With over 300 feature films from around the world to choose from at VIFF, planning what to see can be a daunting task. We thought we'd help you narrow the choice down a little by presenting notable entries in the various strands of the festival.
First up: Canadian Images.
By shining a light on ourselves, we can begin to make sense of who we are and how we fit into the world around us. From dramas to documentaries, cityscapes to rural tales, here are 10 Canadian films at VIFF we recommend you check out:
The Oxbow Cure
Directed by Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas, "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnbHqn1QVjY" target="_blank">The Oxbow Cure</a>" is billed as a minimalist and entrancing character study. Suffering from a spine-threatening illness, Lena (Claudia Dey) retreats to a cabin in the wilderness.
Matt Johnson both directs and stars in "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33ar9XXwqfw" target="_blank">The Dirties</a>," a film about a gang of bullies—and how its victims plan to seek revenge.
Rhymes For Young Ghouls
Following teenage Alia (Kawennahere Devery Jacobs) as she plots against a tormenting Indian Agent, "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jepfb_XhYJY" target="_blank">Rhymes For Young Ghouls</a>" juxtaposes the real with the surreal. Directed by Jeff Barnaby.
A widower (Thomas Haden Church) drives his snowplow into a snowy Quebec forest and proceeds to live as an outlaw. "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXRo5YPx_DA&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">Whitewash</a>" is director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais's feature debut.
Tom At The Farm
This psychological thriller follows Tom (director Xavier Dolan) as he heads to the Quebec countryside for his lover's funeral. "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH-I2ta24x8&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">Tom At The Farm</a>" is said to be Dolan's most rugged film to date.
Sarah Prefers to Run
Starring Sophie Desmarais as a young McGill student who messes up many aspects of her life and finds solace in running. Director Chloé Robichaud is participating in VIFF’s Film and Television Forum panel "Canuck First-Time Feature Film Directors" on Saturday, October 5.
Vic + Flo Saw A Bear
Two ex-cons attempt to live normal lives in the Quebec countryside in "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmX11-CUeR8" target="_blank">Vic + Flo Saw A Bear</a>." DIrected by Denis Côté and starring Pierrette Robitaille, Romane Bohringer, and Marc-André Grondinb.
My Prairie Home
Canadian transgender country/pop artist Rae Spoon confronts memories of growing up in rural Alberta and enduring an abusive childhood home in "<a href="http://www.nfb.ca/film/my_prairie_home/trailer/my_prairie_home_trailer" target="_blank">My Prairie Home</a>." Directed by Chelsea McMullan.
Writer/director Louise Archambault presents "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1_FkjD9I58" target="_blank">Gabrielle</a>," an unusual love story between a young woman affected by Williams' syndrome and a boy she meets in choir.
When I Walk
Filmmaker Jason DaSilva was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in late 2006. In "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qERiTxI7o48" target="_blank">When I Walk</a>," he documents the ups and downs of his declining body—and the occasional miracle.
<em>Next: Late Night Movies At VIFF 2013</em>
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCM4Uu7DC2w" target="_blank">"Antisocial" trailer.</a>
Big Bad Wolves
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsfzhiW5l8c" target="_blank">"Big Bad Wolves" trailer.</a>
<a href="http://vimeo.com/66642073#" target="_blank">"Borgman" trailer.</a>
A Field in England
<a href="http://vimeo.com/67117254#at=0" target="_blank">"A Field in England" trailer.</a>
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ta97g6Szk" target="_blank">"Halley" trailer.</a>
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPlc9UY2iuQ" target="_blank">"Willow Creek" trailer.</a>
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvQpg7k7g_M" target="_blank">"XL" trailer.</a>
<em>Next: VIFF 2013 Must See B.C.</em>
3 Days In Havana
In Havana on business, Jack Petty (Gil Bellows, who directs with Tony Pantages) finds himself mixed up in a conspiracy that includes assassination, kidnapping and more.
Curating a retrospective of her late father's films, Grace embarks on a journey, but one without a clear destination. Directed by Terry Miles ("A Night For Dying Tigers", "When Life Was Good"), "Cinemanovels" is dedicated to the memory of Vancouver critic Ian Caddell.
The Dick Knost Show
Tom Scholte plays a sports shock jock whose career looks set to implode over an inappropriate spat on Twitter in director Bruce Sweeney's latest.
From Neurons To Nirvana: The Great Medicines
Oilver Hockenhull's documentary looks at how the classification of pychedelic drugs as Class A has limited the possibilities of science, medicine and consciousness.
Hue: A Matter Of Colour
Veteran Canadian director Vic Sarin returns to VIFF with a documentary about identity, ethnicity and the bigotry and shame associated with skin colour.
Lawrence & Holloman
Adapted from the play by Morris Panych, Matthew Kowalchuk's screen version (and his feature-length directorial debut) presents itself as part satire, part absurdist fable on the modern day rat race.
Leap 4 Your Life
SFU grad Taylor Hill, wrote, produced and stars in this mockumentary about a teen dance group billed as "Step Up" with more bite. Not bad for a 23-year-old.
Oil Sands Karaoke
Charles Wilkinson made the thought-provoking documentary "Peace Out" that screened at the Vancity Theatre earlier this year. Here, he continues to focus on environmental issues by turning his gaze to the tensions at play in Fort McMurray.
Anyone with even a passing interest in B.C.'s wild salmon stocks has heard of Alexandra Morton. Anyone with even a passing interest in democracy, science and food security will want to see Twyla Roscovich's damning documentary about how all three are under threat in B.C.
That Burning Feeling
The directorial debut of award-winning producer Jason James stars Paul Costanzo as high flier Adam Murphy, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he gets.. that burning feeling.
Anne Wheeler's documentary follows much-loved Canadian actress Babz Chula as she journeys to Kerala in an attempt to stave off the cancer eating away at her. On returning home to face an unstoppable disease, Chula invites Wheeler to document her story to the end.
Benjamin Ratner's second feature was inspired by the loss of his friend and mentor Babz Chula. A film about companionship, inspiration and finding your own way in life, "Down River" is this year's Canadian Images gala screening at VIFF.
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