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TIFF 2019 Reveals Full Canadian Lineup, Including 26 New Films and David Foster Tribute

The festival will also open with the first Canadian documentary to earn the honor: the previously announced "Once Were Brothers."

castle in the ground

“Castle in the Ground”


The Toronto International Film Festival​ has added another 26 new titles to its 2019 festival lineup, comprised entirely of features directed by Canadian filmmakers. Each year, TIFF highlights films that hail from its own shores in a standalone announcement, and this year it ​includes seven f​irst features, ​13 w​orks by returning TIFF alumni, and almost 50% films directed by women.

TIFF debuts include Aisling Chin-Yee’s “The Rest of Us,” Harry Cepka’s “Raf,” Matthew Rankin’s “The Twentieth Century,” Heather Young’s “Murmur,” and Nicole Dorsey’s “Black Conflux.” Plenty of returning filmmakers are also included in this batch of films, including Atom Egoyan, Sophie Deraspe, Joey Klein, Albert Shin, Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis, Louise Archambault, Kire Paputts, and Amy Jo Johnson.

“We are deeply impressed by the high quality of the work done by Canadian directors this year — particularly from filmmakers who were making their first and second features,” said Steve Gravestock, Senior Programmer, TIFF in an official statement. “Within that group, there was an extremely strong contingent of female filmmakers working everywhere from Newfoundland to British Columbia and addressing a genuinely diverse spectrum of subjects, from mother–daughter relationships to the refugee experience, female friendships to youth in crisis.”

This year’s Canadian features slate includes five titles by Indigenous filmmakers and film teams: “Abenaki” director Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary ​”Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger”;​ Jeff Barnaby’s chilling “Blood Quantum”;​ ​Myriam Verreault’s “Kuessipan​,” based on the novel by Naomi Fontaine about life among Innu in northeastern Quebec; Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s​ ​”The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open”; and​ Zacharias Kunuk’s “One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk.”

“As part of the new wave of programmers at TIFF, I’m thrilled to help usher in the next generation of prominent voices in Canadian cinema — particularly with films that speak to the larger global issues at hand,” said TIFF programmer Ravi Srinivasan in a statement. “I am also proud to help introduce several new filmmakers to the main stage, knowing that their works will screen alongside those of Canadian legends like Alanis Obomsawin and Atom Egoyan. This is truly an exciting year for TIFF and Canadian cinema, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”

All ​26​ Canadian feature films at the Festival are eligible for the Canada Goose​ Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. All ​seven ​Canadian feature directorial debuts are eligible for the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film.

Previously announced Canadian titles include François Girard’s ​”The Song of Names,”​ Semi Chellas’ “American Woman,”​ Barry Avrich​’s ​”David Foster: Off the Record​” (Foster will also be on hand for a Tribute Gala), and Daniel Roher’s “O​nce Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” which will open the festival.

The festival has also announced the Canadian portion of its Rising Stars program, which includes Kacey Rohl, Mikhaïl Ahooja, Nahéma Ricci, and Shamier Anderson​.

Below are the newest additions to the TIFF 2019 lineup, including the full Canadian slate. Stay tuned for more programming announcements in the days to come.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 – 15 in Toronto, Canada.


“American Woman​,” Semi Chellas, Canadian Premiere

“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,”​ ​Daniel Roher, World Premiere

“The Song of Names,”​ François Girard, World Premiere

After much searching, we found the perfect spot right outside their window. Or did it find us? Levon and Rick’s yard. Woodstock, NY, ’68

“Once Were Brothers”

Elliott Landy/LandyVision, Inc

Special Presentations

“Clifton Hill,” ​Albert Shin, World Premiere

“Guest of Honour,” ​Atom Egoyan, North American Premiere

Special Events

“David Foster: Off the Record,” ​Barry Avrich, World Premiere

“One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk,” ​Zacharias Kunuk, North American Premiere


“Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger,” ​Alanis Obomsawin, World Premiere


“Coppers,” ​Alan Zweig, World Premiere

“This Is Not a Movie,” Y​ung Chang, World Premiere

“There’s Something in the Water,”​ ​Ellen Page and Ian Daniel, World Premiere


“Black Conflux​,” Nicole Dorsey, World Premiere

“Easy Land,” S​anja Zivkovic, World Premiere

“Kuessipan,” M​yriam Verreault, World Premiere

“Murmur,” ​Heather Young, World Premiere

“Raf,” H​arry Cepka, World Premiere

“The Rest of Us,” A​isling Chin-Yee, World Premiere

david foster tiff

“David Foster: Off the Record”


Contemporary World Cinema

“And the Birds Rained Down ​(I​l pleuvait des oiseaux)​,” L​ouise Archambault, World Premiere

“Antigone,” S​ophie Deraspe, World Premiere

“The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open​,” Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn, North American Premiere

“Castle in the Ground,” Joey Klein, World Premiere

“The Last Porno Show​,” Kire Paputts, World Premiere

“Tammy’s Always Dying,” Amy Jo Johnson, World Premiere

“White Lie​,” Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis, World Premiere

Midnight Madness

“Blood Quantum,” J​eff Barnaby, World Premiere

“The Twentieth Century,” ​Matthew Rankin, World Premiere

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