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Getting to Know 18 Toronto Discovery Filmmakers

Getting to Know 18 Toronto Discovery Filmmakers

The following is a series of interviews with directors whose films are screening at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival in the Discovery section for new filmmakers. All descriptions of the films are provided by TIFF. The festival takes place September 10-19, 2009.

TIFF ‘09 | Martin P. Zandvliet: “Why can’t work be your passionate lover?”

In Martin P. Zandvliet’s “Applause,” Paprika Steen delivers a tour-de-force performance in this devastating drama about an alcoholic actress trying to put her life back together.

TIFF ‘09 | Ounie Lecomte: “Was working as fashion editor while writing the script”

“A Brand New Life” is an impressive debut by French-Korean filmmaker Ounie Lecomte who, inspired by her childhood, recounts the emotional journey of a little girl abandoned by her father in an orphanage.

TIFF ‘09 | Radu Jude: “This film started in a way five years ago…”

In Radu Jude’s “The Happiest Girl in the World,” “Delia Fratila (Andreea Bosneag) is not happy. Forced to repeat the same gleeful scene in a cheesy commercial for the best part of a smouldering summer day, she grows ever glummer as the temperature rises.

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TIFF ‘09 | Rachel Ward: “Always looking, always hopeful and totally thrilled”

In Radu Jude’s “The Happiest Girl in the World,” “Delia Fratila (Andreea Bosneag) is not happy. Forced to repeat the same gleeful scene in a cheesy commercial for the best part of a smouldering summer day, she grows ever glummer as the temperature rises.

TIFF ‘09 | Oscar Ruiz Navia: “We wanted to gallop in the gap between dream and reality”

In “Crab Trap,” Cerebro (or ‘Brain,’ played by Arnobio Salazar Rivas), the leader of the Afro-Colombian community that inhabits the isolated village of La Barra on Colombia’s Pacific coast, is trying to adjust to the advent of modernity represented by El Paisa (the White Man), a landowner who wants to build a beach resort. Oscar Ruiz Navia’s debut feature captures a part of Colombia rarely seen on film, the black communities of its Pacific coast.

TIFF ‘09 | Katarzyna Ros: “It’s my style, coming straight from my heart”

In Katarzyna Ros’ “Mall Girls,” Alicja (Anna Karczmarczyk) is a newcomer and an outsider, an ordinary, conservatively attired teenaged girl who quickly finds herself mocked by the sexualized, hip group of schoolgirls who essentially walk the walk and talk the talk, both at school and in the streets.

TIFF ‘09 | Oliver Hermanus: “As a society we are born fighters”

Oliver Hermanus’s intimate, precise portrait, “Shirley Adams,” focuses on a mother in Cape Town, South Africa, whose son is disabled in a neighbourhood shooting.

TIFF ‘09 | Matias Armand Jordal: “I wanted to do graffiti in the streets, but never dared”

In Matias Armand Jordal’s “Normal,” the tragic death of a mother causes her family to shatter when they struggle to cope with the loss.

TIFF ‘09 | Margreth Olin: “By being subjective, you manage to tell something universal”

Norwegian director Margreth Olin makes her fiction-feature debut with ‘The Angel,’ a searing, atmospheric study of abuse and addiction that began as a documentary project based on the life of the film’s protagonist, Lea. It opens with the death of Lea’s father, whose passing disrupts her idyllic rural existence as a young girl.

TIFF ‘09 | Margaret Corkery: “My main aspiration is always to have an audience”

In Margaret Corkery’s “Eamon,” “Selfish, bratty little Eamon (Robert Don-nelly) shoos his father aside for a privileged place in his mother’s heart. King of her bed and dictator of all things quotidian, he leaves no space in her affections for anyone but himself, having banished his father to what feels like a distant planet – a planet where touching your spouse is punishable and sleeping on the couch mandatory.

TIFF ‘09 | Josh Crook: “We Didn’t Die!!!!!”

The gritty and gripping drama of Josh Crook’s “La Soga” explores political intrigue, love, death and the power of memory, set in the Dominican Republic.

TIFF ‘09 | J. Blakeson: “Writing Didn’t Cost Anything, so I Started Writing”

Two ex-cons kidnap a woman, but the tables turn and turn again in this tight, smart tale. J. Blakeson’s “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” is a terrific little thriller starring Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston and Gemma Arterton.

TIFF ‘09 | Paul Fierlinger: “No independent animator has been doing this longer than I have”

Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s “My Dog Tulip” is a vivid, whimiscal animated feature about the relationship between a man and his dog.

TIFF ‘09 | Glendyn Ivin: “I knew ten pages in that I was going to make the film”

Screening as part of Toronto’s Discovery section, Glendyn Ivin’s “Last Ride” is a portrait of a young boy’s complex relationship with his father, an ex-con, set against the Australian Outback.

TIFF ‘09 | Granaz Moussavi : “Something Different and Fresh from Iran”

Filmed at great risk to all involved, Granaz Moussavi’s “My Tehran for Sale” reveals the complex double lives led by many modern Iranian youth who must struggle for cultural freedom. The film screens as part of Toronto’s Discovery section.

TIFF ‘09 | Dima El-Horr: “Dream in Arabic, speak English and write and read in French”

Coming from Lebanon, Dima El-Horr’s “Every Day is a Holiday” is a striking debut about three women on the road to visit their imprisoned men. Mixing real politics and stark absurdity, El-Horr announces herself as a major new voice in Middle Eastern cinema.

TIFF ‘09 | Kate Ogborn: “I hope that the film touches people”

Samantha Morton’s “The Unloved” is inspired by Morton’s own life as a girl in the British Midlands. Lucy (Molly Windsor) lives with an unstable, sometimes violent father, played by Robert Carlyle. When the local social services step in to rescue her, Lucy leaves the chaos of her family for the uncertain dangers of a care home.

TIFF ‘09 | Ahmad Abdalla: “I wrote this film after a very hard phase of my life”

Ahmad Abdalla’s feature film debut “Heliopolis” follows the lives of a host of characters living in the Heliopolis district of Cairo. The movie, which screens as part of Toronto’s Discovery section, draws back the area’s veil of faded grandeur to reveal characters that deepen and broaden any understanding of one of the world’s great cities. If Egypt is complicated, Heliopolis is Exhibit A.

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