VIFF announces 2015 Canadian Images film lineup

Canadian Images Series features 17 films including six world premieres for the Sept. 24-Oct. 9 fest.

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Directors Tony Massil and Pablo Alvarez-Mesa's creative documentary follows Frank Furko, an 80-year-old eccentric living in a Pittsburgh suburb. The film focuses on Frank's celebrity, which derives from a deeply-felt friendship with Pudgie Wudgie, his 20-pound performing house cat. Supported by Frank's 20 years of VHS video archives — mesmerizing footage that is strange, often hilarious and oddly beautiful — this is an intimate and thoughtful portrait of an older man struggling to come to terms with his very unusual past.

The Heart of Madame Sabali (Ryan McKenna), world premiere

When her boyfriend stops making love with her, Jeannette (Marie Brassard) begins an affair with a young co-worker (Francis La Haye). Alas, it turns out that her heart problems are physical as well as metaphorical. When Jeannette inherits the heart of a deceased Malian woman, she’s stalked by the donor’s son (Youssef Camara) who’s convinced that she’s the reincarnation of his late mother. Ryan McKenna’s stylized and nuanced film is sure to delight.

Hurt (Alan Zweig)

In 1985, Steve Fonyo ran his “Journey For Lives” marathon, covering 7,924km of Canada and raising $14 million for cancer research. He was subsequently named an Officer of the Order of Canada, becoming the youngest person to ever receive that honour. Then things began to fall apart. He repeatedly ran afoul of the law and was charged with and convicted of various crimes. His Order of Canada was revoked.

Refreshingly, Alan Zweig (15 Reasons to Live) tells the story of Fonyo's downfall with great sensitivity and without ever lapsing into sentimentality.

The Messenger (Su Rynard)

In recent years, Su Rynard noticed that birds she used to see — grosbeaks, flycatchers, barn swallows — were nowhere to be found. Indeed, songbirds are rapidly disappearing and their absence is a message to us all. Humans share an ageless bond with birds and their songs. In ancient times, we looked to bird’s light patterns and listened to their melodies to predict the future. Today, the birds once again have something to tell us.

"The Messenger hums with the kind of restless energy that’s all too rare for an ecodoc." — POV Magazine

Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John (Chelsea McMullan), world premiere

The latest involving documentary from Chelsea McMullan (My Prairie Home) exemplifies excellent storytelling and artful execution. When two Canadian siblings travel to Thailand to find out what really happened to their murdered father, they discover that he fled Canada due to his involvement with a biker gang, only to land in deeper corruption in Thailand and the Philippines. Furthermore, he has two kids in Thailand with the same names as them. McMullan creates a creepy and subtly condemning portrait of foreigners doing very bad things.

O, Brazen Age (Alexander Carson), world premiere

More in Film

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Marguerite Pigott, Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Media Producers Association, will be a featured guest at the American Film Market 2018

VIFF chinoiserie: Taiwan island fever, mainland navel-gazing

Taiwan's Hsiao Ya-chuan upholds Hou Hsiao-hsien lineage; PRC documentarian world-premieres her narrative film debut; director-producer duo Nai An and Yang Mingming co-star in feminist tragicomedy

A dog lover’s cinematic delight, Spielberg’s dip back into the 1980s and another expose of a financial racket

Also the emotional life story of a BC slam poet, and three new films from France (one about the country our peacekeepers are going to)
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