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Indigenous Stories
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An array of Indigenous stories will be showcased at VIFF's 37th edition. From within our own borders come a piece of landmark cinema (Edge of the Knife), documentary portraits of resilience and healing (A Quiet Killing and Picking Up the Pieces) and a narrative feature that inspires with both its depiction of pride restored and cross-cultural production (The Grizzlies). Meanwhile, international offerings take us into Brazil's remote Krahô communities (The Dead and the Others), share the Waayu traditions of Colombia (Birds of Passage) and invite us to admire the wintry beauty experienced daily by Inuits living in Siberia (Aga).

Films

Birds of Passage
(Pájaros de verano)
CRISTINA GALLEGO, CIRO GUERRA, COLOMBIA/DENMARK/MEXICO, 2018, 125 MIN. Panorama
SUN OCT 7, 6:30 PM, PLAYHOUSE
THU OCT 11, 4:00 PM, SFU-GCA
Beginning in 1968 and spanning 12 years, Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s terrific drama focuses on one desert-dwelling indigenous Waayu family and its rise and fall in the early days of the Colombian drug trade. Structured around five chapters and replete with Waayu traditions and costumes, this is a crime story like you’ve never seen before. “A textured and utterly unique re-imagining of the family crime saga [that] offers… a fascinating glimpse into a little-understood community.”—Sight & Sound

Crisis of Our Age
VARIOUS, VARIOUS, 2018, 113 MIN. ALT
THU OCT 4, 6:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
SAT OCT 6, 12:15 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
These days our world seems to be overwhelmed by crises, natural disasters and despots. While passing on the latter two, this program of short films takes on significant issues like gun violence, refugees, political corruption, chauvinistic attitudes, misogynistic behaviour, and the long-term effects of American nuclear testing. Wonderfully cinematic, probing, insightful and even humorous for relief, this is a collection not afraid to confront, challenge and entertain in very different ways.

Dawnland
ADAM MAZO, BEN PENDER-CUDLIP, USA, 2018, 86 MIN. Impact
Canadian Premiere
THU OCT 4, 9:15 PM, SFU-GCA
SAT OCT 6, 10:45 AM, INTL VILLAGE 9
Residential schools, forced adoption by white families and other actions intended to “kill the Indian to save the child”: America has its own legacy of disgrace when it comes to Indigenous youth. This film documents an attempt to address it by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a troubled collaboration between the five Wabanaki nations and the state of Maine. Granted intimate access to the project, directors Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip have produced an essential work—an act of bearing witness.

The Dead and the Others
(Chuva é cantoria na aldeia dos mortos)
JOÃO SALAVIZA, RENÉE NADER MESSORA, BRAZIL/PORTUGAL, 2018, 114 MIN. Panorama
Canadian Premiere
MON OCT 8, 9:00 PM, RIO
TUE OCT 9, 4:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 10
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

Special Jury Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 18

Edge of the Knife
(Sgaawaay K'uuna)
GWAAI EDENSHAW, HELEN HAIG-BROWN, CANADA, 2018, 100 MIN. Sea to Sky
WED OCT 3, 6:15 PM, PLAYHOUSE
THU OCT 4, 9:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
FRI OCT 5, 10:30 AM, SFU-GCA
Shot on stunning Haida Gwaii and scripted in two Haida dialects, Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s 19th-century epic is both a landmark work of cinema and a nod to the grand storytelling traditions that lure us to the big screen. Guilt-ridden after a tragic accident, Adiits’ii (Tyler York) retreats into the wilderness where he’s plagued by spirits and transformed into Gaagiixid, the Haida Wildman. As his loved ones set out to capture and cure him, a riveting tale of survival and forgiveness unfolds.




The Grizzlies
MIRANDA DE PENCIER, CANADA/USA, 2018, 104 MIN. True North
SPECIAL PRESENTATION
MON OCT 1, 6:30 PM, PLAYHOUSE
MON OCT 8, 1:00 PM, PLAYHOUSE
With sub-zero temperatures and staggering suicide rates, Kugluktuk, Nunavut, isn’t conducive to dreaming big. After introducing his students to lacrosse in a bid to boost morale, a teacher (Ben Schnetzer) learns that a restoration of pride can only come from within the community. With a cast composed of both established Indigenous performers and remarkable new discoveries (including Nunavut’s own Paul Nutarariaq and Emerald MacDonald), Miranda de Pencier’s film is a stirring tale of collective rebirth.

Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket
CODY GRAHAM, CAREY NEWMAN, CANADA, 2018, 85 MIN. Sea to Sky
World Premiere
MON OCT 1, 7:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 10
WED OCT 3, 3:30 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
Inspired by symbolic Indigenous blankets and created from artifacts scavenged from demolished residential schools, Carey Newman’s Witness Blanket is an astonishing installation that pays tribute to the 150,000 souls who endured one of Canada’s most oppressive eras and the institutions it spawned. Directed by Newman and Cody Graham, this documentary charts the piece’s construction, pays tribute to strength and resistance, and reminds us just how vital survivors’ testimonies are to the healing process.

Quiet Killing
KIM O'BOMSAWIN, CANADA, 2018, 76 MIN. True North
SAT OCT 6, 1:15 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
MON OCT 8, 6:15 PM, SFU-GCA
Kim O’Bomsawin’s searing documentary explores the systemic failures that contribute to Indigenous women being eight times more likely to be murdered than other Canadian citizens. More importantly, it puts faces and stories to the women behind these numbers, profiling Indigenous women (including several Vancouver advocates) who seek to put an end to the cycle of violence. Ultimately, Quiet Killing is a story of resilience that carries a vital message about Indigenous women’s right to safety and justice.

Through Black Spruce
DON MCKELLAR, CANADA, 2018, 111 MIN. True North
THU OCT 4, 7:15 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
WED OCT 10, 4:30 PM, INTL VILLAGE 10
Determined to learn the fate of her missing sister, Annie (Tanaya Beatty) leaves remote Moosonee to investigate the Toronto circles she ran in. Instead, she falls prey to the same seductions that proved her sibling’s undoing. In a world this predatory, pointed questions provoke devastating consequences that reverberate back to her Cree community, where her uncle (Brandon Oakes) finds himself under siege. Don McKellar’s taut mystery hinges on ugly truths about society’s treatment of Indigenous women.


Ága
MILKO LAZAROV, BULGARIA/GERMANY/FRANCE, 2018, 96 MIN. Panorama
North American Premiere
TUE OCT 9, 6:30 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
THU OCT 11, 4:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
Nanook (Mikhail Aprosimov) and his wife Sedna (Feodosia Ivanova) are Inuits living in Siberia. The titular character (Galina Tikhonova) 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. Milko Lazarov directs with an eye for wintry beauty, and the film’s theme of nostalgia is conveyed with wonderful grace. Fans of Atanarjuat take note: this will be right up your alley.


Short Films

In the Valley of Wild Horses
TREVOR MACK, ASIA YOUNGMAN, CANADA, 2018, 23 MIN. Sea to Sky
World Premiere
MON OCT 1, 7:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 10
WED OCT 3, 3:30 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
Every summer, the community of Xeni Gwet’in travels 200 km by horse and wagon from their home in Nemiah Valley to the famous Williams Lake stampede to honour a 94-year tradition of inclusion, trade and relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Screens with feature Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket

Anointed
DAN LIN, USA/MARSHALL ISLANDS, 2018, 7 MIN. ALT
International Premiere
THU OCT 4, 6:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
SAT OCT 6, 12:15 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
Acclaimed poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner explores the nuclear-testing legacy of her country and one particular island that houses a dark secret.

Screens in program: Crisis of Our Age

ante mis ojos
LINA RODRIGUEZ, COLOMBIA/CANADA, 2018, 7 MIN. True North
FRI SEP 28, 8:30 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
SUN SEP 30, 1:00 PM, VANCITY
Set on Colombia’s Lake Guatavita, the sacred site that inspired the legend of El Dorado, this is a richly textured meditation on landscape and its abstract contours.

Screens with feature: Fausto

Biidaaban
AMANDA STRONG, CANADA, 2018, 18 MIN. ALT
SUN SEP 30, 8:45 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
SUN OCT 7, 2:45 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
Biidaaban, a gender-fluid Indigenous youth, and Sabe, a Sasquatch shape shifter, set out to harvest sap from sugar maples in a city’s private neighbourhoods.

Screens in program: Escape Routes

Dawn
JÖRN THRELFALL, USA/UK, 2018, 15 MIN. ALT
Canadian Premiere
THU OCT 4, 6:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
SAT OCT 6, 12:15 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
New Mexico, July 1945. In this land the paths of an old farmer and a young Navajo boy cross, just prior to a world-changing event.

Screens in program: Crisis of Our Age

Holy Angels
JAY CARDINAL VILLENEUVE, CANADA, 2017, 14 MIN. True North
SAT OCT 6, 1:15 PM, INTL VILLAGE 9
MON OCT 8, 6:15 PM, SFU-GCA
A document of Canada’s colonialist history that also speaks of the resilience of a people who have found ways of healing—and of coming home again.

Screens with feature: Quiet Killing

Mino Bimaadiziwin
SHANE MCSAUBY, USA, 2017, 10 MIN. ALT
Canadian Premiere
FRI OCT 5, 6:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
MON OCT 8, 12:00 PM, INTL VILLAGE 8
At a cultural preservation dance, a trans Anishinaabe man meets a vivacious young woman who pushes him to reconnect with Indigenous culture.

Screens in program: Love and Compassion

Films Plus

Cielo
October 5 - 7 | THE ANNEX (823 SEYMOUR ST)
In Kid Koala’s latest live experience, the master Canadian DJ empowers his audience. This is participatory music on a high level, with an interactive turntable orchestra in which the listeners become the composers. The audience sits at stations equipped with a turntable, an effects box and a small crate of colour-coded vinyl records. Through subtly coloured lighting changes, they’re cued to play along. The crowd is an integral part of the show, accompanying Kid Koala; together they create an "ambient vinyl orchestra" and meld their personal choices into a body of sound. With 50 harmonized stations, the DJ and his co-musicians create wonders. This is a unique, uplifting show—a symphony of light and music.

Co-presented with:
Aduio-Technica

Media Sponsor:
Do604

RZA: Live from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin
120 MIN.
TUE OCT 9, 8:15 PM, ORPHEUM THEATRE
RZA brings the ruckus! The award-winning musician, film director and leader of rap group Wu-Tang Clan comes to live-score the Kung-fu flick that’s been one of his biggest influences: Lau Kar-leung’s The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Using a Wu-Tang catalog over two decades deep , he drops beats from opening scene to closing credits, amplifying the action of Lau’s martial arts classic. Hip-hop heads, Kung-fu film fans and anybody who wants to see some electrifying innovation, this is for you.

Co-presented with:
Blueprint

Media Sponsors:
Virgin Radio Georgia Straight


Program Updates
For all program updates see our announcements page.
    ADDED SCREENINGS:
  • Hat-Trick
    SUN SEP 30, 9:15PM, SFU WOODWARDS
  • Edge of the Knife
    THU OCT 4, 9:30PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
  • Vox Lux
    SUN OCT 7, 5:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
  • Finding Big Country
    WED OCT 10, 9:15 PM, PLAYHOUSE
  • Destroyer
    FRI OCT 12, 9:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS

  • CANCELLED SCREENINGS:
  • Because We Are Girls
    SUN SEP 30, 9:30PM SFU
    WED OCT 3, 11:15AM, IN10
  • The Sisters Brothers
    SUN OCT 7, 5:30 PM, CENTRE FOR ARTS
  • Ruben Brandt, Collector
    TUE OCT 9, 11:00 PM, VANCITY THEATRE
Information - viff.org

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

  • Panorama –– Contemporary world cinema
  • Sea to Sky –– Celebrating BC Filmmakers - Presented by TELUS
  • True North –– Canadian stories from coast to coast - Presented by Telefilm Canada
  • Impact – Films that change the ways we see the world
  • Next – Next-level experiences in screen-based storytelling - Presented by Creative BC
  • Gateway –- Compelling world of East Asian cinema
  • M/A/D -– Focus on music, art + design.
  • ALT -– Fantastic cinema that defies classification

    For all programming announcements visit viff.org
Important Dates
Tickets, Passes + Ticket Packs On Sale Now
Tickets available at viff.org 24 hours a day.
In Person Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm - 7pm).

The Complete Festival Guide
Program Guides will be available online and for pick up at The Vancouver International Film Centre. For select outlets around town visit here for locations. See here for program announcements.

VIFF+ Discover more. viff.org/plus


VIFF

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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