VIFF line-up of queer films

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With approximately 575 screenings of over 350 films from 70 countries the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is definitely “an unspoiled celebration of world cinema”.  Along with the usual mainstream offerings, or as mainstream as a film festival can get, the VIFF also brings a number of gay (or queer) themed films to its screens.  2009 is no different with 14 full-length and three shorts slated to run during the Festival, October 1st through 16th.

We are pleased to provide a comprehensive listing of the 17 queer movies that will play during the Festival which includes everything from a Vietnamese take on Dangerous Liasions to an animated movie with voices from Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini to yet another zombie movie.

Feature Films


Adrift (Choi Voi)

Country: Vietnam
Director: Bui Thac Chuyen

Mon, Oct 5th 9:30pm Vancity Theatre
Tue, Oct 6th 3:30pm Vancity Theatre

Bui Thac Chuyen’s remarkable movie is like a Vietnamese take on Les liaisons dangereuses: baffled by her husband’s low libido, newlywed bride Duyen is pushed by a cruel woman friend into an affair with a macho heartbreaker. Elegantly poised between social realism and moral chaos. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

Assume Nothing

Assume Nothing

Country: New Zealand
Director: Kirsty MacDonald

Sat, Oct 10th 9:30pm Pacific Cinémathéque
Mon, Oct 12th 10:45am Pacific Cinémathéque

Focusing on the art, photography and performances of four “alternative” gender artists of Maori, Samoan-Japanese, and Pakeha descent, Kirsty MacDonald poses the questions: ‘What if “male” and “female” are not the only options? How do other genders express themselves through art?



Country: South Korea
Director: Kim Ji-Hyun

Wed, Oct 7th 7:00pm Vancity Theatre
Thu, Oct 8th 1:15pm Vancity Theatre

The most refreshingly frank and uncomplicated account of the complications of lesbian lives since Go Fish, Kim Ji-Hyun’s breezy movie is another left-field delight from the indie sector of Korean film culture. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee. With a full supporting program of shorts.

Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open

Country: Israel
Director: Haim Tabakman

Mon, Oct 12th 9:00pm Empire Granville 7 Th 4
Tue, Oct 13th Noon Empire Granville 7 Th 3
Wed, Oct 14th 4:00pm Ridge Theatre

When a handsome young man takes a job with an Orthodox Jewish butcher, sexual passion does battle with religious conviction. Director Haim Tabakman (in his debut feature) demonstrates an uncanny eye for telling detail, whether it’s purity posters on the wall, or the growing level of malevolence and community censure.



Country: France, Taiwan
Director: Tsai Ming-liang

Fri, Oct 2nd 3:00pm Empire Granville 7 Th 4
Sun, Oct 4th 9:15pm Visa Screening Room @ Empire Granville Th7

Tsai Ming-liang’s hallucinatory, spectacular, intriguing, sexy, musical masterpiece is set almost entirely inside (and underneath) the Louvre Museum in Paris. A Taiwanese director comes to Paris to film a surreal version of Salome with supermodel Laetitia Casta, but becomes enmeshed in a web of spectacularly photographed fantasy.

I Killed My Mother

I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mere)

Country: Canada
Director: Xavier Dolan

Sun, Oct 11th 6:45pm Visa Screening Room @ Empire Granville Th7
Thu, Oct 15th 1:00pm Visa Screening Room @ Empire Granville Th7

Seventeen-year-old Hubert’s contempt for his mother consumes him. She inhabits a tenebrous world of guilt and manipulation that blinds her to the person he is becoming. This semi-autobiographical film by young director Xavier Dolan–winner of three prizes at Cannes–navigates a painfully realistic, paradoxical relationship.

It Came from Kuchar

It Came from Kuchar

Country: USA/Canada
Director: Jennifer M. Kroot

Thu, Oct 1st 10:45am Pacific Cinémathéque
Thu, Oct 8th 9:15pm Pacific Cinémathéque

Jennifer Kroot’s film gleefully piles on everything anyone could want in a documentary on the fabulous Kuchar brothers, whose deliriously campy zero-budget melodramas enlivened many otherwise sombre evenings of 60s underground cinema. A celebrated cast of auteurs (Guy Maddin to John Waters to Atom Egoyan) pay homage.

Pop Star on Ice

Johnny Weir: Pop Star on Ice

Country: USA
Director: David Barba, James Pellerito

Fri, Oct 2nd 6:00pm Empire Granville 7 Th 5
Sun, Oct 11th 10:30am Empire Granville 7 Th 5
Fri, Oct 16th 11:00am Vancity Theatre

When he isn’t inserting his foot (with skate attached) into his mouth, Johnny Weir is reinventing the world of figure skating. Weir may have been the inspiration for the flamboyant ice-dancer in Will Ferrell’s comic opus Blades of Glory, but satire is not even a sequined patch on Weir’s real life.

My Dog Tulip

My Dog Tulip

Country: USA
Director: Paul Fierlinger, Sandra Fierlinger

Sun, Oct 11th 4:00pm Visa Screening Room @ Empire Granville Th7
Mon, Oct 12th 6:40pm Empire Granville 7 Th 2

British author J.R Ackerley’s beloved story about a man and his dog comes beautifully to life in Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s animated ode to canine love. An exquisite, wonderful film. Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini star.

Queer China, 'COMRADE' CHINA

Queer China, ‘COMRADE’ CHINA

Country: China
Director: Cui Zi’en

Wed, Oct 7th 4:00pm Pacific Cinémathéque
Fri, Oct 9th 9:15pm Pacific Cinémathéque

Chinese gay activist and radical filmmaker Cui Zi’en has made an authoritative documentary–both history and celebration–on queer culture in China. Testimony from theorists, activists and artists outlines the modern origins of Chinese homosexuality through its attempted suppression to its breakthroughs in the last decade.

To Die Like a Man

To Die Like a Man (Morrer como um homem)

Country: Portugal
Director: João Pedro Rodrigues

Tue, Oct 6th 8:45pm Empire Granville 7 Th 4
Wed, Oct 7th 2:30pm Empire Granville 7 Th 3

João Pedro Rodrigues’ touching, finely etched portrait follows Tonia, a veteran Lisbon drag performer. With humour and pathos, the transgressive Rodrigues shows Tonia confronting younger competition and seeking reconciliation with her estranged son by devolving her body back into a male form.

Trash Humpers

Trash Humpers

Country: USA
Director: Harmony Korine

Sat, Oct 10th 10:45pm Empire Granville 7 Th 4
Tue, Oct 13th 2:30pm Empire Granville 7 Th 3
Wed, Oct 14th 12:15pm Empire Granville 7 Th 6

Harmony Korine (Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy) returns to his deeply idiosyncratic take on rancid Americana with this non-narrative underground video that details the misadventures of a loser-gang cult-freak collective who do unseemly things to garbage cans, complete with musical numbers. Beyond words.

Yang Yang

Yang Yang

Country: Taiwan
Director: Cheng Yu-chieh

Fri, Oct 2nd 6:15pm Empire Granville 7 Th 3
Tue, Oct 6th 1:30pm Visa Screening Room @ Empire Granville Th7

This vibrantly alive coming-of-age story of a young Eurasian woman in Taipei follows glamorous Yang Yang from high-school athlete to aspiring actress. Director Cheng Yu-chieh’s intimate camera captures the precise articulation, via sex, scandal and heartbreak, between adolescence and adulthood.

Zombies of Mass Destruction

ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction

Country: USA
Director: Kevin Hamedani

Sat, Oct 3rd 11:30pm Empire Granville 7 Th 2
Sun, Oct 4th 4:30pm Empire Granville 7 Th 2
Sat, Oct 10th 11:30pm Empire Granville 7 Th 2

When the Puget Sound community of Port Gamble is beset by a terrorist virus, a diverse band of survivors, including a young Iranian-American woman and a not-completely-out gay couple, must band together to fend off flesh-eating ghouls. Kevin Hamedani’s splatter-filled comedy is an hilarious allegory of post-9/11 paranoia.


The Armoire (short film 22 mins)

Country: Canada
Director: Jamie Travis

Wed, Oct 14th 9:15pm Pacific Cinémathéque
Thu, Oct 15th 4:00pm Pacific Cinémathéque

In this dark and melodramatic short, memories of strange events in a young boy’s life are unravelled after his best friend mysteriously disappears

The Island (short film 6 mins)

Country: Canada
Director: Trevor Anderson

Sun, Oct 11th 9:15pm Pacific Cinémathéque
Mon, Oct 12th 3:30pm Pacific Cinémathéque

The filmmaker considers, with the help of animation, a piece of fan/hate mail he received.

2009 Vancouver International Film FestivalNew Beijing, New Marriage (short film 20 mins)

Country: China
Director: Fan Popo, David Zheng

Wed, Oct 7th 4:00pm Pacific Cinémathéque
Fri, Oct 9th 9:15pm Pacific Cinémathéque

A short film that hilariously and pointedly documents Valentines Day 2009 at Qianmen Gate, just south of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. The filmmakers capture gay actors posing as two queer couples taking formal same-sex marriage photos to the consternation of passersby.


Vancouver International Film Festival
1 – 16 October 2009

Critically acclaimed as “an unspoiled celebration of world cinema,” VIFF presents approximately 575 screenings of 350+ films from over 70 countries. Our team of expert programmers screen thousands of films and travel to some of the biggest festivals to bring Vancouver the best of world cinema.

Detailed film festival information can be obtained at
Film schedules:
Tickets / Box Office info:


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