Every day during this year’s festival, we’ll be offering you some supplemental reading (and the odd visual aid) in order to better inform your future viewing or appreciation of work you’ve already seen.
Film festivals are routinely an opportunity to reconnect with old friends. And while that tradition may require some adjustments this year, we’re certain you’ll welcome the chance to reacquaint yourself with Thomas Vinterberg, whose latest effort, Another Round, has been heralded as characteristically “incisive and insightful”.
Tracey Deer’s clear-eyed coming-of-age film Beans offers viewers a vital opportunity to refamiliarize themselves with the Oka Crisis of 1990 and consider the hostility Indigenous people continue to face every single day. Meanwhile, Pascal Plante’s Nadia, Butterfly serves as a behind-the-scenes snapshot of a 2020 Summer Olympics that never came to pass. (It also features a spirited supporting turn from Hilary Caldwell, a Vancouver Olympian.)
Eight months after Sundance kicked off the annual festival circuit, two of its award winners have finally found their way to Vancouver audiences. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness is a “clever, suspenseful exposé.” Meanwhile, The Reason I Jump scored an audience award for its inspired adaptation of Naoki Higashida’s groundbreaking book.
If Friday night means date night for you, VIFF has a couple of offerings for those who recognise that love is strange if not downright weird. An official Cannes selection, the sublimely titled My Donkey, My Lover and I finds a woman (the “sensational” Laure Calamy) – and a donkey (presumably equally sensational) – traversing mountains to surprise her married paramour. Meanwhile, Zoé Wittock’s Jumbo finds Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s Noémie Merlant falling head over heels for an amusement park ride. Wittock spoke to The Playlist about objectophilia and sexual communication.
Viewers interested in investigating some other dark detours should definitely point themselves towards the international premiere of The Town of Headcounts.