1 – Window Horses, dir. Ann Marie Fleming – Canadian animator Fleming has spun this visually dazzling Opening Gala film about a young poet who is invited to Iran and must navigate a world far removed from her Chinese-Canadian upbringing.
2 – Searchers, dir. Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungalaaq – Acclaimed filmmaker Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) updates John Ford’s western classic, bringing it far north and adding a mythical and spiritual dimension.
3 – The Sun at Midnight, dir. Kirsten Carthew – Part of VFF’s Indigenous program, this feature from the Northwest Territories follows a young city girl who, due to family circumstances, must travel north to live with her grandmother.
4 – Boundaries, dir. Chloé Robichaud – Based on the strength of Robichaud’s previous feature, and VFF film, Sarah Prefers to Run, her sophomore film, about three women standing up to political power, is a must see.
5 – The Commune, dir. Thomas Vinterberg – Accomplished director Vinterberg (The Hunt, Far From the Madding Crowd) returns with this 1970s-set ensemble comedy about a couple who decide to start a commune, and then must deal with the consequences.
6 – The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, dir. Juho Kuosmanen – An unconventional sports movie, this warm and quirky Cannes hit is based around a real life boxing match, where the true bought was between love and glory.
7 – I Called Him Morgan, dir. Kasper Collin – Lee Morgan, one of the jazz greats, was shot by his wife, Helen, in 1972 at the age of 33. This doc, featuring an interview with Helen, explores the short life of the troubled trumpeter.
8 – My Life as a Zuchinni, dir. Claude Barras – Nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, this Swiss/French stop-motion film hits a sweet spot while tackling some incredibly difficult childhood experiences.
9 – The Girl with all the Gifts, dir. Colm McCarthy – For those looking for something a little more edgy, this unconventional zombie flick about an infected child who nearly passes for normal should fit the bill.
10 – India in a Day, dir. Richie Mehta – Friend of the festival Richie Mehta (Siddharth) returns with the BC premiere of his documentary chronicling a completely average day in India…captured by millions of people across the country via cameras and cellphones.