By Peter Knegt | Indiewire September 10, 2013 at 11:31AM
The Toronto International Film Festival has completed the considerably epic lineup for its its 38th edition.
Two hundred and eighty-eight features makes up the 2013 lineup (one less than last year), including new films from Ron Howard, Claire Denis, Kelly Reichardt, John Wells, Jean-Marc Vallée, Paul Haggis, Nicole Holofcener, Atom Egoyan, Errol Morris, Xavier Dolan, Jason Reitman, Ralph Fiennes, Paul Haggis, Richard Ayoade, David Gordon Green, Alfonso Cuarón, Frederick Wiseman, Brillante Mendoza, Jonathan Glazer, Ti West, Mark Cousins, Liza Johnson, Guillaume Canet, Hayao Miyazaki, Sean Durkin, James Franco, Johnnie To, Alex Gibney, John Turturro, Kevin Macdonald, and directorial debuts of "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner, as well as actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keanu Reeves, Mike Myers and Jason Bateman.
Below is a list of all the titles, with descriptions provided by the festival. Click on each title for more information and critical reactions as they come in. The festival runs September 5-15, 2013.
American Dreams in China Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Hong Kong/China North American Premiere
1985. In the midst of China’s economic reform period, three college students — an overzealous hillbilly who refuses to accept his destiny of being a farmer; a cynical intellectual with a superiority complex; and a romantic idealist who wants to be a movie star — bond through a shared fascination with Western literature, music and movies, and an ambition to live the American dream. This sets the three on a roundabout course toward the foundation of a wildly successful English-language tutorial institute — but sudden fame and fortune could tear the friends and their vision apart.
The Art of the Steal Jonathan Sobol, Canada World Premiere
Crunch Calhoun, a third-rate motorcycle daredevil and part-time art thief, teams up with his snaky brother to steal one of the most valuable books in the world. But it's not just about the book for Crunch — he's keen to rewrite some chapters of his own past as well. Starring Jay Baruchel, Matt Dillon, Kurt Russell, Terence Stamp, Katheryn Winnick, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kenneth Welsh and Jason Jones.
August: Osage County tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. Based on Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning 2007 play of the same name. Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard and Chris Cooper.
Blood Ties Guillaume Canet, France/USA North American Premiere
New York, 1974. 50-year-old Chris has just been released on good behavior after spending several years in prison. Waiting for him reluctantly outside the prison gates is his younger brother, Frank, a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, yet blood ties are the ones that bind. Starring Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, Matthias Schoenaerts and James Caan.
Bright Days Ahead (Les Beaux jours) Marion Vernoux, France North American Premiere
César–winning French cinema icon Fanny Ardant stars in this sophisticated and sexy drama about a married woman in her 60s tumbling into an affair with a much younger man.
Cold Eyes Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo, South Korea North American Premiere
A veteran leader of the Special Crime Department Surveillance Team, and a rookie female detective with gifted powers of reasoning, keep a close watch over a vicious criminal organization. After continuous surveillance and pursuit, they come close to arresting the organization but commit a fatal mistake. Starring Seol Kyung-gu, Jung Woo-sung, Han Hyo-joo, Lee Jun-ho and Jin Gyeong.
Opening Night Film
The Fifth Estate Bill Condon, USA World Premiere
Triggering an age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. This dramatic thriller based on real events reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of modern time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society — and what are the costs of exposing them? The film also stars David Thewlis, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie and Dan Stevens.
The Grand Seduction Don McKellar, Canada World Premiere
The tiny Newfoundland outport of Tickle Head is set for financial salvation if they can secure a petrochemical plant. Their odds are slim, as a town doctor is needed to land the contract. When one candidate, Dr. Paul Lewis, lands in their lap, the town rallies to seduce him to stay beyond his one-month trial. Paul’s fondness for the village grows as the month passes — though he’s clueless to the fact that everything he has grown to love is an elaborate web of lies. Starring Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Gordon Pinsent, Liane Balaban and Mark Critch.
Kill Your Darlings John Krokidas, USA International Premiere
Kill Your Darlings is the true story of friendship and murder that led to the birth of an entire generation. This is the previously untold story of murder that brought together a young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and William Burroughs (Ben Foster) at Columbia University in 1944, providing the spark that would lead to their Beat Revolution. Also stars Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, David Cross, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth Olsen, Kyra Sedgwick and John Cullum.
Closing Night Film
Life of Crime Daniel Schechter, USA World Premiere
Based on the novel The Switch, by Elmore Leonard, Louis (John Hawkes) and Ordell (yasiin bey, a.k.a. Mos Def) — two common criminals in 1970s Detroit — kidnap the housewife (Jennifer Aniston) of a corrupt real estate developer (Tim Robbins) and hold her for ransom. Also stars Isla Fisher, Will Forte, and Mark Boone Jr.
The Love Punch Joel Hopkins, France World Premiere
Retirement at last! Middle-aged and divorced, company owner Richard Jones is looking forward to a worry-free existence as he arrives at his office on his last day of work. Much to his dismay, he discovers that the management buyout of his company was fraudulent. The company is now bankrupt and the employee pension fund — including his own — has been embezzled. Enlisting the help of his ex-wife Kate, Richard sets out to track down the shady businessman behind the fraud. Before they know it, Richard and Kate are caught up in a cat-and-mouse caper across Europe in a whirlwind of intrigue, mad chases and jewellery theft that could restore Richard’s future — and might just rekindle the couple’s romance. Starring Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan.
The Lunchbox Ritesh Batra, India/France/Germany North American Premiere
Middle class housewife Ila is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes this new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband. Unbeknownst to her, the special lunchbox she prepared is mistakenly delivered to miserable office worker Saajan, a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day’s lunchbox which sparks a series of exchanged notes between Saajan and Ila. Evolving into an unexpected friendship between anonymous strangers, they become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both of their realities.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Justin Chadwick, South Africa World Premiere
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education, and 27 years in prison before working to rebuild his country’s once-segregated society. Starring Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela, and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela.
Parkland Peter Landesman, USA North American Premiere
November 22nd, 1963 was a day that changed the world forever — when young American President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. This film follows, almost in real time, a handful of individuals forced to make split-second decisions after an event that would change their lives and forever alter the world’s landscape: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital, the chief of the Dallas Secret Service, the unwitting cameraman who captured what has become the most watched and examined film in history, the FBI Agents who had gunman Lee Harvey Oswald within their grasp and Vice President Lyndon Johnson who had to take control of a country in a moment’s notice. Thrust into a scenario of unprecedented drama with unimaginable consequences, these key characters respond with shock, outrage, determination and courage. Woven together, their seemingly disparate perspectives make one of the most thrilling and powerful stories never told. Starring Paul Giamatti, Colin Hanks, Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Marcia Gay Harden.
Based on the bestselling novel, The Railway Man tells the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who is tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II. Decades later, Lomax discovers that the Japanese interpreter he holds responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him, and his haunting past. Starring Academy Award–winner Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, and Academy Award–winner Nicole Kidman, the film is a powerful tale of survival, love and redemption.
The Right Kind of Wrong Jeremiah Chechik, Canada World Premiere
The Right Kind of Wrong is a romantic comedy about a failed-writer-turned-dishwasher and fearless dreamer who risks everything to show the girl of his dreams all that is right with the wrong guy. Starring Ryan Kwanten, Sara Canning and Catherine O'Hara.
Rush Ron Howard, United Kingdom/Germany International Premiere
Two-time Academy Award winner Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon) teams up once again with two-time Academy Award–nominated writer Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) on Rush — a spectacular big-screen re-creation of the merciless 1970s rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). Also features Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara and Pierfrancesco Favino.
Shuddh Desi Romance Maneesh Sharma, India Canadian Premiere
Shuddh Desi Romance follows a fresh and very real love story about the hair-raising minefield between love, attraction and commitment. A romantic comedy that tells it like it is, providing a candid look at the affairs of the heart in today's desi heartland. Starring Rishi Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor.
Supermensch The Legend of Shep Gordon Mike Myers, USA World Premiere
In 1991, music manager Shep Gordon held Mike Myers over a barrel a few weeks before shooting Wayne’s World regarding an Alice Cooper song Myers wanted to use in the film. They have been close friends ever since. Twenty-two years later, the story of Gordon’s legendary life in the über-fast lane is now told in Myers’ directorial debut. And this time it’s Myers who has Gordon over a barrel. Shep Gordon: capitalist, protector, hedonist, pioneer, showman, shaman… Supermensch!
Words and Pictures Fred Schepisi, USA World Premiere
A writer (Clive Owen) whose talent has dried up and an artist (Juliette Binoche) struggling to paint, clash at the school where they teach, sparking both an unlikely romance and a school-wide war: which is more powerful, the word or the picture?
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12 Years a Slave tells the incredible true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and finally freed in 1853. The story is a triumphant tale of one man’s courage and perseverance to reunite with his family that serves as an important historical and cultural marker in American history. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong'o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams and Alfre Woodard.
A Promise (Une Promesse) Patrice Leconte, Belgium/France North American Premiere
Germany, 1912. A youth of humble origins takes up a clerical post in a steel factory. Impressed by his work, the elderly owner takes him on as his private secretary and sets him up in his home. While there, the young man meets the owner’s beautiful and reserved wife — and falls helplessly in love with her, unbeknownst to the couple. But just as his employer announces that he is sending him to oversee his mines in Mexico, the wife makes him a startling promise. Starring Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman and Richard Madden.
All Is By My Side John Ridley, United Kingdom World Premiere
Jimmy James, an unknown backup guitarist, left New York City for London, England in 1966. A year later he returned — as Jimi Hendrix. All Is By My Side brings authenticity and poignancy to the story of the man behind the legend, and of the people who loved and inspired him. Starring Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell, André Benjamin, Ruth Negga and Adrian Lester.
The Armstrong Lie Alex Gibney, USA North American Premiere
In 2009, Alex Gibney was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to cycling. The project was shelved when the doping scandal erupted, and re-opened after Armstrong’s confession. The Armstrong Lie picks up in 2013 and presents a riveting, insider's view of the unraveling of one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of sports. As Lance Armstrong says himself, “I didn’t live a lot of lies, but I lived one big one.”
Attila Marcel Sylvain Chomet, France World Premiere
Paul is in his 30s. An orphan since the age of two, he lives with his aunts in a Parisian apartment and leads a reclusive existence as a pianist. That is, until the day he meets Madame Proust.
Bad Words Jason Bateman, USA World Premiere
After discovering a loophole in the rules of the National Spelling Bee, a disruptive 40-year-old, Guy Trilby, dominates the pre-pubescent competition. An unlikely friendship occurs, however, when an awkward Indian boy is taken with Guy's rough edges. Meanwhile, a female reporter uncovers Guy's true motivation for competing. Starring Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, Kathryn Hahn and Rohan Chand.
Belle Amma Asante, United Kingdom World Premiere
Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate bi-racial daughter of an aristocratic Royal Navy Admiral. Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet also prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Against the ridged boundaries of proper society, Belle finds both her true self and true romance — and influences her uncle to take a role in bringing an end to slavery. Starring Gugu Mbatha Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Reid, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Tom Felton, James Norton, Matthew Goode and Emily Watson.
Blind Detective Johnnie To, Hong Kong North American Premiere
Forced to leave service after he was afflicted with blindness, a former detective ekes out his living by solving cold cases for police rewards. When an attractive, young hit-team inspector enlists his help in a personal case, he decides to take a stab at it with his own personal agenda. Starring Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng.
At 15, Adèle doesn't question it: girls go out with boys. Her life is changed forever when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and finds herself. Starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.
Burning Bush Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic North American Premiere
This epic, long-form docudrama chronicles the political, legal, and moral fallout that followed after Czech student protester Jan Palach set himself on fire in protest against government repression in 1969.
Can a Song Save Your Life? John Carney, USA World Premiere
Can a Song Save Your Life? finds Gretta (Keira Knightley) alone in New York City after having her heart broken by her musician boyfriend (Adam Levine). She finds laughter and rejuvenation with a down-on-his-luck record producer (Mark Ruffalo) who recognizes her musical talent and opens up an entire city of possibility for both of them.
Cannibal (Caníbal) Manuel Martín Cuenca, Spain/Romania/Russia/France World Premiere
Carlos is the most prestigious tailor in Granada, but he’s also a murderer in the shadows. He feels no remorse, no guilt, until Nina appears in his life. She will make him realize the true nature of his actions and, for the first time, love awakens. Carlos is evil incarnate. Nina is pure innocence. And Cannibal is a demon’s love story.
Child of God James Franco, USA North American Premiere
Set in mountainous Sevier County, Tennessee in the 1960s, Child of God tells the story of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man whom the narrator describes as “a child of God much like yourself perhaps.” Ballard's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Deprived of both his parents and a home, and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller, falling deeper into crime and degradation. Starring James Franco, Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson and Jim Parrack.
Dallas Buyers Club Jean-Marc Vallée, USA World Premiere
In this fact-based drama, Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies. In 1985, Ron was blindsided with an HIV diagnosis and given 30 days to live. With medications still restricted in the US and the country still divided over how to combat the virus, Ron procured non-toxic alternative treatments from all over the world through both legal and illegal means. To avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, Ron established a “buyers club” for fellow HIV-positive people, giving them access to his supplies. Also stars Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto.
Devil's Knot Atom Egoyan, USA World Premiere
A haunting true mystery about the infamous killing of three children in a small Arkansas town. The police charge and convict three teens, aka the West Memphis Three, for committing the murders during an alleged satanic ritual, but a mother and investigator suspect that the truth may be even worse. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Kevin Durand, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Dane DeHaan and Stephen Moyer.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her Ned Benson, USA
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her is a two-part love story seen through the eyes of a New York couple trying to understand each other as they cope with personal hardship. The different perspectives of “Him” and “Her” result in two films with a unique look into one couple's attempt to reclaim the life and love they once had. Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, and Jess Weixler.
Dom Hemingway Richard Shepard, United Kingdom World Premiere
Dom Hemingway is a larger-than-life safecracker with a loose fuse who is funny, profane, and dangerous. After 12 years in prison, looking to collect what he's owed for keeping his mouth shut for protecting his rich mobster boss, he finds himself drawn back to the perils and pleasures of his criminal lifestyle — while trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Ghenea and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.
Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a strong, handsome, good old fashioned guy. His buddies call him Don Jon due to his ability to "pull" a different woman every weekend, but even the finest fling doesn't compare to the bliss he finds alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) is a bright, beautiful, good old fashioned girl. Raised on romantic Hollywood movies, she's determined to find her Prince Charming and ride off into the sunset. Wrestling with good old fashioned expectations of the opposite sex, Jon and Barbara struggle against a media culture full of false fantasies to try and find true intimacy in this unexpected comedy.
The Double Richard Ayoade, United Kingdom World Premiere
Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite — confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn and Noah Taylor.
Enemy Denis Villeneuve, Canada/Spain World Premiere
Based on The Double by Nobel Laureate José Saramago, this film explores the troubled psyche of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a brilliant performance as both Adam and Anthony — a man and his double — engaged in a lethal and erotic battle.
Enough Said Nicole Holofcener, USA World Premiere
Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced soon-to-be empty-nester wondering about her next act. Then she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), the embodiment of her perfect self. Armed with a restored outlook on being middle-aged and single, Eva decides to take a chance on her new love interest Albert (James Gandolfini) — a sweet, funny and like-minded man. Things get complicated when Eva discovers that Albert is in fact the dreaded ex–husband of Marianne. This sharp insightful comedy follows Eva as she humorously tries to secretly juggle both relationships and wonders whether her new favourite friend's disastrous ex can be her cue for happiness. Also stars Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson and Tavi Gevinson.
Exit Marrakech Caroline Link, Germany International Premiere
When 17-year-old Ben visits his father Heinrich in Marrakech, it is the start of an adventurous journey through a foreign country with a picturesque charm and a rough beauty where everything appears possible — including the chance that father and son will lose each other for good, or find one another again.
The F Word Michael Dowse, Canada/Ireland World Premiere
When Wallace meets Chantry, it could be love at first sight… except she lives with her long-term boyfriend. And so Wallace, acting with both best intentions — and maybe a little denial — discovers the dirtiest word in romance: friends. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver and TIFF Rising Star Megan Park.
The Face of Love Arie Posin, USA World Premiere
Five years after losing the love of her life, Nikki falls in love again — at first sight. The object of her affection is Tom, an art teacher with a kind heart and a great zest for life, and also a near perfect double for Nikki's deceased husband. Seduced by the chance to live as if her husband was never lost, Nikki spirals into a fantasy of the present as past, while Tom must unravel the mystery behind her immediate and unconditional love. Starring Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams and Amy Brenneman.
Fading Gigolo John Turturro, USA World Premiere
Fioravante, at his friend Murray’s suggestion, enters into the world’s oldest profession, and ends up finding something he didn’t know he was looking for. Starring John Turturro, Woody Allen, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara.
Felony Matthew Saville, Australia World Premiere
Three detectives become embroiled in a tense struggle after a tragic accident that leaves a child in critical condition. One is guilty of a crime, one will try to cover it up, and the other attempts to expose it. How far will these men go to disguise and unravel the truth?
The Finishers Nils Tavernier, Belgium/France World Premiere
Julien, 17, is wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy. Despite their love for him, his family is gradually falling apart under the strain of dealing with his disability. In a bid to bond with his father, Julien challenges him to participate with him in the Ironman race in Nice (French Riviera), a triathlon in which his father has previously competed. Starring Jacques Gamblin, Alexandra Lamy and Fabien Héraud.
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SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (cont'd)
For Those Who Can Tell No Tales Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia and Herzegovina World Premiere
Kym, an Australian tourist, decides to travel to Bosnia. Her guidebook leads her to Višegrad, a small town steeped in history, on the border of Bosnia and Serbia. After a night of insomnia in the 'romantic' Hotel Vilina Vlas, Kym discovers what happened there during the war. She can no longer be an ordinary tourist and her life will never be the same again.
Gabrielle Louise Archambault, Canada North American Premiere
Gabrielle is a young woman with Williams syndrome who has a contagious joie de vivre and an exceptional musical gift. Since she met her boyfriend Martin at the recreation centre where they are choir members, they have been inseparable. However, because they are different, their loved ones are fearful of their relationship. As the choir prepares for an important music festival, Gabrielle does everything she can to gain her independence.
Gloria Sebastián Lelio, Chile/Spain North American Premiere
Gloria is 58 years old and still feels young. Making a party out of her loneliness, she fills her nights seeking love in ballrooms for singles. This fragile happiness changes the day she meets Rodolfo. Their intense passion — to which Gloria gives everything, as she feels it may well be her last — leaves her dancing between hope and despair. Gloria will have to pull herself together and find a new strength to realize that in the last act of her life, she could burn brighter than ever.
Going Away (Il est parti dimanche) Nicole Garcia, France World Premiere
Two unlikely friends — a supply teacher and a lonely young boy suspended between two estranged parents — embark on a weekend motorcycle voyage full of surprises and unforeseen consequences in this surprisingly tough, unsentimental drama.
Gravity is a heart-pounding thriller that pulls its audience into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer accompanied on her first shuttle mission by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney). On a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone — tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth… and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But their only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.
The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) Paolo Sorrentino, Italy North American Premiere
Rome, in the splendour of summer. Jep Gambardella — a handsome man with irresistible charm despite his advancing age — enjoys the city’s social life to the fullest. He attends chic dinners and parties where his sparkling wit is always welcome. A successful journalist, in his youth he wrote a novel that earned him a literary award and a reputation as a frustrated writer. Weary of his lifestyle, Jep sometimes dreams of taking up his pen again, haunted by memories of a youthful love which he still hangs on to. But can he overcome his profound disgust for himself and others in a city whose dazzling beauty sometimes leads to creative paralysis?
Half of a Yellow Sun Biyi Bandele, Nigeria/United Kingdom World Premiere
An epic love story: Olanna and Kainene are glamorous twins, living a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria. The two women make very different choices of lovers, but rivalry and betrayal must be set aside as their lives are swept up in the turbulence of war.
Hateship Loveship Liza Johnson, USA World Premiere
Johanna Parry moves to a new town to work for Mr. McCauley and his granddaughter, Sabitha. Sabitha and her friend trick Johanna into a one-way epistolary romance with Sabitha’s father Ken. Johanna lights on fire, and commits a criminal act to get to her lover, who barely knows she exists. Starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Christine Lahti, Nick Nolte, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sami Gayle.
How I Live Now Kevin Macdonald, United Kingdom World Premiere
Daisy, a teenaged New Yorker, is sent to England one summer to stay with cousins she has never met. Initially resentful, she soon finds herself living in a dreamy, pastoral idyll as she falls madly in love. But this perfect summer is blown apart by the sudden outbreak of a war. The family is separated and Daisy is forced to embark on a terrifying journey to be reunited with the boy she loves. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland and George MacKay.
The Husband Bruce McDonald, Canada World Premiere
Henry is married, has a son, and a decent job in advertising. Trouble is his wife is in jail for sleeping with a 14-year-old boy. Struggling to keep it together and prepare for her release, an encounter with the boy — his rival — sends Henry on a path of self-destruction. Starring Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, August Diehl, Sarah Allen, Jodi Balfour and Stephen McHattie
Ida Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland World Premiere
Poland, 1962. Anna is a novice, an orphan brought up by nuns in a convent. Before she takes her vows, she is determined to see Wanda, her only living relative. Wanda tells Anna that Anna is Jewish. Both women embark on a journey not only to discover their tragic family story, but who they really are and where they belong, questioning their religions and beliefs.
L'intrepido Gianni Amelio, Italy North American Premiere
This film is an affecting and timely story about a middle-aged, precariously employed jack-of-all-trades in Milan who doggedly tries to get by in an unfeeling city while trying to retain his dignity and his passions.
The Invisible Woman Ralph Fiennes, United Kingdom World Premiere
Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, go back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes), with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity. Dickens — famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success — falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre is a vital arena for Dickens, a brilliant amateur actor and a man more emotionally coherent on the page and on stage than in life. As Nelly becomes Dickens’ muse and the focus of his passion, for both of them secrecy is the price — and for Nelly a life of “invisibility”. Also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, Joanna Scanlan, Perdita Weeks, Amanda Hale, Tom Burke, John Kavanagh and Michael Marcus.
Joe David Gordon Green, USA North American Premiere
A gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary backwoods South in this adaptation of Larry Brown’s novel, celebrated at once for its grit and its deeply moving core. Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage comes back to his indie roots in the title role as the hard-living, hot-tempered ex-con Joe Ransom, who is just trying to dodge his own instinct for trouble until he meets a hard-luck kid (Tye Sheridan) who awakens in him a fierce and tender-hearted protector. Based on the novel Big Bad Love by the late Larry Brown.
Labor Day Jason Reitman, USA World Premiere
Labor Day centres on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler as he confronts the pangs of adolescence while struggling to be the man of the house and care for his reclusive mother, Adele. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape all of them for the rest of their lives. Starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg, JK Simmons, Brooke Smith and James Van Der Beek.
The Last of Robin Hood Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, USA World Premiere
Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling Hollywood star and notorious ladies’ man, flouted convention all his life, but never more brazenly than in his last years when, swimming in vodka and unwilling to face his mortality, he undertook a liaison with underage starlet Beverly Aadland. The two had a high-flying affair that spanned the globe and was enabled by the girl’s fame-obsessed mother, Florence. It all came crashing to an end in October 1959 when events forced the relationship into the open, creating an avalanche of publicity castigating Beverly and her mother. The Last of Robin Hood is a story about the desire for fame and the price it exacts. Starring Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon and Kevin Kline.
The Liberator (Libertador) Alberto Arvelo, Venezuela/Spain World Premiere
The film is an epic adventure based on the incredible life of Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century revolutionary who fueled Latin America’s struggle for independence. Bolívar’s quests and military campaigns covered twice the territory of Alexander the Great. Golden Globe nominee Édgar Ramírez brings to life one of the most influential freedom fighters in history. Also starring María Valverde, Danny Huston, Erich Wildpret, Juana Acosta and Imanol Arias.
Like Father, Like Son Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan North American Premiere
Two families are forced to choose between nature and nurture — between their natural sons and the sons they have raised.
Love is the Perfect Crime (Amour Crime Parfait) Arnaud Larrieu and Jean-Marie Larrieu, France/Switzerland World Premiere
Marc, in his 40s, is a professor of literature at the University of Lausanne. Still a bachelor — and still living with his sister Marianne in a huge, isolated chalet that they inherited when they were very young — he carries on one love affair after another with his students. Winter has almost ended when one of his most brilliant students, Barbara, suddenly disappears. Two days later, Marc meets Barbara’s mother, Anna, who wants to find out more about her vanished daughter. Starring Mathieu Amalric, Karin Viard, Maïwenn, Sara Forestier and Denis Podalydès.
Lucky Them Megan Griffiths, USA World Premiere
Lucky Them tells the story of Ellie Klug (Toni Collette), a rock journalist who is tasked with the painful assignment of exploring her own past. Joined by eccentric would-be documentarian Charlie (Thomas Haden Church), Ellie sets out on an emotional treasure hunt in order to finally rid herself of her "ghosts" and get on with her life. Also starring Ryan Eggold, Oliver Platt, Nina Arianda and Ahna O'Reilly.
A young martial artist's unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club. Starring Keanu Reeves and Tiger Chen.
MARY Queen of Scots Thomas Imbach, France/Switzerland North American Premiere
A queen who lost three kingdoms. A wife who lost three husbands. A woman who lost her head.
Mystery Road Ivan Sen, Australia International Premiere
Detective Jay Swan returns to his outback hometown to investigate the brutal murder of a teenage girl found in a drain under a highway outside of town. Starring Aaron Pedersen, Ryan Kwanten and Hugo Weaving.
Night Moves Kelly Reichardt, USA North American Premiere
When do legitimate convictions demand illegal behaviors? What happens to a person’s political principles when they find their back against the wall? Night Moves is the story of three radical environmentalists coming together to execute the most spectacular direct action event of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard.
Omar Hany Abu-Assad, Palestine North American Premiere
Trust and identity are stretched like wire in an impossible West Bank love story. Desires for individual and collective freedom collide. Mere sacrifice isn’t enough; betrayal is the only way to survive.
One Chance David Frankel, USA World Premiere
This film follows the remarkable and inspirational true story of Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night. Paul became an instant YouTube phenomenon after being chosen by Simon Cowell for Britain's Got Talent. Wowing audiences worldwide with his phenomenal voice, Paul went on to win the competition and the hearts of millions. BAFTA winner James Corden stars as Paul Potts and is supported by an ensemble cast that includes Julie Walters, Mackenzie Crook, Colm Meaney, Jemima Rooper and Alexandra Roach.
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SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (cont'd)
Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them? Starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt and Anton Yelchin.
The Past (Le Passé) Asghar Farhadi, France/Italy North American Premiere
Following a four year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie's request, in order to finalize their divorce proceedings. During his brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie's relationship with her daughter Lucie. Ahmad's efforts to improve this relationship soon unveil a secret from their past.
Philomena Stephen Frears, United Kingdom North American Premiere
Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, this film focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock — something Philomena’s Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of — and given away for adoption in the United States. Following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn’t allow for any sort of inquiry into her son’s whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Philomena meets Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to track down her long-lost son.
Pioneer (Pionér) Erik Skjoldbjærg, Norway/Germany/Sweden/France/Finland International Premiere
Pioneer is set in the early 80s, at the beginning of the Norwegian oil boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea and the authorities aim to bring the oil ashore through a pipeline from depths of 500 meters. A professional diver, Petter is obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. Along with his brother Knut he has the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world's most dangerous mission. But a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. Petter is sent on a perilous journey where he loses sight of who's pulling the strings. Gradually he realizes that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake.
Prisoners Denis Villeneuve, USA World Premiere
How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child’s life is at stake the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? Also features Melissa Leo, Maria Bello, Viola Davis and Terrence Howard.
Quai d'Orsay Bertrand Tavernier, France World Premiere
Alexandre Taillard de Vorms is a force to be reckoned with. With his silver mane and tanned, athletic body, he stalks the world stage as Minister of Foreign Affairs for France, waging his own war backed up by the holy trinity of diplomatic concepts: legitimacy, lucidity, and efficacy. Enter Arthur Vlaminck. Hired to write the minister's speeches, Arthur must contend with the sensibilities of his boss and the dirty dealings within the Quai d'Orsay, the ministry's home.
Koichi and Atsumi are lovers who have known each other all their lives. A year ago, Atsumi apparently tried to commit suicide and has been in a coma since then. Through ‘sensing’, a type of neurological treatment allowing communication with a comatose patient, Koichi tries to find out why she tried to kill herself. Starring Takeru Satoh and Haruka Ayase.
Rock the Casbah Laïla Marrakchi, France/Morocco International Premiere
A bittersweet comedy that plays out around a family coming to terms with grief, disclosures, secrets and reckoning, Rock the Casbah follows one family during the three days of mourning called for by Moroccan custom, as they reunite in their deceased patriarch’s villa. When youngest daughter, Sofia, arrives unexpectedly, sparks start to fly. She left for America — against her father’s wishes — to become a successful actress, but she only ever landed roles in TV series playing terrorists. Secrets come out, throwing the order once maintained by their patriarch into turmoil. Starring Omar Sharif, Hiam Abbass, Nadine Labaki, Lubna Azabal and Morjana Alaoui.
Singing Women (Sarki Söyleyen Kadinlar) Reha Erdem, France/Germany/Turkey World Premiere
An unlikely group of distressed women struggle with their tribulations, but are united by extraordinary reserves of energy, courage, hope and faith. As the women transform their tragedy into songs of rebellion and life, they also infect the frustrated, never-grown-up child Adem with the joys of being human. The film follows the group throughout their inspiring journeys into different dimensions of existence. Starring Binnur Kaya, Philip Arditti, Kevork Malikyan and Aylin Aslım.
Southcliffe Sean Durkin, United Kingdom International Premiere
A sudden inexplicable spate of shootings rips through the market town of Southcliffe. The lives of those left behind are torn apart. In this haunting drama a journalist reporting on the tragedy finds himself back in the small town he grew up in, looking for answers from the shattered community whilst trying to reconcile the dark events from his own past. Starring Rory Kinnear, Sean Harris, Shirley Henderson, Anatol Yusef and Eddie Marsan.
Starred Up David Mackenzie, United Kingdom World Premiere
When troubled teenager Eric is transferred to an adult prison, the new environment serves only to amplify his ultra-violent behavior. He soon comes to the attention of the prison kingpin, who assigns his lieutenant Nev to keep the boy under control. The problem however is that Nev is Eric’s father. They have not seen each other for 12 years, and an uncomfortable stand-off begins as father and son battle to gain some kind of understanding after a decade of mistrust and separation.
Sunshine on Leith Dexter Fletcher, United Kingdom World Premiere
The sophomore feature from British actor-turned-director Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill) stars Peter Mullan (Tyrannosaur) and Jane Horrocks (Little Voice) in a vibrant cinematic adaptation of the acclaimed stage musical, inspired by the chart-topping album from Scottish band The Proclaimers. Also starring George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas, Freya Mavor and Paul Brannigan.
Therese Charlie Stratton, USA World Premiere
Set in the lower depths of 1860s Paris, Therese is a tale of obsessive love, adultery and revenge, based on Émile Zola’s scandalous novel. Trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Therese embarks on an illicit affair with her husband's childhood friend that leads to tragic consequences. Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton, Jessica Lange and Oscar Isaac.
Third Person Paul Haggis, Belgium World Premiere
Love, passion, mystery, betrayal and hope infuse Paul Haggis' new feature, which follows the interrelated stories of three couples in three cities, Rome, New York and Paris — each with its own secrets. Starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger and Moran Atias.
Those Happy Years (Anni Felici) Daniele Luchetti, Italy World Premiere
Rome, 1974. Wannabe artist Guido feels trapped by his conventional life and beautiful, bourgeois wife, Serena. Their young sons, Dario and Paolo, are caught between their parents’ passion for each other, their rows and their infidelities. The film tells of those happy years, which seemed so unhappy at the time…
Tom At The Farm (Tom à la ferme) Xavier Dolan, Canada/France North American Premiere
Tom, a young advertising copywriter, travels to the country for a funeral. There, he's shocked to find out no one knows who he is, or his relationship to the deceased, whose brother soon sets the rules of a twisted game. In order to protect the family's name and grieving mother, Tom now has to play the peacekeeper in a household whose obscure past bodes even greater darkness for his trip to the farm.
Tracks John Curran, United Kingdom/Australia North American Premiere
Tracks is the true story of Robyn Davidson who trekked from Alice Springs in Central Australia through almost 2,000 miles of sprawling desert to the Indian Ocean, accompanied only by her loyal dog and four unpredictable camels. This epic and remarkable journey into Australia’s last great frontier was captured by charismatic National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan. These challenging and emotional nine months in the desert marked a new beginning for Robyn that would change the rest of her life. Starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver.
Under the Skin Jonathan Glazer, USA/United Kingdom North American Premiere
The story of an alien in human form on a journey through Scotland. Part road movie, part science fiction, part real, it’s a film about seeing the world through alien eyes. Starring Scarlett Johansson.
Unforgiven (Yurusarezarumono) Lee Sang-il, Japan North American Premiere
Lee Sang-il’s visionary remake of Clint Eastwood’s iconic Academy Award–winning film transposes the classic Western to Meiji-period Japan. The Tokugawa shogunate has just collapsed and the Ainu aborigines strive to settle the land alongside the newly established government. Jubei Kamata is a relic of the Tokugawa shogunate, and during that time his name alone terrorized the whole of Kyoto as he killed countless loyalists in the name of the Shogun. After the fall, he vanished from sight. More than 10 years later, Jubei has fathered children with an Ainu woman and lives in a secluded hamlet, barely making a living. His wife — who succeeded in transforming him from a man who kills — had died, leaving him to a quiet life raising his children and tending her grave. However, poverty leads Jubei to abandon his resolve and once again turn to a life of violence. Starring Akira Emoto, Koichi Sato and Ken Watanabe.
Violette Martin Provost, France/Belgium World Premiere
Born out of wedlock early in the last century, Violette Leduc meets Simone de Beauvoir in postwar Saint-Germain-des-Près. An intense lifelong relationship develops between the two women authors, based on Violette's quest for freedom through writing and on Simone's conviction that she holds in her hands the destiny of an extraordinary writer.
Visitors Godfrey Reggio, USA World Premiere
Thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi, with support from Philip Glass and Jon Kane, Godfrey Reggio’s portrayal of modern life in Visitors leapfrogs beyond earth-bound filmmakers. Presented by Steven Soderbergh, Visitors offers an experience of technology and transcendental emotionality, taking viewers to the moon and back to confront them with themselves.
Walesa. Man of Hope. (Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei.) Andrzej Wajda, Poland North American Premiere
How was it possible that a single man influenced contemporary world so significantly? This film is an attempt to capture the phenomenon of a common man’s metamorphosis into a charismatic leader — an attempt to see how a Gdansk shipyard electrician fighting for workers’ rights awakened a hidden desire for freedom in millions of people.
Watermark Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky, Canada World Premiere
Watermark is a feature documentary film that brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it, and the consequences of that use. Shot in stunning 5K ultra high-definition video and full of soaring aerial perspectives.
Stockholm 1982. Bobo, Klara and Hedvig are three 13-year-old girls who roam the streets. Girls who are brave and tough and strong and weak and confused and weird. Girls who have to take care of themselves way too early. Girls who heat fish fingers in the toaster when mom is at the pub. Girls who start a punk band without any instruments, even though everybody says that punk is dead.
Le Week-End Roger Michell, United Kingdom World Premiere
Nick and Meg Burrows return to Paris, the city where they honeymooned, to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary and rediscover some romance in their long-lived marriage. The film follows the couple as long-established tensions in their marriage break out in humorous and often painful ways. Starring Jeff Goldblum, Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.
The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) Hayao Miyazaki, Japan North American Premiere
Hayao Miyazaki brings together aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori, to create Jiro — a fictional character at the centre of this tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. Featuring the voices of Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Jun Kunimura, Shinobu Otake and Mansai Nomura.
You Are Here Matthew Weiner, USA World Premiere
When Steve Dallas (Owen Wilson), a womanizing local weatherman, hears that his off-the-grid best friend Ben Baker (Zach Galifianakis) has lost his estranged father, the two return to Ben's childhood home. Once there, they discover Ben has inherited the family fortune, and the ill-equipped duo must battle Ben's formidable sister (Amy Poehler) and deal with his father's gorgeous 25-year old widow (Laura Ramsey). You Are Here is a contemporary adult comedy about family, friendship, money, and the people who keep it all afloat.
Young and Beautiful (Jeune & jolie) François Ozon, France/Belgium North American Premiere
A coming-of-age portrait of a 17-year-old French girl over four seasons and four songs — from her sexual awakening to her first time; from her exploration of love to her search for her identity.
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A Story of Children and Film Mark Cousins, United Kingdom North American Premiere
A Story of Children and Film is the world's first movie about kids in global cinema. A passionate, poetic portrait of the adventures of childhood — its surrealism, loneliness, fun, destructiveness and vitality — as seen through 53 great films from 25 countries, director Mark Cousins’ landmark film is an eye opener and a celebration of both childhood and the movies.
Ain't Misbehavin' Marcel Ophüls, France North American Premiere
The director of The Sorrow and the Pity shares his memories with us, stories both incredibly rich and fascinating, making Ain't Misbehavin’ a cheerful and bittersweet trip through cinema history. Son of the great director Max Ophüls, Marcel can be a generous man and an admirer. Marcel talks with and about personalities like Jeanne Moreau, Bertolt Brecht, Ernst Lubitsch, Otto Preminger, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick and, of course, his friend François Truffaut.
At Berkeley Frederick Wiseman, USA North American Premiere
At Berkeley is a documentary film about the University of California at Berkeley. The film explores the major aspects of university life of America’s premier public university with particular emphasis on the administrative efforts to maintain the academic excellence, public role, and the economic, racial and social diversity of the student body in the face of severe budgetary cuts imposed by the California legislature.
Beyond the Edge Leanne Pooley, New Zealand World Premiere
It was an event that stunned the world and defined an era. Sir Edmund Hillary’s incredible achievement remains one of the greatest adventure stories of all time: the epic journey of a man from modest beginnings who overcame adversity to reach the highest point on Earth. Screening in 3D.
Burt's Buzz Jody Shapiro, Canada World Premiere
Burt's Buzz is an in-depth and personal look at the life of Burt Shavitz, known to millions around the world as the 'Burt' of the Burt’s Bees natural product brand. The documentary explores what it means to be marketed as an icon, and how that life differs from the one of the man behind the logo.
The Dark Matter of Love Sarah McCarthy, UK North American Premiere The Dark Matter of Love follows three Russian children learning to love their adoptive American family through a scientific programme. From the director of The Sound Of Mumbai: A Musical.
The Dog Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren, USA World Premiere
In 1972, John Wojtowicz attempted to rob a Brooklyn bank to pay for his lover’s sex-change operation. The story was the basis for the film Dog Day Afternoon. The Dog captures John, who shares his story for the first time in his own unique, offensive, hilarious and heartbreaking way.
Faith Connections Pan Nalin, France/India World Premiere
Filmmaker Pan Nalin travels to Kumbh Mela, one of the world's most extraordinary religious events. There, he encounters remarkable men of mind and meditation, some facing an inextricable dilemma; to embrace the world or to renounce it. Faith Connections explores such diverse and deeply moving stories as a young runaway kid, a Sadhu, a mother desperately looking for her lost son, a yogi who is raising an abandoned baby, and an ascetic who keeps his calm by smoking cannabis — all connected by one faith against the spectacular display of devotion.
Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story Barry Avrich, Canada World Premiere
Through his lens, Bob Guccione witnessed, influenced and played a starring role in easily one of the most controversial and socially and sexually revolutionary eras in modern history. Reclusive, yet outspoken, Guccione used his art, his fortune and his outspoken views on sexuality and politics to create scandal, change and debate. Unlike his publishing rivals, Hefner and Flynt, there is more to Guccione than meets the eye.
Finding Vivian Maier John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, USA World Premiere
A mysterious nanny, who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that were hidden in storage lockers and discovered decades later, is now considered among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never before seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.
Hi-Ho Mistahey! Alanis Obomsawin, Canada World Premiere
Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Shannen’s Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education for First Nations children, in safe and suitable schools. She brings together the voices of those who have successfully brought the Dream all the way to the United Nations in Geneva.
Ignasi M. Ventura Pons, Spain World Premiere
Ignasi M., a world renowned museologist, is living a dramatic moment, but has the capacity to turn any situation into an edifying one and any discomfort into a hilarious series of facts.
Jodorowsky's Dune Frank Pavich, USA North American Premiere
The story of legendary cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s staggeringly ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science-fiction novel Dune.
The Last of the Unjust Claude Lanzmann, France/Austria North American Premiere
Through an interview with Benjamin Murmelstein, from Nisko in Poland to Theresienstadt, and from Vienna to Rome, Claude Lanzmann provides an unprecedented insight into the genesis of the Final Solution. It reveals the true face of Eichmann, and exposes without artifice the savage contradictions of the Jewish Councils.
The Mayor Emiliano Altuna Fistolera, Mexico Canadian Premiere
Mauricio Fernandez is the polemical mayor of San Pedro Garza García, the wealthiest and safest municipality in Latin America. He presents himself as an active ruler who is capable of cleaning his municipality of drug cartels without questioning the methods he uses to achieve this. The Mayor describes the wild times of a country that is marked by violence and the complete discredit of the ruling class.
Midway Chris Jordan, USA World Premiere
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies a tiny unincorporated territory belonging to the United States called Midway — the site of one of greatest naval battles of all time. Before the navy set up station, this island served for centuries as a breeding ground for hundreds of species of seabird — most notably the Albatross. Midway lies at the center of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where the seabirds’ feeding grounds are teeming with plastic waste. Unknowingly, the Albatross feed their chicks our refuse and so the very waters that once sustained them, now threaten their lives. Through stunning imagery and narration, the voice of the island tells their epic tale of survival. Both elegy and warning, the film explores the interconnectedness of species, with the Albatross on Midway as mirror of our humanity. This is their story and ours, an inspiring tale of how life and love endure despite incredible odds.
Mission Congo David Turner and Lara Zizic, USA World Premiere Death, diamonds and greed — a story of a US businessman’s pursuit of an irresistible opportunity during one of the worst humanitarian crises of modern times.
The Square (Al Midan) Jehane Noujaim, Egypt/USA World Premiere The story of revolution — behind the headlines. From the 2011 overthrow of a 30-year dictator, through military rule, and culminating with the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood president in the summer of 2013 — follow a group of Egyptian revolutionaries as they battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a society of conscience.
Tim’s Vermeer Teller, USA World Premiere
Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer (Girl with a Pearl Earring) manages to paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography? The epic research project Jenison embarks on to test his theory is as extraordinary as what he discovers.
The Unknown Known Errol Morris, USA North American Premiere
Errol Morris offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War. Although Rumsfeld has held lofty positions of American political power for half a century, most people know little about him. When Rumsfeld wrote, as part of his most famous meditation, that an “unknown known” refers to “things you think you know that it turns out you do not,” he could have been speaking about himself. The Unknown Known is not intended as yet another postmortem on the Iraq War, but rather an illumination of a mystery.
Unstable Elements Madeleine Sackler, USA World Premiere
Comprised of smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, Unstable Elements introduces viewers to artists struggling under Europe’s last dictatorship. When the KGB targets dissenters, the members of the Free Theater find themselves torn between their art and safety. This compelling documentary showcases the power of art to change the world.
When Jews Were Funny Alan Zweig, Canada World Premiere When Jews Were Funny is director Alan Zweig’s personal exploration into the roots and the manifestations of his Jewish identity, and particularly the question of how this Jewishness of his has persisted, though he’s done nothing to maintain it. He begins his exploration by trying to answer a question that’s intrigued him since childhood. Why were all the comedians he watched on TV in the fifties and sixties, Jewish? At first he doesn’t get the answers he was hoping for, but he trusts in the old saying, “two Jews, three opinions” and eventually some answers start to form.
CITY TO CITY (ATHENS)
The Daughter (I Kori) Thanos Anastopoulos, Greece North American Premiere
A 14-year-old girl, an eight-year-old boy, and a bankrupt lumber yard in contemporary Athens. Starring Savina Alimani.
The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas (I Aionia Epistrofi tou Antoni Paraskeua) Elina Psykou, Greece North American Premiere
Antonis arrives at a hotel resort by the sea. It is wintertime, the hotel is closed and Antonis drifts around alone. He has a lot of time to kill…until the news announces the disappearance of the famous TV host Antonis Paraskevas. Starring Christos Stergioglou and Maria Kallimani.
J.A.C.E. – Just Another Confused Elephant Menelaos Karamaghiolis, Greece/FYROM/Portugal/Turkey North American Premiere
Twice-orphaned J.a.c.e. — a Greek-Albanian child — witnesses a massacre that wipes out his foster family. He then falls into the hands of the predators, ruthless gangsters who traffic children abroad for various reasons, from panhandling to the organ trade. J.a.c.e. ends up in Athens, begging at street corners, exploring the horrors of institutions for young offenders, or serving obscure patrons in a world where violent loss seems to be his only destiny. The movie follows J.a.c.e.’s odyssey into a dark universe of abuse, murder and fear, as he desperately seeks a family and a sense of belonging. Starring Alban Ukaj, Stefania Goulioti, Argiris Xafis, Ieronymos Kaletsanos, Kora Karvouni, Akyllas Karazissis, Yiannis Tsortekis, Soma Badekas, Diogo Infante, Christos Loulis, Franco Trevisi and Refet Abazi.
Miss Violence Alexandros Avranas, Greece North American Premiere
On the day of her birthday, 11-year-old Angeliki jumps off the balcony and falls to her death with a smile on her face. While the police and social services investigate this apparent suicide, Angeliki’s family insists that it was an accident. What is the secret that young Angeliki took with her? Why does her family persist in trying to forget her and move on with their lives? These are the answers that social services seek when they visit the family’s clean and orderly home. The father has made sure nothing is missing and that everything is where it belongs. It seems as if nothing can betray them. But Angeliki’s younger brother unintentionally reveals clues that will gradually shatter the family’s well polished-world, forcing them to come face to face with what they have been hiding for so many years. Starring Themis Panou, Eleni Roussinou, Reni Pittaki and Sissy Toumasi.
September Penny Panayotopoulou, Germany/Greece North American Premiere
Anna lives with her dog Manu. She thinks they will live together forever. When he dies, she buries him in a family’s garden across the street. But unlike Manu, the happy, bustling family does not need her love and affection. September recalls that ambivalent mood between endings and beginnings, and the struggle to find meaning in and happiness out of life's ordinariness. Starring Kora Karvouni, Maria Skoula and Nikos Diamantis.
Standing Aside, Watching (Na Kathese ke na Kitas) Yorgos Servetas, Greece World Premiere
Antigone moves to a quiet town in search of an unassuming life, unaware of the silent violence that lurks underneath the peaceful surface. Soon, situations around her will force her to decide whether she should take action or stand aside and watch. Standing Aside, Watching is a meta-Western film about indifference, violence and involvement. Starring Marina Symeou, Nikos Yorgakis, Yorgos Kafetzopoulos, Kostis Siradakis, Yorgos Ziovas and Marianthi Pantelopoulou.
To the Wolf (Sto Lyko) Aran Hughes and Christina Koutsospyrou, Greece/United Kingdom North American Premiere
To the Wolf is a stark exploration of two shepherd families struggling to survive in the wilderness of the Greek mountains at a time of deep national crisis. With Ilias Katsaros, Spiridoula Katsarou, Adam Paxnis, Kiki Paxni, Vasiliki Spiropoulou and Giorgos Katsaros.
Unfair World (Adikos Kosmos) Filippos Tsitos, Greece/Germany Toronto Premiere
Sotiris is a police interrogator. One day he decides to be fair with people. He is determined to exonerate every single poor guy who committed a small crime because life was cruel. In an effort to save an innocent man, Sotiris kills someone. Dora, a lonely cleaning lady, is the only witness to the crime. Sotiris needs Dora’s help, and even though she lacks compassion, he feels she is his only ally. Will the unrighteous Dora save the virtuous Sotiris? And what about love? Starring Antonis Kafetzopoulos, Theodora Tzimou and Christos Stergioglou.
Wasted Youth Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel, Greece Toronto Premiere
Summer in Athens: a heat wave blasts the city. A teenage skateboarder sets out for a normal day with his friends. A middle-aged man struggles with raising his family — stuck at a job he dislikes and facing an impending nervous breakdown. Inspired by true events, this is a portrait of Athens. Starring Harris Markou and Ieronymos Kaletsanos.
Wild Duck Yannis Sakaridis, Greece World Premiere
Dimitris, an indebted telecommunications engineer, shuts down his business and gets involved in a phone-hacking investigation with an ex-colleague. Their rigorous search on mobile phone antennas leads them to a suspicious flat in a tower block. Dimitris’ attention is caught instantly by an ill woman who lives above this flat. Starring Alexandros Logothetis, Themis Bazaka and George Pyrpasopoulos.
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Afflicted Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, Canada/USA World Premiere
Best friends Derek and Clif set out on a trip of a lifetime. Their plan: travel to the ends of the earth, see the world, and live life to the fullest. But the trip soon takes a dark and bloody turn. Just days in, one of the men shows signs of a mysterious affliction which gradually takes over his entire body and being. Now, thousands of miles from home, in a foreign land, they must race to uncover the source of his illness before it consumes him completely. Footage of their travels meant to document pleasant memories may now become evidence of one of the most shocking discoveries ever captured on film…and may be their only postcard home.
.Midnight Madness Opening Night Film.
All Cheerleaders Die Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson, USA World Premiere
When tragedy rocks Blackfoot High, rebellious outsider Mäddy Killian shocks the student body by joining the cheerleading squad. This decision drives a rift between Mäddy and her ex-girlfriend Leena Miller — a loner who claims to practice the dark arts. After a confrontation with the football team, Mäddy and her new cheerleader friends are sent on a supernatural roller coaster ride which leaves a path of destruction none of them may be able to escape.
Almost Human Joe Begos, USA World Premiere
Mark Fisher disappeared from his home in a brilliant flash of blue light almost two years ago. His friend Seth Hampton was the last to see him alive. Now a string of grisly, violent murders leads Seth to believe that Mark is back, and something evil is living inside of him.
The Green Inferno Eli Roth, USA World Premiere
How far would you go for a cause you believe in? In horror master Eli Roth’s terrifying new film, a group of college students take their humanitarian protest from New York to the Amazon jungle, only to get kidnapped by the native tribe they came to save: a tribe that still practices the ancient rite of cannibalism, and has a healthy appetite for intruders.
Oculus Mike Flanagan, USA World Premiere
Oculus is a spine-chilling supernatural tale of two damaged siblings (Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites) who, as children, witnessed their parents' harrowing descent into madness and murder. At long last, brother and sister reunite as adults to expose and destroy the paranormal entity they believe is responsible: the Lasser Glass — a legendary mirror their family once owned.
R100 Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan World Premiere
An ordinary man with an ordinary life joins a mysterious club. The membership lasts for one year only and there is one rule: no cancellation under any circumstance. The man enters into an entirely new and exciting world which he has never before experienced.
Rigor Mortis Juno Mak, Hong Kong North American Premiere
Juno Mak’s debut feature Rigor Mortis is an eerie and chilling, contemporary action- and special effects-laden homage to the classic Chinese vampire movies of the 1980s. Starring Chin Siu-Ho, Kara Hui, Anthony Chan, Lo Hoi Pang and Richard Ng.
The Station (Blutgletscher) Marvin Kren, Austria World Premiere
At a climate research station in the Alps, the scientists are stunned as the nearby melting glacier is leaking a red liquid. It quickly turns to be very special juice — with unexpected genetic effects on the local wildlife.
Why Don't You Play in Hell? (Jigoku de Naze Warui) Sion Sono, Japan North American Premiere
Two men, Muto and Ikegami, hate each other. Muto desperately wants to help his daughter Mitsuko star in a movie. Meanwhile, Ikegami falls in love with Mitsuko, knowing that she's the daughter of his foe. Hirata, a filmmaker, and Koji, a young movie-lover, get dragged into this complicated situation that heads into an unexpected direction.
Witching & Bitching (Las brujas de Zugarramurdi) Alex de la Iglesia, Spain/France World Premiere Desperate dad José and his friends run from a coven of witches hell-bent on their souls and on the 25,000 wedding rings the guys stole from a Cash-for-Gold shop in a desperate attempt to escape their lives of wife troubles. Witching & Bitching marks the seventh film by cult-favourite Spanish genre specialist Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus) to be screened at TIFF.
Amazonia Thierry Ragobert, France/Brazil North American Premiere
Amazonia is a 3D odyssey into the world’s biggest rainforest. After a plane crash, Saï, a capuchin monkey born and raised in captivity, finds himself alone and lost in the wilderness of the Amazon jungle. Facing a new world in which dense vegetation covers everything, Saï has to find his way and survive the traps nature has laid out.
Antboy Ask Hasselbalch, Denmark World Premiere
Twelve-year-old Pelle accidentally gets bitten by an ant and develops unimaginable superpowers. With help from his friend, comic book nerd Wilhelm, Pelle creates a secret identity as the superhero Antboy and becomes a local crime fighter. When a supervillain, The Flea, enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge.
KHUMBA Anthony Silverston, South Africa North American Premiere
Rejected by his superstitious herd, a half-striped zebra embarks on a daring quest to earn his stripes; but when he discovers a tyrannical leopard on his trail, he must find the courage and self-acceptance to save all the animals of the Great Karoo.
The World of Goopi and Bagha Shilpa Ranade, India World Premiere
Goopi and Bagha are two wise fools; one loves to sing and the other to play the drum. Despite their acute ineptness, their passion for music knows no bounds. When the villagers cannot bear to listen to them anymore, both are banished to the same forest. Here, Goopi and Bagha encounter each other and their fates become entwined for life. A strong and immediate bond is forged by these two hapless souls in search of connoisseurs of their musical craft.
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang Oskar Santos, Spain World Premiere
Naughty twins Zip and Zap are punished and sent to summer school at Hope, a strict re-education centre run by the eye-patched Headmaster Falconetti, who rules with a heavy hand and forbids all forms of recreation and entertainment. They form the Marble Gang, the children’s Resistance, in order to defy the evil headmaster. Guided by intelligence, bravery and unbreakable faith in friendship, they uncover a mysterious secret hidden deep within the school and end up having the most exciting adventure of their lives.
Asphalt Watches Seth Scriver and Shayne Ehman, Canada World Premiere
Asphalt Watches is a true story. It is a feature-length animation based on a real-life hitchhiking trip taken by the two directors, Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver in the year 2000. The film details the hilarious and amazing journey of Bucktooth Cloud and Skeleton Hat as they travel eastward across Canada.
Blue Ruin Jeremy Saulnier, USA North American Premiere
A classic American revenge story, Blue Ruin follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Finding himself in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family, he proves to be an amateur assassin. Starring Macon Blair.
Borgman Alex van Warmerdam, The Netherlands/Belgium/Denmark North American Premiere
Borgman is the central character in Alex van Warmerdam’s dark, malevolent fable. Is he a dream or a demon, a twisted allegory or an all-too-real embodiment of our fears? Borgman is a sinister arrival in the sealed-off streets of modern suburbia. His presence unleashes a crowing gallery of distortion around the careful façade constructed by an arrogant, comfortable couple, their three children and nanny. Starring Jan Bijoet, Jeroen Perceval and Hadewych Minis.
Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari Alexey Fedorchenko, Russia Canadian Premiere
Comprised of 23 vignettes illuminating the pagan-influenced mores of western Russia’s Meadow Mari, the latest film from director Alexey Fedorchenko (Silent Souls) is a beguiling, painterly portrait of a culture driven by a ritualistic appreciation of female beauty and feminine sexuality.
The Fake Yeon Sang-ho, Korea World Premiere
A rural village is determined to be submerged and its residents are compensated for relocation. A swindler named Choi deceives the poor villagers with false religion to make them give up their compensations as church offerings. Min-chul, an infamous local good-for-nothing waster, discovers the truth, but he is unable to convince anyone; especially against Reverend Sung, who is revered by the people, but who in fact is someone Choi scouted to serve his purpose. When Min-chul’s own faithful daughter is forced into prostitution by these fakes, he sets out to get even.
Gerontophilia Bruce LaBruce, Canada North American Premiere
The always provocative Bruce LaBruce is back with a new romantic comedy (of sorts).18-year-old Lake has a sweet activist girlfriend, but one day discovers he has an unusual attraction for the elderly. Fate conspires to land him a summer job at a nursing home where he develops a tender relationship with Mr. Peabody. Discovering that the patients are being over-medicated to make them easier to manage, Lake decides to wean him off his medication and help him escape, resulting in a humorous and heartfelt road trip that strengthens their bond.
Horns Alexandre Aja, USA World Premiere
Horns, a supernatural thriller driven by dark comedy, mystery and romance follows Ignatius Perrish as he awakens after a hard night of drinking to find he has grown a pair of horns. In addition to his devilish appearance, the horns cause people to fall into a trance and voice their most unspeakable thoughts, an effective tool in Ig’s quest to discover the truth of his girlfriend's murder. Starring Juno Temple and Daniel Radcliffe.
People In Places (Gente En Sitios) Juan Cavestany, Spain World Premiere
This kaleidoscopic film weaves together approximately 20 fragmented scenarios that offer a view of contemporary Spain, drawing conclusions about the persistence of the human condition, strangeness, and the chaos within relationships. Starring Raul Arevalo, Eduard Fernandez and Santiago Segura.
Proxy Zack Parker, USA World Premiere
While walking home from her latest OB appointment, a very pregnant Esther Woodhouse is brutally attacked and disfigured by a hooded assailant. This horrible event seems to be a blessing in disguise when Esther finds consolation in a support group. Her life of sadness and solitude is opened up to friendship, understanding, and even acceptance. However, friendship and understanding can be very dangerous things when accepted by the wrong people.
The Sacrament Ti West, USA North American Premiere
From acclaimed writer/director Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) and horror master Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever, The Last Exorcism), The Sacrament follows two Vice media correspondents as they set out to document their friend's search to find his missing sister. They travel outside of the United States to an undisclosed location where they are welcomed into the world of "Eden Parish," a self-sustained rural utopia comprised of nearly 200 members. At the centre of this small, religious, socialist community is a mysterious leader known only as "Father." As their friend reunites with his sister, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems. What started as just another documentary shoot soon becomes a race to escape with their lives. Starring Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Kentucker Audley, Amy Seimetz and Gene Jones.
Sapi Brillante Mendoza, Philippines World Premiere
With the rival station Philippine Broadcasting Channel (PBC) eating up the TV audiences' major share, Sarimanok Broadcasting Network (SBN) needs a miracle to stay alive in the competition. In these mad and fearful times, SBN's news team finds that documenting an actual spiritual possession would be their only hope.
Sex, Drugs & Taxation (Spies & Glistrup) Christoffer Boe, Denmark International Premiere
Sex, Drugs & Taxation is based on the true story about the spectacular friendship between two of the most notorious and provocative men in 1960s Denmark: the eccentric lawyer-turned-politician, Mogens Glistrup, and the 'travel king', millionaire, womanizer and public provocateur, Simon Spies. Starring Pilou Asbæk, Nicolas Bro and Jesper Christensen.
Soul Chung Mong-Hong, Taiwan International Premiere
A-Chuan, a quiet 30-year-old man working as a chef in a Japanese restaurant, collapses suddenly and is rushed to a hospital. His colleagues send him to his father, who resides in the mountains. While there, A-Chuan becomes immobile: he won’t speak, eat or even go to the toilet on his own. One day his father returns from work only to find A-Chuan sitting in the corner with his daughter lying dead in a pool of blood. In an unfamiliar, eerily calm voice, A-Chuan says, “I saw this body was empty, so I moved in.”
The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Belgium/France/Luxembourg North American Premiere
A woman vanishes. Her husband inquires into the strange circumstances of her disappearance. Did she leave him? Is she dead? As he continues his search, he plunges into a world of nightmare and violence... Starring Klaus Tange, Jean-Michel Vovk, Sylvia Camarda, Sam Louwyck and Anna D’Annunzio.
Thou Gild'st the Even Onur Ünlü, Turkey North American Premiere
Man is created of anxiety. —Euripides
In a small Anatolian town, life goes on: Cemal is an assistant referee in football matches; Yasemin works on a farm; and Defne is a street vendor who sells books. In this town with two suns and three full moons in the sky, Cemal — who has the ability to see through the walls — has no expectations out of life, and looks for a way out with Yasemin — who can move objects with her fingers. However, Defne, who can freeze time, will muddle things up, and Yasemin's immoral boss' actions will contradict the invisible elementary school teacher's advice, who is trying to eliminate the worries of Cemal. Thou Gild'st the Even is a black and white film about the ordinary sorrows, worries and troubles of townspeople with extraordinary abilities.
We Gotta Get Out of This Place Simon Hawkins and Zeke Hawkins, USA World Premiere
With only three weeks left until his two best friends leave for college, Billy Joe robs his cotton farmer boss, Giff, in order to pay for one last blow-out weekend in Corpus Christi, Texas. Arriving home from the weekend, the teens find the consequences of Billy Joe’s actions brutal. Now Billy Joe, Bobby, and Sue will be taken on a ride that will test love, heartbreak, trust, and crossing that permanent line from adolescence into adulthood.
An Autumn Afternoon Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
Yasujiro Ozu's final film is the gentle, heartbreaking story of a man's dignified resignation to life's ever-shifting currents. Though widower Shuhei Hirayama (Chishu Ryu) has been living comfortably for years with his grown daughter, a series of events leads him to accept and encourage her marriage and departure.
Digital restoration by Shochiku Co. Ltd., the National Film Center and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Special thanks to Janus Films.
Gun Crazy Joseph H. Lewis, USA
This stylistically audacious, seminal “rural noir” from director Joseph H. Lewis placed American reverence for firearms in its crosshairs, unloading a sociopathic-erotic crime spree — and setting the template for subsequent lovers-on-the-run thrillers like Bonnie and Clyde.
35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preserved in cooperation with Warner Bros. from the original 35mm picture and track negatives.
Hiroshima mon amour Alain Resnais, France/Japan
Alain Resnais’ epochal masterpiece Hiroshima mon amour stars Emmanuelle Riva as a French woman visiting post-war Hiroshima, who has an affair with a local architect (Eiji Okada) that evokes painful memories of her first love, a German soldier, in Nazi-occupied France.
The restoration in 4K was carried out from the original negative by Argos Films, the Technicolor Foundation, the Groupama Gan Foundation and the Cineteca di Bologna, with the support of the CNC. It was supervised by the director of photography Renato Berta. The work was done by L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. Special thanks to Argos Films and Tamasa Distribution.
The Lovely Month of May (Le Joli Mai) Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme, France
Long unavailable in the U.S. and a major work in the oeuvre of filmmaker Chris Marker (1921–2012), this restoration of Le Joli Mai (The Lovely Month of May) debuted at the Cannes film festival, 50 years after the film first premiered there. It was created according to the wishes of Marker, supervised by the film's cinematographer and co-director, Pierre Lhomme. Le Joli Mai is a portrait of Paris and Parisians during May 1962, the first springtime of peace after the ceasefire with Algeria and the first time in 23 years that France was not involved in any war.
Restoration and digitization made possible by the Center national du cinéma et de l’image animée and the Archives françaises du film. Special thanks to Icarus Films.
Manila in the Claws of Light (Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) Lino Brocka, Philippines A brilliant fusion of florid melodrama and gritty realism, Lino Brocka’s story of a country boy traversing the myriad pitfalls of Manila’s urban jungle — presented here in a dazzling 4K restoration — is widely considered to be the greatest Philippine film of all time.
Restored in 2013 by the World Cinema Foundation and the Film Development Council of the Philippines at Cineteca di Bologna / L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines and Mike de Leon.
Rome, Open City (Roma, città aperta) Roberto Rossellini, Italy
One of the most powerful and influential films ever made, Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City focuses on a resistance leader who, fleeing the Gestapo, takes refuge with an ally and his pregnant fiancée (Anna Magnani). Shot in the streets of Rome during the last days of the war, this legendary film ushered in Italian neorealism, a key development in the history of cinema.
Restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, CSC - Cineteca Nazionale, Coproduction Office and Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Special thanks to Janus Films.
Shivers David Cronenberg, Canada David Cronenberg’s third feature film announced him as the master of “body horror” and features a fast spreading parasite that quickly overruns a Montreal apartment complex, turning its residents into sex-crazed zombies.
A TIFF digital restoration in partnership with Technicolor Creative Services Toronto. Colour correction was supervised by David Cronenberg.
1982 Tommy Oliver, USA World Premiere
1982, a film inspired by true events at the onset of the crack epidemic in Philadelphia, tells the story of a father and his efforts to protect his gifted daughter from the insidious epidemic which has literally come home via her drug-addicted mother. As his wife becomes more distant and unreliable, he struggles to raise his daughter on his own, while still striving to help his wife become clean. In the process, he learns some hard truths about his marriage and his life, which will ultimately test him as a parent, a husband, and a man. Starring Hill Harper, Sharon Leal, Wayne Brady and young dynamo Troi Zee.
All About the Feathers (Por las Plumas) Neto Villalobos, Costa Rica World Premiere
Chalo is a lone security guard who struggles to get his first gamecock. His job in an abandoned factory is boring and monotonous but it doesn’t seem to bother him that his life is like that as well. Once he finds his prize rooster, which he names Rocky, his life changes. Not having a proper place to raise and train Rocky triggers a series of comical events that will put Chalo’s passion and love for his new (and only) friend to the test.
All the Wrong Reasons Gia Milani, Canada World Premiere
Loss of one’s identity drives this ensemble film from first-time feature writer/director Gia Milani. Cory Monteith stars as an ambitious department store manager whose wife (Karine Vanasse) copes with a loss as co-worker (Kevin Zegers) battles back from a traumatic injury and cashier (Emily Hampshire) takes advantage of it all.
The Amazing Catfish (Los insólitos peces gato) Claudia Sainte-Luce, Mexico North American Premiere
22-year-old Claudia lives alone in Guadalajara. One night, she ends up in the emergency room with signs of appendicitis. There she meets Martha, lying on the bed next to her. 46-year-old Martha has four children and endless lust for life, in spite of her illness. Moved by the lonely young woman, Martha invites Claudia to come and live with her when she leaves the hospital. At first, Claudia is bewildered by the somewhat chaotic organization of the household, but soon she finds her place in the tribe. And while Martha is getting weaker, Claudia's bond with each member of the family gets stronger day by day.
Around the Block Sarah Spillane, Australia World Premiere
Set in Sydney's multicultural inner-city neighbourhood of Redfern, this is a story of revenge and triumph that follows an Aboriginal teenage boy torn between his unexpected love of theatre and his rapidly disintegrating family. With encouragement from an unconventional American drama teacher (Christina Ricci), he confronts his past and eventually takes control of his future.
Bends Flora Lau, Hong Kong North American Premiere
Shot by iconic cinematographer Christopher Doyle, Bends tells the story of Anna (Carina Lau), an affluent housewife and Fai (Chen Kun), her chauffeur, and their unexpected friendship as they negotiate the pressure of Hong Kong life and the city’s increasingly complex relationship to mainland China.
Beneath the Harvest Sky Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, USA World Premiere
Beneath the Harvest Sky tells the story of Casper (Emory Cohen) and Dominic (Callan McAuliffe), two best friends who are fiercely loyal to one another, as they come of age in a small farming town in Maine. During their senior year of high school, Casper is drawn into smuggling drugs across the Canadian border with his outlaw father, Clayton (Aidan Gillen). Meanwhile, Dominic works his final potato harvest, hoping to earn the money he needs to buy a car and take them out of town. Their friendship and loyalty are put to the test as they are forced to mature and make adult decisions that will forever change the course of their lives.
Bethlehem Yuval Adler, Israel North American Premiere
Bethlehem tells the story of the unlikely bond between Razi, an Israeli secret service officer, and his Palestinian informant Sanfur, the younger brother of a senior Palestinian militant. Razi recruited Sanfur when he was just 15, and developed a very close, almost fatherly relationship to him. Now 17, Sanfur tries to navigate between Razi’s demands and his loyalty to his brother, living a double life and lying to both men. Co-written by director Yuval Adler and Ali Waked—an Arab journalist who spent years in the West Bank—Bethlehem gives an unparalleled, moving and authentic portrait of the complex reality behind the news.
Bobô Inês Oliveira, Portugal International Premiere
Sofia lives a strangely isolated life in the old apartment where she grew up in Lisbon. Mariama arrives from Guinea-Bissau, having been hired by Sofia’s mother to help take care of the house and her son. The appearance of Bobô, Mariama’s younger sister, awakens in Sofia the desire to take a stand. The forced cohabitation between Sofia and Mariama forces them to confront their own private ghosts.
Border Alessio Cremonini, Italy World Premiere
Two sisters, Aya and Fatima, live in Syria, at the epicenter of the fighting between police and Shabiha. Shady, Fatima’s husband, deserted the family and joined the rebels of the Syrian Free Army. The only chance the sisters have to survive is to cross the Turkish border.
Canopy Aaron Wilson, Australia World Premiere
It is wartime in Singapore, 1942. An Australian fighter pilot shot down in combat awakens suspended in the treetops. As night devours day, he must navigate through dangerous jungle in search of sanctuary. With minimal dialogue and showcasing a remarkable soundscape, Canopy is an immersive, beautifully shot cinematic experience about the collisions of war and nature and its subsequent toll on humanity.
Fat Mark Phinney, USA World Premiere
Addicted to food, and in bad health, Ken (Mel Rodriguez) is headed to an early grave. Despite advice from his friends, he is stubbornly set in his ways—but a chance encounter might just give him the motivation he needs. Based on Mark Phinney's own experiences and writings on the subject, Fat deals with food addiction in a gritty, authentic way, revealing the deep emotional roots of Ken’s struggles. Shot in Boston (and financed through crowdfunding), Fat peers into the darkness of depression and obesity, with no apologies.
Giraffada Rani Massalha, France/Germany/Italy/Palestine World Premiere
Yacine is the veterinarian of the only zoo remaining in the Palestinian West Bank. He lives alone with his 10-year old son, Ziad, who has a special bond with the two giraffes in the zoo. After an Israeli air raid, the male giraffe dies and his mate, Rita, won’t survive unless the veterinarian finds her a new companion. The only zoo that might provide this animal is located in Tel Aviv. Giraffada is the uncanny story of a heist… of a giraffe.
I Am Yours (Jeg Er Din) Iram Haq, Norway International Premiere
I Am Yours is a portrait of Mina, a young Norwegian-Pakistani single mother. Mina is constantly looking for love however none of her relationships bear any hope of lasting very long. Then Mina meets Jesper, and her fortunes seem to change…
Ilo Ilo Anthony Chen, Singapore North American Premiere
Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, is hired as a live-in-maid by a family in Singapore. After some initial trouble, she forms a unique bond with grade-schooler Jiale, which in turn alters the relationship between her and the other members of the family, as between Jiale and his overstressed parents.
The Militant (El Lugar Del Hijo) Manolo Nieto, Uruguay World Premiere
A university student involved in militant leftist activism is faced with some difficult decisions when his father suddenly dies, leaving him in charge of their troubled ranch and forcing him to take on the role of a middle class landowner.
Miracle (Zázrak) Juraj Lehotsky, Slovakia/Czech Republic International Premiere
Miracles is the story of 15-year-old Ela who is sent to a re-education centre. She yearns for love, but is not allowed to love. Despite all the restrictions, she decides to live her life to the fullest.
My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (Habibi Bistanani And il Bahar) Mais Darwazah, Germany/Jordan/Palestine/Qatar World Premiere
My Love Awaits Me by the Sea is filmmaker Mais Darwazah’s personal journey of self-discovery to “a place that only exists in your mind”. Retracing the last steps of late artist Hasan Hourani — a lover whom she has never met — she meets characters and visits their intimate worlds in search of ‘the dream', and sees how it is still alive within modern day Palestine, even amidst a very different reality of the outside world of occupation.
Of Good Report Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, South Africa International Premiere
Schoolteacher Parker Sithole (Mothusi Magano) has arrived in a rural South African township with no local connections, but his unassuming disposition inspires trust and sympathy, and he is deemed “of good report” with a glowing recommendation from his previous employer. But when he falls in love with a young woman only to discover that she is one of his new pupils, their love story goes awry, and secrets and obsession tear them apart. Controversial and uncompromising, Of Good Report is not your typical crime of passion.
Palo Alto Gia Coppola, USA North American Premiere
Teddy, April, Fred and Emily are teens left largely to their own devices due to parental foolishness and neglect. They seek diversion and connectedness in each other's company, wandering through the homes, parks and playgrounds of their tree-lined suburb. But communication is so very difficult. They struggle to articulate their feelings. Their parties may be wild and raucous... but they are alone. Starring James Franco, Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff and Zoe Levin
Paradise (Paraiso) Mariana Chenillo, Mexico World Premiere
Overweight childhood sweethearts Carmen and Alfredo have re-located from the suburbs to the city. Feeling out of her element and subconscious about her body, Carmen joins a weight loss program and asks her husband to join. Ironically, he sheds the pounds and the distance between them grows, putting their relationship to the test.
Rhymes for Young Ghouls Jeff Barnaby, Canada World Premiere
Kids on the Red Crow reservation are doomed. If you can't pay your "truancy tax", that's you up at the residential school, beat up and abused. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. After being thrown into the school’s dungeon, she decides to fight back.
Salvation Army (L'Armée du salut) Abdellah Taïa, France North American Premiere
The story of Abdellah’s coming of age in two parts — first as a teenager in Morocco, the second as a university student in Geneva. Inspired by the filmmaker’s own autobiographical novel that carries the same title, Salvation Army is as much a film about inhibition, hypocrisy, brutality, and shame as it is about desire, love, dignity and survival.
Sarah Prefers To Run (Sarah préfère la course) Chloé Robichaud, Canada Toronto Premiere
Sarah is a gifted runner. Her life changes when she’s offered admission to Quebec’s best university athletics program in Montreal — far from her home. Sarah doesn’t have her mother’s financial support for the move, but she leaves anyway with her friend Antoine. Though barely out of their teens, they get married because they want the best scholarships and loans. Sarah doesn’t want to hurt anyone with the choices she makes, it’s just that she loves running more than anything else.
South is Nothing (Il Sud è Niente) Fabio Mollo, France/Italy World Premiere
Grazia lives in a small town on the Strait of Messina (Southern Italy) with her father, Cristiano, who sells dried fish. She was 12 when her older brother Pietro emigrated to Germany and never came back. One day, Cristiano says that Pietro is dead and he never wants to talk about it again.
The Stag John Butler, Ireland World Premiere
At his fiancée’s urging, a very modern Irish groom-to-be reluctantly agrees to a stag weekend with his friends, camping in the western wilderness of Ireland. Much to their chagrin, these modern men are joined by the brother of the bride, a crazy, unpredictable alpha male known as “The Machine”, and an explosive Id to their collective Ego. The Machine is a force of nature, and under his leadership, the men—stripped of modern comfort, convenience and, finally, clothing—must begin their journey into the wild.
The Summer of Flying Fish (El verano de los peces voladores) Marcela Said, Chile/France North American Premiere
Manena is a very determined teenager, and the darling daughter of Pancho, a rich Chilean landowner who devotes his vacations to a single obsession: the extermination of carp fish that invade his artificial lagoon. As he resorts to more and more extreme methods, Manena experiences her first love, deception, and discovers a world that silently co-exists alongside her own: that of the Mapuche Indian workers who claim access to these lands… and who stand up to her father.
Trap Street (Shuyin Jie) Vivian Qu, China North American Premiere
Li Qiuming is a young trainee at a digital mapping company. One day while out surveying, Qiuming has a brief encounter with an attractive woman who disappears into a quiet alley. He soon learns that the data he collected of this alley cannot register in his company’s mapping system. He goes back to the area for a second survey…
CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMAFor a second year, TIFF partners with the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs on the Contemporary World Speakers series. This initiative pairs five films in the Contemporary World Cinema programme with expert scholars from the Munk School. Audiences will have the chance to interact with filmmakers and scholars in extended discussions following each film’s second public screening. Speakers include Ron Deibert, Janice Gross Stein, Robert Austin, Ron Levi and Michael Ignatieff. The Contemporary World Speakers series is programmed in conjunction with the TIFF Adult Learning department.
A Journey (Une Jeune Fille) Catherine Martin, Canada World Premiere
Chantal is a secretive young girl who lives with her sick mother and unemployed father. When her mother dies, she leaves the family home for the Gaspé Peninsula. Bringing with her a photo of a beach where her mother longed to return, Chantal tries to find the place — but her efforts are in vain. After wandering around for days, she runs out of money and finds refuge with Serge, a taciturn farmer, on his small farm in the back country. Serge hires Chantal, and gradually they take to each other, forming a strong bond.
The Animal Project Ingrid Veninger, Canada World Premiere
A story about a father, a son, and six characters dressed in furry suits. An unorthodox acting teacher (Aaron Poole) attempts to push a group of eager young performers out of their comfort zones, while struggling with his own ability to live an authentic and fulfilling life with his teenage son.
Cinemanovels Terry Miles, Canada World Premiere
As a young woman (Lauren Lee Smith) prepares a memorial film retrospective for her late estranged father, his work begins to influence her life in strange and significant ways. Also starring Jennifer Beals and Ben Cotton.
Le Démantèlement Sébastien Pilote, Canada North American Premiere
Gaby owns a lamb farm. He has two daughters that he raised like princesses. One day, the oldest asks him for some financial support so she doesn’t end up losing her house. Gaby decides to dismantle the farm.
The Dick Knost Show Bruce Sweeney, Canada World Premiere
The Dick Knost Show is a character-based satire on sports-talk culture. Dick Knost is a star sports talk host. He's prickly, acerbic and chronically impulsive. After dismissing the danger of concussions in hockey, he suffers a series of concussions himself, and faces the danger of losing his job, his friends and his identity.
Empire of Dirt Peter Stebbings, Canada World Premiere
Like many Native families, Lena Mahikan grew up in the cycle of abuse. Her father, a residential school survivor, was an alcoholic until he killed himself when Lena was 10. Her mother, only 14 years her senior, turned to the slots. By the time Lena was 15, she was pregnant and, before giving birth, was kicked to the curb by her mom. The cycle continues and Lena is now watching helplessly as her own daughter, Peeka, spirals out of control, landing herself in the hospital following a drug overdose. As a final attempt at survival, Lena decides to return home and face her own mother and a past she’s desperate to escape.
Siddharth Richie Mehta, Canada North American Premiere
After sending away his 12-year-old son Siddharth for work, Mahendra (a chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets) is relieved — his financial burdens will be alleviated. But when Siddharth fails to return home, Mahendra learns he may have been taken by child traffickers. With little resources and no connections, he travels across India in pursuit, with the hope that whatever force took his child away will return him unharmed.
Stay Wiebke von Carolsfeld, Canada/Ireland World Premiere
Stay is about people at a crossroads, struggling to find a home. Abbey finds herself in love with Dermot, a disgraced professor who retreated to the rugged expanse of Connemara. Their happy existence is upended when Abbey finds out that she is pregnant and Dermot refuses to consider fatherhood.
A Place in Heaven (Makom be-gan eden) Yossi Madmony, Israel North American Premiere
Jewish religious law permits the trade of a seemingly non-transferrable concept: another person’s place in heaven. This is the story of a highly-decorated retired general who, in a moment of arrogance during his youth, sold his place in heaven to an army cook for a plate of shakshouka.
A Wolf at the Door (O Lobo atrás da Porta) Fernando Coimbra, Brazil World Premiere
A child is kidnapped. At the police station, Sylvia and Bernardo, the victim’s parents, and Rosa, the main suspect and Bernardo’s lover, give contradictory evidence which will take audiences to the gloomiest corners of desires, lies, needs and wickedness in the relationship of these three characters. Starring Leandra Leal and Milhem Cortaz.
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (Epizoda u životu beraca željeza) Danis Tanović North American Premiere
A humble man desperately tries to save his partner's life when she is callously denied much-needed treatment for a miscarriage. A critical social commentary from the award-winning director of Cirkus Columbia and Academy Award and Golden Globe winner No Man’s Land. Starring Senada Alimanovic, Nazif Mujic, Sandra Mujic, Šemsa Mujic.
*Robert Austin, Professor of Political Science and Lecturer, is a Munk School expert on East Central and Southeastern European Affairs. He will speak about An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker in an extended Q&A session following one of the screenings.
Bad Hair (Pelo Malo) Mariana Rondón, Venezuela World Premiere
A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother, in this tender but clear-eyed coming-of-age tale. Starring Samantha Castillo and Samuel Lange.
Bastardo Nejib Belkadhi, Tunisia/France/Qatar World Premiere
Mohsen (Abdel Moneem Chouayat), has always lived with the stigma of being a bastard and saddled with the nickname Bastardo, but when a GSM relay is installed on his roof, he has a reversal of fortune. As his power grows, he has to wrest control over his poor neighbourhood from Larnouba (Chedly Arfaoui), the unscrupulous local mobster — and, in the process, slips into the dark world of power.
The Bit Player (Ekstra) Jeffrey Jeturian, Philippines International Premiere
The Bit Player is a socio-realist drama-comedy that follows a seemingly usual day in the life of Loida Malabanan (Vilma Santos-Recto) as she embarks on yet another day on the set of a soap opera as an extra. As the shoot goes on, we get a glimpse of the truth in the ruling system of the production as well as the exploitation of marginalized labourers like her.
Blind Dates (Brma Paemnebi) Levan Koguashvili, Georgia World Premiere
When 40-year old history teacher Sandro falls in love with the mother of one of his students, he learns that her husband is getting released from prison. Sandro offers to drive the woman to the prison gates but instead of leaving, he stays to drive her and her husband home.
Brazilian Western (Faroeste Caboclo) René Sampaio, Brazil Canadian Premiere
João de Santo Cristo is a young boy, who abandons his poor life in the Brazilian outback to try his luck in the capital, Brasília. A story of love, hate, revenge and violence freely inspired by the Brazilian song Faroeste Caboclo by Renato Russo. Starring Fabrício Boliveira and Isis Valverde.
Break Loose (Vosmerka) Alexey Uchitel, Russia World Premiere
Russian director Alexey Uchitel (The Edge) returns with this explosive, pulse-pounding crime drama about the violent rivalry that erupts when an elite police operative falls for a gangster’s moll.
Child's Pose (Pozitia Copilului) Calin Peter Netzer, Romania North American Premiere
Well-to-do, well-connected Bucharest society lady Cornelia takes the driver’s seat when her 34-year-old son gets involved in a deadly accident. Through her stifling love, she’s kept the hard realities of life away from him. Starring Bogdan Dumitrache and Luminita Gheorghiu.
Club Sandwich (Club Sándwich) Fernando Eimbcke, Mexico World Premiere
Paloma and her 15-year-old son Hector have a very strong and special relationship. When on holiday on the seaside, Hector meets Jazmin, a teenage girl with whom he discovers love and sexuality. Trying to keep Hector close to her, Paloma has a hard time accepting that he will eventually grow up.
Cristo Rey Leticia Tonos Paniagua, Dominican Republic/France/Haiti World Premiere
The story of a shantytown of Santo Domingo where the Haitian Janvier and the Dominican Rudy— half-brothers who hate each other — will fight for the love of the same woman.
*Ron Deibert, Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, is an expert on issues related to technology, media, and world politics. He will speak about Cristo Rey in an extended Q&A session following one of the screenings.
The Dinner (Het Diner) Menno Meyjes, The Netherlands World Premiere
Adapting a Dutch bestseller inspired by a shocking real-life crime, Menno Meyjes (screenwriter of The Color Purple and Lionheart) directs this excoriating assessment of Europe’s contemporary social ills. Starring Jacob Derwig, Thekla Reuten, Daan Schuurmans, and Kim van Kooten.
Eastern Boys Robin Campillo, France North American Premiere
They come from all over Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia. The eldest ones appear no older than 25. They spend their time hanging around the Gare du Nord train station in Paris. They might be prostitutes. Daniel, a discreet man in his early 50s, has his eye on one of them. Starring Olivier Rabourdin.
El Mudo Diego Vega and Daniel Vega, Peru/France/Mexico North American Premiere
After a short investigation, police conclude that the gunshot that nearly killed Judge Constantino Zegarra was nothing more than a stray bullet. But Constantino, who unlike his peers fervently adheres to the letter of the law, is convinced someone tried to take him out. He re-opens the investigation, and soon finds himself breaking some of his own rules to prove himself right.
Friends from France (Les Interdits) Anne Weil and Philippe Kotlarski, France/Germany/Canada/Russia World Premiere
1979: Cousins Carole and Jérôme go on an organized trip to Odessa, behind the Iron Curtain. During the day, posing as tourists celebrating their engagement, they visit monuments and museums. In the evening they slip away from the group and meet “refuseniks”, Jews persecuted by the Soviet regime for wanting to leave the country. While Carole is motivated by political commitment and a taste for risk, Jérôme’s motivation is Carole.
*Michael Ignatieff, Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs, is an internationally renowned writer, journalist, former politician, and expert on foreign affairs. He will speak about Friends from France in an extended Q&A session following one of the screenings.
Giselle Toa Fraser, New Zealand International Premiere
Giselle is acclaimed director Toa Fraser's interpretation of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's production of Giselle. The classic story of love, eroticism and death has been reinterpreted by Fraser to include both the onstage performance of the ballet, and an offstage romance that tells of two itinerant dancers, separated by time, distance and their abiding love for each other.
Heart of a Lion (Leijonasydän) Dome Karukoski, Finland/Sweden World Premiere
Teppo falls in love with Sari but this is no ordinary love affair. Teppo is a central figure in a neo-Nazi group and Sari’s son Rhamadhani is black. When Sari gets pregnant, Teppo decides to make peace with Rhamadhani. When his brother and the Nazi group threaten their peace, he is forced to make a choice between love and hate. Starring Peter Franzén and Laura Birn.
Honeymoon (Líbanky) Jan Hrebejk, Czech Republic/Slovakia International Premiere
The arrival of an uninvited guest casts a shadow over an idyllic wedding celebration in this wonderfully fraught meditation on guilt and forgiveness, directed by prolific Czech filmmaker Jan Hrebejk (The Holy Quaternity). Starring Ana Geislerova, Stanislav Majer and Jiri Cerny.
Hotell Lisa Langseth, Sweden/Denmark World Premiere
Mentally bruised Erika starts group therapy and enters a new world with new acquaintances. In the pursuit of a life-changing adventure, the group seeks a place of absolute anonymity. Starring Alicia Vikander, David Dencik and Mira Eklund.
The Immoral (De Umoralske) Lars Daniel Krutzkoff Jacobsen, Norway World Premiere
Camilla and William are not able to adapt to the Norwegian welfare paradise. When the authorities want to take Camilla’s baby, the two drifters run away into the woods. There, William suggests that Camilla becomes a prostitute so they can buy themselves a camper and drive to Spain. But in order to sell sex they need a house. Starring Hanne Backe-Hansen, Kjetil Krogstad Skrede and Daniel Gjerde.
Intruders (Jo Nan-ja-deul) Noh Young-Seok, South Korea World Premiere
A writer hides away at an isolated B&B only to encounter a series of life-threatening characters. Starring Jun Suk-ho and Oh Tae-kyung.
The Kids from the Port (Los Chicos del Puerto) Alberto Morais, Spain North American Premiere
In this charming neorealist gem set on the sleepy outskirts of Valencia, young Miguel and his friends undertake a seemingly simple mission on behalf of Miguel’s grandfather that teaches them all a lesson in real independence.
iNumber Number Donovan Marsh, South Africa World Premiere
When undercover cop Chili (S’dumo Mtshali) and his partner (Presley Chweneyagae) are cheated out of a reward by their corrupt superior, Chili decides to jump ship and infiltrate a cash-in-transit heist gang, but he cannot do it without protection from his partner and friend. When his carefully staged plan goes awry and his friend is taken hostage, so begins the mad chase to rescue him.
Ladder to Damascus (Soullam iIa Dimashq) Mohamad Malas, Syria/Lebanon/Qatar World Premiere
Ghalia moves to Damascus to study acting and rents a room in a traditional courtyard house where other young Syrians from different regions also live. She meets Fouad, an aspiring filmmaker fascinated by her ambiguity. Within the confines of the house, as their love story blossoms, the streets are embattled with the revolution.
Le Grand Cahier (A Nagy Füzet) János Szász, Germany/Hungary/Austria/France North American Premiere
In a village on the Hungarian border, two young brothers grow up during wartime with their cruel grandmother and must learn every trick of evil to survive in the absurd world of adults. Starring Ulrich Thomsen and Ulrich Matthes.
Life's a Breeze Lance Daly, Ireland/Sweden International Premiere
Life's a Breeze is a feel-good recession comedy about a family struggling to stay afloat and together through hard times in Ireland. Starring Fionnula Flanagan, Pat Shortt, Kelly Thornton and Eva Birthistle.
Little Feet Alexandre Rockwell, United States of America World Premiere
Determined to see “the river,” two young children living in Los Angeles leave home to embark on a magical urban odyssey, in the marvelous new film by American indie icon Alexandre Rockwell (In the Soup). Starring Lana Rockwell, Nico Rockwell and Rene Cuante-Bautista.
The Major Yuri Bykov, Russia North American Premiere
Sergey Sobolev, a major at the local police office, is driving to the hospital where his wife is about to give birth. High from happiness, he’s driving fast and runs down a boy. Now the major has only two options: go to prison or conceal the crime. Starring Yury Bykov, Denis Shvedov, Irina Nizina and Ilya Isaev.
Manuscripts Don't Burn (Dast-neveshtehaa nemisoozand) Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran Canadian Premiere
Kasra is an Iranian author who secretly writes his memoirs. His stories are related to his time in jail as a political prisoner, as well as events connected to his life as an intellectual in Iran. He has prepared everything in order to publish these writings and is getting ready to leave the country. When the security service uncovers Kasra’s plans, they will do anything to destroy his manuscripts. Inspired by true events.
McCanick Josh C. Waller, USA World Premiere
Over the course of one feverish day, a harried narcotics detective (David Morse) and his reluctant partner (Mike Vogel) frantically track down a recently released convict (Cory Monteith) who knows a secret from the past.
Metalhead (Málmhaus) Ragnar Bragason, Iceland World Premiere
On a rural cow farm in Iceland, Hera's brother is killed in an accident and she blames herself for his death. In her grief, Hera finds solace in the dark music of heavy metal and dreams of becoming a rock star. Starring Þorbjörg Helga Þorgilsdóttir, Ingvar E. Sigurðsson and Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir
Ningen Guillaume Giovanetti and Çagla Zencirci, Japan/Turkey World Premiere
Filmmaking partners Guillaume Giovanetti and Cagla Zencirci immersed themselves in the magical world of Japanese folklore to create this intricate and delightfully amusing modern-day parable. Starring Masahiro Yoshino, Masako Wajima, Xiao Mu Lee and Megumi Ayukawa.
October November (Oktober November) Götz Spielmann, Austria World Premiere
Director Gotz Spielmann follows his acclaimed thriller Revanche with this visually captivating character study, in which a family reunion bares old wounds and reveals long-held secrets. Starring Nora von Waldstätten, Ursula Strauss, Peter Simonischek, Sebastian Koch, Johannes Zeiler and Andreas Ressl.
Old Moon (Luna Vieja) Raisa Bonnet, Puerto Rico World Premiere
Elsa lives in the mountains of the Caribbean Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. A visit from her teenage granddaughter, Mina, and her son-in-law, Alei, brings a sweet and bitter taste into her life. In order to protect her granddaughter, Elsa makes a decision that will change Mina’s life forever. Starring María Velázquez, Laura Cristina Cardona and Julio Ramos.
Palestine Stereo (Falastine Stereo) Rashid Masharawi World Premiere
Palestine/Tunisia/France/Norway/United Arab Emirates/Italy/Switzerland
Palestinian director Rashid Mashawari follows his widely acclaimed dark comedy Laila’s Birthday with this compelling and ironic drama about two brothers on the West Bank who, rendered homeless by an Israeli air strike, hustle odd jobs to raise enough money to emigrate to Canada.
Paradise: Hope (Paradies: Hoffnung) Ulrich Seidl, Austria/France/Germany North American Premiere
While her mother travels to Kenya, Melanie spends her holiday in the Austrian countryside at a strict diet camp for overweight teens. The teenagers attempt to do sports during the day and secretly get drunk in the evening. Between physical education and nutrition counseling, pillow fights and her first cigarette, Melanie falls in love with the doctor who is 40 years her senior. Starring Melanie Lenz, Vivian Bartsch and Michael Thomas.
Qissa Anup Singh, Germany/India/The Netherlands/France World Premiere
Set in post-colonial India, Qissa tells the story of Umber Singh, a Sikh who is forced to flee his village due to ethnic cleansing at the time of partition in 1947. Umber decides to fight fate and builds a new home for his family. When Umber marries his youngest child Kanwar to Neeli, a girl of lower caste, the family is faced with the truth of their identities; as individual ambitions and destinies collide in a struggle with eternity. Starring Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal and Tisca Chopra.
*Janice Gross Stein, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, is an internationally renowned expert on global affairs and conflict management. She will speak about Qissa in an extended Q&A session following one of the screenings.
Rags and Tatters (Farsh wa ghata) Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt World Premiere
In one of the most extraordinary nights in the history of Egypt, the prisons were suddenly opened, leaving thousands of prisoners wandering in the desert road between Cairo and Alexandria. Among them was one man trying to find his way in a city that is rapidly changing for good.
The Sea Stephen Brown, Ireland North American Premiere
After the death of his wife, Max retreats to The Cedars, a house by the sea where he spent his childhood summers. Re-acquainting himself with places past provokes a cathartic reflection as the present draws out powerful memories from one fateful summer many years ago — memories of innocent joy and uplifting warmth, but also of profound tragedy. Based on the 2005 Booker Prize-winning novel by John Banville. Starring Ciarán Hinds, Charlotte Rampling, Natascha McElhone, Rufus Swell, Bonnie Wright, and Sinead Cusack.
The Selfish Giant Clio Barnard, United Kingdom North American Premiere
The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about 13-year-old Arbor and his best friend Swifty. Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighbourhood, the two boys meet Kitten, a local scrap dealer. They begin collecting scrap metal for him using a horse and cart. Kitten favours Swifty, driving a wedge between the boys. As Arbor becomes increasingly greedy and exploitative, tensions start to build, leading to a tragic event that transforms them all.
Something Necessary Judy Kibinge, Kenya/Germany North American Premiere
Anne, is struggling to rebuild her life after the civil unrest that swept Kenya following the 2007 elections, during which her husband was killed, her son injured and farm burnt. Joseph, an unemployed young man, who was dragged into the gang violence, is tormented with regret and wants to make another life for himself. Something Necessary is a compelling original take on atonement, forgiveness and coming to terms with trauma.
Stop the Pounding Heart Roberto Minervini, Belgium/Italy/USA North American Premiere
Sara is a young girl raised in a family of goat farmers. Her parents home-school their 12 children, rigorously following the precepts of the Bible. When Sara meets Colby, an amateur bull rider, she is thrown into crisis, questioning the only way of life she has ever known. In a stunning portrayal of contemporary America and the insular communities that dot its landscape, Stop the Pounding Heart is an exploration of adolescence, family and social values, gender roles, and religion in the rural American South.
Stranger by the Lake Alain Guiraudie, France North American Premiere
Summertime. A cruising spot for men, tucked away on the shores of a lake. Franck falls in love with Michel, an attractive, potent and lethally dangerous man. Starring Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou and Patrick d'Assumçao.
This is Sanlitun Róbert I. Douglas, China/Iceland/Ireland World Premiere
Gary is in Beijing to make it big. After failing to impress his Chinese investors he soon takes up teaching English. Gary's real reasons for staying become apparent when his son and Chinese ex-wife enter the picture.
Unbeatable Dante Lam, China/Hong Kong North American Premiere
Fleeing to Macau to escape from threatening loan sharks, a former mixed-martial arts champion becomes embroiled in the lives of a psychologically troubled single mother and a young wannabe fighter, in Hong Kong auteur Dante Lam’s stylish and compelling action-drama.
Under the Starry Sky (Des Etoiles) Dyana Gaye, France/Senegal World Premiere
The debut feature from Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Dyana Gaye charts the interconnected destinies of three far-flung sojourners across three continents. A quiet drama, about the anxieties of negotiating journeying to foreign countries and making a place for oneself in the world
When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism (Cand se lasa seara peste Bucuresti sau Metabolism) North American Premiere
Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania
It’s the middle of a film shoot and Paul, the director, is having an affair with Alina, an actress playing a supporting role. With Alina’s last day on set imminent, Paul decides to rewrite the script in order to shoot a nude scene with her.
White Lies (Tuakiri Huna) Dana Rotberg, New Zealand International Premiere
In a small New Zealand town in the early 20th century, three very different women— a Maori medicine woman, a wealthy, sharp-tongued white housewife, and a controlling housekeeper— are brought together by a scandalous secret, in this complex and mesmerizing tale of culture clash and social mores based on a novella by the author of Whale Rider.
The Wonders (Plaot) Avi Nesher, Israel International Premiere
A mysterious prisoner— part con man, part prophet— is held in a dark and musty Jerusalem slum apartment. His neighbour is a cool cat graffiti artist who is reluctantly drawn into this real life film noir plot. Based on a true story. Starring Adir Miller, Ori Hizkiah, Yehuda Levi, Yuval Scharf and Efrat Gosh.
*Ron Levi, Director of the Master of Global Affairs at the Munk School, is an expert on global justice, and human rights regimes. He will speak about The Wonders in an extended Q&A session following one of the screenings.
To Repel Ghosts: Urban Tales from the African Continent
Beginning with an ambiguous science fiction in Nairobi and ending with a re-enactment of the myth of Noah’s ark in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township, To Repel Ghosts: Urban Tales from the African Continent showcases remarkably uncanny and fiercely contemporary stories, including:
Homecoming (African Metropolis) Jim Chuchu, Kenya International Premiere
Nothing is what it seems as Max— a nerdy voyeur — turns fiction into truth and the mundane into the unexpected in his quest to get the attention of Alina — the girl next door. The city of Nairobi is threatened with imminent extinction, and now is his chance to save her and verbalize his unspoken desire. A quirky, light-hearted look at obsession and the desire to be seen.
Berea (African Metropolis) Vincent Moloi, South Africa International Premiere
Long after his friends and family have moved on, Jewish pensioner Aaron Zukerman remains in his inner-city apartment, his world getting ever smaller and smaller, as the city closes in on his memories and happiness. His focus is on a weekly assignation with a kindly prostitute. When her replacement arrives unexpected one Friday, an initially angry response sparks a chain of events that changes the way the old man sees his world. Starring Wilson Dunster and Abena Ayivor.
To Repel Ghosts (African Metropolis) Philippe Lacôte, Ivory Coast International Premiere
Inspired from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s trip to the Ivory Coast shortly before his passing, To Repel Ghosts casts a young New Yorker of Haitian origin who travels to visit his friend in Abidjan and free himself from hauntings.
Kwaku Ananse Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/Mexico/USA North American Premiere
Kwaku Ananse is an intensely personal project that combines contemporary semi-autobiographical elements with the traditional West African folk tale of Kwaku Ananse, a sage who appears as both spider and man.
Noah’s Flood (Unogumbe, Noye’s Fludde) Mark Dornford-May, South Africa World Premiere
Noye's Fludde is Isango Ensemble’s film adaptation of the one act opera by Benjamin Britten. Sung in Xhosa, it follows the traditional story of Noah’s ark but is set in a South African township, with Noah recast as a woman. Starring Pauline Malefane, Mhlekazi Mosiea and Zamile Gantana.
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A Touch of Sin (Tian zhu ding) Jia Zhangke, China/Japan North American Premiere An angry miner, enraged by the corruption of his village leaders, takes action. A rootless migrant discovers the infinite possibilities that owning a firearm can offer. A pretty receptionist working in a sauna is pushed to the limit when a wealthy client assaults her. A young factory worker goes from one discouraging job to the next, only to face increasingly degrading circumstances. Four people, four different provinces.
Abuse of Weakness (Abus de Faiblesse) Catherine Breillat, France/Belgium/Germany World Premiere An extraordinary collaboration between two legends of French cinema, Catherine Breillat’s brutally candid autobiographical drama stars Isabelle Huppert as a stroke-afflicted filmmaker manipulated by a notorious con man.
Bastards (Les Salauds) Claire Denis, France North American Premiere Supertanker captain Marco Silvestri is called back urgently to Paris. His sister Sandra is desperate; her husband has committed suicide, the family business has gone under, and her daughter is spiraling downwards. Sandra holds powerful businessman Edouard Laporte responsible. Marco moves into the building where Laporte has installed his mistress and her son, but he isn’t prepared for Sandra’s secrets, which muddy the waters. Starring Vincent Lindon and Chiara Mastroianni.
Closed Curtain (Parde) Kambozia Partovi and Jafar Panahi, Iran North American Premiere A house by the sea; the curtains are pulled shut, the windows covered with black. Inside, a man is hiding with his dog. He is writing a screenplay, when suddenly a mysterious young woman appears and refuses to leave, much to the writer’s annoyance. But at daybreak, another arrival will flip everyone’s perspective.
Concrete Night Pirjo Honkasalo, Finland/Sweden/ Denmark World Premiere A 14-year-old boy in a stifling Helsinki slum takes some unwise life lessons from his soon-to-be-incarcerated older brother, in Finnish master Pirjo Honkasalo’s gorgeously stylized and emotionally devastating work about what we pass on to younger generations, and the ways we do it.
Home From Home – Chronicle of a Vision (Die Andere Heimat - Chronik einer Sehnsucht) North American Premiere Edgar Reitz, Germany/France Edgar Reitz tells this dramatic story of love and family against the backdrop of rural Germany in the mid-19th century, a time when entire poverty-stricken villages emigrated to faraway South America. The story centres on two brothers who have to decide whether they will stay or go.
How Strange to be Named Federico: Scola Narrates Fellini (Che strano chiamarsi Federico: Scola racconta Fellini) Ettore Scola, Italy International Premiere On the 20th anniversary of Federico Fellini’s death, Ettore Scola, a devoted admirer of the incomparable maestro, commemorates the lesser-known aspects of Fellini’s personality, employing interviews, photographs, behind-the-scenes footage as well as Fellini’s drawings and film clips.
Moebius Kim Ki-duk, South Korea North American Premiere South Korea’s celebrated perennial provocateur Kim Ki-duk (Pieta) returns with this twisted family chronicle perched somewhere between psychological thriller, grotesque comedy and perverse ode to the pleasures of sadomasochism.
Norte, The End of History (Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan) Lav Diaz, Philippines North American Premiere In Philippine cinematic luminary Lav Diaz’s latest work, partially influenced by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, a man is accused of murder while the real killer roams free.
Our Sunhi (Uri Sunhi) Hong Sangsoo, South Korea North American Premiere Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s latest follows an aspiring young filmmaker who becomes the object of desire for three very different men, in this smart, resonant dramedy.
Triptych (Triptyque) Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires, Canada World Premiere
Triptych is a contemporary urban saga that tells the story of Michelle, a schizophrenic bookseller; Marie, a singer and actress; and Thomas, a German neurologist. These three lives become the primary locus of personal identity and emotion, with their many manifestations, variations, and implications, through each character’s inner development and burning desire for self-expression.
WAVELENGTHSSHORT FILM PROGRAMMES
Wavelengths 1: Variations On...
Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper David Rimmer (Restoration courtesy of Academy Film Archive), Canada
Pop Takes Luther Price, USA
Airship Kenneth Anger, USA
El Adios Largos Andrew Lampert, Mexico/USA
The Realist Scott Stark, USA
TIFF is honoured to launch Wavelengths 2013 with the world premiere of the Academy Film Archive’s new restoration of Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper, David Rimmer’s 1970 classic of the Canadian avant-garde. Opening with a fragment of a female factory worker as she unravels a sheet of cellophane, which then morphs into a mesmerizing wave of spectral apparitions and alchemical and sonic permutations, Variations perfectly sets the tone for this program of cinematic deviations. With Pop Takes, Luther Price transforms a terrific thrift-store find into a reflexive Warholian catwalk upon which twirling women and jaunty men sashay with decadent, late-’70s zeal, the film’s coarse optical sound and images in negative creating a strange dissonance with the poppy polka-dotted scene. Kenneth Anger’s Airship series consists of three short films, which exhume newsreel footage of mighty dirigibles hovering ominously in the sky. The filmmaker’s characteristic fusion of magic, symbolism, mystery and myth imbues the already incredible footage with an eerie, supernatural quality.
In El Adios Largos, artist-archivist Andrew Lampert undertakes a speculative restoration of Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye based on the premise that the film’s negative has been lost and the sole surviving print is incorrect in every way: 16mm rather than 35mm, black and white instead of Technicolor, and dubbed into Spanish (N.B. proper prints and a negative do exist, just not in Lampert’s possession!). With dubious methods used to achieve authenticity, El Adios Largos is at once an uncanny aesthetic experience and a playful exploration of the philosophical conundrums involved for those working to preserve film history for generations to come.
Finally, Scott Stark leads us through a dizzying array of consumer goods in his stereoscopic mannequin melodrama The Realist. Composed of flickering still images, this entrancing romp conjures retail worlds both familiar and strange, in which chiseled mannequins may in fact be communing with each other amid the overwhelming array of apparel. Whether viewed as consumerist critique or spellbinding, operatic fantasy, The Realist employs a deft binary structure that skews toward the metaphysical.
Wavelengths 2: Now & Then
Instants Hannes Schüpbach, Switzerland
Pepper’s Ghost Stephen Broomer, Canada
Man in Motion, 2012 (Homme en mouvement, 2012) Christophe M. Saber, Ruben Glauser and Max Idje, Switzerland
Flower Naoko Tasaka, Japan/USA
Constellations (Konstellationen) Helga Fanderl, Germany
Proposing simplicity as a radical antidote to today’s fervent desire for intricacy, these films and videos draw upon either a collaborative process or an intimate subjective encounter to explore the correspondence between images and their perception. Exquisitely shot on 16mm in the French countryside near Avignon, Hannes Schüpbach’s Instants explores the nature of spontaneous time as related to the thinking of French writer Joël-Claude Meffre, transcending portraiture as it not only records the poet working, but also develops a memory of its own. Pepper’s Ghost, by Torontonian Stephen Broomer, transforms an office formerly used for observation studies into a tunnel of performative, transfixing illusionism, creating surprising images using filters, fabric and a combination of sunlight and fluorescents. Recalling Slidelength (1969–71), Michael Snow’s slideshow of plastic gels and hand gestures, Pepper’s Ghost is a prolonged expression of demystified mystification, whose startling results are bolstered by a bold soundtrack. A contemporary version of Muybridgean motion studies meets Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase in Ruben Glauser, Max Idje and Christophe M. Saber’s Man in Motion, 2012. Constructed from the delays in real-time video feedback and recorded onto black-and-white 16mm, the film forms a multiple space via the shifting angles of view in the mysterious passages of a video eye.
Naoko Tasaka’s sphinx-like Flower unfolds like a children’s story before it plumbs the depths of both a physical and metaphorical surface, as straightforward narration gives way to sublimated abstraction. Employing a number of multi-format techniques, Flower displays a compelling, duelling impulse that hovers between a grid and a waterfall. Constellations, a recent grouping of 16mm colour silent blow-ups by Super 8 artist Helga Fanderl, returns the viewer to the natural world, whose beauty has been observed and rendered with a profound curiosity, a patient gaze and an extraordinary ability to capture visual patterns and textures. Whether following at close range the semi-circular motion of a handsome, pacing leopard, its spots evoking rhythmic patterns through Fanderl’s intuitive shooting process, or closely studying a tray of glassware on a ship as the sea reflects and refracts through their crystalline shapes, the artist fully gives herself over to the present moment and allows the audience to bask in it.
Wavelengths 3: Farther Than the Eye Can See
Farther Than the Eye Can See Basma Alsharif, United Arab Emirates
Main Hall Philipp Fleischmann, Austria
45 7 Broadway Tomonari Nishikawa, USA
Bann Nina Könnemann, Germany
Dry Standpipe (Suchy Pion) Wojciech Bakowski, Poland
Gowanus Canal Sarah J. Christman, USA
Nefandus Carlos Motta, USA/Spain
A sense of geographic, spatial and historical freefall attends this programme of works that takes its title from Basma Alsharif’s eponymous video. Visually gripping and intelligently constructed, Farther Than the Eye Can See continues Alsharif’s essayistic explorations of statelessness through a tale of a mass exodus of Palestinians from Jerusalem recounted over a dense, stroboscopic cityscape. A different stroboscopic effect is achieved in Philipp Fleischmann’s Main Hall, which uses 19 specially designed cameras to record the space inside the main exhibition hall of the Vienna Secession. While this bastion of modernity has been crucial to the development of Minimalism and Conceptual Art, film has eluded its mandate; Main Hall adds a purely cinematographic gesture (à la Gordon Matta-Clark) to the space’s history by having it look at its own architecture.
Overlapping light and space continue in Tomonari Nishikawa’s 45 7 Broadway, which captures the paralyzing pace and conflicting rhythms of Times Square. Shot on black-and-white 16mm through red, green and blue filters, then optically printed onto colour film through these same filters, 45 7 Broadway is less jazzy than Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie but equally eye-popping in its colour and illusionistic effect. With a focus on a decidedly less populated though equally uncanny urbanscape, in Bann Nina Könnemann clandestinely observes the increasingly ostracized smokers in London’s financial district, her keen eye and mischievous editing creating a portrait of alienation, self-consciousness, and perhaps even shame.
A raw, personal, confessional narration undercuts the abstract images in Polish artist, musician and poet Wojciech Bakowski’s interlaced video collage Dry Standpipe. Condensing home videos into blocks of abstraction, Bakowski creates a startling account of depression, numbness and paradoxical lucidity. Sarah J. Christman continues her 16mm ecological explorations with Gowanus Canal, in which contamination and compression of refuse intimate a stultifying state for one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States. In Carlos Motta’s award-winning Nefandus, a pristine flowing river in the Colombian Caribbean suppresses a tainted history of “wild” beauty and colonialist religious and sexual subjugation. An evocative essay on pre-conquest homoeroticism, Nefandus searches for traces of untold stories and stigmatized historical accounts.
Wavelengths 4: Elysium
Trissákia 3 Nick Collins, UK
Brimstone Line Chris Kennedy, Canada
Listening to the Space in my Room Robert Beavers, Switzerland
Mount Song Shambhavi Kaul, USA/India
Natpwe, the feast of the spirits Tiane Doan na Champassak and Jean Dubrel, France/Burma
Beginning with the ruins of a Greek Byzantine church and ending with trance rituals in Burma, this programme sketches a trajectory of shifting perspectives and iconographic references, from the cloistered and intimate to the expansive and unrestrained. Nick Collins’ Trissákia 3 documents the eponymous c. 13th-century Greek church, its cracked though surprisingly intact frescoes, its crumbling stones and the dubious scaffolding that encases it, his camera revelling in the supernal beauty created by the light and shadow play resulting from its damaged openings. Delineated views similarly make up Chris Kennedy’s Brimstone Line, in which three freestanding grids placed along the Credit River in rural Ontario (reminiscent of the Dürer Grid used by Renaissance draughtsmen in order to achieve accurate proportions) become devices through which the stationary camera frames the landscape and motivates a series of zooms.
Ostensibly a portrait of a place where the artist had resided until recently, the new film by Robert Beavers conjures not only the memory but also the physical presence of those who have previously stayed there. Adhering to a solitary intimacy while simultaneously acting as an ode to human endeavour and shared impulses toward fulfillment through art, Listening to the Space in my Room is a moving testament to existence (whose traces are found in literature, music, filmmaking, gardening) and our endless search for meaning and authenticity. The film’s precise, yet enigmatic sound-image construction carries a rare emotional weight.
A strange yet familiar sense of place dominates Shambhavi Kaul’s deceptively disorienting and visually entrancing Mount Song. As a wild, foreboding gust courses through the night, a subdued elegance is brought forth from past cinema spectacles, whose generic, albeit highly suggestive set constructions remain lodged in the imaginary. In Natpwe, the feast of the spirits, co-directors Tiane Doan na Champassak and Jean Dubrel have produced an immersive, seemingly timeless document of an annual Burmese trance ritual that dates back to the 11th century. Shot in Super 8 and 16mm in sooty black and white, the film conveys the astonishing sense of liberation of tens of thousands of bodies and minds — a mass expression of faith, but also a rapturous respite from societal intolerance.
MEDIUM LENGTH FILMS
Un conte de Michel de Montaigne Jean-Marie Straub North American Premiere
“How easily we pass from waking to sleeping! With how little interest we lose the knowledge of light and of ourselves! Peradventure, it could seem useless and against nature, the faculty of sleep which deprives us of all action and of all feeling, were it not that through this nature does instruct us that she hath equally made us to die as to live, and, from life, presents us the eternal state which she reserveth for us after it to accustom us the reunto and remove from us the fear of it.”
The King’s Body (O Corpo de Afonso) Jõao Pedro Rodrigues North American Premiere
How would it look like, the body of Dom Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal, tutelary figure, subject to successive mythifications throughout Portuguese history?
Redemption Miguel Gomes North American Premiere
1975, a village in Portugal: a child writes to his parents. 2011, Milan: an old man remembers his first love. 2012, Paris: a man talks to his baby daughter. 1977, Leipzig: a woman is getting married. Where and when have these four poor devils begun searching for redemption?
A Thousand Suns (Mille soleils) Mati Diop International Premiere
Djibril Diop Mambety filmed Touki Bouki in 1972. Mory and Anta are in love. The two young lovers share the same dream of leaving Dakar to go to Paris, but when the time comes, Anta heads off and Mory stays on the quays, alone and incapable of facing the demands of his land. Forty years later, A Thousand Suns (Mille Soleils) investigates the personal and universal heritage of Touki Bouki. What has happened since then? The hero in the film, Magaye Niang, has never left Dakar, and now, the old cowboy wonders what happened to Anta, the love of his youth. Family stories, exile and cinema blend in intimate and mythical spheres.
Letter to a Refusing Pilot Akram Zaatari North American Premiere
In the summer of 1982, a rumour made the rounds about an Israeli fighter pilot who had been ordered to bomb a target in Lebanon. Knowing the building was a school, he veered off course and dropped his bombs into the sea instead. Letter to a Refusing Pilot is a film that tells the story of a public school and the public housing project that surrounds it in Saida, and reflects on refusal as a decisive and generative act. The work considers the excavation of narratives and the circulation of images in times of war.
Song Nathaniel Dorsky Canadian Premiere
“Song was photographed in San Francisco from early October through the winter solstice in late December, 2012.” –N.D.
Spring Nathaniel Dorsky World Premiere
“Spring was photographed during the months following the winter solstice. I wanted to see if I could make a film that was in itself a garden, a film that, like the world of plants, would yearn and stretch in the oncoming light.” –N.D.
Three Landscapes Peter Hutton World Premiere
A silent film study of human figures on three distinct landscapes in the world. Detroit, Michigan, the Hudson River Valley, and the Dallol Depression in northeastern Ethiopia.
A Field in England Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom North American Premiere
A psychedelic trip into magic and madness from Ben Wheatley, award-winning director of Down Terrace, Kill List and Sightseers.
A Spell to Ward off the Darkness Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, Estonia/France North American Premiere
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness follows a single character at three disparate moments in his life: as one member of a 15-person collective on a small Estonian island, alone in the wilderness of Northern Finland, and as the singer of a neo-pagan black metal band in Norway.
I'm the same, I'm an other Caroline Strubbe, Belgium World Premiere
A man in his 30s is on the run with a nine-year-old girl. As they take a ferry to the United Kingdom, traces of a common past come to light — a past filled with loss and sorrow. Fleeing in secret, they end up hiding in a small apartment on the seafront, where they live day-to-day, exploring each other’s emotional territories. Mourning will bind them, but is this alliance of dependence appropriate for them and for the outside world?
La ultíma película Raya Martin and Mark Peranson, Canada/Denmark/Mexico/Philippines World Premiere
A famous American filmmaker travels to the Yucatán to scout locations for his last movie. The Mayan Apocalypse intercedes.
RP31 Lucy Raven, USA Canadian Premiere
RP31 is an animation made from 31 film projection test patterns and calibration charts. Used in the motion picture industry to test for focus, aperture, field steadiness and framing, these patterns are images you're not supposed to see, which are made to make you see better.
MANAKAMANA Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, USA/Nepal North American Premiere
MANAKAMANA portrays pilgrims as they travel in state-of-the-art cable cars high above a Nepali jungle to the temple of the wish-fulfilling goddess. Shot entirely inside airborne gondolas, this new work from the Sensory Ethnography Lab is a portrait of spiritual experience against a backdrop of rapid modernization. It extends the ambitions of transcendental cinema beyond the limits of fiction, documenting connections between the sacred and the profane in daily life.
Pays Barbare Yvervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, France North American Premiere
“A film necessary for us at this time, about fascism and colonialism... With our 'Analytical Camera” we returned to rummage in private and anonymous archives of Ethiopia over the film frames of the Italian colonial period (1935-1936). The Colonial eroticism. The naked body of women and the 'body' of the film. Images of the Duce in Africa. Body frames of Mussolini and the 'mass' 1945, after the Liberation.” –Yvervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi
Story of My Death Albert Serra, Spain/France North American Premiere
Loosely based on the autobiography of Casanova, the film depicts the journeys of the famous libertine from the joyful, sensual and rationalistic 18th century Europe to his last days where violence, sex and dark romanticism reigned.
Stray Dogs (Jiao You) Tsai Ming-Liang, Taiwan/France North American Premiere
A father and his two children wander the margins of modern day Taipei, from the woods and rivers of the outskirts to the rain streaked streets of the city. By day the father scrapes out a meager income as a human billboard for luxury apartments, while his young son and daughter roam the supermarkets and malls surviving off free food samples. Each night the family takes shelter in an abandoned building. The father is strangely affected by a hypnotic mural adorning the wall of this makeshift home. On the day of the father's birthday the family is joined by a woman — might she be the key to unlocking the buried emotions that linger from the past?
The Battle of Tabatô Joao Viana, Portugal/Guinea-Bissau North American Premiere
After 30 years of exile, Baio is returning to Guinea-Bissau. His daughter Fatu is getting married to Idrissa, a famous African musician. The ceremony will take place in Tabatô, a village of griots and musicians.
The Disquiet, Ali Cherri World Premiere
Lebanon is a country whose geographical location on several fault lines has resulted in a number of violent earthquakes. Through an analytical approach to the seismic situation of the country, The Disquiet observes the catastrophe in the making. What if the threat of an imminent catastrophe was far more internal than ever suspected?
The Missing Picture (L’image manquante) Rithy Panh, Cambodia/France North American Premiere
“For many years, I have been looking for the missing picture: a photograph taken between 1975 and 1979 by the Khmer Rouge when they ruled over Cambodia... On its own, of course, an image cannot prove mass murder, but it gives us cause for thought, prompts us to meditate, to record history. I searched for it vainly in the archives, in old papers, in the country villages of Cambodia. Today I know: this image must be missing. I was not really looking for it; would it not be obscene and insignificant? So I created it. What I give you today is neither the picture nor the search for a unique image, but the picture of a quest: the quest that cinema allows.” –Rithy Panh
The Police Officer’s Wife Philip Gröning, Germany North American Premiere
A simple film. A man, a woman, a child. A small town. The square apartment. Perfect Sundays. The story of a young family. The ceaseless labour of love out of which emerges what is later called the soul of a person. Creating the cradle of love that nurtures the child’s evolving soul. Affection and distance. The father’s career at the local police department. And the mother solely devoted to caring for the child. The violence between husband and wife. We watch as this woman sinks. And how she does everything she can to save this child’s soul, to keep it intact, to let it grow. To teach the child love. The Police Officer’s Wife is a film about the virtue of love, the virtue of curiosity, the virtue of joy. And about the dark within us.
The Strange Little Cat Ramon Zürcher, Germany Canadian Premiere
A family get-together in a Berlin flat: preparations, conversations in the kitchen, an evening meal. Deliberately eschewing the larger picture, the film creates a wondrous world and assembles seemingly unspectacular details and snippets into an exciting choreography of the everyday.
‘Til Madness Do Us Apart Wang Bing, France/Hong Kong/Japan North American Premiere
Fifty men live in an isolated asylum for 12 months. They spend their days locked on one floor, with little contact even with the medical team. Each has been committed for a different reason. They have mental problems, killed people, or have upset some local officials. But once inside, they share the same empty life, walking along the same iron fence courtyard, looking for human warmth among their fellow sufferers.
Three Interpretation Exercises (Trois Exercises d’Interprétation) Cristi Puiu, Romania/France North American Premiere
Three films based on Three Conversations by Russian writer and philosopher Vladimir Solovyov. The actors' 'exercises' developed into a minimalistic trilogy on cinema and literature, social and spiritual life. The trilogy is the result of a workshop of famous Romanian director Cristi Puiu at the French artists’ studio Chantiers Nomades.
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SHORT CUTS CANADA
A Grand Canal Johnny Ma, 19’ World Premiere
A Greek tragedy told in a Chinese pop song. Tragic events of a boat captain trying to collect a debt to save his fleet of boats, as remembered by his 10-year-old son.
A Time is a Terrible Thing to Waste Leslie Supnet, 3’ Toronto Premiere
An animated squirrel ponders the essence of time.
An Extraordinary Person (Une Personne extraordinaire) Monia Chokri, 30’ North American Premiere
A 30-year-old scholar, intelligent and beautiful yet socially crippled, is forced to attend a bachelorette party where her quest for authenticity leads to an unavoidable confrontation with old acquaintances.
Anatomy of Assistance Cory Bowles, 13’ World Premiere
15-year-old Talia is defiant, refuses the system and thinks she’s got it all figured out. When she challenges the assistance envelope given to her by her school, she’s suddenly thrust into a daisy chain of errors that lead her to face a larger system: growing up.
Beasts in the Real World Sol Friedman, 8’ World Premiere
An experimental mixed-media short that explores the tenuous connections between a naturalist, a rare land mammal, and a pair of sushi chefs.
Candy Cassandra Cronenberg, 8’ World Premiere
Cassandra Cronenberg’s experimental short is a convention-busting portrait of human transactions — love, sex, money, art — that takes place over one beautiful, intoxicating night. As Candy wanders through it all, the audience is immersed in a visual poem in which an ocean of light is found in the dark.
The Chaperone 3D Fraser Munden and Neil Rathbone, 11’ World Premiere
The Chaperone tells the true story of a lone teacher who fought off an entire motorcycle gang while chaperoning a middle school dance in 1970s Montreal. This film recreates the scene using hand-drawn animation, miniature sets, puppets, live action Kung Fu and explosions all done in stereoscopic 3D.
Cochemare Maciek Szczerbowski and Chris Lavis, 12’ North American Premiere
Blending animation, live action, and stereoscopic 3D, Cochemare is an immersive, tactile, and sensory experience. As the viewer journeys from the mystical Forest of Storms to the orbiting International Space Station, the film forces the audience to confront notions of voyeurism, femininity, and the separation of body and mind.
CRIME: Joe Loya - The Beirut Bandit Alix Lambert and Sam Chou, 2’ World Premiere
In his 20s, Loya achieved notoriety as the smooth-talking Beirut Bandit, who robbed dozens of Southern California banks. When the police caught up with him in 1989, they discovered a Mexican-American from East Los Angeles who had once been a promising student. Imprisoned for seven years, he grew more violent until two years of solitary confinement prompted a remarkable self-transformation.
Daybreak (Éclat du jour) Ian Lagarde, 11’ World Premiere
In a wealthy Montreal suburb, Xavier and his friends are dealing with pre-teen boredom. They hang out at the park, ride their bikes, and mess with each other; it's yet another suburban summer afternoon. But beneath the smiles lies a growing tension, a certain violence which leads the group to a collective release of unexpected intensity; a ritualistic initiation into adolescence.
Der Untermensch Kays Mejri, 9’ World Premiere
Der Untermensch depicts the treatment of homosexuals in concentration camps during the Second World War, through aesthetic contemporary movement. The dancer portrays the work, growth and rebirth of those incarcerated souls by embodying a gay Aryan during the Nazi reign.
Drop Chris Goldade, 12’ World Premiere A World War II paratrooper lands in enemy territory — and right onto a modern-day suburban driveway — where he is confronted by an unemployed freeloader who’s still living in his parent’s house. This dark comedy with an original premise and deadpan performances makes the perils of war uncomfortably funny.
The End of Pinky Claire Blanchet, 8’ World Premiere
The End of Pinky revolves around three fallen angels seeking companionship and humanity in the shadows of the red-light district, in a mythic, magically realized Montreal. The film’s hand-drawn pencil and pastel animation, rendered in stereoscopic 3D, conjures a seedy world whose sepia-toned palette evokes cheap whiskey and nicotine stains.
Firecrackers Jasmin Mozaffari, 15’ World Premiere
Lou and Chantal are two shit-disturbers from a town whose only remaining attraction is truck-stop prostitution. Their dreams of escaping are shattered when Lou's savings are stolen by her mom's alcoholic boyfriend. With nowhere left to go and nothing left to lose, Lou heads into the night, with a bottle of whiskey in hand and no regrets.
Foreclosure Wayne Robinson, 13’ World Premiere
Sigmund is a docile and obedient worker who is given an opportunity of a lifetime when his manager, Mr. Wolfman, assigns him the task of completing a dossier on their company's profit margin. Upon sitting down to start working however, Sigmund is confronted with his worst nightmare: naked people.
Gloria Victoria Theodore Ushev, 7’ North American Premiere
Gloria Victoria, the third film in a trilogy on the relationship between art and power, unfolds on the still-smouldering rubble of a furious 20th century. From the Russian front to the Chinese Revolution, from Dresden to Guernica, giant black birds circle above mass graves while vampires and reapers move forward to the sounds of an exalting bolero from Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony.
Impromptu Bruce Alcock, 10’ World Premiere
When Chuck’s wife spontaneously invites her co-workers home for dinner, the last-minute gathering seems to have all the makings of a disaster — but it leads instead to a quiet epiphany about embracing the chaos of life’s rich pageantry. Impromptu reminds the audience of the redemptive power of food, wine, music and love, as seen through the eyes of a modern man.
In Guns We Trust Nicolas Lévesque, 12’ North American Premiere
In Kennesaw, a small American town in the state of Georgia, a good citizen is an armed citizen. By law, since 1982, each head of household must own at least one working firearm with ammunition.
Jimbo Ryan Flowers, 25’ World Premiere
Stricken, but not struck down, by a slew of mental illnesses, Jimmy Leung's drive to become an action movie star becomes something of a reality as he and director Ryan Flowers train to become healthy and stable, and make a movie together.
Lay Over Jordan Hayes, 13’ World Premiere
A girl meets a boy on an eight-hour layover.
Method Gregory Smith, 8’ World Premiere
Officer Daniel O'Shea must go to extraordinary lengths to get a confession.
Noah Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg, 17’ World Premiere
In a story that plays out entirely on a teenager's computer screen, Noah follows its eponymous protagonist as his relationship takes a rapid turn for the worse.
Nous Avions Stéphane Moukarzel, 18’ World Premiere
Montreal, 1999. Like every Sunday, a modest Pakistani immigrant family picnics in a dead end next to the airport, closely watching planes land. On this special day where the Legendary Concord is expected — a rare treat in town — 17-year-old Akram, the eldest son of three kids, who is in his teenage crisis, creates a family commotion when he decides to take off to live his own life.
Numbers & Friends Alexander Carson, 7’ World Premiere
In his search for happiness in North America, a European man discovers the pleasures of fantasy baseball. Using his new appreciation for sports as a metaphor to re-imagine his life choices, he begins to find new meaning in the world around him.
Out Jeremy Lalonde, 9’ World Premiere
A young man comes out to his family. But is he coming out of the closet, or out of the coffin?
Paradise Falls Fantavious Fritz, 17’ World Premiere
Two adventurous youths explore a haunted mansion and fall in love with its ghost, deep in the heart of suburban hell.
Paradiso Devan Scott, 13’ World Premiere
After being sent to heaven as the result of the biblical Armageddon, Cain Tibbons meets Saint Peter, whom he must persuade to help him rescue his brother from hell. However, Cain's story might not be all it seems.
Pilgrims Marie Clements, 8’ World Premiere
Robbe, a German tourist, is partaking on a life-long dream of visiting the west coast of Canada. His fantasy of the great Indian culture is one thing, but to be a part of it requires Robbe to undergo a dangerous rite of passage: a journey of self-evaluation.
Portrait as a Random Act of Violence Randall Okita, 4’ Toronto Premiere
Portrait as a Random Act of Violence is a piece that incorporates performance and sculpture to examine themes of harm, protest, and destructive and restorative transformations.
Relax, I’m From the Future Luke Higginson, 5’ World Premiere
Percy Sullivan's suicide attempt gets interrupted by a man claiming to be from the future.
Remember Me (Mémorable moi) Jean-Francois Asselin, 15’ Canadian Premiere
Mathieu seeks any (and every) way to attract attention to himself.
Roland Trevor Cornish, 11’ World Premiere
Roland, an employee at Crafty’s Art and Supply, must deal with an irrational man who needs to use the washroom and is confused by the store’s strict employee-only washroom policy. A full bladder and some company red tape has Roland’s day take a dire turn.
Sam’s Formalwear Yael Staav, 15’ World Premiere
Sam Parish, once the high-school prom king, is now the former king of formalwear and ex-husband to his then-prom queen. On the eve of his daughter's prom, Sam grasps at an opportunity to feel like the king once more, oblivious to the consequences.
Seasick Eva Cvijanovic, 3’ World Premiere
Seasick is a meditative exploration of one's love of the sea to the soundtrack of traditional Croatian music.
The Sparkling River Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël, 18’ World Premiere
A group of Chinese travellers have appeared on an alpaca farm, seemingly by accident. A young woman who is among them tries to connect with the farm's proprietor. The Sparkling River uses 3D-stereoscopy to lure the viewer into a contemplative and dreamlike state. The film explores enduring themes of memory, migration and place.
Subconscious Password Chris Landreth, 11’ Canadian Premiere
Subconscious Password uses a common social gaffe — forgetting somebody’s name — as the starting point for a mindbending romp through the unconscious. Inspired by the classic American TV game show Password, the film features a wealth of animated celebrity guests who try to prompt Charles to remember the name.
We Wanted More Stephen Dunn, 15’ World Premiere
A psychological thriller about a singer who loses her voice on the precipice of her first world tour, We Wanted More is a hypnotic fever dream about the sacrifices a young artist makes for her career.
Yellowhead Kevan Funk, 19’ World Premiere
A middle-aged worksite safety inspector defiantly maintains a tireless occupational routine, traversing across Canada's lonely northern landscape from one expansive industrial operation to the next. As the cracks in his crumbling personal life become more and more apparent, he slips deeper into willful ignorance and denial, providing a striking parallel to the altered physical landscape and exploitative industry that surrounds him.
Young Wonder James Wilkes, 6’ World Premiere
Armed with only the sword of Evil’s Bane, automatic weapons and a bazooka, 8-year-old Sebastian and his 11-year-old brother Chris battle their way through a legion of pop culture menaces en route to getting snacks. Young Wonder combines kinetic and visually stunning storytelling with sincere observations on the nature of boys and play.