Vancouver International Film Festival moves forward with great Canadian films

Five suggestions to help you plan your VIFF experience


the 41 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is back in theaters in full force this year with a total of 237 films from 75 countries in seven theaters in Vancouver.

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A curated online program will also be available for the province. Of that number of films, 135 are feature films with 35 of those films coming from Canada, 13 from BC


Below are just five Canadian offers you may want to note on your VIFF viewing plans during the festivals will take place from September 29 to October 9.

raven bones

When: September 29, 6 pm and October 4, 9 pm, at the Center for Performing Arts

This film has been chosen to open the festival and with good reason. Galiano Island Maria Clementes is a masterful storyteller whose skill is on full display in this complicated story of a woman who survives the many horrors of residential school to become a code announcer for the Canadian. Air Force during World War II, successful mother of two and activist. The film also stars actor BC grace dove

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When: October 1, 6 p.m., Vancouver Playhouse; Oct 4, 9:15 PM Rio Theater

vancouver writer David Charandythe fabulous novel Brother gets the director’s cinematic treatment Clement Virgo (The Wire, Book of Blacks). Rooted in Chariandy’s own childhood, Brother is the story of a black immigrant family struggling to exceed expectations and successfully navigate their way to a successful and secure future. But this is 1990s Scarborough, and life is tough for the two brothers (Lamar Johnson and Aaron Pierre) and their generous, earnest, self-sacrificing mother (Marsha Stephanie Blake). In the end, fate has another plan for this family.

Until the branches bend

When: October 2, 9 p.m., Vancouver Playhouse; October 7, 6 p.m., The Rio Theater

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SFU alumna Sophie Jarvis writes and directs this all-British film about a fruit-sorting whistleblower in the fictional Okanagan town of Montague (also known as Penticton because of the giant peach, of course). In this, Jarvis’s first feature film, Robin (Grace Glowicki) discovers a potentially invasive insect inside a peach. She reports her finding to the bosses, but management does nothing. Robin, respectful of a devastating moth infestation from the past, decides to take matters into her own hands and goes public. But in this story, the audience doesn’t want to hear about it and decides to blame Robin when the bug hits the town’s economy hard. This is a layered psychological drama with an intensity heightened by a dry, dusty summer heat, the kind that can make the best of us brittle.

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When: From October 4 to 9 at VIFF Connect

Fortunately, when it comes to looking back, times are changing. Forever, the model for museums, archives and, frankly, history has been the purview of the white settler. In this NFB documentary, Hayley Gray and Elad Tzadok examine the inspiring work of a handful of community archives in BC run by curators and archivists from traditionally marginalized or excluded communities. The work of indigenous, queer, trans, the Chinese Canadian Museum, the Tahltan Nation, the South Asian Legacy Project, and others are on display here, as are some interesting, secret, and untold stories. This world premiere screening is online and available throughout the province.

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women talking

When: October 5, 9:15 pm, Center for the Performing Arts

Yes, this is a Hollywood movie. It’s produced by Brad Pitt with an A-list cast that includes Oscar nominees Jessie Buckley and Rooney Mara, and Oscar winner Frances McDormand, but its Canadian credibility runs deep. An adaptation of the novel of the same name by award-winning native Manitoba novelist Miriam Toews, the film is written and directed by Canadian Sarah Polley. Toew’s best-selling novel of 2018 was a response to the abuse of more than 130 women who were repeatedly drugged and raped in a Mennonite colony in Bolivia between 2005 and 2009. The book and film center on a secret meeting that a small group of women celebrates in a haystack after realizing that they were not assaulted by demons but by real men known and close to them. The book is fabulous, hard, and sometimes funny. Expect that here with Polley’s efforts.

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