VIFF Announces 2020 Films for Contemporary World Cinema and True North

See the list of films below!

By: Sep. 09, 2020
VIFF Announces 2020 Films for Contemporary World Cinema and True North

Vancouver International Film Festival 2020 (VIFF) is delighted to announce the complete programming lineup for the Contemporary World Cinema and True North film series for its 39th edition. Contemporary World Cinema features narrative films from around the globe, showcasing works from both new and established filmmakers. True North, presented by Telefilm Canada, celebrates the craft and creativity of Canadian storytellers and includes the opening film and world premiere of Monkey Beach by Loretta Sarah Todd.

The festival opener - Loretta Sarah Todd's adaptation of Eden Robinson's beloved novel Monkey Beach - is part of VIFF's curated in-cinema program. Monkey Beach will be screened at select independent cinemas throughout British Columbia, in compliance with COVID-19 capacity restrictions and the latest provincial health and safety regulations. A lineup of roughly 100 films (including Monkey Beach) will be available on the new VIFF Connect streaming platform across the province. VIFF's $60 subscription will bring the festival's world-class lineup into the homes of thousands of British Columbians starting at 12pm PDT on September 24.

Contemporary World Cinema showcases 11 North American premieres and eight Canadian premieres. Highlights include: Tales of the Lockdown, a look at life in Spain during COVID-19 quarantines by Fernando Colomo, Álvaro Fernández-Armero, David Marqués, Miguel Bardem and Juan Diego Botto; the Canadian premiere of Berlinale Golden Bear winner There Is No Evil by Mohammad Rasoulof about a dissident filmmaker in Iran; the Canadian premiere of the award-winning found footage film My Mexican Bretzel by Nuria Giménez; and the North American premiere of the satirical My Wonderful Wanda by Bettina Oberli, a look at a single mom who works as a live-in carer.

"The year 2020 has irreversibly changed the world and the way we relate to one another as humans," says PoChu AuYeung, Program Manager and Senior Programmer. "The Contemporary World Cinema lineup reflects these societal and cultural shifts, capturing a moment in time that is both intimate and tectonic in scope. The effects of the ongoing global pandemic and oppressive regimes are tangible in the films presented this year, but so is the hope and optimism of these global creators. This popular series houses a mix of delightful comedies by female directors, lyrical odes to love, imaginative collages of found footage and snapshots of myriad authentic interactions that remind us of the power of cinema."

True North, presented by Telefilm Canada, includes six BC-made features and the world premieres of nine Canadian features. Highlights include: the world premiere of Jennifer Abbott's The Magnitude of All Things, an intimate look at both personal and planetary grief; the feature debut and world premiere of Indigenous female filmmaker Jessie Anthony's Brother, I Cry, a drama about a family who struggles through intergenerational trauma, spiritual connections and addictions; and the world premiere of the debut feature by Andrew Stanley, Flowers of the Field, a powerful portrait of a young man who attends a reparative therapy retreat for his sexual orientation.

"The True North program this year celebrates visionary filmmakers telling urgent stories about how we've arrived at this moment in history and where we might go from here," says Curtis Woloschuk, Associate Director of Programming. "These poignant tales speak to resilience and courage, bringing to light Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ+ and female perspectives in one of our most diverse programs to date. From pioneering rancher John Ware to contemporary literary figure Eden Robinson, both the unsung and inspiring are honoured while the darkest parts of our society are addressed head-on."

All films will include introductions by VIFF Programming Curators or bonus content from filmmakers and creators.

CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA: Narrative films from around the globe

Another Round (dir. Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
Bad Tales (dirs. The D'Innocenzo Brothers, Italy/Switzerland) | North American Premiere
Black Bear (dir. Lawrence Michael Levine, USA)
Falling (dir. Viggo Mortensen, UK/Canada)
Father (dir. Srdan Golubović, Serbia/France/Germany/Croatia/Slovenia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The Father (dir. Florian Zeller, UK/France)
Hammamet (dir. Gianni Amelio, Italy) | North American Premiere
Here We Are (dir. Nir Bergman, Israel) | North American Premiere
In the Name of the Land (dir. Édouard Bergeon, France)
Kala azar (dir. Janis Rafa, Netherlands/Greece) | Canadian Premiere
Last and First Men (dir. Jóhann Jóhannsson, Iceland) | Canadian Premiere
Merkel - Anatomy of a Crisis (dir. Stephan Wagner, Germany)
A Metamorphosis of the Birds (dir. Catarina Vasconcelos, Portugal) | Canadian Premiere
Mogul Mowgli (dir. Bassam Tariq, UK/USA)
My Donkey, My Lover & I (dir. Caroline Vignal, France)
My Mexican Bretzel (dir. Nuria Giménez, Spain) | Canadian Premiere
My Wonderful Wanda (dir. Bettina Oberli, Switzerland) | North American Premiere
On the Quiet (dir. Zoltán Nagy, Hungary) | Canadian Premiere
The Pencil (dir. Natalya Nazarova, Russia) | Canadian Premiere
The Restoration (dir. Alonso Llosa, Peru) | Canadian Premiere
Sarita (dir. Sergio Basso, Italy/Germany) | North American Premiere
Servants (dir. Ivan Ostrochovsky, Slovakia/Romania/Czech Republic/Ireland) | North American Premiere
The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs (dir. Pushpendra Singh, India) | North American Premiere
Siberia (dir. Abel Ferrara, Italy/Germany/Mexico)
Summer of 85 (dir. François Ozon, France)
Tales of the Lockdown (dirs. Fernando Colomo, Álvaro Fernández-Armero, David Marqués, Miguel Bardem, Juan Diego Botto, Spain) | North American Premiere
There Is No Evil (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran/Czech Republic/Germany) | Canadian Premiere
This Is My Desire (dirs. Arie & Chuko, Nigeria) | North American Premiere
Uncle (dir. Frelle Petersen, Denmark) | North American Premiere
Undine (dir. Christian Petzold, Germany) | North American Premiere
Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (dir. Massoud Bakhshi, France/Germany/Switzerland/Luxembourg/Lebanon/Iran) | Canadian Premiere
Yellow Sunglasses (dir. Iván Mora Manzano, Ecuador/Brazil) | World Premiere

TRUE NORTH: A celebration of the creativity and craft demonstrated by Canadian storytellers
Presented by Telefilm Canada

Akilla's Escape (dir. Charles Officer, Canada)
Beans (dir. Tracey Deer, Canada)
Brother, I Cry (dir. Jessie Anthony, Canada) | World Premiere | BC Feature
Call Me Human (dir. Kim O'Bomsawin, Canada)
Chained (dir. Titus Heckel, Canada) | World Premiere | BC Feature
Events Transpiring Before, During and After a High School Basketball Game (dir. Ted Stenson, Canada) | World Premiere
First We Eat (dir. Suzanne Crocker, Canada)
Flowers of the Field (dir. Andrew Stanley, Canada) | World Premiere
fing Idiots (dir. David Milchard, Canada) | World Premiere | BC Feature
Happy Place (dir. Helen Shaver, Canada)
Inconvenient Indian (dir. Michelle Latimer, Canada)
John Ware Reclaimed (dir. Cheryl Foggo, Canada)
The Magnitude of All Things (dir. Jennifer Abbott, Canada) | World Premiere | BC Feature
Monkey Beach (dir. Loretta Sarah Todd), Canada | World Premiere | BC Feature | Opening Film
My Salinger Year (dir. Philippe Falardeau, Canada/Ireland)
Nadia, Butterfly (dir. Pascal Plante, Canada)
The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel (dirs. Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott, Canada/USA/Belgium/UK/Switzerland/Kenya/Spain/Australia) | BC Feature
No Ordinary Man (dirs. Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt, Canada)
No Visible Trauma (dirs. Marc Serpa Francoeur, Robinder Uppal, Canada) | World Premiere
Pink Lake (dirs. Emily Gan, Daniel Schachter, Canada) | World Premiere
Prayer for a Lost Mitten (dir. Jean-François Lesage, Canada)
Saint-Narcisse (dir. Bruce LaBruce, Canada) | North American Premiere