Every year, VIFF presents a series of films that address the hopes and needs of the world, as well as the problems it faces and possible solutions to them. The Impact stream is where the refugee and environmental crises, corporate malfeasance and other urgent issues are faced head-on in documentaries that are passionate, committed and compelling—in other words, essential.
The films included here are eligible for the Impact Award, which recognizes socially committed filmmaking of the highest order. The award carries a $5000 cash prize presented by the Lochmaddy Foundation, and VIFF is honoured to bestow it.
Jane Goodall has done so much to change our views, not only of the animal kingdom but of humanity in relation to it. It’s a great privilege to welcome her to the festival, along with a film that documents her efforts and adventures. Jane, directed by Brett Morgan, makes excellent use of archival footage and the energetic presence of Goodall herself; it’s a superb biographical documentary. The screening of the film, on Oct. 4th, will be followed by a 45-minute Q&A with Dr. Goodall. Proceeds will support the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada (JGI Canada), which promotes the understanding and protection of chimpanzees, other great apes and their habitats. Tickets are available at viff.org.
There are more great docs coming to the festival, and soon to be announced: audiences can expect films about Falklands veterans, the lives of women in Kyrgyzstan, the world’s greatest free-diver and much more in VIFF’s Insights program. This eclectic and wide-ranging selection of work shows viewers humanity at its best, its worst and every place in between. It’s a veritable feast for the curious viewer.
VIFF is a festival dedicated to making an impact—socially, environmentally and in many other ways. There are different means of helping the world, and cinema is certainly one of them. It can raise awareness, stir hearts, change minds and incite action. Humanity depends on art, just as it depends on positive change; the Impact stream endeavours to bring the two together.
Special Fundraiser Event
THU OCT 4, 6:30 PM, VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE
Using rediscovered archival footage of a 1960 expedition by primatologist Jane Goodall, Brett Morgen has assembled an essential portrait of one of the most influential figures of our time. This special screening will be followed by a 45-minute Q&A with Dr. Goodall, who will offer further insights into her work and our relationship with nature. The event will raise funds for the Jane Goodall Institute, which promotes the understanding and protection of chimpanzees, other great apes and their habitats.
This is an individually ticketed special event, raising funds for the JGI. VIFF passes, VIFF+ Member discounts and VIFF complimentary vouchers are not valid.
KARIM AÏNOUZ, GERMANY/FRANCE/BRAZIL, 2017, 97 MIN.
Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, once among the world’s 20 largest buildings, closed in 2008, but it has found new purpose as an emergency refugee shelter since 2015. With a focus on 18-year-old Syrian refugee Ibrahim Al Hussein, director Karim Aïnouz and crew spent a year chronicling one community amongst the many; his gently probing camera, humanist perspective and sensitivity to the refugees’ plight are echoed in his feel for the architectural forms within which these asylum seekers dream of new lives.
ADAM MAZO, BEN PENDER-CUDLIP, USA, 2018, 86 MIN.
Residential schools, forced adoption by white families and other actions intended to “kill the Indian to save the child”: America has its own legacy of disgrace when it comes to Indigenous children. This film documents an attempt to address it by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a troubled collaboration between the five Wabanaki nations and the state of Maine. Granted intimate access to the project, directors Mazo and Pender-Cudlip have produced an essential work—an act of bearing witness.
STEPHANIE SOECHTIG, USA, 2018, 88 MIN.
In 1938, Dupont Co. invented the chemical compound known as Teflon, and it soon coated pans in kitchens everywhere—so much so that at least one of the chemicals involved is found in the bloodstreams of 99.7% of Americans. Stephanie Soechtig’s blistering indictment looks at the residents of Parkersburg, West Virginia—home to the Teflon plant and a large number of ill or deformed people—as they fight the corporate behemoth. “A riveting tale of long-term irresponsibility and injustice.”—Variety
MARKUS IMHOOF, SWITZERLAND/GERMANY, 2018, 92 MIN.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE TRAILER
Veteran Markus Imhoof’s quietly angry documentary weaves together his childhood memories of displacement and tragedy during WWII with the current refugee crisis in Europe. Powerful, intimate and emotional by turns, this is the kind of personal filmmaking we rarely see anymore. “One of the most moving statements to have been made thus far on the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean… Imhoof’s gently roaming camera holds a mirror to Western society, and it reflects a distorted and ugly face.”—Screen
AYELET ALBENDA, ISRAEL, 2017, 70 MIN.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE DIRECTOR’S WEBSITE / TRAILER
Deeply intimate, unexpectedly moving and entirely of-the-moment, Ayelet Albenda’s documentary unfolds through footage culled from six teenagers’ self-produced YouTube videos. Make no mistake, these aren’t social media stars or influencers. They’re just average kids documenting their trials (including pregnancy and eating disorders) and trying to make some sense of it all. The remarkably honest moments they share quickly coalesce into an involving study of the myriad iterations of adolescence.
MOR LOUSHY, DANIEL SIVAN, ISRAEL/CANADA, 2018, 98 MIN.
A skillful, vibrant blend of re-enactments, archival footage and present-day interviews, Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan’s timely documentary looks back to the early 90s, when PLO and Israeli negotiators came together to craft a peace deal in Oslo. Featuring those who were in the thick of the negotiations—including former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who gave his last interview to the filmmakers before his death in 2016—this is both a fascinating look back to a time of hope and a warning for the future.
(La strada dei Samouni)
STEFANO SAVONA, FRANCE/ITALY, 2018, 129 MIN.
In 2009, an Israeli military operation in Gaza City led to the massacre of 48 Palestinian civilians; 29 were from the Samouni family. Stefano Savona’s forceful documentary shows the aftermath for the surviving Samouni clan, as seen through the eyes of 14-year-old Amal Samouni. Interspersing animation and a reconstruction of the massacre with a consideration of daily life, this is an unforgettable work. “Its success at showing real lives unfathomably impacted by barbarism is beyond dispute.”—Variety
NICOLAS BROWN, UK, 2018, 84 MIN.
Five brilliant research scientists from around the globe feature in Nicolas Brown’s adaptation of Sean Carroll’s influential book, a tome that suggests nature works according to certain rules and demonstrates how we may be able to reverse some of the environmental damage we have done to ecosystems worldwide. “Compelling viewing… Stunning cinematography and arresting juxtapositions… Sounds an alarm, but… permits a chink of light into the traditionally bleak narrative of man’s impact on the land.”—Screen
ALMUDENA CARRACEDO, ROBERT BAHAR, SPAIN/USA, 2018, 96 MIN.
A six-year quest to break “the silence of others,” Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s urgent documentary chronicles the attempts by victims of Franco’s murderous 36-year dictatorship in Spain to gain justice and restitution. Depicting a country that still has statues of the Generalissimo in some towns and torturers—one of them living only metres away from one of his victims in Madrid—getting off scot-free, the film comes across as “courageous, moving, lithe, necessary and eye-opening.”—Cineuropa
REEM SALEH, LEBANON/EGYPT/GREECE/QATAR/SLOVENIA, 2018, 79 MIN.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Rod El Farag is one of the poorest residential areas in Cairo, a place where even basic staples like bread are beyond the reach of some inhabitants. But community spirit has led to a practice called “al Gami’ya,” wherein people contribute a little money into a pot and a decision is made each week to give it to the neediest community member. Reem Saleh spent six years following one such community, and her intimate, scrupulously detailed portrait of solidarity provides entry into an unknown world.
The festival’s programming will be featured in the following streams:
- Panorama –– Bringing You the World – Contemporary world cinema
- Sea to Sky –– Celebrating BC Filmmakers – Presented by TELUS
- True North –– Canadian stories from coast to coast – Presented by Telefilm Canada
- Impact – Films that change the ways we see the world
- Next – Next-level experiences in screen-based storytelling – Presented by Creative BC
- Gateway –- Compelling world of East Asian cinema
- M/A/D -– Focus on music, art + design.
- ALT -– Fantastic cinema that defies classification
ON SALE NOW!
ONLINE: Advance VIFF Pass + Ticket Packs on sale at viff.org
THU SEP 6 – Full Program available online.
ONLINE: VIFF Single Tickets on sale at viff.org
THU SEP 13
IN-PERSON: Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie. (Mon-Sat: Noon – 7pm, Sun: 2pm – 7pm)