VIFF loads up on Cannes hits, big stars, filmmaking greats

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      It’s a good year for VIFF when the docket starts to fill with new works from the likes of Greek super-weirdo Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite, starring Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) and Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi, who opened this year's Cannes with the thriller Everybody Knows (featuring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz).

      Along with Shadow from China’s great Zhang Yimou, these are among the titles revealed this morning (August 30) in a media release announcing the Special Presentations at the 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival. 

      We can look forward to equally weighty product from Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Olivier Assayas (Non-Fiction), Kore-eda Hirokazu (Shoplifters), and Jacques Audiard (The Sister Brothers, with a cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, and John C. Reilly.)

      From Canada: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky return with Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, while conservationist/filmmaker Rob Stewart is remembered with his final film, Sharkwater Extinction, and Miranda de Pencier marks her feature directorial debut with The Grizzlies.

      Actor Joel Edgerton also turns up on the other side of the camera for Boy Erased, starring Nicole Kidman, while Rupert Everett does double-duty as director and star of the Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince.

      In the surefire hit category: Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan find themselves in A Private War (not to mention a Canadian premiere); Melissa McCarthy plays literary forger Lee Isreal in Can You Ever Forgive Me?; Robert Redford bows out of a 58 year acting career in David Lowery’s The Old Man & the Gun; while Colette sends Keira Knightley back to fin-de-siècle Paris in the role of pioneering queer writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.

      The Vancouver International Film Festival takes place from September 27-October 12.