, 94 MIN.
The woman of the title is Orna (Liron Ben Shlush); she’s strong-willed and smart, but that isn’t enough to save her from Benny (Menashe Noy), her boss and mentor in the world of real estate. At first he’s nice and encouraging, then he’s too forward; eventually he reveals his intentions, which will be familiar to the many women who have endured workplace harassment and worse. Noy is perfectly cast as the imposing male, and Ben Shlush radiates strength, smarts and courage as the victim who fights back.

Capernaum
(Capharnaüm)
NADINE LABAKI, LEBANON, 2018, 120 MIN.
In the slums of Beirut, hardened 12-year-old Zain (Zain Al Rafeea, amazing) sues his parents for bringing him into the world. Beginning with that shocking scene, Nadine Labaki then flashes back to show the poverty and turmoil that have been a constant in Zain’s life. In the process, she crafts a deeply empathetic melodrama that is as moving as anything you’ll see this year. “Fired by furious compassion and teeming with sorrow, yet strewn with diamond-shards of beauty, wit and hope.”—Daily Telegraph

No One Will Ever Know
(Nadie Sabrá Nunca)
JESÚS TORRES TORRES, MEXICO, 2018, 98 MIN.
Comforting fictions are what make life tolerable for Lucia (a terrific Adriana Paz) and her son Braulio (Luciano Marti). Husband Rigoberto (Jorge A. Jiménez) is not exactly enlightened, and to make matters worse, he opposes his wife’s dream of moving to the city. The film maintains a beautiful but sad tone—until one night, when Rigoberto is absent, a stranger arrives and things take a magical turn. Jesús Torres Torres has made a film of wonder and tragedy—wistful, haunting and lovely to look at.

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem
MUAYAD ALAYAN, PALESTINE/NETHERLANDS/GERMANY/MEXICO, 2018, 127 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
The adulterous affair between Palestinian deliveryman Saleem (Adeeb Safadi) and Israeli café manager Sarah (Sivane Kretchner) catches the attention of the authorities on both sides and threatens to destroy the couple’s lives. Set in Jerusalem, Muayad Alayan’s tale serves as a state-of-the-union report for a divided city. “Engrossing… This frequently taut psychosocial drama with political-thriller elements deftly conveys the tensions, both physical and mental, between West and East Jerusalem.”—Variety

Mug
(Twarz)
MAŁGORZATA SZUMOWSKA, POLAND, 2018, 91 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Jacek (Mateusz Kościukiewicz), a longhaired metalhead in a small Polish town, has an accident while working on the construction of a 33-metre-high concrete Jesus and has to have Poland’s first face transplant. Thus does Małgorzata Szumowska (Elles) set the stage for a pithy and occasionally scathing skewering of Polish hypocrisy and prejudice. “Scabrous and strangely affecting… a drama that puts you inside its extended community with a mix of robust realism and a streak of fantasy comedy.”—Guardian

Djon Àfrica
FILIPA REIS, JOÃO MILLER GUERRA, PORTUGAL/CAPE VERDE/BRAZIL, 2018, 95 MIN.
After coming into a little money, likeable Lisbon slacker Miguel (Miguel Moreira)—he prefers the nickname Djon África—goes back to his roots on the islands of Cape Verde, off Africa’s northwest coast, in search of his father. Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra’s loose and lovely film makes great use of island locations and a cast of non-professional actors as it follows our hero’s picaresque path. “Charming… Unobtrusively conjure[s]… a pleasant mood of seductive sensuality.”—Hollywood Reporter


Leto
KIRILL SEREBRENNIKOV, RUSSIA, 2018, 126 MIN.
Leningrad rocks! This biopic, set in the early 80s, surveys the Russian rock scene of the time, largely through the experiences of Viktor Tsoi (Teo Yoo). Great cinematography and an eclectic soundtrack push the movie to tour de force level as it depicts a subculture that, for its members, serves as a form of rebellion. And speaking of rebellion: director Kirill Serebrennikov, a truly subversive artist, is now under house arrest on dubious charges. May he be freed to make more superb movies…

Petra
JAIME ROSALES, SPAIN/FRANCE/DENMARK, 2018, 107 MIN.
North American Premiere
Artist Petra (Bárbara Lennie) draws close to a dysfunctional family when she takes on the much older Jaume (Joan Botey) as a mentor. This old man lives on an estate with various discontented members of his clan; these include his son Lucas (Alex Brendemühl), with whom Petra flirts… To say much more would spoil the cunning mystery and powerful drama; let’s just say that Petra has a secret reason for her presence at the estate… "[A] sophisticated tragedy with classical undertones…"—Cineuropa

Amateurs
(Amatörer)
GABRIELA PICHLER, SWEDEN, 2018, 102 MIN.
Desperate to lure a corporate chain store to their (fictional) Swedish town of Lafors, the local council recruits a group of youngsters to shoot a video about the place at its best. When they’re fired from the project, the nascent filmmakers decide to make their own movie—one considerably more honest… Warm, witty and smart, this is a truly invigorating movie. "[M]agical… wonderfully touching… just as essential for an international audience as for a Swedish one…. "—RogerEbert.com

Shock Waves: Diary of My Mind
(Ondes de choc—Journal de ma tête)
URSULA MEIER, SWITZERLAND, 2018, 70 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
Part of VIFF’s four-part, two-program showing of a Swiss TV series, this drama is about a calculated slaying that sends the killer’s French teacher into an agony of confusion. As played by the great Fanny Ardant, Madame Fontanel is breezy and confident—that is, until Benjamin (Kacey Mottet Klein) shoots his parents dead. One of her more eager students, he had written morbid things that Fontanel saw—and did not disapprove of… "[A] moral puzzler… subtly shocking but unsensationalized."—Variety

The Wild Pear Tree
NURI BILGE CEYLAN, TURKEY/FRANCE/GERMANY/BULGARIA, 2018, 188 MIN.
Master Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Cannes winner Winter Sleep) returns with his most humane work to date, a profound and often funny meditation on the artistic life. Sinan (Doğu Demirkol), a wannabe writer, oscillates between the tourist city of Çanakkale and his nearby home village, where he must come to terms with his gambling-addict father (a mesmerizing Murat Cemcir)… “Sensual and lyrical, tremendously well acted, heavy in visual and verbal metaphor, and… ablaze with pastoral beauty.”—Daily Telegraph

Last Summer
JONATHAN JONES, UK, 2018, 97 MIN.
World Premiere
Here is a movie about childhood that captures both its magic and the awful intrusions of the adult world upon it. Set in rural Wales in the 70s, Jonathan Jones’ drama evokes the pleasure of summer for children—so wonderfully, in fact, it’s all the more devastating when mortal violence fractures it. Noa Thomas is superb as Davy, a kid that values friendship enough to take on the adult world, and there are other great performances from boys Gruffydd Weston, Rowan Jones and Christopher Benning.

Volcano
ROMAN BONDARCHUK, UKRAINE, 103 MIN.
North American Premiere
City-boy interpreter Lukas (Serhiy Stepansky) gets separated from the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) bureaucrats he works with and finds himself very much in trouble in the badlands of Ukraine’s war-torn east. Roman Bondarchuk’s visually resplendent dark comedy brings to mind the visions of Lynch and Kafka as it follows its hapless hero. “A poetically surreal love letter to an untamed corner of the Wild East… rich in sumptuous visuals and lyrical strangeness.”—Hollywood Reporter

Jonathan
BILL OLIVER, USA, 2018, 100 MIN.
Canadian Premiere
When we first meet Jonathan, his life seems pretty mundane. In fact, he’s keeping—or rather sharing—a deep secret. This film about identity, brotherhood and betrayal features Ansel Elgort doing a fantastic job, and the film’s central premise, once revealed, makes for fascinating psychology and moving drama. First-time feature director Bill Oliver is a name to mark down; he’s made a character study you won’t soon forget. "… [I]ntelligent, absorbing… [a] quietly involving drama…"—Variety

Information  | viff.org

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


Important Dates
THU AUG 23
ONLINE: Advance VIFF Pass + Ticket Packs on sale at viff.org

THU SEP 6 - Full Program available online.
ONLINE: VIFF Single Tickets on sale at viff.org

THU SEP 13
IN-PERSON: Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie. (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm - 7pm)

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


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