The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the full slate of its 36th edition. For 2011, TIFF has included over 200 feature films, including new works from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Lynn Shelton, Gus Van Sant, the Dardenne Brothers, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Werner Herzog, Nick Broomfield, Terence Davies, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Mary Harron, Lasse Hallstrom, Davis Guggenheim, Guy Maddin, Morgan Spurlock, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodóvar, Steve McQueen, Bruce MacDonald, Alexander Payne, Lynne Ramsay, Jay & Mark Duplass, Cameron Crowe and Madonna.
Below is a list of all the titles, with descriptions provided by the festival and links to film pages for more information. Check back as indieWIRE makes additions to this article throughout the festival, which runs September 8-18, 2011.
Rodrigo Garcia, Ireland World Premiere
A witty Irish-set period drama about the lives of staff at Dublin‟s most luxurious hotel: the illegitimate child of a maid, a beautiful couple‟s impossible love, and Albert…a woman who pretends to be a man to survive. Nineteenth century Ireland: for a woman to be independent and single, she must deceive everyone – by pretending to be a man. Albert, a shy butler who keeps to himself, has been hiding a deep secret for years – „he‟ is a woman who has had to behave as a man all her life in order to escape a life of poverty and loneliness. When a handsome painter Hubert Page arrives at the hotel, Albert is inspired to try and escape the false life she has created for herself. She gathers her nerve to court beautiful, saucy young maid Helen in whom she thinks she‟s found a companion – but Helen‟s eye is on a new arrival: handsome, bad-boy Joe, the new handy-man. As Albert dares to hope that she might one day live a normal life, we catch a glimpse of a free-spirited woman who is caught in the wrong time… Stars Glenn Close. More Info
Jim Field Smith, USA World Premiere
Set in the highly competitive world of championship butter carving, Butter blends social commentary, outrageous comedy and heartfelt drama in telling the story of the ambitious Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), the self-anointed First Lady of Butter Carving. Refusing to accept that her husband (Ty Burrell) wants to step down after his 15-year run as the “Iowa State Butter Carving Champion,” and therefore end the Pickler family‟s reign in the spotlight, Laura takes a stab at the title herself. But her bid for glory is complicated when two unlikely contestants enter the race – one, her husband‟s hard-living mistress (Olivia Wilde), and the other a 10-year-old foster child named Destiny (Yara Shahidi). Enlisting the help of her high school sweetheart, Boyd (Hugh Jackman), Laura will stop at nothing to be crowned champion, even if it means resorting to sabotage. Part political satire, part Capra-esque comedy, Butter is a story about what it means to win at all costs and against all odds. More Info
From The Sky Down
Davis Guggenheim, USA World Premiere (Opening Night Film)
Twenty years after the release of U2’s Achtung Baby (1991), Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth, It Might Get Loud) charts this groundbreaking album with new interviews, stories and unseen footage from Berlin and Dublin. Now a key chapter in their career, Achtung Baby was in Bono’s words “the sound of four men chopping down The Joshua Tree.” More Info
Nick Murphy, United Kingdom World Premiere
Haunted by the death of her fiancé, Florence Cathcart is on a mission to expose all séances as exploitative shams. However, when she is called to a boys’ boarding school to investigate a case of the uncanny, she is gradually forced to confront her skepticism in the most terrifying way, shaking her scientific convictions and her sense of self to the very core. Haunting and moving in equal measure, The Awakening is a sophisticated psychological/supernatural thriller in the tradition of The Others and The Orphanage, but with its own unique and thrilling twist. Starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton.
Christophe Honoré, France International Premiere
From Paris in the 1960s to London’s modern days, Madeleine and her daughter Vera waltz in and out of the lives of the men they love. But love can be light and painful, cheerful and bitter. An elegy to femininity and passion with musical outbursts. Starring Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve.
A Dangerous Method
David Cronenberg, France/Ireland/United Kingdom/Germany/Canada North American Premire
For his third consecutive collaboration with Viggo Mortensen, David Cronenberg adapts Christopher Hampton’s 2002 stage play concerning the turbulent relationship between Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his mentor Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) as they struggle to treat a troubled patient (Keira Knightley).
A Happy Event
Rémi Bezancon, France World Premiere
She turned my life upside-down, drove me into a corner, pushed me beyond my limits. She taught me about self-renouncement, tenderness and sacrifice in their most extreme forms.” “Why didn‟t my mother ever tell me? Why doesn’t anyone ever mention this?” A Happy Event breaks the taboo of pregnancy through the tragicomic diary of a young woman who becomes a mother. Stars Louise Bourgoin. More Info
Tanya Wexler, USA/United Kingdom World Premiere
A romantic comedy based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world’s first electro-mechanical vibrator in the name of medical science. Academy Award® nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy headline in this untold tale of a young Victorian doctor’s quest to figure out the key to women’s happiness. Also starring Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones.
The Ides of March
George Clooney, USA North American Premiere
The Ides of March takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and- coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate’s shot at the presidency. Also starring George Clooney, Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman. More Info
Gary McKendry, USA/Australia World Premiere
Based on a true story, Killer Elite races across the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East in the action-packed account of an ex-special ops agent (Jason Statham) who is lured out of retirement to rescue his mentor (Robert De Niro). To make the rescue, he must complete a near-impossible mission of killing three tough-as-nails assassins with a cunning leader (Clive Owen).
Luc Besson, France/United Kingdom World Premiere
The Lady is the extraordinary story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris. It is also the story of the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the core of Burma‟s democracy movement. Despite distance, long separations, and a dangerously hostile regime, their love endures until the very end. It‟s a story of devotion and human understanding set against a backdrop of political turmoil that continues today. The Lady was written over a period of three years by Rebecca Frayn. Interviews with key figures in Aung San Suu Kyi‟s entourage enabled her to reconstruct for the first time the true story of Burma‟s national heroine. Stars Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. More Info
Bennett Miller, USA World Premiere
Based on a true story, Moneyball stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: all of baseball’s conventional wisdom is wrong. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. It’s more than baseball, it’s a revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul of the game. More Info
Machine Gun Preacher
Marc Forster, USA World Premiere
Machine Gun Preacher is an inspirational true story, about Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the saviour of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. Gerard Butler (300) delivers a searing performance as Childers in Golden Globe®-nominated director Marc Forster’s (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) moving story of violence and redemption. Machine Gun Preacher was previously announced as a Special Presentation.
Closing Night Film: Page Eight
David Hare, United Kingdom
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving M15 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny’s striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Set in London and Cambridge, Page Eight is a contemporary spy film which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century. Also stars Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis.
Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
Bruce Beresford, USA World Premiere
Directed by two-time Academy Award® nominated Bruce Beresford, Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding stars Academy Award® winning Jane Fonda, two-time Academy Award® nominated Catherine Keener, international heartthrob Chace Crawford, and Sundance’s “breakout star” Elizabeth Olsen. A comedy about an uptight New York City lawyer who takes her two spirited teenagers to her hippie mother’s farmhouse in the countryside for a family vacation. What was meant to be a weekend getaway quickly turns into a summer adventure of romance, music, family secrets, and self-discovery. More Info
Ken Scott, Canada North American Premiere
Just when David Wosniak (Patrick Huard) decides to finally take control of his life, this eternal 42-year-old teenager discovers that he’s the biological father of 533 children. Suddenly, his life is much more complicated than he anticipated. Also starring Antoine Bertrand, Julie le Breton.
Take this Waltz
Sarah Polley, Canada World Premiere
Swelteringly hot, bright and colourful like a bowl of fruit, Take this Waltz leads us laughing through the familiar, but uncharted question of what long-term relationships do to love, sex, and our images of ourselves. Starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen and Luke Kirby. More Info
Joel Schumacher, USA World Premiere
What happens when a man with everything – a beautiful wife, a teenage daughter and a wealthy estate – is confronted with the reality of losing it all? That is what Kyle Miller must come to terms with as he and his family become the victims of a vicious home invasion. Stars Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman.
Madonna, United Kingdom North American Premiere
W.E. is a romantic exploration of the mysterious connection across decades between two women confronting the consequences of desire. Caught in a loveless Manhattan marriage, abused and frustrated Wally (Abbie Cornish) obsesses over Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough), the stylish American divorcee who captured the heart of Edward the VIII (James D‟Arcy) who abdicated the throne as King of England. As the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis spends the rest of her life in the glare of celebrity exile. Inspired by the Duchess‟ determination to pursue love in the face of social exile, Wally escapes into the arms of another man (Oscar Isaac) whose love sets her free. Madonna and a world class team of collaborators present a passionate tale of the search for love and the meaning of happiness. W.E. (for Wallis and Edward, forever entwined in the love story of the 20th century) is a rich, cinematic portrayal of two strong women resolved to find romance. More info
Darrell J. Roodt, South Africa / Canada World Premiere
This film reveals the enigma that is Winnie Mandela. A sensitive depiction, Winnie portrays her life’s journey amidst the unwavering love between her and Nelson Mandela, and their unfaltering commitment to the struggle for democracy in South Africa. Winnie takes the audience on an epic voyage of understanding – painting a vivid portrait of one of the world’s most remarkable women. Starring Jennifer Hudson, Terrence Howard, Elias Koteas and Wendy Crewson.
Wang Xiaoshuai, China/France
Wang Han, an 11-year-old boy in the province of Ghizhou is confronted with a runaway murderer. Hiding in the woods, the wounded man takes Wang Han drying shirt and persuades him to help him out. Frightened and fascinated at once, Wang Han and his friends accept to keep it secret from the police. Strange things are happening at school and the police is everywhere…
Jonathan Levine, USA World Premiere
Inspired by personal experiences, 50/50 is a funny, touching and original story of friendship, love, and survival starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston.
Fernando Meirelles UK/Austria/France/Brazil World Premiere
Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s classic La Ronde, in 360, director Fernando Meirelles and screenwriter Peter Morgan combine a modern and dynamic roundelay of original stories into one, linking characters: from different cities and countries in a vivid, suspenseful and deeply moving tale of love in the 21st century. Starting in Vienna, the film beautifully weaves through Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix into a single, mesmerizing narrative. Stars Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz and Ben Foster.
Mike Clattenburg, Canada North American Premiere
Disheartened when his story about Canadian snipers possibly mutilating corpses in Afghanistan is buried, Luke (Nick Stahl) quits his job but is even more determined to return to Afghanistan to get the real story. Starring Nicolas Wright, Stephen Lobo, Vik Sahay and Steve Cochrane.
Mathieu Demy, France World Premiere
When Mathieu was little, his name was Martin and he lived in Los Angeles. Martin grew up and lives in Paris. When he loses his mother back in California, Martin must return to the city of his childhood to deal with the formalities surrounding his inheritance. Unable to face up to his mom’s death, Martin takes off to Tijuana on the trail of Lola, a Mexican woman he used to know, and who held a special place in his mother’s life. To make his own peace, Martin must delve into his past. Starring Salma Hayek and Geraldine Chaplin.
Roland Emmerich, Germany World Premiere
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds, namely: who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when scandalous political intrigue, illicit romances in Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles lusting for the power of the throne were brought to light in the most unlikely of places: the London stage. Starring David Thewlis and Vanessa Redgrave.
Michel Hazanavicius, France Toronto Premiere
Hollywood 1927. George Valentin is a very successful silent movie star. The arrival of talking pictures will mark the end of his career. Peppy Miller, a young woman extra, becomes a major movie star. Starring Malcolm McDowell, James Cromwell and John Goodman
A Better Life
Cédric Khan, France World Premiere
Yann, a cook, and Nadia, a waitress and mother of nine-year-old child, decide to risk everything on the purchase of a restaurant. With plenty of talent, energy, love and dreams, but no finances of their own, they find themselves forced into a jungle of financing and bank loans that quickly overwhelms them. To bail them out, Nadia has to take a job in Canada, while Yann is forced to stay behind to save the restaurant. Together, he and the child confront a relentless avalanche of creditors, an uncaring system and the daily grind from which there is no respite. Yann finally understands that his only chance of salvation lies in joining his lover – as well as reuniting mother and child – by following Nadia to Canada and a better life. Stars Guillaume Canet, Leïla Bekhti and Slimane Ketthabi.
Robert Lieberman, Canada World Premiere
Breakaway is a cross-cultural hockey drama set in the Indo-Canadian community in suburban Toronto, Canada. It‟s also a keenly observed cross-cultural drama with a hero caught between a family‟s traditional expectations and a dream to make it big in the national sport of an adopted country. Breakaway is a fun, action-filled sports comedy bringing a dash of Bollywood entertainment to Canada‟s favourite sport. Starring Vinay Virmani, Russell Peters, Anupam Kher, Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, Sakina Jaffrey, Noureen Dewulf, Rob Lowe, Camilla Belle and Akshay Kumar.
Jonathan Teplitzky, Australia World Premiere
Why is Tom behaving so badly? Six women and an eight-year-old boy are fighting, in very different ways, to help. But for Tom, it seems, there are no rules. Burning Man is the reckless, provocative and moving story of a father and son‟s journey back to happiness. Stars Matthew Goode and Rachel Griffiths.
Café de Flore
Jean-Marc Vallée, Canada North American Premiere
Café de Flore is first and foremost an epic love story between a man and woman. And between a mother and her son. Two people from two different eras who live two extraordinary moments of passion that shake their lives. A mystical and supernatural odyssey on love, starring Vanessa Paradis.
The Cardboard Village
Ermanno Olmi, Italy International Premiere
An old priest and his church are about to be demolished. A group of clandestine immigrants seeking protection find refuge in that church. In a circumstance of crisis and discouragement, together these people will be able to find the real meaning of the word “solidarity” and realize that the church is much more than a place for liturgical ceremonies and golden altars. Starring Michael Lonsdale and Rutger Hauer.
Chicken with Plums
Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud, France/Germany/Belgium North American Premiere
Tehran, 1958: Nasser Ali Khan, the most celebrated violin player, has his beloved instrument broken. Unable to find another to replace it, life without music seems intolerable. He stays in bed and slips further and further into his reveries from his youth to his own children‟s futures. Over the course of the week that follows, and as the pieces of this captivating story fall into place, we understand his poignant secret and the profundity of his decision to give up life for music and love.
Ralph Fiennes, United Kingdom North American Premiere
Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes), a hero of Rome, is a great soldier but despises the people. His extreme views ignite a mass riot and he is banished from Rome. Coriolanus allies with a sworn enemy (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.
Huh Jong-ho, Korea World Premiere
Jeon Do-youn plays a beautiful ex-con who, after being released from prison, tries to make some quick cash by manipulating a heartless debt collector.
Damsels in Distress
Whit Stillman, USA North American Premiere
Damsels in Distress is a comedy about a trio of beautiful girls as they set out to revolutionize life at a grungy American university – the dynamic leader Violet Wister (Greta Gerwig), principled Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and sexy Heather (Carrie MacLemore). They welcome transfer student Lily (Analeigh Tipton) into their group which seeks to help severely depressed students with a program of good hygiene and musical dance numbers. The girls become romantically entangled with a series of men – including smooth Charlie (Adam Brody), dreamboat Xavier (Hugo Becker), the mad frat pack of Frank (Ryan Metcalf) and Thor (Billy Magnussen) – who threaten the girls’ friendship and sanity.
Death of a Superhero
Ian FitzGibbon, Germany/Ireland World Premiere
Donald is 15 and dreams of girls, sex and crazy adventures. In his fantasy world, he creates an immortal superhero who fights against all evil. And in reality? Donald is falling in love with the school rebel while fighting against a terminal illness. Starring Andy Serkis, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aisling Loftus, Michael McElhatton, Sharon Horgan and Jessica Schwarz
Todd Solondz, USA North American Premiere
A thirtysomething guy with arrested development (Justin Bartha) falls for a thirtysomething girl with arrested development (Selma Blair), but moving out of his junior high school bedroom proves too much and tragedy ensues.
The Deep Blue Sea
Terence Davies, United Kingdom World Premiere
Hester Collyer (Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz) leads a privileged life in 1950s London as the beautiful wife of high court judge Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale). To the shock of those around her, she walks out on her marriage to move in with young ex-RAF pilot, Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), with whom she has fallen passionately in love.
From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.
Nicolas Winding Refn, USA Canadian Premiere
Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can‟t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). After a heist intended to pay off Standard’s protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defence for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman).
Nathan Morlando, Canada World Premiere
Based on a true story, WWII vet and family-man-turned-bank-robber Eddie Boyd is torn between the need to provide for his family and an unfulfilled Hollywood dream. He starts robbing banks to satisfy both, but Eddie‟s dream for stardom leads him down a path of danger and tragedy. Starring Scott Speedman, Kevin Durand, Kelly Reilly, Joseph Cross, Brendan Fletcher, Charlotte Sullivan and Brian Cox.
Malgorzata Szumowska, France/Poland/Germany World Premiere
Anne (Juliette Binoche), a well-off Paris-based mother of two and investigative journalist for ELLE, is writing an article about university student prostitution. Her meetings with two fiercely independent young women, Alicja (Joanna Kulig) and Charlotte (Anais Demoustier), are profound and unsettling, moving her to question her most intimate convictions about money, family and sex.
The Eye of the Storm
Fred Schepisi, Australia International Premiere
In the Sydney suburb of Centennial Park, two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. But in dying, as in living, Mrs. Hunter remains a powerful force on those who surround her. Based on the novel by Nobel Prize-winner Patrick White, The Eye of the Storm is a savage exploration of family relationships – and the sharp undercurrents of love and hate, comedy and tragedy, which define them. Stars Geoffrey Rush and Charlotte Rampling.
The First Man
Gianni Amelio, France/Algeria/Italy World Premiere
An adaptation of Albert Camus’ autobiographical last novel. Part childhood memoir, part epic narrative of Camus’ beloved Algeria and its struggle for independence from France, The First Man was left unfinished by the Nobel Prize-winner who died at age 46.
Friends With Kids
Jennifer Westfeldt, USA World Premiere
Friends With Kids is a poignant ensemble comedy about a close-knit circle of friends at that moment in life when children arrive and everything changes. There are big laughs and unexpected emotional truths as the last two singles in the group, out of step with their married pals, resolve to have a kid together… and date other people. Stars Kristen Wiig, Megan Fox, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph and Edward Burns.
Mike Dowse, Canada World Premiere
Goon is the story of Doug Glatt, a down-on-his-luck bouncer, who‟s been touched by the fist of God. Upon discovering both his right hook and skates, he joins a hockey team destined for the cellar and inspires them into the playoffs. Starring Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Marc Andre Grodin and Eugene Levy.
Nanni Moretti, Italy/France North American Premiere
The newly elected Pope suffers a panic attack just as he is due to appear on St Peter‟s balcony to greet the faithful, who have been patiently awaiting the conclave‟s decision. His advisors, unable to convince him he is the right man for the job, seek help from a renowned psychoanalyst (and atheist). But his fear of the responsibility suddenly thrust upon him is one that he must face on his own.
Morten Tyldum, Norway North American Premiere
Roger (Aksel Hennie) is a successful Headhunter. But he lives above his means and steals art on the side. When introduced to Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Roger starts planning his biggest theft ever. But Roger runs into trouble and it‟s not financial problems that are threatening to knock him over this time…
Derick Martini, USA World Premiere
Tired of fending for herself and her mother’s penchant for hard-drinking men and barroom drama, thirteen-year-old Luli (Chloe Moretz) hits the road on her own, heading west to realize her dream of becoming a superstar. On her travels she meets Eddie, a drifter with a chip on his shoulder, and Glenda (Blake Lively), a troubled but spirited woman who takes Luli under her wing. Hick is a road picture about a little girl that comes face-to-face with the realities of just how complicated adulthood can be.
Daniel Nettheim, Australia World Premiere
Based on the acclaimed novel by Julia Leigh, The Hunter is a powerful psychological drama that tells the story of Martin (Willem Dafoe), a mercenary sent from Europe by an anonymous biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a dramatic hunt for the last Tasmanian Tiger. Against his wishes, Martin‟s only option is to stay at a base camp house with the despondent wife and spirited children of a missing zoologist. Drawn deeper into the wild landscape in his search for the mysterious Tiger, Martin‟s unexpected connection to the family and the majestic wilderness around him, forces him to confront the reality of his work and personal morality, with dramatic consequences. Stars Academy Award-nominee Willem Dafoe, Frances O‟Connor and Sam Neill.
Agnieszka Holland, Canada/Germany/Poland World Premiere
In Darkness tells the true story of Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in Nazi-occupied Lvov, Poland. Stumbling upon a group of Jews in the sewers, he agrees to hide them for a price. What starts out as a straightforward business arrangement becomes something unexpected, as they all try to outwit certain death during 14 months of intense danger. Starring Robert Wieçkiewicz and Benno Fürmann.
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Spain World Premiere
Juan and Mia, two children who live in different countries, are visited every night by a faceless intruder – a terrifying being that wants to get hold of them. These presence becomes more powerful and start ruling their lives as well as their families’. Anxiety and tension increase when their parents also witness these apparitions. Starring Clive Owen.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, USA World Premiere
Jeff, Who Lives at Home stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon. Penned by the writer/director team of brothers Jay and Mark Duplass (Cyrus), this is the story of one man searching for the meaning of life while running to the store to buy wood glue. Using the universe as his guide, Jeff looks for signs to help determine his path. However, a series of comedic and unexpected events leads him to cross paths with his family in the strangest of locations and circumstances. Jeff just may find the meaning of his life… and if he’s lucky, pick up the wood glue as well.
Guy Maddin, Canada World Premiere
Keyhole is a rousing gangsters-meet-ghosts sonata in which dream and waking life are deliriously blended to arouse the eerie lusts and sadness that can slumber in an old home – in every home. Starring Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini, Udo Kier, Louis Negin and Brooke Palsson.
William Friedkin, USA North American Premiere
When 22-year-old drug dealer Chris (Emile Hirsch) has his stash stolen by his mother, he has to come up with six thousand dollars quick or he’s dead. Desperate, he turns to “Killer Joe” (Matthew McConaughey) when he finds out that his mother’s life insurance policy is worth $50,000. Although Joe usually demands cash up front, he finds himself willing to bend the rules in exchange for Chris’ attractive younger sister, Dottie, who will serve as sexual collateral until the money comes in… if it ever does.
Life Without Principle
Johnnie To, Hong Kong North American Premiere
What do a bank teller, a small-time thug and a police inspector have in common? Nothing. Not until a bag of stolen money worth $10 million crosses their paths and forces them to make soul-searching decisions about right and wrong and everything in between on the morality scale.
Drake Doremus, USA International Premiere
Like Crazy is a film from and about the heart. Jacob, an American, and Anna, who is British, meet at college in Los Angeles and fall madly in love. It’s the purest kind of romance – they’re each other’s first significant attachment. When Anna returns to London, the couple is forced into a long-distance relationship. Their perfect love is tested, and youth, trust, and geography become their biggest enemies. Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones star as the young couple. An original, contemplative look at first love, Like Crazy strikes a universal chord as it explores the bittersweet beauty and impermanence of relationships.
Nicolas Klotz, Elisabeth Perceval, France North American Premiere
After making love, the youngsters slipped happily into dreamland… but when they opened their eyes the world appeared joyless, and stomach-wrenchingly old. And so they quickly sank back into their happy world, where all sleepers are equal. This is the place they called Low Life.
Machine Gun Preacher
Marc Forster, USA World Premiere
This inspirational true story, Machine Gun Preacher is about Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. Gerard Butler (300) delivers a searing performance as Childers in Golden Globe®-nominated director Marc Forster‟s (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) moving story of violence and redemption.
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Sean Durkin, USA Canadian Premiere
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a powerful psychological thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a young woman rapidly unravelling amidst her attempt to reclaim a normal life after fleeing from a cult and its charismatic leader (John Hawkes). Seeking help from her estranged older sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy), Martha is unable and unwilling to reveal the truth about her disappearance. When her memories trigger a chilling paranoia that her former cult could still be pursuing her, the line between Martha’s reality and delusion begins to blur.
Mausam (Seasons of Love)
Pankaj Kapur, India World Premiere
Mausam is a story of timeless love in the face of political hostilities and religious conflict, between a proud Punjabi Air Force Officer and an innocent Kashmiri refugee. Set against a landscape that transcends decades and spans continents, Mausam is a classic journey that transports one into a world of indestructible bonds of love enveloped by the roulette of destiny. Starring Shahid Kapur, Sonam A Kapoor and Anupam Kher.
Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany North American Premiere
In this beautiful movie about the end of the world, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite Claire‟s best efforts the wedding is a fiasco, with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth… Melancholia is a psychological disaster film from director Lars von Trier.
Philippe Falardeau, Canada North American Premiere
Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who died tragically. While the class goes through a long healing process, nobody in the school is aware of Bachir’s painful former life. Starring Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron, Danielle Proulx and Brigitte Poupart.
The Moth Diaries
Mary Harron, Canada/Ireland North American Premiere
Rebecca, haunted by her father’s suicide, begins her junior year at an elite all-girls‟ boarding school, hoping for a fresh start. Her friendship with sunny Lucy is shattered by the arrival of Ernessa, a mysterious girl. As Ernessa consumes more of Lucy’s attention, the latter‟s body grows pale, thin and weak. Starring Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, Sarah Bolger, Judy Parfitt and Scott Speedman
My Worst Nightmare
Anne Fontaine, France/Belgium World Premiere
Agathe doesn’t realize to what extent her life is going to be turned upside down when she takes in Tony, the best friend of her son Adrien. Tony’s father, Patrick, leads Agathe down a merry path of existential chaos, which just may deliver her from herself… Starring Isabelle Huppert.
Julian Farino, USA World Premiere
The Ostroff and Walling families are best friends and neighbours, living across the street from each other on Orange Drive. Prodigal daughter Nina Ostroff (Leighton Meester) returns home for Thanksgiving dinner after a five-year absence, newly broken up with her fiancé Ethan (Sam Rosen). Rather than developing an interest in the successful son of her neighbours, Toby Walling (Adam Brody), which would please both families, it‟s her parents‟ best friend David Walling (Hugh Laurie) that captures Nina‟s attention. When the romantic attraction between Nina and David Walling becomes too great to ignore, the lives of the two families are thrown into upheaval. It is not long, however, before the ramifications of the affair begin to work on the other family members in unexpected, hilarious and even positive ways, leading everyone to reassess what it means to be happy, and how to find happiness with, and perhaps in spite of, your own family and friends.
Pearl Jam Twenty
Cameron Crowe, USA World Premiere
Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon after their rise to megastardom, their step back from centre stage, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them – giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, the film is carved from over 1,200 hours of rarely seen and never-before seen footage spanning the band’s career. Pearl Jam Twenty is the definitive portrait of Pearl Jam: part concert film, part intimate insider-hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists.
Oren Moverman, USA World Premiere
A genre-bending, 1990s Los Angeles police family drama, Rampart explores the dark soul and romantic misadventures of a never-changing LAPD cop (Woody Harrelson) whose past is finally catching up with him in the wake of a department-wide corruption scandal. Along the way, he is forced to confront his disgruntled daughters (Brie Larson, Sammy Boyarsky), his two ex-wives (Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon), a tenacious Deputy DA (Sigourney Weaver), an investigator on his trail (Ice Cube), a homeless witness to his crimes (Ben Foster), his aging mentor (Ned Beatty) and a mysterious new lover who may or may not be on his side (Robin Wright), as he fights for his own sanity and survival.
Mathieu Kassovitz, France World Premiere
April 1988, Ouvea island, New Caledonia, a French colony. Thirty policemen are kidnapped by locals fighting for their independence. Three hundred members of the French Army Special Forces Unit are immediately sent on a mission to fix the situation. An encounter of two cultures: Philippe Legorjus, head of the unit, versus Alphonse Dianou, head of the rebels. Together, they’ll fight to resolve the situation through mutual trust and dialogue over violence. Except that they’re at the heart of the most tense presidential elections in French History, when issues at stake are purely political, rules of law and order are not exactly moral…
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Lasse Hallstrom, United Kingdom World Premiere
Stuffy government fisheries scientist Fred is asked by a fishing-obsessed Arab Sheik to do the seemingly impossible – introduce British salmon to the wadis of the Yemen. Despite considerable trepidation, Fred is finally won over by the charismatic Sheik, who reveals that fishing brings him closer to God, and he hopes it will have the same effect on his countrymen. Fred also begins to fall for the Sheik’s beautiful legal representative Harriet; and so he rises to the Sheik’s eccentric challenge, casting off his English reserve on a transformative journey of self discovery and late blooming love. Stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt.
Steve McQueen, United Kingdom North American Premiere
Brandon is a thirty-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon‟s world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. Stars Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale and Nicole Beharie.
A Simple Life
Ann Hui, Hong Kong, China North American Premiere
Based on real people and events. Ah Tao was born in Taishan, China. She works as a servant for 60 years and has been serving four generations of the Leung family. For the past decade, Ah Tao lived with Roger, the only family member left in Hong Kong. Stars Andy Lau, Deanie Ip, Wang Fuli and Qin Hailu.
Julia Leigh, Australia North American Premiere
“You will go to sleep: you will wake up. It will be as if those hours never existed.” Death-haunted, quietly reckless, Lucy is a young university student who takes a job as a Sleeping Beauty. In the Sleeping Beauty Chamber old men seek an erotic experience that requires Lucy’s absolute submission. This unsettling task starts to bleed into Lucy’s daily life and she develops an increasing need to know what happens to her when she is asleep. Starring Emily Browning and Rachael Blake.
The Skin I Live In
Pedro Almodóvar, Spain North American Premiere
Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years,he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. Stars Antonio Banderas..
Jeff Nichols, USA Canadian Premiere
Curtis lives in Ohio with his wife Samantha and daughter Hannah. When he begins having dreams about an encroaching apocalyptic storm, he channels his anxiety into building a shelter in their backyard. Though his obsessive behaviour provokes intolerance in his community, Curtis confides in Samantha, testing their bond against the highest possible stakes. Stars Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain.
Jamie Linden, USA World Premiere
Ten Year focuses on a group of friends – married and unmarried, successful and unsuccessful, happy and unhappy – as they return home on the night of their high school reunion. It stars a large ensemble cast that includes Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long, Kate Mara, Anthony Mackie and Chris Pratt.
Emanuele Crialese, Italy International Premiere
Terraferma is the story of an uncontaminated Sicilian island inhabited by fisherman. Still barely touched by tourism, the islanders have begun to alter their mentality and behaviour as they realize the economic potential of this new industry. At the same time, they deal with illegal aliens flooding the island and a new law requiring them to turn back undocumented peoples seeking aid.
Philippe Garrel, France/Italy/Switzerland North American Premiere
A couple living together in Paris – he’s a painter, she’s a film actress – befriend a couple of film extras who fall in love with each other. All four go to Rome where their relationships undergo profound changes as emotions shift and change.
Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom World Premiere
Starring Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Riz Ahmed (Centurion) and based on Thomas Hardy‟s novel Tess of the d‟Urbervilles, the film is set in contemporary India and tells the tragic love story between the son of a wealthy property developer and the daughter of a rickshaw driver.
Francis Ford Coppola, USA World Premiere
A writer with a career in decline arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. Stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning and Ben Chaplin.
Paddy Considine, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere
Joseph is a man plagued by violence and rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph’s life spirals into turmoil, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own which has devastating results on both of their lives. Starring Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman.
Violet & Daisy
Geoffrey Fletcher, USA World Premiere
Two girls. Some guns. A dress. A guy. A mess. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini.
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale
Wei Te-Sheng, Taiwan North American Premiere
Wei Te-Sheng’s epic film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale reclaims an extraordinary episode from 20th-century history which is little-known even in Taiwan. It’s a story of the encounter between a people who believe in rainbows and a nation which believes in the sun. It takes the form of a heroic battle in defence of faith and dignity.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Lynne Ramsay, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere
A suspenseful and psychologically gripping exploration into a parent dealing with her child doing the unthinkable, We Need to Talk About Kevin is the highly-anticipated third feature from director Lynne Ramsay and features a tour-de-force performance by Tilda Swinton.
Where Do We Go Now?
Nadine Labaki, France/Lebanon/Italy/Egypt International Premiere
Set against the backdrop of a war-torn country, Where Do We Go Now? tells the heart-warming tale of a group of women’s determination to protect their isolated, mine-encircled community from the pervasive and divisive outside forces that threaten to destroy it from within. Stars Kevin Abboud and Julian Farhat.
Woman in the Fifth
Pawel Pawlikowski, France/Poland/United Kingdom World Premiere
American writer Tom Ricks comes to Paris desperate to put his life together again and win back the love of his estranged wife and daughter. When things don’t go according to plan, he ends up in a shady hotel in the suburbs, having to work as a night guard to make ends meet. Then Margit, a beautiful, mysterious stranger walks into his life and things start looking up. Their passionate and intense relationship triggers a string of inexplicable events… as if an obscure power is taking control of his life. Stars Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Andrea Arnold, United Kingdom North American Premiere
A Yorkshire hill farmer on a visit to Liverpool finds a homeless boy on the streets. He takes him home to live as part of his family on the isolated Yorkshire moors where the boy forges an obsessive relationship with the farmer’s daughter. Starring James Howson and Kaya Scodelario.
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Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina/Spain North American Premiere
A truck driver has been charged with transporting a woman on the long journey from Paraguay’s border to the city of Buenos Aires. He is totally unprepared for the extra passenger that will accompany them, the woman’s infant daughter Jacinta, whose penetrating gaze eventually disarms his gruff exterior. Subtle and poignant, Giorgelli’s 2011 Camera D’Or winner is a movingly beautiful road movie highlighted by stunning performances.
Tomás Lunák, Czech Republic/Germany/Slovakia North American Premiere
Stories from the past and present converge at a small railway in Billy Potok, a tiny village on the Czech-Polish border. The local dispatcher, Alois Nebel, is a loner who prefers old timetables to people and has hallucinations of trains passing through the station from the last 100 years. Ghosts and visions from the dark past of Central Europe – Nazi occupation, transportation of Jews, communists’ revenge on the Germans – ultimately send him on a tumultuous and ominous journey.
Marco van Geffen, Netherlands North American Premiere
Split into three segments, each told from a different perspective, this smart thriller focuses on the lives of immigrant workers in Europe. Ewa, a vulnerable and shy girl from Poland, journeys to the Netherlands to work as an au pair. From the onset, the relationship with the young couple she works for is strained as she finds it difficult to live up to their clichéd expectations. When a rape takes place in town, Ewa believes she knows the sexual predator. Having nobody to share this knowledge with further alienates her from the people who surround her.
Axel Petersén, Sweden World Premiere
After serving time with an ankle bracelet, Janne, a former party organizer, travels to Båstad to open an exclusive nightclub and get his life back on track. A few days before the club’s launch, Janne causes a catastrophic accident, and his increasingly desperate attempts to deal with the situation drag him into a dark downward spiral.
Back to Stay
Milagros Mumenthaler, Argentina/Switzerland/Netherlands North American Premiere
Three sisters, bound by the loss of their grandmother, are forced to redefine their relationship with one another in their matriarch’s home. Milagros Mumenthaler’s debut explores the many hidden areas of human desire and the dichotomous relationships between family members, where so much and so little is known and shared.
Behold the Lamb
John McIlduff, United Kingdom North American Premiere
Eddie, a depressed accountant, accompanies his junkie son’s girlfriend Liz on a mysterious pick up to help save his neck. Between moments of unexpected heroism and sporadic bird watching, Eddie’s dysfunctional humanity connects with Liz’s tortured past and a kind of healing begins.
Karl Markovics, Austria North American Premiere
Without a family and seemingly incapable of coping with society, an18-year-old incarcerated boy faces a slim chance of probation. After many failed attempts, he finds a job through the day-release program at the municipal morgue in Vienna. Encountering a dead woman who bears his family name sends him on a quest to find his mother.
The Brooklyn Brothers
Beat the Best Ryan O’Nan, USA World Premiere
Equipped with an acoustic guitar, a broken heart, and an arsenal of children’s instruments, Alex, a dejected singer-songwriter, and Jim, a self-appointed music revolutionary, set off on a dubious tour that may be their last shot at achieving their childhood dreams.
Dain Said, Malaysia World Premiere
Three estranged brothers return home, each with their own path and their own fate. Adil, a kickboxer, is on the run from an illegal fight while Ilham, an assassin, hunts for his next prey. But it’s their opportunist brother Bakar who propels them all onto a collision course of deceit, regret and murder.
Joseph Israel Laban, Philippines International Premiere
Based on a true story, Cuchera examines the grim fate of Filipino drug mules, drug couriers and their recruiters. It follows Isabel, a veteran drug mule, in her first attempt at running her own drug shipment operation between Manila and China.
The Good Son
Zaida Bergroth, Finland International Premiere
The Good Son is an unsettling, modern-domestic tragedy about the small gap between childhood and adulthood. After a scandalous premiere, an actress, Leila, escapes to the old family summer house with her two sons. Ilmari, her explosive oldest son, has spent much of his life looking after his mercurial mother who has been constant tabloid fodder. The peaceful vacation is disrupted when Leila invites her artist friends over for a rowdy weekend.
Susan Youssef, Palestine/USA/Netherlands/United Arab Emirates North American Premiere
Re-telling Majnun Layla, an epic poem on a forbidden love marks the first fiction feature set in Gaza. Two Gazan students in the West Bank are forced to return home, where their love defies tradition. To woo his lover, Qays scribbles verse across walls all over the refugee camp where they live.
Ruslan Pak, South Korea North American Premiere
Stas is third generation Korean-Uzbek, a people who were deported from the Far East of the Soviet Union under Stalin. He and his three friends try heroin together, sending them into a downward spiral marked by tragedy. Facing corruption, Stas leaves his job as a police detective and heads to South Korea, where a bright future is guaranteed. Will this be hanaan for him — a land of promise?
Historias Que So Existem Quando Lembradas
Julia Murat, Brazil/Argentina/France North American Premiere
In Brazil’s Paraiba Valley, dotted with abandoned estates, ghost towns and vestiges of a short-lived coffee boom, lies the fictitious village of Jotuomba. Here, in a town that has been forgotten by the rest of the world, life rolls on at a languid pace for its elderly inhabitants. When young photographer Rita finds the town by following the unused railroad tracks, her presence, and her questioning of the locked cemetery gates, reveals the secret to Jotuomba’s mystery.
Nicolas Provost, Belgium North American Premiere
Amadou, a strong and charismatic African man, is washed up on a beach in southern Europe. Fate leads him to Brussels where he tries to make a better life for himself. Exploited by traffickers, his daily life is slowly drained of hope, until he meets Agnès, a beautiful and brilliant businesswoman. She is seduced by his charm and force of character, while he projects all his hope and dreams onto her. The illusion quickly shatters, and Agnès breaks all contact with Amadou, who little by little sinks into destructive violence, struggling with his inner demons.
J’aime regarder les filles
Frédéric Louf, France International Premiere
Set against the backdrop of the 1981 presidential elections, Primo, a middle-class youngster, falls in love with Gabrielle, a Parisian upper class rich girl. They soon learn they have to deal with her condescending friends who look down upon this upstart.
Lost in Paradise
Ngoc Dang Vu, Vietnam World Premiere
Khoa, an innocent man who leaves his poor village for Sai Gon, falls in love with Lam, a male prostitute. Misunderstanding, jealousy and tragedy unfold when Lam’s ex-boyfriend shows up, and Khoa discovers the truth about his career choice.
The Other Side of Sleep
Rebecca Daly, Ireland/Hungary/Netherlands North American Premiere
A sleepwalker. A body. A family. A small community. Arlene is like a ghost in her life. She lives in a small town in the midlands –surrounded by field after field, woodlands and laneways to disappear down and never come back… One morning Arlene wakes in the woods beside the body of a young woman. Someone watches from the trees. The body is soon discovered and suspicion spreads through the community. Increasingly drawn to the girl’s family – her grieving sister and accused boyfriend, Arlene barricades herself in at night, afraid to sleep. Haunted by grief buried and delayed, Arlene’s sleeping and waking realities soon blur. And all this time someone is watching her.
Dee Rees, USA International Premiere
Alike, a young African American teenager, juggles family and friendships in search of sexual expression. She yearns to embrace her identity as a lesbian, but pressures from her conservative family leave her conflicted while she strives to move through her adolescence with grace, humour and integrity.
Sebastián Brahm, Chile/Argentina World Premiere
When a prominent researcher in the field of human memory returns home, he stumbles upon the fact that a man’s past – as he remembers and tells it – is nothing but fiction.
Rolando Colla, Italy/Switzerland International Premiere
A beach holiday in Tuscany draws families and their children together. The youngsters join into a little gang and engage in fun and games in a nearby abandoned shack. The two eldest find themselves attracted to each other despite their family problems.
The Sword Identity
Haofeng Xu, China North American Premiere
Set during the Ming dynasty, when Japanese pirates had long been eliminated from China, a swordsman tries to prove that his weapon was used by the famous General Qi’s regiment to resist Japanese pirates. While attempting to prove the sword’s identity, a top martial arts master finally obtains inner peace.
Emmanuelle Millet, France World Premiere
When a young teenager becomes pregnant, she goes into denial. Too late to have an abortion, she is determined to give the child up for adoption immediately. Struggling with her situation, she keeps the news from her mother and withdraws into herself, while also reaching out to a young man.
Angelina Nikonova, Russia North American Premiere
An upper-crust social worker with a doting husband and an enviable downtown apartment is suddenly transformed into a bizarre twilight version of herself when she is raped by three policemen.
Rúnar Rúnarsson, Denmark/Iceland North American Premiere
This coming of age story follows a 67-year-old man who proves that it is never too late to change. Hannes is a bitter old man who finds renewed purpose in life in the wake of a family tragedy. For years, Hannes isolated himself from his wife and his now grown children. Determined to care for his wife for the first time, Hannes slowly discovers sentiments long buried within him.
(TIFF’s program of international artists displaying moving-image artworks – free and open to the public September 8 – 18 at TIFF Bell Lightbox and other Toronto locations:
James Franco and Gus Van Sant: Memories of Idaho (1991; 2010 and 2011) – World Premiere (elements*)
In 1991, Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho and its central performance by River Phoenix had an enormous cultural impact, not least on a budding young actor named James Franco (127 Hours, James Dean). Now Franco has collaborated with Van Sant to create Memories of Idaho, a meditation on the seminal film in multiple parts. At the work’s core are two new films, projected sequentially, in a darkened, generic space. The first film, My Own Private River, is a feature-length chronological reassemblage of excised scenes and alternate takes from the original shoot, radically foregrounding Phoenix. The second film, Idaho, comes from one of three scripts Van Sant used to create the original film, its Super-8 texture meant to be a “ghost” of his original conception. Van Sant contributes ghosts of his own, large-format photographs of actual Portland street hustlers who appeared in, and provided inspiration and source material for, the film. Presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox Atrium, 350 King Street West. September 8 to 18. (*One of the film elements of “Memories of Idaho,” My Own Private River, was previously shown at Gagosian Gallery Los Angeles, February 26 to April 9, 2011.)
Mr. Brainwash: Mr. Brainwash in Toronto (2011) – World Premiere
Made famous by the film Exit through the Gift Shop as legendary street-artist Banksy’s alter ego, Thierry Guetta , a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash, has continued to produce provocative and playful Pop art. His work hungrily appropriates contemporary visual-art masters and cheekily tweaks the nose of gallery-based convention. He will be engaged in multiple projects during the Festival, including a significant, multiple-piece exhibition at Gallery One. His presence will also be felt outside Roy Thomson Hall, with his spray cans towering over the red carpet, providing emergency assistance for evenings requiring additional glamour and pomp. And, finally, he will collaborate with TIFF on “Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess,” our fall exhibition. His unique tribute to the style icon will be seen wildposted all over town. Presented at David Pecaut Square, 55 John Street, September 8 to 18, and in collaboration with Gallery One, 121 Scollard Street, September 8 to October 22.
Peter Lynch: Buffalo Days (2011) – World Premiere
One of Canada’s most celebrated filmmakers, Peter Lynch has also had a long history with video art and installation work dating back to when he organized Video Culture International in the 1980s. Buffalo Days examines the devastating impact of Europeans on native cultures. In place of an inherently organic system, Europeans substituted one of complete control, driving out or eliminating wildlife – especially buffalo – and people unable to conform. The projections perform different functions: one reflects the actual physical environment; another, remnants and ghosts of the Blackfoot people’s way of life. The haunting quality of the imagery is buttressed by a soundscape comprised of natural sounds and traditional Blackfoot drumming. The piece is a compelling rumination on several of Lynch’s favourite themes, among them how we interact or fail to interact with our environment. Presented in collaboration with the Royal Ontario Museum’s Institute for Contemporary Culture. Produced with the support of the National Parks Project. Thorsell Spirit House, 100 Queen’s Park. September 8 to 18.
Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation: whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir (2009-2011) – Premiere status TBC
Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation’s much-celebrated work utilizes iconic images and ideas from art history as a starting point. Their whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir, shot mostly in post-Soviet Central Asia, reinvents the Suprematists’ radical abstractions through the deployment of paranoiac sci-fi film noir. Tarkovsky’s Solaris, with its perpetual sense of crisis, looms large, as does Jean-Luc Godard: the film concerns one Mr. Holz, newly employed in the futuristic metropolis City-A, a clear reference to Alphaville but infused with the sadness, horror and lost Utopian spirit of ever-present Soviet architecture. The work is of indeterminate length, generated algorithmically in real time by a computer program called a “serendipity machine,” which runs alongside the film. Made up of over 3,000 filmic fragments, some colour and some black and white, whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir displays an amazing coherence and narrative thrust. Perpetually evolving, Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation’s exciting new work evokes the same radical spirit and willfulness as Malevich’s squares and circles must have done so many years ago. Presented in collaboration with the NFB Mediatheque, 150 John Street. September 9 to 11.
Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary (2009) – Canadian Premiere With La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini broke with the neorealist tradition of filming on location, and moved to Cinecittà Studios, where he built a near-exact replica of Rome’s famed Via Veneto. Cinecittà, then known for hosting American epics like Ben Hur, would become inextricably linked with the great director. In this series of photographs, artist Gregory Crewdson revisits Fellini’s stomping grounds, documenting a cinematic ruin where narratives linger like ghosts. The traces of bygone productions are everywhere: a painted sign, perhaps from Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York; flooded alleyways that evoke HBO’s Rome. Presented in collaboration with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. CONTACT Gallery, 80 Spadina Avenue, suite 310. September 8 to October 22.
Nicholas and Sheila Pye: Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board (2011) – World Premiere
Collaborative Canadian artists Nicholas and Sheila Pye’s latest exhibition refers to the levitation game children often play at slumber parties. In this beautiful series of projections, the Pyes combine their film and photography work to create four tableaux that explore the link between magic and cinema. Each exquisite portrait, with its delicate yet startling movement, draws on old-world special effects to convey a mysterious story. The Pyes’ work has traditionally focused on the destructive aspects of relationships, but this series sees them plunging into trickery, in which the supernatural’s machinations are decidedly and eerily hidden. Presented in collaboration with Birch Libralato, 129 Tecumseth Street, September 8 to October 15.
Duane Hopkins: Sunday (2009) – North American Premiere
UK director Duane Hopkins’ full-scale installation project, Sunday, is both an extension of his previous films and a haunting, elegiac projection-based work in its own right. Consisting of a series of subtly looped diptychs and triptychs, Sunday focuses on the West Midlands youth of his much-celebrated feature-film debut Better Things (2008) and his early shorts Field and Love Me or Leave Me Alone. Hopkins captures the ennui, sadness and beauty of isolated adolescence in painterly tones and colors that recall the British Romantics, while twinning and reconceptualizing his landscapes to evoke the brooding, twitchy surrealism of the ever-encroaching contemporary world. Sunday builds to a climax of poignant helplessness, a politics of alienation that presages the violence and turmoil engulfing England this summer. Presented in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), 952 Queen Street West. September 9 to18.
David Rokeby: Plot Against Time (2007-2011) – World Premiere
Throughout his distinguished career, Governor General’s Award-winning artist David Rokeby has experimented prolifically with a variety of new media. Unifying all his work is an insatiable fascination with the recording of motion, and, in turn, of time. His new series, Plot Against Time, consists of four exquisite videos, each set in milieus in which figures’ and objects’ movements are meticulously tracked, creating gestural streaks across the screen. The vignettes vary widely, with marked seasonal modulations: bugs flitting about in the artist’s sun-soaked backyard; snowflakes vibrating in the turbulence created by Mies Van Der Rohe’s TD Centre skyscrapers and an Al McWilliams sculpture in Toronto’s financial district; tourists and pigeons forming searching paths in Venice’s Piazza San Marco; and, in the series’ most recent work which receives its world premiere at this year’s TIFF, gannets swooping off the coast of Newfoundland. Brilliantly suggesting abstract-expressionist precedents from Whistler to Pollock, Plot Against Time’s interest in kinesis is as sociological and technological as it is philosophical and painterly. Presented in collaboration with The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West. September 8 to 18.
Ben Rivers: Slow Action (2010) – Toronto Premiere Ben Rivers’ four-part film, Slow Action, is a heady mix of lingering, mysterious beauty and charmingly offbeat humour, transforming four real locales into wholly imagined futuristic communities. Referencing classic-documentary and ’50s-era ethnographic cinema, Rivers mischievously plays with the disarming and ironic porosity of science fiction. Taking inspiration from such utopian literary classics as Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis and Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, Slow Action uses a commissioned text by writer Mark von Schlegell, read by an omniscient female and male voice (the former a nod to Werner Herzog’s Fata Morgana). As they negotiate the utopian terrain of these post-flood parallel worlds, the searing 16mm anamorphic images testify to Rivers’ visionary flair and eye for the breathtaking. Though reminiscent of such august precedents as Chris Marker’s La Jetée and Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Slow Action is, indelibly, a creation of its maker, whose ongoing study of hybrids and hermits belongs in a category all its own. Presented in collaboration with Gallery TPW, 56 Ossington Avenue. September 8 to October 1.
Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky: Road Movie (2011) – World Premiere
Presented on six double-sided walls and comprised of a series of short films, Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky’s powerful and beautifully nuanced installation, Road Movie, examines contemporary life in Palestine. Palestinians living in the West Bank are confronted with a segregated and impossible road system made all the more problematic and unpredictable by shifting political currents. The subjects of the films – from Palestinian ambulance and taxi drivers to Israeli settlers and human-rights activists offer a unique and unconventional glimpse into the human landscape of this volatile land. Filmed in stop-motion animation, with a screen set-up suggesting the foreboding wall surrounding Palestine, Road Movie is full of arresting and vibrant images, from the deserts of the Jordan Valley to the circumference of Jerusalem. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada and presented at O’Born Contemporary offsite, 51 Wolseley St. 5th Floor, September 8 to 18.
David Lamelas: Time as Activity (Buenos Aires) (2010) – International Premiere
Pioneering ’60s conceptualist David Lamelas began, tellingly, as a sculptor. His explorations of time and space through film emerge from his desire “to produce sculptural forms without any physical volume.” Central to his career is his ongoing Time as Activity series, which began in 1969 in Dusseldorf when the artist filmed three separate views of the city in static, silent takes on 16mm, intercutting these with titles bearing the elapsed time of each. For the seventh instalment – after 40 years and excursions to Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, Warsaw, St. Gallen and Fribourg – Lamelas represents his native Buenos Aires via its landmark Plaza Congreso. With tranquil elegance, economy and ostensible simplicity, Time as Activity (Buenos Aires) underlines Lamelas’ proposition that time is our own construct and that hyperrealism entails fiction. Originally an in situ work exhibited opposite the Congreso, Time as Activity (Buenos Aires) comes to Toronto on the occasion of TIFF’s City to City focus on Buenos Aires. Presented in collaboration with Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, ste. 124, 401 Richmond Street West. September 8 to 18.
Real to Reel
The Boy Who Was King
Andrey Paounov, Bulgaria/Germany World Premiere
Director Andrey Paounov (The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories) explores the strange history of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha who became Bulgaria
Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope
Morgan Spurlock, USA World Premiere
Have you ever imagined a place where Vulcans and vampires get along? Where wizards and wookies can be themselves? Welcome to Comic-Con San Diego. What started as a fringe comic book convention for 500 fans has grown into the pop culture event of the year that influences every form of entertainment, now attended by over 140,000. Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope explores this cultural phenomenon by following the lives of seven attendees as they descend upon the ultimate geek mecca. Includes interviews with Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, Frank Miller and Matt Groening.
Frederick Wiseman, USA/France North American Premiere
Documentary master Frederick Wiseman (La Danse, Boxing Gym) spent ten weeks exploring the legendary Parisian cabaret club Crazy Horse, which boasts the greatest and most chic nude dancing in the world. Founded in 1951, the club has become a Parisian nightlife ‘must’ for any visitor, ranking alongside the Eiffel tower and the Louvre.
Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, USA World Premiere
It seems beyond comprehension that a child would ask her mother to put bleach in the bathwater to lighten her skin. Yet this is a reality for many members of the African diaspora. For many black women – who, like all women, are often judged by their physical appearance – being dark-skinned becomes their defining characteristic. Actor/director Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry set out to examine why skin colour bias persists and how it affects the lives of women on the receiving end of it.
Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell
Rithy Panh, France/Cambodia International Premiere
Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime caused the death of some 1.8 million people, representing one-quarter of the population of Cambodia. Rithy Panh first explored the legacy of Cambodia
Gerhard Richter Painting
Corinna Belz, Germany International Premiere
Gerhard Richter, one of the internationally most significant contemporary artists of our times, granted filmmaker Corinna Belz access to his studio in the spring and summer of 2009 where he was working on a series of large abstract paintings. In quiet, highly concentrated images, the film gives us a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a very personal, tension-filled process of artistic creation. In her intelligent and perceptive film, Corinna Belz brings us closer to the complex processes of artistic creation. Gerhard Richter Painting is the penetrating portrait of an artist at work – and a fascinating film about the art of seeing.
Ashley Sabin and David Redmon, USA World Premiere
Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. Girl Model follows Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese
market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a 13-year-old plucked from the Siberian countryside and dropped into the center of Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley
I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful
Jonathan Demme, USA North American Premiere
Carolyn Parker was the last to leave her neighbourhood when a mandatory evacuation order was decreed as Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in the summer of 2005, and was the first resident to return to her now flood-devastated community. Mrs. Parker takes us deep inside her personal biography as a child born in the 1940s, raised in segregated New Orleanst outspoken voices in the fight for every New Orleanian
In My Mother’s Arms
Atia Al Daradji and Mohamed Al Daradji, Iraq/Netherlands/United Kingdom World Premiere
Husham works tirelessly to build the hopes, dreams and prospects of the 32 damaged children of war under his care at a small orphanage in Baghdad’s most dangerous district. When the landlord gives Husham and the boys just two weeks to vacate a desperate search ensues.
Into the Abyss
Werner Herzog, USA World Premiere
Werner Herzog (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” “Grizzly Man”) explores the legacy of a triple homicide in Texas interviewing the victims’ families and those convicted for the crime including one man on death row, eight days before his execution.
Last Call at the Oasis
Jessica Yu, USA World Premiere
We‟re running out of water, and contaminating what’s left. How long before the well runs dry? In unravelling this interconnected global crisis, Last Call at the Oasis focuses on the country with the largest water footprint – the United States – and explores why the threat hasn’t hit home. Academy Award®-winning director Jessica Yu draws upon the research of scientists and enlists diverse voices ranging from the real Erin Brockovich, exemplifying feisty resistance, to actor Jack Black, supplying welcome comic relief.
The Last Dogs of Winter
Costa Botes, New Zealand World Premiere
Canadian Eskimo Dogs or Quimmiq were once indispensible to human life in the arctic. Today, the breed faces extinction. Since 1976, Brian Ladoon has stuck to a promise to maintain a viable breeding colony of the animals, battling chronic underfunding, wandering polar bears, officialdom and shocking weather to keep his word.
The Last Gladiators
Alex Gibney, USA World Premiere
Chris “Knuckles” Nilan can chart his hockey career by his scars. He earned those stripes as one the NHL Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) explores the rough and tumble world of hockey.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, USA World Premiere
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” chronicles the 18-year odyssey of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, three teens incarcerated for a horrifying crime they claim they did not commit. In the latest installment of the acclaimed documentary film series about the “West Memphis Three,” facts are reexamined, new evidence is revealed, and new suspects are scrutinized. The film is a riveting look at American justice.
Paul Williams: Still Alive
Stephen Kessler, USA World Premiere
A documentary filmmaker tracks down Grammy and Oscar award-winning actor/singer/songwriter Paul Williams in an attempt to find out what happened to his fallen idol. Paul Williams was one of the biggest stars of the 1970s. He was everywhere – on The Tonight Show 50 times and appeared on variety shows, sitcoms, game shows and movies from The Love Boat to Phantom of the Paradise.
But in the 1980s, he just disappeared. This movie is about what happened when filmmaker Stephen Kessler finds him.
Pink Ribbons, Inc
Léa Pool, Canada World Premiere
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people walk, run and shop for “the cure.” Millions of dollars are raised in the name of breast cancer, but where does all the money go, and what is actually achieved? Award-winning Quebec filmmaker Léa Pool directs Pink Ribbons, Inc. which examines what many have called the „dream case‟ of cause-related marketing. Inspired by Dr. Samantha King’s book “Pink Ribbons Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy,” the film juxtaposes footage from some of the biggest fundraising walks and runs in North America with uncompromising interviews.
Ron Fricke, USA World Premiere
Samsara is a Tibetan word that means “the ever turning wheel of life,” a concept both intimate and vast, the perfect subject for filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson whose previous collaborations include Chronos and Baraka. Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation that spans the globe on a journey of the soul. Through powerful images pristinely photographed in 70mm and a dynamic music score, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of the nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.
Sarah Palin – You Betcha!
Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill, United Kingdom World Premiere
Nick Broomfield’s quest for the real Sarah Palin involves battling the icy snows of Alaska in mid-winter to speak to the school friends, family, and Republican colleagues that in previous days gave their heart, soul and belief to the charismatic, charming, intoxicating ex-hockey mom. But it’s not all plain sailing. People are frightened to talk; Wasilla makes Twin Peaks look like a walk in the park. It’s a devout evangelical community – 76 churches with a population of only 6 thousand, and the Crystal meth capital of Alaska. Broomfield brings his celebrated wit and determination to cracking her story.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey
Mark Cousins, United Kingdom World Premiere
Filmed on four continents over six years, this epic 15-hour documentary tells the story of innovation in the movies based on the acclaimed book of the same title by Mark Cousins. Featuring exclusive interviews with legendary filmmakers like Stanley Donen and Abbas Kiarostami, The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a passionate, cinematic journey across 11 decades of cinema, and a thousand films.
Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, Canada World Premiere
Ronald Wright’s bestseller A Short History Of Progress inspired this cinematic requiem to progress-as-usual. Throughout human history, what seemed like progress often backfired. Some of the world’s foremost thinkers, activists, financiers and scientists challenge us to overcome “progress traps,” which destroyed past civilizations and lie treacherously embedded in our own.
The Tall Man
Tony Krawitz, Australia International Premiere
This is the story of Palm Island, the Australian tropical Paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty-five minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. It’s also the story of that policeman, the tall enigmatic Christopher Hurley who prior to Doomadgee’s death had been decorated for his work with aboriginal communities. Based on Chloe Hooper’s award winning book, The “Tall Man” explores one of Australia’s most sensational cases of culture clash and the haunting moral puzzle at its core.
Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin, USA International Premiere
In 2004, football coach Bill Courtney took on the daunting job of coaching at Manassas High School in inner-city Memphis, where players are more likely to wind up in jail than in college. The Manassas Tigers were perennial whipping boys of the league, bereft of victories, funds, and morale. Courtney recruited a group of freshmen to turn things around, and in their first season they got creamed. But with each passing year they won more games and more respect. At the start of the season in 2009, Courtney set a goal: to win the first play-off game in the school
Gary Hustwit, U.S./United Kingdom World Premiere
Director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified) completes his design film trilogy with “Urbanized.” Exploring the design of cities with the world‟s foremost architects, policymakers and engaged citizens, Urbanized frames a global discussion about how the design of our cities affects our lives.
Michael Glawogger, Austria/Germany North American Premiere
“Whores’ Glory” is a cinematic triptych on prostitution: three countries, three languages, three religions. In Thailand, women wait for clients behind glass panes, staring at reflections of themselves. In Bangladesh, men go to a ghetto of love to satisfy their unfulfilled desires on indentured girls. And in Mexico, women mix hard drugs with sex labour to avoid facing their own reality. In worlds where the most intimate act has become a commodity, these women have physically and emotionally experienced everything that can happen between a man and a woman. For this they have always received money, but it has not made their lives rich in anything but stories.
Barrymore brings Christopher Plummer’s Tony Award-winning tour-de-force stage performance to the screen in this film version of the Broadway hit adapted and directed by Erik Canuel. Acknowledged as one of the greatest actors in the world, Plummer took on the mammoth task of portraying legendary actor John Barrymore as he struggles with inner demons and the result is a breathtaking performance. Playwright William Luce‟s Barrymore opened at the Stratford Festival in 1996 before moving to Broadway, where Plummer won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor. In an on-stage conversation following the film, Plummer will address the full span of his remarkable career.
Deepa Mehta and Salman Rushdie
Published in 1981, Salman Rushdie‟s second novel, Midnight’s Children, which chronicles India‟s transition from British colonialism to independence, won him the Booker Prize. The book then went on to become a perennial bestseller and the core of countless university courses on postcolonial literature. For the past several years, Rushdie has been working with acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta on a film adaptation of Midnight’s Children. It is a challenging task, but Mehta has already proven herself fearless in bringing to the screen films such as Fire, Earth, Water and Heaven on Earth. In this Mavericks conversation, Mehta and Rushdie will discuss bringing the story from page to screen. Having just finished shooting Midnight’s Children this summer in Sri Lanka, Mehta will also offer a sneak peek at scenes from the film. Moderated by Cameron Bailey.
In Conversation With… Francis Ford Coppola
As much as any living filmmaker, Francis Ford Coppola, a prolific writer, director, producer and innovator, has seen it all. He began his film career working under the auspices of legendary producer Roger Corman, gaining respect as a hard-working screenwriter and eventually as a director. He was already well versed in the art and craft, and the business of movies by the time of his ascent to auteur-stardom with a string of canonic masterpieces: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II and Apocalypse Now. Later in his career came his S.E. Hinton adaptations The Outsiders and Rumble Fish; his spectacular reclaiming of Bram Stoker in Dracula; and his recent reinvention as a maker of modestly budgeted yet utterly visionary artisanal works like Youth Without Youth, Tetro and, screening at this year‟s Festival, Twixt. Coppola‟s dogged endurance and restless inventiveness make him an inspiration as we look ahead to cinema‟s future. Moderated by Cameron Bailey.
The Island President
In this whirlwind political documentary, Mohamed Nasheed wins the presidency after a 20-year battle for democracy in the Maldives, only to face an unfathomable challenge: to save his island nation from rising seas. The Island President follows Nasheed as he takes the climate fight to backroom chambers of power in New York, London, Delhi, and finally into the fierce realpolitik of the Copenhagen Climate Conference. The film gains remarkable access to Nasheed‟s first year in office as he sets out to influence the world‟s superpowers. In this Mavericks session, TIFF presents the world premiere of The Island President, followed by a live conversation with President Nasheed and director Jon Shenk.
The Love We Make
Over several weeks in October 2001, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles followed Paul McCartney as he prepared for The Concert for New York City, a 9/11 memorial concert he helped organize to uplift New York during a period of distinct uncertainty and vulnerability. For years the footage went unseen, requiring the passage of time to put it in perspective. Now ten years later, Maysles, along with director partner Bradley Kaplan and editor Ian Markiewicz, have emerged with a deeply intimate film that uniquely explores the roles of art and artists in time of crisis. This Mavericks event presents the world premiere of The Love We Make, followed by a live discussion with Maysles, Kaplan and members of their production team. McCartney has pre-recorded an exclusive introduction to the film. Moderated by Thom Powers.
Neil Young Life
At the culmination of Neil Young‟s solo “Le Noise” tour, director Jonathan Demme documents the legendary rocker‟s masterful return to Toronto‟s iconic Massey Hall, with concert footage interspersed with a road trip through Ontario. At sixty-five, Young retains a youthful vitality and musical curiosity that balances his wisdom and experience. Filmed over two nights and highlighting both new songs and some of the classics, Neil Young Life is a musical journey like no other. For this Mavericks event, Young and Demme will present the world premiere of Neil Young Life in the splendid Princess of Wales Theatre, followed by a live conversation. Moderated by Thom Powers.
Sony Pictures Classics: 20 Years in the Business
Sony Pictures Classics founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard boast a roster of directors that reads like a pantheon of world talent: Woody Allen, Pedro Almodóvar, Susanne Bier, David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro, Norman Jewison, Ang Lee, Errol Morris, Gus Van Sant, Mike Leigh, Zhang Yimou, and the list goes on. To celebrate the company‟s twentieth anniversary, Mavericks presents a special conversation with Barker and Bernard. The discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Demme, who worked with the duo most recently on Rachel Getting Married. They have an unlimited supply of stories from behind the scenes at the Toronto International Film Festival, Cannes and the Oscars. For cinema lovers, this is a unique opportunity to hear how some of the most lauded films of our time were shepherded to success.
Tahrir 2011: The good, the bad, and the politician
On Jan 25th 2011, Egyptians woke up not expecting that the commemoration of the burning of Cairo and “Police Day” would turn into a revolution that would end the 30-year reign of the regime. Through social media, the new generation of Arabs and Egyptians were able to witness the atrocities that President Hosni Mubarak‟s regime had caused over the past 30 years. For 18 days, the world watched as Egyptians marched out calling for an end of the injustice, poverty, and corruption. Among this new generation, three directors decided to tell the story in a unique cinematic point of view. The Good, directed by Tamer Ezzat, gives voice to the everyday heroes from Tahrir Square. The Bad, directed by Ayten Amin, films a rare account from four internal security officers assigned to crush the uprising. The Politician, directed by Amr Salama, offers a satirical take on “how to become a dictator in ten steps,” and a smart deconstruction of Mubarak‟s persona over his 30-year rule. In this special Mavericks presentation, the screening will be followed by a conversation with two of the Cairo-based filmmakers, who will offer their personal reflections on the changes taking place in their country.
Passionate cinephile and controversial movie star Tilda Swinton is one of those rare performers who has forged a relationship with Hollywood on her own terms, using her stardom to support often challenging film projects. Audiences know that a Swinton performance will give them an uncomfortable glimpse into our own frailty, and she has been richly rewarded for her honesty as an actor with multiple accolades, including an Academy Award for Michael Clayton. Swinton has produced several exceptional films, including I Am Love, and is at the Festival this year as lead actress and executive producer of We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay‟s startling new work based on a book once thought unadaptable. Swinton talks about her career in this Mavericks session moderated by Noah Cowan.
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Contemporary World Cinema:
388 Arletta Avenue
Randall Cole, Canada World Premiere
Seen entirely from the point-of-view of hand-held and surveillance cameras, 388 Arletta Avenue tells the story of a couple, Nick Stahl and Mia Kurshner, who do not realize they are being watched. The watching becomes subtle manipulation which ultimately escalates into a deadly cat-and-mouse game.
Ridha Béhi, Tunisia World Premiere After meeting Anis Raache, a young Tunisian actor who bears a stunning resemblance to young Marlon Brando, Tunisian master Ridha Béhi decided to write a film casting the two. Marlon Brando was interested, the two met and reworked the script. Brando died before shooting started. Always Brando chronicles Béhi s saga with Marlon Brando and meditates on the lure and cruelty of the art, system and its industry.
Suseendran, India International Premiere
In a small Tamil village, a ceremonial wooden-horse statue goes missing. With a crucial holy symbol suddenly gone, the village falls into recriminations and comic chaos. At the same time, Azhagarsami, a young man who earns his livelihood by ferrying loads on his horse, puts his marriage on hold when his horse also disappears.
Oliver Hermanus, South Africa/France North American Premiere
François, a white, Afrikaans-speaking 40-year-old family man, no longer cares about his happiness. Convinced of his ill-fated existence, he is wholly unprepared when a chance encounter unravels his controlled life.
Billy Bishop Goes to War
Barbara Willis-Sweete, Canada World Premiere
In Billy Bishop Goes to War acting legend Eric Peterson and award-winning writer/composer John Gray reprise their iconic two-man play that has captivated audiences for three decades. Through raucous stories, haunting memories, and vibrant song, an aged Bishop (Peterson) recounts the triumphs and horrors of „the war to end all wars.‟
Blood of my Blood
João Canijo, Portugal World Premiere
Set in inner city Lisbon, this family saga about unconditional love – a mother s love for her daughter and an aunt s love for her nephew – chronicles the sacrifices these two women are willing to make to save their family.
Cristián Jiménez, Chile/France/Argentina/Portugal North American Premiere
Jiménez’ debut celebrates love, literature and botany in this portrayal of a struggling writer, Julio, who finds himself writing a book about his very first experience with love in order to keep up a lie that he has told his current lover. In need of a plot, Julio turns to the romance he had eight years earlier with Emilia when both were studying literature in Valdivia.
Colour of the Ocean
Maggie Peren, Germany World Premiere
A Spanish border patrolman of Grand Canary Island, José, decides the fate of hundreds of African boat people. When Nathalie, a German tourist, gets involved, the refugee crisis threatens to spin out of control. It s up to José to decide what to do, but he must learn to free himself first before he can help free others.
Death for Sale
Faouzi Bensaidi, Belgium/France/Morocco World Premiere
In Tetouan, at the northern edge of Morocco, three young men decide to rob a jewelry store. The heist goes awry, and their destinies part drastically. In Death for Sale, Faouzi Bensaidi draws a captivating noir portrait of a city abandoned to corrupt officials, smugglers and extremists.
Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia North American Premiere
Vladmir, an affluent man, drives his second wife Elena to desperation after he patches things up with his estranged daughter and decides to leave her all his money in the event of his death. Elena s son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and is constantly asking Elena for money. Elena s hope to financially rescue her son suddenly vanishes. The shy and submissive housewife then comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a real chance in life.
Nacho Vigalondo, Spain World Premiere
Julio and Julia don’t know each other, but they wake up in the same bed horribly hungover and with no memory of the night before. He falls in love with her almost immediately – she does not. The last thing they expect to discover is that an alien invasion has taken place. Vigalondo melds science fiction, romance and black comedy in his latest feature about the darkly fascinating aspects of the human psyche.
Joseph Cedar, Israel North American Premiere
This story chronicles the outcome of a great rivalry between a father and son, both professors in the Talmud department of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The Forgiveness of Blood
Joshua Marston, USA/Albania/Denmark/Italy North American Premiere
The lives of a teenage boy and his younger sister are thrown into turmoil when a fatal dispute over land pulls their northern-Albanian family into a bloody feud.
Ismaël Ferroukhi, France International Premiere
Set in German-occupied Paris in 1942, Younes, an Algerian black marketer, is arrested by the police and agrees to spy on a Parisian mosque suspected of helping resistance fighters and Jews. Witnessing the horrors of the Nazi regime, Younes stops collaborating to become a freedom fighter.
From Up on Poppy Hill
Goro Miyazaki, Japan International Premiere
Anime director Goro Miyazaki follows a group of Yokohama teens in their quest against a wrecking ball that threatens to destroy their school’s clubhouse in preparation for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
A Funny Man
Martin P. Zandvliet, Denmark International Premiere
Opening in the seductive style of the 1960s, A Funny Man uncovers the perennial loneliness that comedian Dirch Passer (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) has found himself in after a fast-track rise to fame, despite being surrounded by a mélange of wealth, women, alcohol and infamy.
Future Lasts Forever
Ozcan Alper, Turkey/France/Germany World Premiere
A young ethnomusicologist leaves Istanbul and heads to the southeast of Turkey to work on her masters thesis, gathering a collection of Anatolian elegies and stories. During her stay in Diyarbakir, she finds herself having to confront an agony from her own past in the middle of the ongoing ‘unnamed war.’
Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran North American Premiere
This is a story of a young lawyer in Tehran and her pursuit of a visa to leave the country.
Goodbye First Love
Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany Canadian Premiere
It’s Spring 1999 and Camille, 15, and Sullivan, 19, love each other passionately. Following the progression of this young, first love, the affair evolves from initial rapture to heartbreak as Sullivan decides he wants to travel the world before settling down. Driven to despair, Camille suffers deep emotional turmoil and must learn to deal with his absence.
Vincent Garenq, France North American Premiere
This true story documents the Outreau case. In 2011, Alain Marécaux and his wife were arrested, along with twelve other people, for horrible acts of paedophilia they never committed.
Martin ulík, Slovakia North American Premiere
Gypsy tells the story of Adam, a 14-year-old Roma boy, who is forced into a life of crime following his father s mysterious death. He encounters racial, social and cultural prejudices and comes into conflict with the unwritten laws of his own community.
José Henrique Fonseca, Brazil World Premiere
This film is a non-chronological and in-depth account of the life of Heleno de Freitas (1920 to 1959), a controversial and mythological Brazilian football player. Also known as „Gilda due to his wild temper with teammates and referees, Heleno was the prince of the 1940s golden age in Rio de Janeiro when the city was a dream setting, steeped in glamour and promise. Handsome and charming, Heleno had no doubt he was going to be the biggest Brazilian footballer of all time, but the war, syphilis and a turbulent life would steer him from that destiny, down a road of glory and tragedy.
Sion Sono, Japan North American Premiere
The story is about a teenager who aspires to be „ordinary within a world of chaos. Following an incident that can never be erased from his life, his wish becomes something impossible to achieve, turning him into a person obsessed to sanction evil people in society.
Kaat Beels, Belgium International Premiere
Six lives, 24 hours, and a hotel in the middle of a heat wave. Anna and Hendrik have it all: a great son, a good job, a lovely house – but the wedding they witness in the hotel forces them to reflect on the choices they have made. Violette wants to reconcile with her daughter Vicky before she dies, but Vicky struggles to let go of a hurtful past. Meanwhile, a young African refugee hides out in the hotel from the police. The lives of all these people become irrevocably intertwined until the heat breaks and the rain offers some relief.
Leonard Farlinger, Canada World Premiere
I’m Yours, a sexy and irreverent two-hander, sees disillusioned Wall Street broker, Robert, kidnapped and blackmailed into taking a road trip with hot and free-spirited Daphne. A thought-provoking romantic comedy about two lost souls who learn what love ultimately means as the world around them comes undone. Starring Rossif Sutherland, Karine Vanasse.
Stefano Chiantini, Italy World Premiere
This story takes shape under the roof of a parsonage on the Tremiti islands. An eastern European bricklayer looking for work is befriended by a young woman who has retreated into silence and lives with a middle-aged priest. The priest is at war with his sister, the young woman is running from her past and the bricklayer is simply trying to survive. As their lives intermingle, emotions bubble to the surface.
Juan of the Dead
Alejandro Brugués, Spain/Cuba World Premiere
The zombie world has yet to witness one last stand – Cuba. An outbreak hits the island on the anniversary of the revolution, so Juan and his friends set out to conquer the undead who, according to government reports, are unruly Americans continuing their quest of undermining the regime.
Land of Oblivion
Michale Boganim, France/Germany/Poland/Ukraine North American Premiere
April 26, 1986: Anya and Piotr are celebrating their marriage when an accident occurs at the Chernobyl power station. As a fireman, Piotr leaves to extinguish the flames – but he never returns. Ten years later, after Chernobyl has become a no man s land and a tourist attraction, Anya is still there, working as a guide. Split between two lovers, she tries to accept the hope of a new life.
Last Days in Jerusalem
Tawfik Abu Wael, France/Israel/Palestine/Germany North American Premiere
A lens into the emotional upheaval of a Palestinian couple s last moments before leaving their native city, Jerusalem, to forge a brighter future in Paris. Iyad is a surgeon at the top of his game; Nour is a young actress with an intellectual bourgeois background –attractive, independent and whimsical. On the way to the airport, a news report of a terrible accident means Iyad must return to work, delaying their departure. Abandoned by her husband once again, Nour starts to question the move and their marriage.
John Shank, Belgium/France North American Premiere
Somewhere on an isolated mountainous plain, Johann has taken over his father s farm, devoting all his time and energy to his work. Surrounded by a struggling community and a natural landscape that has taught him all he knows, his heritage is his entire life. As autumn goes and winter comes, a barn burns to the ground and jeopardizes the fragile balance of the farm s survival. This is a story of a man trying to love the world he belongs to one last time, as hard as he can, before it sinks into darkness.
Christophe Van Rompaey, The Netherlands/Belgium World Premiere
Seventeen-year-old Lena is overweight, shy and allows others to take advantage of her. She puts up with an overbearing mother, an egotistical best friend and belittling mates. When she meets Daan, a charming, good-looking young lad, it could either be too good to be true or the well-deserved beginning of a happier life. To find out, she must find the inner strength and beauty she didn t know she had.
Jonathan Sagall, Israel/United Kingdom North American Premiere
Lara is a Palestinian woman who came to London to begin a new life. She got married and now lives a comfortable, but somewhat loveless, life with her husband and 7-year-old son James. One morning, Inam, her childhood friend from Ramallah, shows up on her doorstep. Triggered by her sudden appearance, Lara s orderly life begins to crack.
Avie Luthra, South Africa/United Kingdom World Premiere
Lucky, an AIDS orphan, is forced to leave his native village to live with his uncle in Durban. He learns about life the hard way, but forges an unlikely bond with an elderly Indian neighbour in spite of racial prejudice and language barriers. Together they go on a journey to find him a new life and family.
Man on Ground
Akin Omotoso, South Africa World Premiere
This portrayal of rising xenophobia in South Africa tells the story of a young Nigerian man living in the African refugee tenements of Johannesburg, who disappears against the background of animosity against immigrants flaring into violent rioting. In the span of a single night, his brother, on a short visit from London, tries to uncover the mystery.
Ribhu Dasgupta, India World Premiere
Michael, an ex-cop, lives with his 11-year-old son and works in a theatre as a projectionist pirating DVDs for a living. When he starts receiving death threats for his son from someone in his past, he gets caught up in a complex web of his own impending blindness comprised of his insecurities. First-time director Ribhu Dasgupta teams up with India s guru of independent cinema, producer Anurag Kashyap, and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah for this character-driven, psychological drama.
Markus Schleinzer, Austria North American Premiere
A mousy insurance salesman keeps an under-aged boy locked in his basement, while doing his best to appear ordinary to the outside world.
Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico North American Premiere
Laura, a young aspiring beauty queen, finds her dream turned against her when she unwillingly gets involved with a criminal group at war. This film explores the many extremes of modern Mexican society when the world of beauty pageants and current drug war collide.
Han Jie, China North American Premiere
Shu (Wang Baoqiang) – whose name translates “tree” in Mandarin – is a clownish mechanic who resides in a small mining village in Northern China. Shu has a reputation as a slacker, a drunk and a danger to himself and others. He is haunted by dreams and hallucinations, yet when one of his visions manifests as real, his fellow villagers come to regard him as a prophet. Set against the backdrop of sweeping social changes, the film is a subtle commentary on rampant urbanization in China and the relocation of entire villages. Produced by master filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke.
Omar Killed Me
Roschdy Zem, France North American Premiere
February 2, 1994: Omar Raddad, a Moroccan gardener, is sentenced to 18 years for the murder of a wealthy widow in Marseille, France. Convinced of Raddad s innocence, a journalist sets out to defend his case.
Yossi Madmony, Israel Canadian Premiere
Yaakov Fidelman (Sasson Gabai, The Band’s Visit) hangs on with all his might to the antique restoration workshop that has been his life’s work. After his partner passes away, Fidelman rejects his son s idea to close the business and build on the site. Will he understand that his only hope for redemption is to learn to let go?
Wojciech Smarzowski, Poland International Premiere
Summertime 1945: the end of the war brings continued chaos and violence for Polish inhabitants of the former East Prussia. Rose is Polish and her German husband has been killed in the war, leaving her alone on their farm. A Polish army officer tries to conceal his identity as he helps protect her from suspicious Soviet soldiers and foraging people circling the farm.
Mohamed Asli, Morocco World Premiere
Mustafa is an illiterate hairdresser who lives with his blind mother. He runs an underground trade as a middleman facilitating favours in exchange for money – among them is Zakia who wants to immigrate to Spain. Unable to realize her Spanish dream, she remains in her country and marries Mustafa.
Asghar Farhadi, Iran North American Premiere
When Simin’s husband Nader refuses to grant her a divorce, she returns to her parents home. Nader hires a young woman to assist in his wife’s absence, hoping his life will return to normal. However, after discovering that the new maid has been lying, he realizes there is more on the line than just his marriage.
The Silver Cliff
Karim Aïnouz, Brazil North American Premiere
A phone message from her husband propels Violeta into the streets of Rio until sunrise. Telling their teenage son that a last minute trip has come up, she sets out to find her husband. Rio at night is her sole companion as she struggles to face his abrupt and sudden change of heart, but the beach also provides renewal, unexpected meetings and a window to a whole other world.
Carl Bessai, Canada World Premiere
A comedic exploration of the lives of four intersecting sister and brother relationships. A hard-done-by “entrepreneur” corrals a young girl and her sister into a trip to Los Angeles to chase the acting dream. A schizophrenic man and his pro-bono lawyer who lives in the woods cause problems with his sister. Starring Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew, Cory Monteith, Gabrielle Miller and Kacey Rohl.
Sons of Norway
Jens Lien, Norway International Premiere
Nikolaj moves to Rykkin where his father has helped design the new satellite town. His father is a playful, self-declared free spirit, who firmly believes that a new community soul will flourish the Norwegian town. Nikolaj tries to make sense of life under the thumb of his optimistic and energetic father. They re a happy little alternative family – until his mother is suddenly killed in a traffic accident.
Ole Christian Madsen, Denmark North American Premiere
Christian (Anders W. Berthelsen) owns a wine store approaching bankruptcy – and he is just as unsuccessful in about every other aspect of life. His wife Anna (Paprika Steen) leaves him and finds work as a successful football agent in Buenos Aires, living a life of luxury with Juan Diaz, a star football player. One day, Christian arrives under the false pretence of finalizing divorce papers, but his real motives involve winning his wife back.
Think of Me
Bryan Wizemann, USA World Premiere
Angela, a single mother, struggles to make ends meet for her daughter. Beneath the Las Vegas neon glow, her life hits a breaking point, presenting her with an impossible choice: keep trying to make things work, or let it all go for the promise of something better.
UFO in her Eyes
Xiaolu Guo, Germany World Premiere
Kwok Yun leads a simple peasant’s life in the peaceful village mountains. She lives with her grandfather and works as a labourer. Following a countryside tryst with a married man, she spots a UFO – a giant glowing object in the shape of a dumpling. Later that same day, she helps a snake-bitten American businessman who disappears as mysteriously as the UFO. Using the unexpected events for political gain, the ambitious village leader, Chief Chang, stimulates tourism with UFO tours and gets the local economy roaring, despite the dangers such radical change can bring, especially to the environment.
Nancy Savoca, USA World Premiere
Union Square chronicles the reluctant reunion of two estranged sisters: one on the verge of marriage, the other on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Your Sister’s Sister
Lynn Shelton, USA World Premiere
Still mourning the recent death of his brother, a bereft and confused man finds love and direction in a most unexpected place.
Kim Ki-Duk, South Korea North American Premiere
While shooting a suicide scene for his last film, Dream, in 2008, filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk
triggered an emotional and creative breakdown for Kim. As an act of self-administered therapy, Arirang takes playful liberties with the documentary form as Kim traces his experiences and mindset during this period of crisis.
Hard Core Logo II
Bruce McDonald, Canada Toronto Premiere
Fifteen years have passed since Bruce McDonald completed his infamous documentary that chronicled the demise of the punk rock outfit Hard Core Logo and captured lead singer Joe Dick‟s on-camera suicide. Reluctantly, Bruce finds himself following the band Die Mannequin to a recording studio in a remote town after hearing that band leader Care Failure has claimed to be channelling the spirit of Joe Dick. As increasingly bizarre events unfold, Bruce tries desperately to connect with Care in the hopes of saving the young rock star from the same tragic fate as Joe. Starring Bruce McDonald, Care Failure and Julian Richings.
Wim Wenders, Germany/France Canadian Premiere
German master filmmaker Wim Wenders shoots in 3D to capture the brilliantly inventive dance world of Pina Bausch and her company, Tanztheater Wuppertal. Excerpts from many of her most famous pieces are shot outside in the streets and parks of Wuppertal capturing the drama and power of her repertoire.
This is Not a Film (In Film Nist)
Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Iran Toronto Premiere
Sentenced to six years in prison and banned from writing and making films for 20 years by the Islamic Republic Court in Tehran, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi waited for the verdict of his court appeal for months.
Almayer’s Folly (La Folie Almayer)
Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France North American Premiere
Somewhere in South-East Asia, in a little lost village on a wide and turbulent river, a European man clings to his pipe dreams out of love for his daughter. Working freely from Joseph Conrad’s debut novel, Akerman tells the story of a trader in 1950s Malaysia whose dreams of a Western life for his Malay daughter slowly lead to destruction. A quest for the absolute, a story of passion and madness.
Alexander Sokurov, Russia North American Premiere
Freely inspired by Goethe’s story, Alexander Sokurov radically reinterprets the myth. Faust is a thinker, a rebel and a pioneer, but also an anonymous human made of flesh and blood driven by inner impulses, greed and lust. Faust is the last part of Sokurov’s tetralogy.
Aki Kaurismäki, Finland North American Premiere
Marcel Marx, a former author and a well-known Bohemian, has retreated into a voluntary exile in the port city of Le Havre, where he feels he has reached a closer rapport with his people, serving them in the honourable, but not too profitable, occupation of a shoe-shiner. He has buried his dreams of a literary breakthrough and lives happily within the triangle of his favourite bar, his work, and his wife Arletty. When fate suddenly throws in his path an underage immigrant refugee from the darkest Africa and at the same time his wife becomes seriously ill and is bedridden, Marcel once more has to rise against the cold wall of human indifference with his innate optimism and the unwavering solidarity of the people of his quarter as his only weapons.
I Wish (Kiseki)
Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Japan International Premiere
Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents in Kagoshima, the southern part of Kyushu region. Separated by their parents’ divorce, his brother Ryunosuke lives with their father in Hakata in northern Kyushu. A new bullet train line in the region will be inaugurated soon, and Koichi starts to believe a “miracle” will happen the first moment these new bullet trains intersect each other from opposite directions with their highest speed; his only wish is for his family to live together once again. With some help from grown-ups around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle.
The Kid with a Bike (Le Gamin au vélo)
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy North American Premiere
Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who temporarily left him in a children’s home. By chance, he meets Samantha who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her on weekends. Cyril doesn’t recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage.
Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/Bosnia & Herzegovina Canadian Premiere
Life in a small town is akin to journeying in the middle of the steppes: the sense that “something new and different” will spring up behind every hill, but always unerringly similar, tapering, vanishing or lingering monotonous roads… As a confessed killer tries to lead the authorities to the place where he buried the body, a series of clues are laid as to what has actually happened.
Outside Satan (Hors Satan)
Bruno Dumont, France North American Premiere
By the Channel, along the Côte d’Opale, near a hamlet with river and marshland lives a strange guy who struggles along, poaches, prays and builds fires. A girl from a local farm takes care of him and feeds him. They spend time together in the wide scenery of dunes and woods, mysteriously engaging in private prayer at the edge of the ponds, where the devil is prowling…
Gus Van Sant, USA North American Premiere
Restless is a powerful and emotional story of discovery that centres on the relationship of two outsiders brought together by unforeseen circumstances. The story of friendship becomes an engaging and provocative love story.
Snows of Kilimanjaro (Neiges du Kilimandjaro)
Robert Guédiguian, France North American Premiere
Despite losing his job, Michel lives happily with Marie-Claire. They have been in love for over thirty years. Their conscience is as clear as their view of life. This happiness will be shattered by two young men, armed and masked, who beat them, tie them up and snatch their money to go for a trip to Kilimanjaro.
The Turin Horse
Béla Tarr, Hungary North American Premiere
In Turin in 1889, Nietzsche flings his arms around an exhausted carriage horse, then loses consciousness and his mind. This film tells the story of a farmer and his daughter trying to survive in a desolate landscape even though the horse that had always provided their livelihood has already given up on them.
Douglas Aarniokoski, USA World Premiere
In a post-apocalyptic future, an open war against humanity rages. Five survivors wander along rural back-roads, lost, starving and on the run. With dwindling food stocks and ammunition, an attempt at seeking shelter turns into a battleground where they must fight or die. Starring Ashley Bell, Dominic Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon.
God Bless America
Bobcat Goldthwait, USA World Premiere
Loveless, jobless and possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and decides to off the stupidest, cruellest and most repellent members of society with an unusual accomplice: 16-year-old Roxy, who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement. From stand-up comedian and director Bobcat Goldthwait comes a scathing and hilarious attack on all that is sacred in the United States of America.
Alexandre Courtes, France World Premiere
George, Max and Ricky are in a rock band and waiting for their big breakthrough. Between small gigs and rehearsals they work in the kitchen of a high-security asylum for good pay at minimum risk – they have no physical contact with the inmates. One night just before dinnertime, a big storm shuts down the security system, the doors open and the lunatics break loose. Help is on its way and should soon arrive… they just have to survive until it does.
Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere
Eight months after a disastrous job in Kiev left him physically and mentally scarred, ex-soldier-turned-contract-killer Jay is pressured by his partner Gal into taking a new assignment. As they track their prey, they descend into a disturbing world that is darker and more depraved than anything they experienced on the battlefield.
Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, France World Premiere
The directors of 2007’s Midnight Madness hit A L’Interieur (Inside) return with a twisted gothic nightmare. A young woman and her friends break into a decrepit mansion looking for treasure, only to unlock a dark secret of unspeakable horror ready to dish out bloody punishment for their greed.
Eduardo Sanchez, USA World Premiere
When newlywed Molly Reynolds returns to her long-abandoned family home, frightful reminders of a nightmarish childhood begin seeping into her new life. She soon begins an inexorable descent into evil that blurs the lines between psychosis and possession. From the director of The Blair Witch Project.
Gareth Evans, Indonesia World Premiere
Deep in the heart of Jakarta’s slums lies an impenetrable safe house for the world’s most dangerous killers and gangsters. Until now, the run-down apartment block has been considered untouchable to even the bravest of police. Cloaked under the cover of pre-dawn darkness and silence, an elite swat team is tasked with raiding the safe house in order to take down the notorious drug lord that runs it. But when a chance encounter with a spotter blows their cover and news of their assault reaches the drug lord, the building’s lights are cut and all the exits blocked. Stranded on the sixth floor with no way out, the unit must fight their way through the city’s worst to survive their mission. Starring Indonesian martial arts sensation Iko Uwais.
Frederic Jardin, France/Belgium/Luxembourg World Premiere
When Vincent, a double-dealing cop, steals a big bag of cocaine from some drug dealers they counter by kidnapping and threatening to kill his son if the bag isn’t returned – fast. The swap is to go down at their headquarters in a big nightclub on the outskirts of Paris, but Vincent gets caught in a spiral of deception and betrayal and must fight his way through packed dance floors and dark corridors of the labyrinth-like club.
Katsuhito Ishii, Japan World Premiere
After his dreams of becoming an actor go nowhere, 25-year-old Kinuta does nothing but gamble every day. Broke, framed and now neck-deep in debt, he is recruited as a smuggler – an underground mover of everything from dead bodies to illegal goods – but one cargo triggers the rage of a psychotic gangster hellbent on revenge. By acclaimed cult director Katsuhito Ishii of Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl and Funky Forest fame.
Adam Wingard, USA World Premiere
From the director-writer team that brought TIFF audiences A Horrible Way To Die in 2010 comes a new experiment in tension. A family comes under a terrifying and sadistic attack during a reunion getaway. Barricaded in their secluded country home, they have to fight off a barrage of axes, crossbows and machetes from both inside and outside the house. Unfortunately for the killers, one of the victims proves to have a talent for fighting back.
Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece/France North American Premiere
A nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast, and her coach have formed a secret, illegal company. The service they provide is to act as stand-ins for the recently deceased, for the benefit of grieving relatives and friends. The company is called “ALPS” and the ALPS members, taking inspiration from the life of the deceased, adopt their behaviours and habits, memorizing favourite songs, actors, foods, familiar expressions. Although the members of ALPS operate under a disciplined regime demanded by the paramedic, their leader, the nurse doesn t.
Century of Birthing
Lav Diaz, The Philippines North American Premiere
A grand meditation on the roles of the artist, Filipino director Lav Diaz s Century of Birthing tells two seemingly unrelated tales: one focusing on a filmmaker who has spent years working on his latest opus; the other about a Christian cult leader in a rural region.
Amir Naderi, Japan North American Premiere
An obsessive young filmmaker becomes a human punching bag to pay off the yakuza loans that financed his films. A love poem to cinema classics from the acclaimed director of The Runner, Vegas: Based on a True Story, and A,B,C…Manhattan.
Dreileben (Three Lives)
Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf and Christoph Hochhäusler , Germany North American Premiere
A thrilling trio of interlocking films, Dreileben explores the story of an escaped murderer from three different angles, in three different styles, by three of Germany’s leading filmmakers.
Fable of the Fish
Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr., The Philippines International Premiere
A couple, Lina and Miguel, move into a dumpsite in Catmon, Malabon. As they adjust to their new abode and surroundings, Lina s longing to have a child intensifies. One day, Lina learns that she is pregnant. She gives birth in the middle of a storm, and those who witness the birth are shocked – her son is a fish. While Miguel cannot accept it, Lina embraces what has happened and treats the fish as her son. What unfolds is a fable that questions the needs and compromises of a real family.
House of Tolerance
Bertrand Bonello, France North American Premiere
The dawn of the XXth century: A brothel in Paris is living its last days. The women live in a state of collective intimacy and fear, baited and beloved by the nightly visits of intimate strangers, and bathed in the light of French Romantic and Impressionist painting.
Shinya Tsukamoto, Japan North American Premiere
The story of a single mother who suffers from double vision; caring for her baby is a nerve-wrecking task that eventually leads her to a nervous breakdown. She is suspected of being a child abuser when things get out of control and her baby is taken away.
The Last Christeros
Matias Meyer, Mexico/The Netherlands World Premiere
At the end of the 1930s, in the arid mountains of Mexico, a Christero colonel and his last men resist surrender. The men are peasants, poor but proud people. They require their government s support and need ammunition in order to fight. The support does not arrive and life in the sierra turns more difficult every day; the war is almost over. The men, in their suffering, illness and solitude, begin to feeling abandoned. They are almost the last ones.
The Loneliest Planet
Julia Loktev, USA/Germany North American Premiere
Alex and Nica are a young couple backpacking in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia. They hire a local guide to lead them on a camping trek, and the three set off into a stunning wilderness. Walking for hours, they trade anecdotes and play games to pass the time. And then, a momentary misstep threatens to undo everything the couple believed about each other and about themselves. The film is a tale about betrayal, both accidental and deliberate, about love, commitment and the ambiguities of forgiveness.
Toshiaki Toyoda, Japan World Premiere
Having abandoned modern civilization, Ryoichi lives an isolated, self-sufficient life on a snow-covered mountain and passes the time by sending mail bombs to corporate CEOs. But one day, a mysterious creature appears before him.
Ghassan Salhab, Lebanon/Qatar North American Premiere
As night falls over Beirut, Fadi, a 40-year-old man, packs his bags and sets out for the airport with a friend. Although he has said that he will be leaving the country for a month, when he arrives at the airport, he rents a car, gets on the highway and takes the mountainous route north .
Vimukthi Jayasundara, India/France North American Premiere
Rahul, a Bengali architect who had gone off to build a career in Dubai, returns to Kolkata to launch a huge construction site. He is reunited with his girlfriend, Paoli, who had long awaited his homecoming. Together, they try to find Rahul s brother, who is said to have gone mad, living in the forest and sleeping in the trees. Despite appearances, the two brothers might have a lot in common.
Ruben Östlund, Sweden/France/Denmark North American Premiere
Play is an astute observation based on real cases of bullying. In central Gothenburg, Sweden, a group of boys, aged 12-14, robbed other children on about 40 occasions between 2006 and 2008. The thieves used an elaborate manipulation scheme called the „brother trick, involving advanced role-play and gang rhetoric rather than physical violence.
Alejandro Landes Colombia/Spain/Uruguay/Argentina/France North American Premiere
A man disabled by a stray police bullet lives in a world that stretches only from bed to wheelchair in a faraway city on the outskirts of the Colombian Amazon. There, he sells call time on his cellular phone to get by as he waits in vain for a government cheque and takes calls that are never for him. Determined to make himself heard, he hatches a desperately violent plan to take back the reins of his life – only to find himself back where he began.
Debbie Tucker Green, United Kingdom International Premiere
Set over the course of one day in London, Random tells the story of an ordinary family on an ordinary day whose lives are shattered by the impact of one random event. It is a lively and beautifully observed portrait of family dynamics which draws us into a moving story.
The River Used to be A Man
Jan Zabeil, Germany International Premiere
A young German man travels through an African country. He meets an old fisherman who takes him deep into the wilderness. The next morning, he finds himself alone in the middle of an endless delta. His continuous loss of control leads him into a world far beyond his own comprehension.
Helvecio Marins Jr. and Clarissa Campolina, Brazil North American Premiere
At 81, Bastu still loves a good party and dancing until dawn with her friends. When her husband dies, she is suddenly forced to rethink her life and her routine. She spends time telling stories to her grandchildren and reminiscing with friends. Magical and moving, this delicate debut is a wonderful depiction of life in the small village of São Romão, in the arid region of Brazil s north.
This Side of Resurrection
Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal World Premiere
Questions of religious belief do not concern young Inês, who is more interested in surfing and boyfriends than in God. When her brother Rafael returns, she discovers that he had never left Portugal for Australia as she had originally thought, but had been living nearby in a monastery. As Rafael wrestles with his faith and future, Inês tries to connect with him. Exquisitely shot, Joaquim Sapinho delicately approaches themes of family, sibling love and faith in his latest feature film.
Bess Kargman, USA, World Premiere
This documentary follows six talented dancers (ages 9 to 19) from around the world, as they prepare for an international ballet competition that could transform their futures overnight. In the face of injury, disappointment and gruelling rehearsals, these dancers share a drive to succeed that trumps money, politics, culture and even war.
The Flying Machine
Martin Clapp, Geoff Lindsey and Dorota Kobiela, Poland/China, International Premiere
The Flying Machine is a live action/animation family film about a stressed-out businesswoman, Georgie, who takes her two children to see the animated Magic Piano, which is being performed live by world-famous pianist Lang Lang. A magical event occurs and Georgie’s kids get transported inside the animation world. Starring Heather Graham.
A Letter to Momo
Hiroyuki Okiura, Japan, World Premiere
After the loss of her father, young Momo moves to the old family house on a remote island: wooden buildings, terraced fields… and no shopping mall. Not too fond of the new environment, Momo is also feeling uneasy about an unfinished letter her father left behind with only two words: “Dear Momo.” Then, exploring the attic of her new house, she finds an antique book— and from that moment, strange happenings occur all around her.
A Monster in Paris
Bibo Bergeron, France, World Premiere
Paris, 1910. Emile, a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul, a colourful inventor, find themselves embarked on the hunt for a monster terrorizing citizens. They join forces with the big-hearted star of the Bird of Paradise cabaret, an eccentric scientist and his irascible monkey to save the monster, who turns out to be an outsized but harmless flea, from the city’s ruthlessly-ambitious police chief. One of Dreamworks Animation’s finest directors, Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale, The Road to Eldorado) returns to his homeland with a supra- inventive project. With its exceptional voice-cast, featuring iconic star Vanessa Paradis, A Monster in Paris invites audiences to an enthralling world of adventure and fantasy. Also stars Sean Lennon and Adam Goldberg.
Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, France/Luxembourg/Belgium/Switzerland, World Premiere
Philip and Mary, two teenagers whose parents were crushed by the system, are placed in an orphanage with frightening education methods. Twenty years later, they became husband and wife and have all the appearances of a wealthy couple. However, while Philip is a cog in the system, Mary goes into a depression that seems irreversible. Unable to have kids, they are on the verge of breaking. But Mary will do anything to show Philip that together they can love and survive in a frozen desert where men have become monsters. Starring Sami Bouajila, Julie Gayet, Jean-Pierre Andreani, Fejria Deliba and Valerie Bodson.
Dylan Akio Smith and Kris Elgstrand, Canada World Premiere
Following a near-death experience, Karl comes to believe that Paul is his doppelgänger. When Karl finally reveals himself to Paul, a unique and troubled relationship begins to form, a relationship that is severely tested when Karl grants Paul the privilege of reading his 20, 000 page manuscript, A Book About How Much I Hate Myself. When Karl‟s book is published 17 months later in a vastly edited version credited to two other authors/doppelgängers, Karl and Paul hit the road to confront the plagiarists but end up confronting themselves instead. Starring Tygh Runyan, Brad Dryborough, Ben Cotton and Matty Finochio.
Victor Ginzburg, Russia/USA, North American Premiere
Set in 1990s Moscow, Generation P details the parallel rise of poet-turned-copywriter Babylen Tatarsky through both a new advertising business and the shadowy Cult of Ishtar, whose acolytes control the media. Starring Vladimir Yepifantsev, Michael Yefremov and Andrei Fomin.
Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand/France, World Premiere
Tul, a straight-laced cop, is blackmailed by a powerful politician and framed for a crime he did not commit. Disillusioned and vengeful, he is soon recruited to become a hitman for a shadowy group aimed at eliminating those who are above the law. But one day, Tul is shot in the head during an assignment. He wakes up after a three-month coma to find that he sees everything upside down, literally. Tul begins to have second thoughts about his profession. But when he tries to quit, roles are reversed and the hunter becomes the hunted. Can Tul find redemption from the violence that continues to haunt him?
i am a good person/ i am a bad person
Ingrid Veninger, Canada World Premiere
A mother and daughter duo, suddenly without each other as guides for their good or bad decisions, must confront their life changes alone, before returning home. Starring Hallie Switzer, Ingrid Veninger, Jacob Switzer, Mathieu Chesneau, Suzana Mikytova and Simon Reynolds.
Love and Bruises
Lou Ye, China/France, North American Premiere
Hua, a young teacher from Beijing, is a recent arrival in Paris. Exiled in an unknown city, she wanders between her tiny apartment and the university, drifting between former lovers and recent French acquaintances. She meets Matthieu, a young worker who falls madly in love with her. Possessed by an insatiable desire for her body, he treats Hua like a dog. An intense affair begins, marked by Matthieu’s passionate embraces and harsh verbal abuse. When Hua decides to leave her lover, she discovers the strength of her addiction, and the vital role he has come to play in her life as a woman. Starring Tahar Rahim, Corinne Yam, Jalil Lespert, Sifan Shao, Vincent Rottiers.
Oslo, August 31
Joachim Trier, Norway, North American Premiere
Anders wanders the city, meeting people he hasn’t seen in a while. Long into the night, the ghosts of past mistakes will wrestle with the chance of love, of a new life, with the hope to see some future by morning… From the director of the award-winning Reprise. Starring Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olaf Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Johanne Kjellevik Ledang.
Justin Kurzel, Australia, North American Premiere
When 16-year-old Jamie is introduced to a charismatic man, a friendship begins. As the relationship grows so do Jamie’s suspicions, until he finds his world threatened by his loyalty for, and fear of, his newfound father-figure John Bunting, Australia’s most notorious serial killer. Starring Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris.
The Year of the Tiger
Sebastián Lelio, Chile, North American Premiere
Manuel is imprisoned in a jail in the south of Chile, which collapses on the night of the violent earthquake of February 27, 2010. Manuel escapes and becomes a fugitive, lost in the middle of the catastrophe. He returns to his home only to find out that it has been ravaged by a tsunami, which has also taken the lives of his wife and daughter. As Manuel travels through completely destroyed landscapes, he enters deeper and deeper into his own devastated areas. This strange freedom will bring him to face nature’s cruelty and take his own human existence to its limit. Starring Luis Dubó, Sergio Hernández, Viviana Herrera.
Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas, ON Canadian Premiere
Thirteen-year-old Jesse wants to be an artist, but believes that his mundane middle class Toronto life has left him unprepared. After reading a book on what it takes to be a “true artist,” he sets out looking for risk, ecstasy, wildness and women.
Leave It On The Floor
Sheldon Larry, ON Canadian Premiere
This indie-narrative musical is set in the drag-ball community memorialized in the documentary Paris Is Burning. With 11 original songs by Beyoncé‟s musical director Kim Burse and choreography by Beyoncé choreographer and “Mr. Single Ladies‟ Frank Gatson Jr., the film tells the story of a young African American thrown out by his narcissistic mother for being gay. He stumbles upon a competitive drag ball organized by runaways and throwaways where he ultimately finds a new home and family.
Anne Emond, QC World Premiere
Clara and Nikolaï meet at a rave. They return to Nicolaï‟s apartment and make love. Afterwards, instead of parting, the two lovers divulge their deepest secrets to one another. Nicolaï is a beautiful loser. At the age of 31 , he leads a simple and frugal life. He envisions big projects and has large ideas but, inevitably and despite himself, loses sight of them before they are realized. Clara, like Nikolaï, seems not to be made for this world. By day, she works as a Grade 3 school teacher; by night, she is a compulsive party-girl, sleeping with men, women or both at once. Starring Catherine De Léan and Dimitri Storoge.
Simon Davidson, BC World Premiere
In The Odds, a murder mystery set in the world of illegal teenage gambling, 17-year-old Desson Orr must find his best friend‟s killer before the game is exposed.
The Patron Saints
Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky, QC World Premiere
The Patron Saints is a disquieting and hyper-realistic glimpse into life at a nursing home. Bound by the candid confessions of a recently disabled resident, the film weaves haunting images, scenes and stories from within the institution walls. Sidestepping conventional documentary methods for a heightened cinematic approach to storytelling, the film employs lyrical realism and black humour in its charged portrait of fading bodies and minds.
Romeo Eleven (Roméo onze)
Ivan Grbovic, QC North American Premiere
Romeo Eleven is the intimate portrait of a shy young man looking for love in all the wrong places. A path of lies slowly catches up to him before leading the audience to a surprising and moving conclusion.
Guy Édoin, QC North American Premiere Opening Night
On a dairy farm in the Eastern Townships, in the middle of a drought, an accident will disrupt the life of the Santerre family. Forced to band together like never before, they will have to learn to forgive. Starring Pascale Bussières, Luc Picard, François Papineau and Gabriel Maillé.
City to City Programme (Buenos Aires)
Caprichosos de San Telmo
Alison Murray, Argentina/Canada, World Premiere
A portrait of the working-class musicians and dancers of Buenos Aires’s San Telmo neighbourhood, who have channelled the city’s many cultural influences into the street performance called Murga.
The Cat Vanishes
Carlos Sorin, Argentina, International Premiere
When Beatriz picks up her husband Luis from the sanatorium, she is not quite sure if she should believe his psychiatrist’s pronouncement that he is fully cured. Her usually churlish, academic husband is suddenly friendly and cooperative, even willing to take a trip to Brazil’s beaches. When their cat Donatello disappears, Beatriz’ suspicions lead her to question her own sanity. The tension is on high throughout in Carlos Sorin’s latest feature, The Cat Vanishes.
Pablo Trapero, Argentina
Pablo Trapero’s reputation-making feature debut was a seminal work in the Argentine New Wave of the 2000s. An unadorned look at the life of a man trying to make a living as a crane operator in Buenos Aires, Crane World introduced a new talent and a new realist aesthetic to the city’s cinema.
Nicolás Prividera, Argentina, World Premiere
This rigorously structured and visually engrossing essay film explores Argentina’s fractious modern history through the words of writers – both founding fathers and oppositional voices – who lay buried in Buenos Aires’s famed Recoleta Cemetery.
Hugo Santiago, Argentina, Canadian Premiere
Invasion is the legend of a city, imaginary or real, besieged by powerful enemies and defended by a handful of men who may not be heroes. In this rare inclusion of a retrospective title, Santiago’s protagonists will fight to the end without suspecting that their battle is endless.
A Mysterious World
Rodrigo Moreno, Argentina/Germany, North American Premiere
After his girlfriend suddenly breaks up with him, a young man’s life transforms into an erratic urban journey inexplicably connected to his temperamental communist-era car. The latest film from Rodrigo Moreno (El Custodio) is an affectionate, singular portrait of one guileless protagonist’s quixotic journey through a period of uncertainty.
Tamae Garateguy, Argentina, North American Premiere
A junior screenwriter is hired by an established film director to write his new film: a gangster movie set in Buenos Aires. In each meeting, the filmmakers create a story that takes place in an imaginary Pompeya neighbourhood, plagued by secrets, political disputes and crime. When pure fiction and reality are completely corrupted, the unexpected happens. In her first solo feature, Tamae Garateguy simultaneously lambasts the Buenos Aires filmmaking scene and the gangster film, ingeniously stirring up a volatile alchemy of genres.
Román Cárdenas, Argentina, International Premiere
In a quiet interrupted only by the noise of boats, a couple lives without crossing each other’s paths. He is a writer waiting for the words; she is an alienated employee of a fumigation company. The Stones explores the increasing space between two people at the same time as it maps the short distance between urban Buenos Aires and its rustic flip-side in the neighbouring Paraná Delta. Román Cárdenas pairs a spellbinding visual acuity with thrilling eruptions of comedy in this feature debut.
Santiago Mitre, Argentina, North American Premiere
The graffitied halls, run-down classrooms and surrounding streets of the University of Buenos Aires provide the ideal location for Santiago Mitre’s briskly paced debut, The Student. Mitre brilliantly exposes the backroom dealings and negotiations in the murky world of student politics, a microcosm for the world at large, in this fictional account of a young man’s discovery of his talent for politicking through his seduction of an assistant professor and activist.
Juan Minujín, Argentina, International Premiere
Julian Lamar, a 33-year-old actor working on the fringes of the Buenos Aires film scene, wants to give his career a boost by landing a role in a Western a Hollywood director is going to shoot in Argentina. Vaquero, the debut feature by Argentine actor, Juan Minujín, gives an insider’s perspective of Argentina’s film community in this hilariously dark comedy.
Wavelengths 1: Analogue Arcadia
As celluloid threatens to disappear altogether, Wavelengths launches with a celebratory and elegiac programme comprised of doomed desire, vanishing worlds and a love of analogue.
Wavelengths launches with a rare screening of Tacita Dean’s Edwin Parker (USA/United Kingdom – courtesy of the Marion Goodman Gallery), an intimate portrait of Cy Twombly, one of the great artistic geniuses of the past century. The film’s inclusion in the Festival has been exclusively made possible in honour of Twombly, who died on July 5. Dean is a vociferous defender of the threatened medium of 16mm. Her latest subject was a notoriously private titan whose work of deep emotional beauty, doomed desire and Arcadian abstraction remained impervious to shifting tastes. Edwin Parker (Twombly’s birth name) builds textures from the man himself and his crammed storefront studio in Lexington, Virginia. As a prelude, we offer Nick Collins’ Loutra/Baths (United Kingdom), a painterly study of an ancient Roman bath surrounded by a lush olive grove in Loutra, Arcadia. Emptiness is wistfully transformed in Sophie Michael’s 99 Clerkenwell Road (United Kingdom) as the remnants of an empty shop provide the makings of an abstract light film-cum-toy solar system.
Similarly beguiling is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Empire (Thailand/Austria), whose bobbing underwater creature leads us down a tawny, mysterious path. Sack Barrow (United Kingdom), the latest sulphurous short by Ben Rivers and winner of the prestigious Baloise Art Prize, is a portrait of a London suburb plating factory established in 1931 for limbless and disabled war veterans. Documenting a vanished world, the film’s decelerated rhythm and focus on surface – from chemical aggregate to nostalgia-era pin-up girls – lends a portentous feel. A conquistador counts his blessings in Raya Martin’s Ars Colonia (The Philippines/The Netherlands), a hand-coloured effigy shot on hi-8 analogue video, transferred to 35mm. Lastly, Joshua Bonnetta’s American Colour (USA/ Canada), was shot on old rolls of 16mm Kodachrome during a pilgrimage from the stock’s birthplace in upstate New York to Houston, where its final rolls were processed earlier this year. Like a postscript to Dean’s Kodak, American Colour explores Kodachrome’s historic use and singular hues, doing so with digital means in the wake of its obsolescence.
Wavelengths 2: Twenty Cigarettes
In James Benning’s Twenty Cigarettes (USA), a pack of twenty cigarettes is consumed by twenty different smokers – friends and acquaintances from Montreal to Seoul. Ostensibly a film about duration, Twenty Cigarettes is structured around the time it takes to smoke a cigarette, and we observe the subjects from the moment they light up until they butt out, with a few surprises along the way. These living, smoking people offer glimpses into their lives as Benning records them amid familiar surroundings. While each background offers clues to their respective stories, it is their distinct relationships with the camera, their faces and their gazes, that make this film so compelling. The film includes fellow avant-garde icons Thom Andersen (whose Get out of the Car was featured in last year’s Wavelengths programme), looking bored and slightly enervated, and photographer/filmmaker Sharon Lockhart cast as a wistful western settler amid an open blue sky.
Wavelengths 3: Serial Rhythms
With serial rhythms, a sinewy exchange between opposites and increasing intensity, this programme builds to a propulsive, ever-sharpening sense of the present. From a Russian documentary to moiré patterns, these works serve to heighten our viewing experience.
Adriana Salazar Arroyo’s Found Cuban Mounts (Costa Rica/Germany) uses excerpts from Fidel Castro’s “History Will Absolve Me” speech to determine her film’s rhythm, tracking in reverse the journey of the revolutionaries. Filmed in grisaille with a sober eye, Alina Rudnitskaya’s I Will Forget This Day (Russia) is a wrenching portrait of waiting young women, whose decisions are not always willfully made. John Price’s Sea Series #10 (Canada) hovers at the brink of widescreen extinction as it ruminates on the recent disaster in Japan. Joyce Wieland’s Sailboat (Canada) is a playful yet vaguely ominous haiku. Rose Lowder’s on-going Bouquets series is among the major works of the past two decades. Filmed at various European ecological sites, Bouquets 11-20 (France) vibrate with splendour inherent to the pleasure-pull of nature’s imperiled state.
Shot along the Bosphoros, Jonathan Schwartz’s frenetic A Preface to Red’s (USA) dense, field-recorded soundtrack colludes with the beauty of the images to overwhelm. Vibrating frequencies emerge in a freshly blown-up 16mm print of Resonance (USA) by Super 8 filmmaker Karen Johannesen, who summons flickering force fields. The latest triptych in T. Marie’s Optra Field series, Optra Field VII-IX (USA) focus on the diagonal grid are investigations into our own perception of perceiving. Kevin Jerome Everson’s car-crushing Chevelle is a straight-up account of two GM cars put down to rest. Shot in Cookstown, Ontario, Chevelle (Canada/USA) embodies a working-class ethos while suggesting scrap metal’s potential to be art.
Wavelengths 4: Space is the Place
The disparate works in this programme expand spatial possibility through a consideration of inner and outer spaces, of varying cartographies and aesthetic patterns.
Chris Kennedy’s 349 (for Sol LeWitt) (Canada) is a digitally animated version of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #349, which was commissioned by Toronto’s Mercer Union gallery in 1981. Recreating LeWitt’s geometric vocabulary and primary colour palette, 349 careens through emblazoned emblems, lifted from walls and transported into dialogue with LeWitt’s exploration of spatial systems and human emotion. A black mirror mounted to a motion control machine trawls the Dutch Landscape and Genre Scenes painting rooms at the National Gallery in London as camera and mirror partake in a three-way play of representation in Mark Lewis’ latest transfixing investigation into cinematic technique and pictorial composition, Black Mirror at the National Gallery (Canada, United Kingdom). A chasm between what we hear and see in Neïl Beloufa’s kaleidoscopic Untitled (France) echoes the fabrication of its ink-jet mise en scène. Space is the Place (Japan) is the latest video animation by Eriko Sonoda, whose meticu-lous lo-fi explorations of flattened space use sheets of paper to transcend finitude. A corner wall in the artist’s room is transmuted through a staccato of origami exchanges. Ute Aurand’s Young Pines (Germany) is a portrait of Japan rendered with formal acuity and a capacious curiosity. The beauty and grace of its culture – from calligraphy to ikebana – are matched by the awesome power of its land and seascapes, which oscillate, in a post-tsunami imagination, between time and place. From the Japanese countryside, we travel to rural Australia along Coorow-Latham Road (Canada). In a radical recasting of the long take, Blake Williams reconstructs the eponymous route using Google Street View, producing a vapourous road movie in which our perspective gradually shifts. Both elegant and v