Running alongside the Vancouver cinema screenings we are proud to present this vibrant & inventive collection of films for our global audiences who are unable to make it to Canada. Rent the collection and support true independent cinema. Please vote for your favourite film in the comments section, as the winner and the runner up will receive a live screening at subsequent Lift-Off festivals.
Dir. Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli
Having lost custody of her six year-old son, a young Japanese woman has four days to say goodbye to him on-board a yacht belonging to her western ex-husband's wealthy family. Alone with the crew, who are under direct instruction to keep a watchful eye on her, the woman must try to forge a connection with her son before she has to part from him for many years.
Finding the Aj Goddard : A Tale of Modern Day Discovery
Dir. Jesse Davidge
Doug Davidge spent 19 years and a small fortune hunting for the sunken wreck of the A.J. Goddard, a Gold Rush era sternwheeler. Despite many setbacks, he kept searching even though he came up short time after time. Follow the team as they recount the story of how the ship was discovered and what artifacts were found on the wreck site.
Dir. Andrew Franks
Dave Groh, a cab driver who dresses like Elvis, finds himself not only in a battle with the city of Seattle but also the dark side of Elvis.
Dir. Haolu Wang
Young Hong Kong couple Anna and Thomas are having a fight during one afternoon in the nature of Hong Kong. Hurt by her boyfriend's wrongdoing, the proud Anna has trouble forgiving the inexpressive Thomas despite his awkward efforts to make it up to her. Thomas goes for a winter swim in the Hong Kong ocean to clear his mind, while Anna falls asleep on the beach. Time passes as the beach crowd gradually leaves the beach one after another. Anna wakes up around sunset to the sound of a boy kicking beach ball, and finds Thomas disappeared. The beach is now empty. Has he left her? She panics.
Dir. Ko Eto
"A harmonica player struggles between his dream, that is succeeding as a musician and the real life with his wife and a son. Through the loss of family and friend, and the encounter of new people, he finds the way of his life as a musician."
It happened here
Dir. Lisa F. Jackson
Through the intimate portraits of five student survivors, IT HAPPENED HERE exposes the alarming pervasiveness of sexual assault on college campuses, the institutional cover-ups and the failure to protect students, and follows their fight for accountability and change on campus and in federal court.
Dir. Scott Paterson
Filled with guilt and regret, a young man faces the death of his grandmother. This character piece explores the relationship between grandchild and grandparent; a relationship that is far too often taken for granted.
Standing in Normandy
Dir. Laurent Faubert-Bouvier
June 6, 1944, D-Day. It is the end of Canadian soldier Rejeanâs odyssey, and of his separation from Jeannette back in QuÃ©bec. Through their letters, the intimate consequence of world conflict is exposed..
The Bloke Code
Dir. Doug Kirby
"Meet Johno, not the sort of guy you introduce to your daughter to or wife for that matter.The 'Bloke Code' focuses on a group of friends, 5 guys aged 29 to 34 - all with varying lives, some married or settled, and some not so settled. We meet the guys in a bar, Johno is recanting another of his escapades, the one where her husband comes home early, will Johno learn his lesson?"
Dir. Brian Zahm
A satirical look at a male nude model with a God complex who poses for a group of painters and ponders his relation to art, artists and the known universe.
The Secret Life of Balloons
Dir. Lauren & Nina Graham
"The Secret Life of Balloons explores the parallel journeys of a boy and his girlfriend at very different stages of existence. Left lost and believing they'll never connect again, this uplifting short film asks questions about the boundaries of love, life and letting go. Sometimes there's only one thing left to say and only one way to say it."
Dir. Ian Foster
When Jack begins to forget, he visits Keystone, an organisation with an unlikely mandate: making your most important memories truly 'unforgettable' When Jack begins to recount moments from his life in an interview, he reveals the bond he formed with one particular woman, and the importance he has placed on their story.
Connected: A Film About Autistic People
Dir. Sonia Suvagau
This documentary challenges mainstream depictions of autistic people, the nature of human development, intelligence and the implications of living in a conformist driven society.
Dir. Aaron Bevan Bailey
Mankind is reluctant to take responsibility for ravaging the planet. Populace imagines a world where the solution is to impose a strict genetic caste system, a eugenic policy that keeps numbers below the tipping point, and protects the greater good. Clones are manufactured to carry out this work. Must we give away our freedoms to protect us from ourselves?
Dir. Josephine Ehlert
"At 22, Aline had a first fling with Tobi. It would continue for six years. Whenever there was time for love she visited him at the Friedenshöhe Hotel in picturesque Oberammergau. Then Aline met Markus and soon moved in with him. But Tobi and Oberammergau would still remain as her secret retreat. Now, after two years of not seeing each other, Aline feels drawn to her haven again. Without prior announcement she steps back into Tobi's life, to a cold reception. Aline lures Tobi, hurt and bitter, back into the comfort zone they once shared. To make him come up with answers she had herself denied for so long."
I Dare You
Dir. Harrison Houde
A narrative drama coming of age film about four teenage friends having one last wild night together in a hometown that they'll be leaving tomorrow and know they'll never return to. If they live to see morning, that is.
Prison at Home
Dir. Sebastien Bellaval
In a near future where citizens are able to host a prisoner at their home in return for a stipend, a young father tries to save his crumbling mariage by applying to this new experiment but he starts to understand his own self interest could be to the detriment of the human being.
Dir. Justin Nixon
Battery Life is a stop motion short film that tells a story of determination, self-sacrifice, and deceit. Set in a dystopian desert landscape, a robot family, through the test of tragedy, discovers a dark secret hidden behind the doctrine of a preacher.
Dir. Maisie Jacobson
Two best friends figure out who they are and who they want to be, in real time, in front of the bathroom mirror.
Divorce: The Greatest Hits
Dir. Michael Medico
And you thought a failing marriage was tough. Divorce is just the beginning...
Body and Soul: An American Bridge
Dir. Robert Philipson
Out of all the cross-cultural encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the one between African Americans and American Jews. This documentary teases out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the standard, 'Body and Soul' one of the most recorded songs in the jazz repertoire.
Dir. Marc-Andre Morissette
20:15 is a drama-mystery, sci-fi thriller in which we follow the lives of a mysterious man and a loving couple. Their lives will forever be changed once their two worlds collide.
Dir. Micheal Kehren
Two brothers, Felipo and Hernan, come into conflict over the honourable way to make a living in the harsh times of the Great Depression. Their bedridden mother, who is oblivious to Felipo's unlawful lifestyle, convinces Hernan to join Felipo for a job. What was supposed to be an overnight arrangement at a run down factory, has Hernan backed up into a moral corner.
Dir. Josh Richardson, Jamie Ruddick, Wes Richardson
Sunday Sara is a story about a young woman who wakes up to find a pair of paint cans placed in the middle of her pristine, all-white bedroom. After the inky contents of the cans latch on to her she must figure out a way to rid herself of its grip before it completely consumes her. In her struggle she learns to accept the constant presence of the black slime and that she can use her own colours to wreak playful havoc on her surroundings.
Sottoterra (Under The Ground)
Dir. Federico Olivetti
A little girl, Lisa, finds a deep and frightening hole dug in a path among the trees. She is attracted by the hole, wants to go down it, but her mother stops her. Lisa, convinced that the hole hides a monstrous secret, obliges a friend, Michele, to go down it. Michele comes out of the hole with his face altered by terror. Lisa urges him to tell her what he saw, but he is shocked and cannot speak. Lisa goes back to the path to discover the truth.
JACQUES A VU
Dir. Xavier DISKEUVE
"In their momentum for a neo-rural life in the Belgian Ardennes countryside, Brice and Lara soon have to face the imminent construction of a holiday resort nearby. A true race against time then starts for the young couple and revolves around Briceâ€™s quirky cousin Jacques, a native from the village, prone to mystical visions that will eventually lead them all to the Vatican! First feature-lentgh try for the director, this provincial burlesque comedy, both tender and grotesque, depicts the Chapon-Laroche village microcosme and especially our endearing trio, which will inexorably undergo a series of surprising metamorphoses."
Power of Poo
Dir. Jessica Young
The Power of Poo is a short documentary about a mother's journey away from the mainstream medical establishment to a new frontier of healthcare in order to cure her young daughter's Crohn's Disease, where she finds a promising but unregulated treatment in the transplant of human poop.
Dir. Irene De Lucas
"Two guys dressed in First Empire costumes meet at a Parisian cafe for an afternoon tea. Their conversation will hold the answers to some of humanity's existential conundrums, and yet, it will most likely go unnoticed. Protoplastos [The Genesis of Species] is a satirical comedy on the mysteries of existence."
Dir. Daniel Goldberg
Shirley will do anything to get invited to her younger, cooler boss Gwen's favourite workout denomination: Couples' Spinning. The only problem is that singles definitely are not allowed (it's a pretty strict policy). The plan Shirley devises could finally get Gwen to notice her, or it could ruin their professional relationship, destroy Shirley's career, and maybe even get her arrested. Either way, it's worth a shot.
Dir. Alan Kohl, Mistaya Hemingway
Welcome to the kitchen of Tampopo Redux- an alternate reality where movement and taste collide. Flour flies, tomatoes crush and blueberries roll- the touch and taste of food becomes the inspiration for dance. This is anything but a food fight. With the kitchen and the cutting board as the stage, six dancers explore the sensual, tactile and at times humorous relationship between the body and food. Inspired by the Japanese cult-classic 1980s film, Tampopo, this short dance film is a collaborative, improvisational experience for the dancers, the camera and the viewer- an explosion of colour, sensuality and dragonfruit. Did we really just see someone dancing with an asparagus spear?