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What's On, May 2024


October 22, 2023


Discover a hidden gem in the WIFF 2023 programming.


If you need recommendations, take a look at what Vincent Georgie, Executive Director and Chief Programmer, recommends watching at #WIFF23!


On a beach in Normandy, Madeleine, a hotel waitress and young mother, meets François, a wealthy, and cultivated student. They hit it off immediately, as though it were fate. But as their destinies intertwine, it’s obvious what Madeline wants to leave behind, while the world that Francois is running from is only slowly revealed.


An amnesiac serial killer. A criminal psychologist. As memories resurface, the killer must face the terrifying reality of his own depraved mind.

The film follows the story of a notorious serial killer, Thomas, who is now confined to a prison hospital. When a criminal psychologist, Audrey, played by rising star Kristen MacCulloch, is brought in to help him unlock the secrets buried deep within his psyche, the killer must confront the harrowing truth of his own depravity.

Through glimpses of the hospital’s liminal space, slow-mo action scenes, and the dusk-tinted confrontation, director Nicholas Shields creates an eerie, atmospheric film that questions morality in shades of grey.


This renegade, mythic coming-of-age adventure from director Abu Bakr Shawky is set in the legendary, high-stakes world of Bedouin camel racing.

In the high-energy world of small-circuit camel racing, Ghanim is preparing for the Great Safwa Race — where heroes are made. Here among the dusty stables, saddles, and whips, the revered yet dangerous sport doubles as a struggle over history, with both riders and camel owners conjoined in the pursuit of family legacies. Younger brother and Bedouin tailor Matar (Omar AlAtawi) grew up hearing Ghanim recite poetry about their legendary grandfather, referred to only as “Hajjan,” the Arabic word for jockey. But while following in his grandfather’s footsteps, building a name for himself in a regional qualifying race, foul play cuts Ghanim’s dreams short.

An epic journey in both proportion and scope, Shawky’s rousing second feature boasts a fabled sense of urgency, backed by an evocative score and the awe-inspiring atmosphere of the Arabian desert.


A Pakistani family confronts emotional intimacy and social expectations when their son begins performing with a trans dancer. Adapted from his award-winning short Darling, Saim Sadiq’s staggering debut feature, Joyland, has catapulted Pakistan to the forefront of international cinema with a bittersweet tale of repressed desire and the quest for individual freedom.

Haider Rana (Ali Junejo), a quiet, unemployed husband to a vociferous, employed wife, Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq), has a seemingly happy arranged marriage and ordered family life, living under the same roof as the rest of the Rana clan. Amidst pressure and ridicule from his father, Haider finds work as a backup dancer for the trans performer Biba (Alina Khan), opening his eyes to another way to love — and another way of life. Mumtaz, meanwhile, is frustrated with the expectations of patriarchal society. Soon their desires collide, forcing them and their family to reckon with what has been buried for so long.

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize and Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, Joyland willfully explores desire — and who has the right to it — in a society that is slowly turning the corner on gender and sexual identity.


Inspired by the resistance of a creative underground community from the rock and punk scene, American aid worker Bill Carter comes up with an unconventional idea during the Bosnian war: He asks the Irish rock band U2 to draw the public’s attention to the war, the state of siege in Sarajevo and the struggle of its civilians. The band agrees and, on their 1993 tour, shows live interviews with people in Sarajevo who describe their plight to the concert audience. Filmmaker Nenad Cicin-Sain’s exciting and inspiring documentary shows that music can indeed contribute to a better world.


From Philippe Besson’s critically acclaimed, autobiographical novel comes a captivating adaptation from director and screenwriter Olivier Peyon. Above all else it is a tale of pain and desire – after all, do you ever really forget a first love? Since finishing school, Stéphane (Guillaume de Tonquédec) has seldom returned to his small town, finding his mind widened by his travels and blossoming career as a novelist.

Taking a job as an ambassador for a famous Cognac brand, he finds himself back in his small village for the first time in years. Little has changed as he settles into his monotonous tour, greeting adoring strangers at a book signing.

That is until he is struck by a familiar face, when he meets Lucas (Victor Belmondo), the son of his first great love. As the two begin to connect and catch up on the past, Stéphane must conceal the nature of his relationship with Lucas’ father, bringing back old memories of love and the terrible pain they shared in years past. Heartbreaking and bursting with courage, Lie with Me tells a beautiful story of forbidden love against the picturesque backdrop of rural France.


Just how far will you go to get what you want? Glamour, sex, money and manipulation all combine in a deadly vortex on the unassuming shores of the dreamy Côte d’Azur, as trouble begins to brew beneath the surface of the water. An official selection of Cannes Film Festival 2022, Masquerade follows Adrien (Pierre Niney) an aspiring dancer with an exciting life ahead – his dreams are suddenly dashed when hit with a debilitating injury. Succumbing to laziness, Adrien must rely on his beauty to seduce older, wealthy women who happily support his lavish lifestyle. Our protagonist is content living with doting Martha (Isabelle Adjani) that is until he meets captivating Margot (Marine Vacth, If You Saw His Heart), finding her raw beauty and stealthy approach to scheming intoxicating.

Initially offering Adrien advice, Margot invites him to join in on her latest conspiracy, targeting Simon (François Cluzet), a high-end real estate agent who quickly falls for her charms. Seemingly innocent, who would’ve thought that their plan may spiral beyond control? Sexy and oh-so-French, Masquerade is a standout film with plenty of drama and charisma – leaving you reeling and if anything, wanting more…


For five-year-old Lawand, who was born deaf, the journey to being understood was a complex path with massive hurdles. Facing the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Lawand and his family uproot themselves and make their way to the United Kingdom as refugees, in hope of finding a better life. After he is enrolled in a school for the deaf, we witness Lawand’s process of discovery and communication. A visceral and stunning approach to his story allows us to experience in part how he starts to learn and understand the world around him. Just as he begins to find his community, the threat of deportation arises—another harrowing strain for his family to fight through. Through intimate access at Lawand’s school and his family’s attempts to communicate better with their young son while fighting to stay in their new home, we discover a powerful story of resilience and hope, and a newfound wonder for how to see the world.


Perhaps best known for stylish thrillers like With a Friend Like Harry… (2000) and Only the Animals (2019), Dominik Moll takes a starker turn with his latest. The Night of the 12th tracks an investigation headed by Yohan (Bastien Bouillon) and his older, recently divorced colleague Marceau (Bouli Lanners) into the murder of Clara, a young woman set on fire one night after leaving a party in a small, quiet Alpine town. That horrific story comes from one section of Pauline Guéna’s 18.3, a massive chronicle of a year of French murder investigations that was itself partly inspired by David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. Moll’s film combines a French version of Simon’s dizzyingly comprehensive overview with the sweep of Zodiac and Memories of Murder, delivering the genre hallmarks of true crime while excavating insidious strains of misogyny in contemporary French society.


Director Michelle Shephard met Ismael Abdulle in Mogadishu in 2010 while she was covering the Somali civil war. His hand and foot had been cut off by the terrorist group al-Shabab. The articles she wrote about him generated a movement within the worldwide Somali community, helping him escape certain death.

The Perfect Story offers a riveting and intimate look at the ethical and moral challenges sparked by the relationship between journalist and subject. By examining the boundaries of modern journalism and filmmaking, this provocative film questions how stories are chosen and the lens through which they are told.


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