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Vancouver International Film Festival: 5 to watch

09/25/2014 07:20 EDT | Updated 11/25/2014 05:59 EST
The 33rd Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off Thursday with Wild by Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallée, starring Reese Witherspoon. 

The 16-day celebration of movies runs from Sept. 25 to Oct.10 and features work from around the world, with a spotlight on Canada.

Of the 341 films being screened, 92 are homegrown.

The Early Edition's Elaine Chau has pored through the lineup, and chosen five films you won't want to miss. 

- The Vancouver Asahi: This Japanese film by Yuya Ishii offers up a slice of Vancouver history. It tells the story of the celebrated Asahi baseball team, formed by Japanese Canadians who would practice at Oppenheimer Park. They found success until the Second World War, when they were forced to disband because of the internment of Japanese Canadians. The international premiere is on Sept. 29, and it will be screened again on Oct. 4 and 10.

- Advanced Style: This documentary is part of the festival's "Style in Film" series. It features the fashion stylings of seven eccentric New York women, who describe themselves as "between 50 and death." Director Lina Plioplyte will be in town for the screenings on Oct. 3rd and 5.

- Coming Home: This film is directed by Zhang Yimou of Raise the Red Lantern fame and stars the captivating Gong Li. Li plays a woman who struggles with her husband's return home in the years after the Cultural Revolution. Many films have delved into Chinese history, but few have dared tackle this delicate topic. It screens on Sep. 25 and Oct. 8.

- Una Vida: A Fable of Music and Mind: This feature by Richie Adams marries the city of New Orleans and its celebrated jazz music. A neuroscientist serendipitously discovers the music of jazz singer Una Vida, and learns about the power of music in soliciting memory. It screens Sept. 30, Oct. 3 and 6.

- Everything Will Be: Director Julia Kwan had great success with Eve and the Fire Horse in 2005. This year, she brings a new documentary about Vancouver's Chinatown. This film tracks the changes in this once flourishing part of the city, and looks at the impact of non-Chinese businesses there now. You can catch it on Sept. 29, and again on Oct. 1 and 3.

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