The Vancouver International Film Festival is like TIFF's little brother. It doesn't boast the Hollywood star power of the Toronto International Film Festival, its sibling to the east.

You're unlikely to see celebrities like Tom Hanks, Ryan Gosling and Selena Gomez gracing a red carpet en route to a premiere screening for a future Best Picture Oscar winner. But what VIFF is, is a humble, accessible festival that gives film-goers a chance to check out some of the most unique cinema from around the world.

Opening the festival is Deepa Mehta's "Midnight's Children," an adaptation of Salman Rushdie's novel about a Hindu child and a Muslim child who are born at the precise moment that India and Pakistan are partitioned.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Production still from Deepa Mehta's adaptation of <em>Midnight's Childen</em> Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>

  • Production still from Deepa Mehta's adaptation of <em>Midnight's Childen</em> Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>

  • Production still from Deepa Mehta's adaptation of <em>Midnight's Childen</em> Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>

  • Production still from Deepa Mehta's adaptation of <em>Midnight's Childen</em> Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>

  • Production still from Deepa Mehta's adaptation of <em>Midnight's Childen</em> Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>

  • Production still from Deepa Mehta's adaptation of <em>Midnight's Childen</em> Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>

  • Production still from Deepa Mehta's adaptation of <em>Midnight's Childen</em> Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>

  • Director Deepa Mehta with author Salman Rushdie. Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.midnightschildren.com/" target="_hplink">Mongrel Media</a>


Also screening at VIFF is "Moving Day," a comedy from "Trailer Park Boys" creator Mike Clattenburg. It tells the story of a group of schlubs working at a moving company who all suffer downfalls compounded by rough pasts.

David Cronenberg's son Brandon will also be screening his sci-fi film "Antiviral" at VIFF 2012. Befitting his father's style, it's about a dystopian future where people can inject viruses harvested from sick celebrities.

Here's a slideshow listing some of the movies that will screen at VIFF 2012. Tell us what you're going to see this year.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Midnight's Children

    This epic, allegorical tale of two Indian children, one Muslim, one Hindu, both born at midnight on August 15, 1947--the day India became independent--and both switched at birth has finally reached the big screen, courtesy of the artistry of Deepa Mehta. Featuring a script written by author Salman Rushdie, it was filmed secretly in Sri Lanka last year, in the hopes of avoiding protestors’ attentions.

  • Holy Motors

    This full-throttle cinematic fever dream stars director Leos Carax’s longtime muse Denis Lavant as 11 different characters--or maybe one character with 11 different identities--who crisscross Paris in a white stretch limousine over the course of one long, Borgesian, Lynchian day. There’s no mistaking the true location of the movie, however, for anywhere but Carax’s own feverish, movie-mad imagination.

  • I, Anna

    Charlotte Rampling is at her commanding peak in this psychological thriller directed by her son, Barnaby Southcombe. Rampling stars as Anna, a forlorn divorcée who rolls the dice on a stranger at a speed-dating session and ends up entangled in a murder investigation. Further complicating matters is the immediate chemistry she shares with the dishevelled, heartbroken homicide detective (Gabriel Byrne) assigned to the case.

  • Antiviral

    Brandon Cronenberg’s (yes, son of that Cronenberg) first feature film is set in a dystopian near future in which obsession with celebrity has reached such neurotic levels that fans eat specialty steaks and burgers created with cultured cell-lines from celebs’ bodies--and that’s just the tip of the iceberg...

  • Blood Relative

    Nimisha Mukerji’s ("65_RedRoses") documentary is an unflinching, compassionate look at the threat of death and the possibilities of life. Following various young sufferers of thalassemia and a heroic advocate who has dedicated his life to its treatment, the film shows us the big picture through intimate particulars.

  • Moving Day

    By turns hilarious and heartwarming, "Trailer Park Boys" creator Mike Clattenburg’s film tells the story of four working-class stiffs. Employees of a furniture and moving company perform hard work for little money.

  • Laurence Anyways

    Director Xavier Dolan ("I Killed My Mother"), delivers a striking love story set in 1990’s Montreal. A man, Laurence (Melvil Poupaud), has just told his girlfriend, Fred (Suzanne Clément), that he wants to become a woman. What follows is a tumultuous, decade-long odyssey during which the couple fights passionately to salvage their relationship.

  • Bobcaygeon

    In one of the most anticipated events in the history of Canadian popular music, The Tragically Hip, Canada’s most beloved rock band, headlines a festival concert in the tiny town of Bobcaygeon, Ontario. This is the story of a monumental concert as captured by director Andy Keen.

  • Occupy Love

    Focusing on the Occupy movement, director Velcrow Ripper documents political love as a phenomenon of communal, as opposed to largely individual, action.

  • We Were Children

    film chronicles the experiences of a four-year-old girl named Lyna, who was taken to a residential school 500 kilometres from her home, and a young boy named Glen who also suffered the same fate, as his parents were forced to hand him over. Timothy Wolochatiuk’s drama explores not just the individual experiences of children forced into Aboriginal residential schools but also the impact that the schools have had on the lives of survivors and Aboriginals as a whole.



Also on HuffPost: