Back by popular demand—Vancouver International Film Fest highlights this week

Susanne Wolff plays a doctor who sets out on a solo ocean voyage and encounters a boatful of refugees in Styx.

Did you miss this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival, or not see nearly as much as you would have liked?

Well, the fest is officially over for another year. But organizers have brought back some of the most popular films, with screenings on now until this Thursday, Oct. 18. Here is a list, along with some highlights. All films are screening at the Vancouver International Film Centre (1181 Seymour St.). Click on title to watch trailers.

Monday, Oct 15

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (4:30 p.m., Switzerland/USA/UK)—A profile of the New York jazz record label.John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Thelonius Monk are among the greats who recorded for the label, which was founded by two German refugees in 1939. The doc includes interviews with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones and others.

Sir (6:15 p.m., India/France)

Diamantino (8:15 p.m.)—The starting point for Diamantino is the title character, a Cristiano Ronaldo-like football star who is hoodwinked into participating in an anti-EU terrorist plot. According to the VIFF write-up, it’s “a pastiche that scores satirical bull’s-eyes on everything from the vapidity of fame to Brexit to gender fluidity.”

Tuesday, Oct. 16

Dolphin Man: The Story of Jacques Mayol (4:30 p.m., Greece/Canada/France)

Woman at War (6:15 p.m., Iceland)—A 50-ish choirmaster-turned-ecowarrior goes up against The Man in this Icelandic tale. “Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humour as well as a satisfying sense of justice? Look no further…”—Variety

Finding Big Country (8:30 p.m., Canada/USA)—Do you remember The Vancouver Grizzlies? Neither do most Vancouverites. The city’s only-ever pro basketball team had an inglorious six-year history. Finding Big Country is a locally-made doc by Kathleen S. Jayme about trying to find out what happened to the team’s star, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves. According to, “Jayme sets out to track down her hard-luck hero who was forced into early retirement by injuries. Fuelled by nostalgia and punctuated by endearing revelations, this quest ultimately allows us to reevaluate one of the city’s most maligned sports figures.”

Local filmmaker Kathleen S. Jayme went on the hunt for maligned sports figure Bryant “Big Country” Reeves.

Wednesday, Oct. 17

Yellow is Forbidden (4:30 p.m., New Zealand)

The Lost City of the Monkey God (6:30 p.m., USA)

Styx (8:30 p.m. Germany/Austria)—Both a parable about the West’s reaction to the refugee crisis and an exhilarating exercise in pure cinema, Wolfgang Fischer’s drama features Susanne Wolff (amazing) as a doctor who sets out on a solo ocean voyage. She soon encounters a sinking trawler full of refugees and radios the coast guard, who tell her to back off. What can she do? “This is All Is Lost with a spinning moral compass and a topical dimension that proves even more gripping than its brilliantly achieved visceral action.”—Variety

Thursday, Oct. 18

When the Storm Fades (8:30 p.m., Canada/Philippines)

Tickets are available at or at the Vancity Theatre Box office (60 min. before showtime).

The fine print: No VIFF Passes, VIFF Ticket Packs, VIFF Exchange Vouchers, Vancity Guest Passes or Cinematheque volunteer passes will be accepted for the VIFF Repeat screenings. A VIFF or Vancity Theatre Membership is required.

Tagged: , ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.