5 Must-See Movies at the 2013 Vancouver International Film Fest

Photo sourced from Vancouver International Film Festival website

Photo sourced from Vancouver International Film Festival website

It’s Cannes, TIFF and Sundance all rolled into one (well, for Vancouver, at least).

The 32nd instalment of the Vancouver International Film Festival runs Sept. 26-Oct. 11. The event features more than 340 films from 70 countries, screened at nine theatres across the city.  An estimated 150,000 viewers turn out for the best in world and Canadian cinema.

Top Canadian flicks will be profiled by our blogger Miranda. (Stay tuned!)  In the meantime, here are five international films not to be missed at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival.

The LunchboxFrom India comes this feel-good movie about an unlikely romance between a neglected housewife and widowed office worker.  Every morning, Ila prepares her cold fish of a husband extra-special lunches, delivered to his office by Mumbai’s lunch couriers.  When the orders get mixed up, however, her lovingly prepared meals end up going to solitary Saajan, and a tiffin-based romance is born.  Showtimes.

Ilo IloWhen a poor Filipino maid arrives at the home of a middle-class Singapore family, all of their lives are changed forever.  The bittersweet drama explores the relationship between maid Teresa and the family’s rascal of a son, Jiale, which is put to the test when the parents face economic and personal crises.  This debut film from Singapore’s Anthony Chen took home a Camera d’Or at Cannes this year.  Showtimes.

Grand CentralA nuclear power plant is the unlikely setting for a love triangle in this French drama.  Roughneck Gary comes to the plant in search of danger pay and ends up coming between seductive Karole and her fiance Toni.  Shot in a real, billion-dollar nuclear plant, the film has been described by critics as “practically radioactive.” Showtimes.

Blue is the Warmest ColourWinner of the prestigious Palm d’Or at Cannes, this controversial French film is at once a graphic depiction of lesbian sexuality and a timeless coming of age story.  A working-class high school student falls in love at first sight with an upper-class art school grad student.  Based on a French graphic novel, the film follows the intimate progress of their relationship.  Showtimes.

NebraskaFrom the director of wry comedies About Schmidt and Sideways comes this bittersweet black-and-white portrait of a cantankerous old man who gets a sweepstakes letter in the mail.  Thinking he’s struck it rich, he cajoles his son into taking a road trip across America’s heartland to claim the prize.  What ensues is in equal turns bleak and hilarious.  Showtimes.  

For the complete lineup, check out the Vancouver International Film Fest website.

Heard of other can’t-miss movies at the Vancouver International Film Fest? Let us know below. 

For more updates on happenings in Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza

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