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Educational Programs

Great cinema has the power to educate, inspire, and foster empathy across cultures. However, getting a chance to see independent films is often a challenge. Year-round, at the Vancity Theatre, we screen some of the world's best cinema and we are thrilled to offer student-focused matinees.

We present teachers with a full series of youth films tailors specifically for classrooms and curriculum. With carefully selected films in the areas of MODERN LANGUAGES, ARTS, and SOCIAL STUDIES, we hope that teachers and students will discover the power of film as an eye-opening complement to their education in the classroom.


Special High School Rate

Up to 50 students - $400
Over 50 students - $7/student
Over 75 students - $600


To Book

Please email education@viff.org to book your class for a screening. Bookings are by request only. 



Landfill Harmonic

Rating: PG

Graham Townsley, Brad Allgood, USA, 2015, 84 min

Cateura, Paraguay, is Latin America’s largest landfill, and home to Cola, a garbage picker who proves an unlikely visionary when he realizes that instruments can be fashioned from trash. Banding together with a local music teacher, they turn oil drums into violins, water pipes into flutes and packing crates into guitars. More importantly, a group of impoverished local youths are transformed into the Recycled Orchestra. “The world sends us garbage... We send back music.”  

KONELĪNE: Our Land Beautiful

Rating: PG

Nettie Wild, Canada, 2016, 96 min

Nettie Wild’s extraordinary doc takes us beyond the Lower Mainland to reveal the stunning landscape of Northern BC, and charts the tension between a still relatively pristine beauty and the scars that economic development inevitably brings in the form of resource extraction and power lines. Potential filmmaker introduction.

Winner: Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award, Hot Docs


Rating: PG

Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, Iran/Germany/Switzerland, 2015, 90 min

The dismaying practice of selling teenagers into marriage is thrust into the damning spotlight in Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s essential documentary. An Afghan refugee in Iran, 14-year-old Sonita aspires to be a hip-hop superstar like Rihanna. But such fantasies can’t fully distract her from the grim reality that she and her teenage friends all have prices on their heads. During breaks at school, she and her fellow refugees don’t talk about boys or pop culture trends, but how much their parents will get for them. When Sonita’s brother requires a dowry to pay for his own bride, her family decides that selling her is the best way to secure the necessary funds.

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

Phyllis Ellis, Canada, 2015, 70 mins

Seamlessly weaving the experiences of the Group of Seven with three modern day sleuths, Gary & Joanie McGuffin and Michael Burtch are determined to find the precise locations the artists painted. This beautiful film explores the rivers and lakes of Algoma and the land north of Superior, energized by breathtaking aerial and landscape cinematography, combining original photography, archival materials, paintings and re-creations.

The Violin Teacher

Rating: 14A
Sérgio Machado, Brazil, 2016, 102 mins

After failing to be admitted into the renowned São Paulo Symphonic Orchestra, Laerte, a talented violinist, is forced to give music classes to teenagers in a public school in Heliopolis, the biggest favela of Brazil. His path is full of difficulties but the transforming power of music and the friendship arising between the professor and his students open the doors into a new world. Based on a true story.

To The Ends of the Earth

David Laval, Canada, 2016, 80 mins
To the Ends of the Earth follows concerned citizens living at the frontiers of extreme oil and gas extraction, bearing witness to a global crossroads. They call for human ingenuity to rebuild society at the end of the fossil fuel era.
The people we meet are uniquely positioned to watch this global crossroads unfold. For example, the mayor of an Inuit village in Canada’s high Arctic who is concerned that seismic testing for oil in the ocean is blowing up the eardrums of the animals that the Inuit hunt to survive. Or the environmental lawyer who goes on a journey to areas that produce energy for the tar sands of Alberta — he learns of the massive inputs of energy that have to be put into this resource — and the reasons why the second largest oil project in the world is economically unsustainable. Or the river conservationist in Utah who fights to protect the Colorado River from oil shale projects that would disturb its headwaters.


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