Posted on December 20, 2019

As a way to acknowledge the end of this amazing decade of film, we've asked our programming team to round up their favourite movies of the last ten years. First up: World Cinema Programmer Sachin Gandhi, who not only gave us his top ten films of the decade, but he also kindly counted down 50(!) of his favourite films overall. Read on for to see what he thinks merits the top spot of the last ten years, and be sure to keep an eye out for more "Best of the Decade" lists coming soon! 


Sachin: It is not an easy task to narrow down the best films from the last decade (2010-19). However, in order to make the task a little bit more manageable, I selected a few noteworthy films from each year to come up with 50 films in total.

Note: Films with ** were shown by the Calgary International Film Festival in that respective year.

Best of the Decade Top 10:

1. ZAMA directed by Lucrecia Martel (2017, Argentina co-production)

2. ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2011, Turkey/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

3. CERTIFIED COPY directed by Abbas Kiarostami (2010, France/Italy/Belgium/Iran) **

4. TIMBUKTU directed by Abderrahmane Sissako (2014, Mauritania/France)

5. HOLY MOTORS directed by Leos Carax (2012, France) **

6. TRANSIT directed by Christian Petzold (2018, Germany/France) **

7. JAUJA directed by Lisandro Alonso (2014, Argentina co-production)

8. LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (2013, Japan) **

9. THIS IS NOT A FILM directed by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (2011, Iran)

10. THE TREASURE directed by Corneliu Porumboiu (2015, Romania/France)


I've arranged the remaining 40 films by year of release and in order of preference for each year.


THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA directed by Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal co-production)

UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand co-production) **

CARLOS directed by Olivier Assayas (France/Germany)

VALHALLA RISING directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Denmark/UK) **


THE TURIN HORSE directed by Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky (Hungary co-production)

A SEPARATION directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran) ** 13137A SEPARATION banner


NEIGHBORING SOUNDS directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil)

LEVIATHAN directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel (USA/France/UK)


VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR directed by Denis Côté (Canada) **

BASTARDS directed by Claire Denis (France)


THE TRIBE directed by Miroslav Slaboshpitsky (Ukraine/Netherlands)

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium/France/Italy)

LI’L QUINQUIN directed by Bruno Dumont(France) **

FROM WHAT IS BEFORE directed by Lav Diaz (Philippines)
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EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT directed by Ciro Guerra (Colombia co-production)  **

RIGHT NOW, WRONG THEN directed by Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)

OUR LITTLE SISTER directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (Japan) **

THE PEARL BUTTON directed by Patricio Guzmán (Chile/France/Spain/Switzerland)

ALIGARH directed by Hansal Mehta (India)

TAXI directed by Jafar Panahi (Iran) **


SHIN GODZILLA directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi (Japan)

AQUARIUS directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil/France)

NERUDA directed by Pablo Larraín (Chile/Argentina/France/Spain/USA) **
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A MAN OF INTEGRITY directed by Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran)

WESTERN directed by Valeska Grisebach (Germany/Bulgaria) **

LIFE AND NOTHING MORE directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza (Spain/USA)

COCOTE directed by Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias (Dominican Republic co-production)

A GENTLE CREATURE directed by Sergei Loznitsa (France)

CLOSENESS directed by Kantemir Balagov (Russia) **

THE NOTHING FACTORY directed by Pedro Pinho (Portugal) **


BURNING directed by Lee Chang-dong (South Korea)

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT directed by Bi Gan (China) **

AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL directed by Hu Bo (China)

ASH IS PUREST WHITE directed by Jia Zhang-ke (China co-production) **


ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF NOAH PIUGATTUK directed by Zacharias Kunuk (Canada) **

VARDA BY AGNÈS directed by Agnès Varda (France) **

VITALINA VARELA directed by Pedro Costa (Portugal)

PAIN AND GLORY directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Spain/France) **

BEANPOLE directed by Kantemir Balagov (Russia) ++

MARTIN EDEN directed by Pietro Marcello (Italy/France/Germany)
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++: Will be shown by the Calgary International Film Festival on Feb 12, 2020 as part of the Global Perspectives series.


Save the date for February 9th, 2020 - CIFF's annual Oscars watch party and fundraiser, A Red Carpet Affair. Can't wait for next year's festival? We've got year-round screenings to tide you over until then, and our newsletter will keep you up to date on all the goings on. 

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