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Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant is a coming-of-age tale that might be the most unabashedly Canadian film to play the festival.

The Vancouver International Film Festival runs Sept. 24 through Oct. 9. The Globe and Mail will pick one must-watch film each day and include a capsule review.

A feature debut of startling power, Andrew Cividino's coming-of-age tale is perhaps the most unabashedly Canadian film to play the festival, and one of its most affecting.

Set in Northern Ontario cottage country – and eager to trumpet its very particular setting – the drama follows three young boys just on the other side of puberty, with all the horrible and confusing elements that entails.

Using mostly novice actors and gorgeous rural cinematography from James Klopko, Cividino creates a volatile, captivating and singular look at adolescence, wholly free of the sanitized antics of Hollywood. Elevator pitch: Boyhood meets Stand by Me.