Youth Trailer Park

Next up is our Youth stream- 11 films you can bring the kids to at VIFF 2017! Most of our films are not rated so you must be 19+ to attend however- not these! The films may originate from our Gateway, Panorama, True North, Sea to Sky, or ALT stream but they all come together here, for the youth! Share the magic of great cinema with the youngsters in your life, starting with the trailers parked below…

The Young Karl Marx

Fresh off the success of I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck—aided by screenwriter Pascal Bonitzer—tackles the early days of the friendship between Karl Marx (August Diehl) and Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske) as they struggle to establish the Communist Party and complete the Communist Manifesto… “This intense, fervent film about the early development of communism… shouldn’t work, but it does, due to the intelligence of the acting and the stamina and concentration of the writing and directing.”- Guardian

The Workshop

Expanding on ideas that made his The Class (VIFF 08) a Cannes’ Palme d’Or winner, Laurent Cantet’s deft and captivating drama focuses on a literary workshop in depressed La Ciotat (near Marseille) and the push-pull relationship that develops between hot-headed—and possibly violent—student Antoine (Matthieu Lucci, excellent) and workshop head Olivia (Marina Fois). “Cantet makes an enthralling return to form with this topical fusion of political debate session and socially conscious thriller.”- Variety

Unarmed Verses

At the cusp of adolescence and facing forced relocation, Francine has a lot on her mind. And while this Toronto ‘tween possesses a way with written words, she has yet to develop the necessary confidence to express herself in full voice. Charles Officer’s luminous, poignant documentary charts this marginalized yet magnetic young woman’s determination to make herself and her community heard. “Like [Jim Jarmusch’s] PatersonUnarmed Verses is both about poetry and a work of poetry in itself.”-

Teen Years: Heaven and HellTEEN-YEARS--HEAVEN-AND-HELL_YesGodYesTeenage years can be exhilarating and conflicting times. The joys of increased independence and new relationships can be countered by fears of sexual discovery, bullying, self-doubts and the desperate need for acceptance. This program of short films looks at teen experiences and challenges in school and at home from their perspective: trying to fit in, following their dreams and desires or just trying to cope with daily torment.

Swallows and Amazons

Pippa Lowthorpe’s loving adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s 1930 novel is a delightful throwback, a Tom Sawyer-like tale of four children adventuring on a lake, where they encounter imaginary pirates and possibly less-imaginary spies. The past is as strange as an alternate universe here, but the film’s values (integrity and curiosity, endeavour and courage) are as potent as ever. “A charmingly old-fashioned family adventure—one that you can imagine several generations of a family gathering to watch…”- Time Out

Shut Up and Say Something

Internationally acclaimed spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan gives a poignant and powerful voice to those relegated to the margins: the bullied, awkward and visibly different. In this entrancing documentary, Melanie Wood reveals a bashful alchemist who creates dazzling rhetorical fireworks. With candour, Koyczan shares his momentous and deeply personal journey to finally meet his estranged father. The result is his most important poem yet—and the more intimate his words are, the more universal they become.

Sami Blood

The indigenous Sami of northern Scandinavia have been labelled “inferior” throughout modern history. Half Sami herself, debuting director Amanda Kernell crafts a deeply moving coming-of-age tale, set in 1930s Sweden, about a 14-year-old Sami girl (Lene Cecilia Sparrok, riveting) whose rejection of her heritage has profound consequences. “A stirring debut… Robustly blends adolescent fears that resonate across borders and generations with a fascinatingly specific, rarely depicted cultural context.”- Variety


Maine, USA, meets Mainland China in this look at Freyburg Academy, an American boarding school known for welcoming East Asian students. Director Miao Wang follows expat teens Harry and Stella as they negotiate this new environment, and she portrays their trials and triumphs with a sympathetic eye. Warmhearted and wonderfully energetic, this is a tribute to multiculturalism that never ignores its complexity. “[S]erves to remind audiences of the power, and beauty, in differences.”- Austin Chronicle

The Foolish Bird

Lynn is a typical 16-year-old high school student from rural Hunan, China. Left behind by her absent working parents, she and her friend May take to stealing her classmates’ cellphones for cash. As Lynn and May loiter in Internet cafes, they learn of a shocking murder-rape at their school. Co-directors Huang Ji and Ryuji Otsuka’s dark coming-of-age story daringly explores a teenage girl’s growing maturity as she is forced to confront sexuality, violence, and the stirrings of desire.

Bad Genius

In Nattawut Poonpiriya’s high-school thriller, kids memorize codes, hijack printing presses and recruit a squad of motorbike couriers–all in order to cheat on their exams. Plotted and paced like a heist film, this also delivers scathing commentary on class and corruption. Should we really be rooting for these kids? However you ultimately answer that, there’s no question that this is a gripping film and a razor-sharp satire. “Ceaselessly entertaining… a relentless, high-octane caper.”–Hollywood Reporter

AlphaGoAlphaGo“I think it will be five to zero, or perhaps four to one,” says a confident Lee Sedol, the world’s greatest player of Go, the Chinese game of strategy, in the lead-up to his match against Google’s AlphaGo A.I. program. Because of its simple rules and near-infinite possible outcomes, Go is ideal for testing A.I. programs; Greg Kohs’ fascinating documentary follows the Google team as it prepares for the impossible–beating the champ–and reveals what could be a breakthrough in the humans vs. machines battle.

Tickets for all of these amazing films available here.

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