Welcome to the 2017 Festival. We are delighted to celebrate our 19th anniversary this year and hope that you join us for the festivities. Explore and enjoy our wonderful program.
Search by date: April  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 

or by program:
Reel Focus, Youth Media ConferenceYouth Filmmakers ShowcaseTalent Lab, Feature Focus


Brothers of the Wind

In English. No subtitles.


This eagle’s story begins in the nest where natural wonders come to life; on the ground the dangers of survival are imminent. Living with his overbearing widowed father, Lukas secretly fosters an eagle chick with the help of his gentle neighbour (Jean Reno), who offers some much needed affection denied at home. A unique friendship is hatched as they train the eagle together. This film is a visually splendid and gripping feast of nature images. We recommend watching the teaser trailer!

Considering Love & Other Magic

In English. No subtitles.


While trying to make sense of her home life since her brother’s abrupt passing, Jessie agrees to tutor young Tommy, a reclusive boy living in an anachronistic mansion with his elusive uncle, and a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist named Veronica Guest. Tommy is convinced he’s a work of fiction; a boy invented from the pages of a short story. Fact and fiction collide, and Jessie begins to think she may have bitten off more than she can chew. As the mansion’s hidden pathways reveal its dusty secrets, Jessie is convinced she can help Tommy.


In German and Swiss-German with English subtitles.*
*A limited number of headsets are available for those who would prefer to have subtitles read aloud by an experienced reader. Please inquire to reserve headsets at the time of booking.


In this fresh take on the classic story about a precocious orphan girl, Heidi is sent to live with her mysterious grandfather (Bruno Ganz) in the Swiss Alps. With cinematically striking and bucolic landscapes, grand set design, and lush costumes, Heidi is an epic tale about friendship, family, and following your instincts.

Louise by the Shore

In French with English subtitles.


Alone in the small Breton seaside resort town where she habitually spends her summers, septuagenarian Louise (voiced by Dominique Frot) realizes that she’s stranded; the last train has departed without her. On her own for a season, she ruminates on her childhood and mortality. Louise’s vigor for life, gentleness, and endearing idiosyncrasies make for a captivating, minimal portrait of a woman who is literally and figuratively at one with herself.

Preceded by: Mamie | Janice Nadeau | Canada | 2016 | 6min

This personal and touching animation is about the break in ‘passing things on’ between generations.

Pat & Mat

No dialogue.


In the tradition of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, these universally loved handymen are a couple of well intentioned, inventor types that come up with illogical solutions to simple home problems, with often ridiculous and offbeat outcomes.  With no dialogue or subtitles everyone can enjoy the zany problem-solving confusion. It’s a knee-slapping good time that’s fun for the whole family!

Play Your Gender

In English. No subtitles.


Women account for less than 5% of producers and engineers, even though many of the most bankable stars in the industry are female. While celebrating women’s achievements, director Stephanie Clattenburg and musician Kinnie Starr take us on a quest to understand how it came to be that the gendered authorship gap exists. These candid and insightful discussions, with some of Canada’s best known artists, will have you drumming along in your seat and leave you inspired to follow your art.


In French and Russian with English subtitles.


At the height of her prospects with the Bolshoï Academy, Polina yearns to step beyond the rigid structures of ballet. After much examination, her deepest artistic voice pushes her toward contemporary dance. Starring Juliette Binoche (Chocolat), Niels Schneider (Heartbeats), the Paris Opera Ballet’s Jérémie Bélingard, and newcomer Anastasia Shevtsova.

Preceded by: Being and Nothingness | Alejandro Alvarez Cadilla | Canada | 8min

Examining the nature of human identity, Guillaume Côté choreographs The National Ballet of Canada’s principal dancer, Greta Hodgkinson.

The Sun At Midnight

In English and some Gwich'in with English subtitles.


*The Opening Party will be held in the VIFF Vacnity Theatre atrium, after the screening (April 2). Entrance included with a valid ticket for the film.*

Lia, a 16 year-old artsy city kid, is sent to live with her Gwich’in grandmother in the Northwest Territories. Desperate to return to the urban centre, she sets out into the vast wilderness. Alfred, a taciturn hunter, finds her and reluctantly persuades her to join his search for the missing caribou since she is clearly unprepared to survive the elements. Filled with hope and challenging truths, each frame is punctuated with intimate details of  day-to-day life in the subarctic and its magnificent landscapes. It will come as no surprise that lead, and award-winning actress Devery Jacobs (Rhymes for Young Ghouls) was shortlisted to play Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Local Vancouverite, Duane Howard (The Revenant), offers up a layered performance as Alfred. Howard and Jacobs generate a magnetic chemistry, inviting the audience on an emotional and visceral journey through the North.

Two Worlds

In Polish and Polish Sign Language with English subtitles.


Like many sixth-graders, Laura sometimes becomes annoyed with her loving parents. But unlike most, she is the hearing daughter of two deaf parents. On behalf of her family, Laura is learning how to navigate the adult world sooner than her peers. Using sparse sound and subtle cinematic gestures, director Maciej Adamek invites us into Laura’s world between worlds, where unconditional love is the family’s primary language.

Preceded by: Sing (Mindenki) | Kristof Deak | Hungary | 25 min

Newcomer Zofia discovers the secret to the choir’s success in this pointed commentary on the moral bankruptcy of winning at all costs. Sing is nominated for an Oscar for best live-action short!