Amásání (The Grandmother)

English and Navajo with English subtitles.

When Riley gets suspended from school, her mother sends her to spend a day with her grandmother. Although Riley is resistant at first, the loving and strong nature of her grandmother opens Riley’s world as she learns something new about her Diné culture and language. Director Stacy Howard was born and raised on the Navajo Nation in Mexican Water, Arizona.

Themes: language, family, cultural preservation, traditional


No dialogue.

What came first: the chicken or the egg? We may never know, but we do know that when new ideas hatch, they have the potential to grow into something remarkable. In Dan (the Mandarin word for egg), the evolution of a rooster illustrates a journey, which may not end up being what it was expected to be.

Note: Director Chloe Xi Hua will be in attendance for a Q&A

Themes: inspiration, animals, expectation

Earth: One Amazing Day



*The Opening Party will be held in the VIFF Vancity Theatre atrium, after the screening, entrance is included with a valid ticket from the film  (April 8). Representatives from the film will be available via Skype to answer your questions.*

The long-awaited sequel to BBC Earth Film’s Earth is narrated by Academy Award® winner Robert Redford.


Local Michif filmmaker Amanda Strong used shadow puppetry and stop motion animation to tell the story of Thunder, an Indigenous student combating the massive influence of European settlers in North America.

Themes: colonialism, cultural preservation

How to Make Hamburgers

No dialogue.

The title says it all. Stop motion wizard Alexander Unger makes a delectable burger out of plasticine in this simple, but to the point, mixed media assemblage of ingredients. 

Themes: food, animate anything

If You Fall

Eight year old Lila takes on the daunting task of learning how to ride a bicycle as she faces an unfamiliar role-reversal at home. Without your parents holding on to you, there’s still a comforting reassurance in knowing that your family is always there to catch you if you fall. 

Note: Director Tisha Deb Pillai will be in attendance at a Q&A

Themes: family, supporting each other, gender roles, trust, art


Morit Elena Morit (Wake Up, Elena, Wake Up)

In Sámi with English subtitles.

This atmospheric tale follows a young girl and her reindeer as they try to escape the menacing darkness of colonial oppression in Sápmi. Guided by a spirit, she is reminded to listen to her inner voice and trust her instincts. Both directors draw inspiration from their family traditions.  d Inga-Wiktoria Påve is from a Sámi reindeer herding family in a small village called Lannavaara in Sweden, and Anders Sunna was raised in a reindeer herding family in Kieksiäisvaara.

Themes:  colonialism, protecting cultural traditions, coming to conscience


Mr. Night Has a Day Off

No dialogue.

Sometimes making a drastic change is as easy as flicking a switch on your day off. Changes are afoot when Mr. Night takes a break for the day! A comical and ambitious stop-motion concept executed with precision and flair, this film was an audience favourite at the Annecy Animation Film Festival in France. 

Themes: live-action/animation, mischief, science, comedy

My Father's Tools

No dialogue.

In this documentary Stephen weaves traditional baskets with the knowledge his Mi'gmaq father passed down to him. He finds and harvests the wood, painstakingly prepares it using mostly traditional tools, and assembles each basket with love, As Stephen weaves, there is a sense of peace and connection to all his father taught him.

Themes: mentorship, craftsmanship, traditional practice, cultural preservation

The Little Bird and the Caterpillar

No dialogue.

High up in a maple tree, a little bird cherishes the green leaves that its home is made of. Resolutely, a hungry caterpillar sets out to eat the appetizing leaves, and a comical pursuit ensues.

P.S. There will be farting.

Themes: animals and insects, motivation, friendship, survival