VIFF: Riceboy Sleeps

Raising her young son Dong-hyun (Dohyun Noel Hwang) in Vancouver’s suburbs in the 90s, So-young (Choi Seung-yoon), a South Korean immigrant and single mom, desperately wants to instill a sense of pride in the boy. In turn, he only wants to be considered “Canadian” in hopes of avoiding bullying at school. As Dong-hyun (now played by Ethan Hwang) grows older, his frustrations over knowing nothing about his father are only exasperated when So-young introduces a surrogate patriarch into his life. A cruel twist of fate sends the pair back to South Korea, where all will be revealed about the family’s history.

Elegantly interweaving social realism with fable-like sequences, Anthony Shim (Daughter, VIFF 2019) makes sublime use of Christopher Lew’s glorious cinematography and Andrew Yong Hoon Lee’s expressive score to craft a film that’s both emotionally and sensorially rich. Wedding autobiographical elements with more universal concerns, he likewise achieves an exquisite balance between Dong-hyun and So-young’s perspectives. The generosity extended to his characters makes the ensuing drama all the more rewarding.

Award: Platform Award, TIFF 2022


Monday, October 3
Doors 5:45 pm | Movie 6:15pm
Advance tickets through here


Tickets for all Vancouver International Film Festival screenings at the Rio Theatre are managed through VIFF, and can be made in advance via their ticketing service at www.viff.orgTickets may also be purchased at the box office; or any VIFF venues subject to availability.

*Online sales for VIFF screenings end 60 minute prior to any given showtime. The VIFF box office will open 60 minutes before any given showtime.
*Unless otherwise noted, all patrons must be 19+ with valid ID or entry to all Vancouver International Film Festival events.

*Sorry, Rio Theatre Groupons and passes cannot be used for VIFF events.


VIFF memberships are now included in the cost of your tickets so no need to buy a separate membership.

If you have any questions about VIFF programming or ticketing, please call them at 604-683-3456, or email them directly <[email protected]>


A South Korean mother and son struggle with their new life in 1990s Canada and the growing rift between them, in Anthony Shim’s assured second feature.

About The Rio

Voted the #1 Independent Theatre in Vancouver, the Rio Theatre is a multimedia venue featuring arthouse, mainstream and cult-classic cinemas as well as live entertainment. Built in 1938, the Rio has been fully restored with a state of the art digital projector, surround sound, a huge stage and 420 luxurious seats.

1660 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Phone: 604.879.3456

Info Line: 604.878.3456

Email: [email protected]

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