After the first two batches of films announced for Toronto International Film Festival, we now have a third. They’ve revealed the Canadian line-up and we have new films from Guy Maddin, Mary Harron, Bruce McDonald, Michael Dowse, and Lea Pool among many others. Canadian features David Cronenberg‘s A Dangerous Method and Sarah Polley‘s Take This Waltz have already been announced as premieres. Check them all out below.
Starbuck Ken Scott, Canada
North American Premiere
Just when David Wosniak (Patrick Huard) decides to finally take control of his life, this eternal 42-year-old teenager discovers that he’s the biological father of 533 children. Suddenly, his life is much more complicated than he anticipated. Also starring Antoine
Bertrand, Julie le Breton.
Afghan Luke Mike Clattenburg, Canada
North American Premiere
Disheartened when his story about Canadian snipers possibly mutilating corpses in Afghanistan is buried, Luke (Nick Stahl) quits his job but is even more determined to return to Afghanistan to get the real story. Starring Nicolas Wright, Stephen Lobo, Vik Sahay and Steve Cochrane.
Breakaway Robert Lieberman, Canada
Breakaway is a cross-cultural hockey drama set in the Indo-Canadian community in suburban Toronto, Canada. It‟s also a keenly observed cross-cultural drama with a hero caught between a family‟s traditional expectations and a dream to make it big in the national sport of an adopted country. Breakaway is a fun, action-filled sports comedy bringing a dash of Bollywood entertainment to Canada‟s favourite sport. Starring Vinay Virmani, Russell Peters, Anupam Kher, Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, Sakina Jaffrey, Noureen Dewulf, Rob Lowe, Camilla Belle and Akshay Kumar.
Café de Flore Jean-Marc Vallée
North American Premiere
Café de Flore is first and foremost an epic love story between a man and woman. And between a mother and her son. Two people from two different eras who live two extraordinary moments of passion that shake their lives. A mystical and supernatural odyssey on love, starring Vanessa Paradis.
Edwin Boyd Nathan Morlando, Canada
Based on a true story, WWII vet and family-man-turned-bank-robber Eddie Boyd is torn between the need to provide for his family and an unfulfilled Hollywood dream. He starts robbing banks to satisfy both, but Eddie‟s dream for stardom leads him down a path of danger and tragedy. Starring Scott Speedman, Kevin Durand, Kelly Reilly, Joseph Cross, Brendan Fletcher, Charlotte Sullivan and Brian Cox.
Goon Michael Dowse, Canada
Goon is the story of Doug Glatt, a down-on-his-luck bouncer, who‟s been touched by the fist of God. Upon discovering both his right hook and skates, he joins a hockey team destined for the cellar and inspires them into the playoffs. Starring Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Marc Andre Grodin and Eugene Levy.
Keyhole Guy Maddin, Canada
Keyhole is a rousing gangsters-meet-ghosts sonata in which dream and waking life are deliriously blended to arouse the eerie lusts and sadness that can slumber in an old home – in every home. Starring Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini, Udo Kier, Louis Negin and Brooke Palsson.
Monsieur Lazhar Philippe Falardeau, Canada
North American Premiere
Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who died tragically. While the class goes through a long healing process, nobody in the school is aware of Bachir’s painful former life. Starring Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron, Danielle Proulx and Brigitte Poupart.
The Moth Diaries Mary Harron, Canada/Ireland
North American Premiere
Rebecca, haunted by her father’s suicide, begins her junior year at an elite all-girls‟ boarding school, hoping for a fresh start. Her friendship with sunny Lucy is shattered by the arrival of Ernessa, a mysterious girl. As Ernessa consumes more of Lucy’s attention, the latter‟s body grows pale, thin and weak. Starring Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, Sarah Bolger, Judy Parfitt and Scott Speedman.
CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
388 Arletta Avenue Randall Cole, Canada
Seen entirely from the point of view of hand-held and surveillance cameras, 388 Arletta Avenue tells the story of a couple, Nick Stahl and Mia Kirshner, who do not realize they are being watched. The watching becomes a subtle manipulation which ultimately escalates into a deadly cat-and-mouse game.
Billy Bishop Goes to War Barbara Willis-Sweete, Canada
In Billy Bishop Goes to War acting legend Eric Peterson and award-winning writer/composer John Gray reprise their iconic two-man play that has captivated audiences for three decades. Through raucous stories, haunting memories, and vibrant song, an aged Bishop (Peterson) recounts the triumphs and horrors of „the war to end all wars.‟
I’m Yours Leonard Farlinger, Canada
I’m Yours, a sexy and irreverent two-hander, sees disillusioned Wall Street broker, Robert, kidnapped and blackmailed into taking a road trip with hot and free-spirited Daphne. A thought-provoking romantic comedy about two lost souls who learn what love ultimately means as the world around them comes undone. Starring Rossif Sutherland, Karine Vanasse.
Sister s& Brothers Carl Bessai, Canada
A comedic exploration of the lives of four intersecting sister and brother relationships. A hard-done-by “entrepreneur” corrals a young girl and her sister into a trip to Los Angeles to chase the acting dream. A schizophrenic man and his pro-bono lawyer who lives in the woods cause problems with his sister. Starring Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew, Cory Monteith, Gabrielle Miller and Kacey Rohl.
Hard Core Logo II Bruce McDonald, Canada
Fifteen years have passed since Bruce McDonald completed his infamous documentary that chronicled the demise of the punk rock outfit Hard Core Logo and captured lead singer Joe Dick‟s on-camera suicide. Reluctantly, Bruce finds himself following the band Die Mannequin to a recording studio in a remote town after hearing that band leader Care Failure has claimed to be channelling the spirit of Joe Dick. As increasingly bizarre events unfold, Bruce tries desperately to connect with Care in the hopes of saving the young rock star from the same tragic fate as Joe. Starring Bruce McDonald, Care Failure, Julian Richings and Paul Shull.
REAL TO REEL
Pink Ribbons, Inc Léa Pool, Canada
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people walk, run and shop for “the cure.” Millions of dollars are raised in the name of breast cancer, but where does all the money go, and what is actually achieved? Award-winning Quebec filmmaker Léa Pool directs Pink Ribbons, Inc. which examines what many have called the „dream case‟ of cause-related marketing. Inspired by Dr. Samantha King’s book “Pink Ribbons Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy,” the film juxtaposes footage from some of the biggest fundraising walks and runs in North America with uncompromising interviews.
Surviving Progress Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, Canada
Ronald Wright’s bestseller A Short History Of Progress inspired this cinematic requiem to progress-as-usual. Throughout human history, what seemed like progress often backfired. Some of the world’s foremost thinkers, activists, financiers and scientists challenge us to overcome „progress traps,‟ which destroyed past civilizations and lie treacherously embedded in our own.
Doppelgänger Paul Dylan Akio Smith and Kris Elgstrand, Canada
Following a near-death experience, Karl comes to believe that Paul is his doppelgänger. When Karl finally reveals himself to Paul, a unique and troubled relationship begins to form, a relationship that is severely tested when Karl grants Paul the privilege of reading his 20,000 page manuscript, A Book About How Much I Hate Myself. When Karl‟s book is published 17 months later in a vastly edited version credited to two other authors/doppelgängers, Karl and Paul hit the road to confront the plagiarists but end up confronting themselves instead. Starring Tygh Runyan, Brad Dryborough, Ben Cotton and Matty Finochio.
i am a good person/ i am a bad person Ingrid Veninger, Canada
A mother and daughter duo, suddenly without each other as guides for their good or bad decisions, must confront their life changes alone, before returning home. Starring Hallie Switzer, Ingrid Veninger, Jacob Switzer, Mathieu Chesneau, Suzana Mikytova and Simon Reynolds.
Canada First! Opening Night
Wetlands (Marécages) Guy Édoin, QC
North American Premiere
On a dairy farm in the Eastern Townships, in the middle of a drought, an accident will disrupt the life of the Santerre family. Forced to band together like never before, they will have to learn to forgive. Starring Pascale Bussières, Luc Picard, François Papineau and Gabriel Maillé.
Amy George Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas, ON
Thirteen-year-old Jesse wants to be an artist, but believes that his mundane middle class Toronto life has left him unprepared. After reading a book on what it takes to be a “true artist,” he sets out looking for risk, ecstasy, wildness and women.
Leave It On The Floor Sheldon Larry, ON
This indie-narrative musical is set in the drag-ball community memorialized in the documentary Paris Is Burning. With 11 original songs by Beyoncé‟s musical director Kim Burse and choreography by Beyoncé choreographer and “Mr. Single Ladies‟ Frank Gatson Jr., the film tells the story of a young African American thrown out by his narcissistic mother for being gay. He stumbles upon a competitive drag ball organized by runaways and throwaways where he ultimately finds a new home and family.
Nuit #1 Anne Émond, QC
Clara and Nikolaï meet at a rave. They return to Nicolaï‟s apartment and make love. Afterwards, instead of parting, the two lovers divulge their deepest secrets to one another. Nicolaï is a beautiful loser. At the age of 31, he leads a simple and frugal life. He envisions big projects and has large ideas but, inevitably and despite himself, loses sight of them before they are realized. Clara, like Nikolaï, seems not to be made for this world. By day, she works as a Grade 3 school teacher; by night, she is a compulsive party-girl, sleeping with men, women or both at once. Starring Catherine De Léan and Dimitri Storoge.
The Odds Simon Davidson, BC
In The Odds, a murder mystery set in the world of illegal teenage gambling, 17-year-old Desson Orr must find his best friend‟s killer before the game is exposed.
The Patron Saints Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky, QC
The Patron Saints is a disquieting and hyper-realistic glimpse into life at a nursing home. Bound by the candid confessions of a recently disabled resident, the film weaves haunting images, scenes and stories from within the institution walls. Sidestepping conventional documentary methods for a heightened cinematic approach to storytelling, the film employs lyrical realism and black humour in its charged portrait of fading bodies and minds.
Romeo Eleven (Roméo Onze) Ivan Grbovic, QC
North American Premiere
Romeo Eleven is the intimate portrait of a shy young man looking for love in all the wrong places. A path of lies slowly catches up to him before leading the audience to a surprising and moving conclusion.
4am Janine Fung, ON, 4’
North American Premiere
Spoken-word poet Muhammad Muwakil conveys a powerful portrait of life in a suburb of Port of Spain, Trinidad, against peaceful pre-dawn images of a city at peace.
Afternoon Tea DJ Parmar, BC, 13’
An Indian grandfather’s life changes when a seemingly lost boy comes to his home and asks to use his phone. He is unaware that this boy is not who he appears to be, and holds a secret that will change him forever.
Combustion Renaud Hallée, QC, 4’
Combustion plunges the viewer, from each image and note to the next, closer and closer to its materials as they catch fire and culminate in an explosion of colours and sounds. Carried along by a scorching musical score, Combustion is a brisk and novel look at fire – a source of fascination for everyone everywhere since the beginning of time.
Derailments (Deragliamenti) Chelsea McMullan, BC, 11’
Originally written by Federico Fellini as a film, Il Viaggio di Mastorna Detto Fernet was coined ‘the most famous film never made.’ There is mystery surrounding Fellini’s decision to abandon the project right before production. At 72, he began collaborating with celebrated illustrator Milo Manara, and together they started to sketch Fellini’s vision of the afterlife in comic format. In this short meditative documentary, Manara remembers their journey together into the hereafter.
The Devil’s Due Alexander Gorelick and Adam Shaheen, ON, 5’
A curious package unleashes a bizarre and beautiful symphony of chaos on an unsuspecting world – but is it a gift or a curse?
Doubles with Slight Pepper Ian Harnarine, ON, 16’
In rural Trinidad, Dhani struggles to support himself and his mother by selling doubles (Trinidad’s quintessential street food). When his estranged father unexpectedly returns from Canada, Dhani must decide if he will help save his father’s life despite their strained relationship.
The Encounter Nicholas Pye, ON, 7’
Set in a small room, an adolescent woman experiences synaesthesia. While she stares at half-filled glasses on the table, her vision transforms into a beautiful song. Harmonic tones induce a hypnotic state over the woman. The meditative harmonies are disrupted when an ominous character arrives with the intent to ingest her song. After consuming the beauty, the dark character leaves. Left alone, the woman employs thaumaturgy to lure her song back to life.
A Film Portrait on Reconstructing 12 Possibilities that Preceded the Disappearance of Zoe Dean Drum
Eduardo Menz, QC, 11’
A one-of-a-kind cinematic mystery reveals meticulously-created scenes that provide subtle hints about the abduction of its central (and noticeably absent) title character.
The Fuse: Or How I Burned Simon Bolivar Igor Drljaca, ON, 9’
It is March 1992 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. A 9-year-old boy anticipates a poor grade on his latest art assignment, and desperate to avoid the situation, he wishes for something that will allow him to miss school.
Good Boy Isaac Cravit, ON, 5’
During a day at the beach, Harry, the family dog, struggles to reconcile feelings of jealousy towards his owner’s new baby.
Heart of Rhyme Cory Bowles, NS, 16’
When Saxton received a heart transplant, he knew there would be side effects until his recovery was complete. What he didn’t expect was the sudden urge to tag his name on mailboxes, drop rhymes in the park, and the ability to witness rhythm come alive around him. When he decides to solve the mystery behind this phenomenon, he discovers a whole new meaning to following your heart.
Hidden Driveway Sarah Goodman, ON, 5’
Two brothers sitting on a park bench in mid-winter receive a call from their mom, who unexpectedly announces a family meeting. As the boys walk towards home, they argue about what could possibly be wrong with their parents, each trying to hide their increasing anxiety from the other.
Hope Pedro Pires, QC, 10’
Fragmented violence of war seen through the eyes of a general on his deathbed. His mind, accustomed to a life on the battlefield, surrenders to a stream of consciousness, mixing death, brutality and one last gesture of hope. The film is based on the award-winning play, Jimmy, créature de rêve by Marie Brassard.
If I Can Fly Yoakim Bélanger, QC, 10’
A huddled man awakens, animates and deploys himself in this dance piece. It’s a trip to the center of oneself; an exploration and personal confrontation of facing fears, emotions and the quest for achievement. A hybrid film realized using photo sequences, textures and traditional video.
Issues Enrico Colantoni, ON, 6’
An entertainer at the top of his career, Bobby struggles with his public life. In a session with his psychiatrist, Dr. Mann, it becomes clear that traditional therapy isn’t working. When the doctor employs a simple childhood game, he helps Bobby embrace his true, twisted self. Starring Hugh Dillon.
Lie Down and Die Kyle Sanderson, ON, 7’
Seth’s family is cursed, with each member suffering increasingly tragic and unfortunate deaths. He’s next.
Little Theatres: Homage to the Mineral of Cabbage Stephanie Dudley, ON, 5’
North American Premiere
The theatre is usually a place where larger-than-life stories are explored. This film looks between the tiny cracks, for the beauty and subtleties that often go unnoticed. This is a film about cabbage: a simple vegetable, with many layers.
Mandeep Darrin Klimek, ON, 6’
This is the story of Mandeep Sanghera, a 23-year-old man who lives with severe Tourette’s syndrome and other behavioural disorders that make everyday tasks challenging. Adding another level of complexity, he takes five types of medication to help him focus. This portrait of Mandeep’s life explores how he deals with and overcomes these obstacles, often with humour and a lust for life.
No Words Came Down Ryan Flowers and Lisa Pham, BC, 23’
Thomas gets set up on a blind date with Mary, an older woman. Despite their awkwardness, these two lonely individuals find a way to continue on with a quiet evening together.
Of events (D’aléas) Mathieu Tremblay, QC, 9’
Following the sustained rhythm of what is claimed as circumstance, the boundaries between a woman, a man, a child, an old man, a destination and a set of diffused memories and desires slowly fade away.
One Night With You (Une nuit avec toi) Jeanne Leblanc, QC, 13’
Samuel has been fat since childhood. However, at age 23 his fantasies turned to the pretty, thin girls. Faced with the indifference of his inaccessible desires, Samuel is crushed by his insecure and immature reality when he tries to fall back on Emily, a young woman in the same situation as him.
Ora Philippe Baylaucq, QC, 15’
The worlds of choreographer José Navas and filmmaker Philippe Baylaucq collide to create the first film to use 3D-thermal imaging. Ora spotlights six dancers with luminous bodies, exploring a world marked by the heat they produce. The film showcases never-before-seen images in a dance allegory that draws the viewer into the heart of the shifting space the dancers inhabit.
The Paris Quintet in Practice Makes Perfect Benjamin Schuetze, BC, 11’
Five men live in a one-room apartment wearing identical suits. They are a well-oiled machine, perfectly synchronized in their morning routine. All of this in preparation for their work: sitting around a typewriter creating a fantasy account of an afternoon in Paris with the woman of their dreams… but they are a long way from Paris.
Patch Town Craig Goodwill, ON, 28’
Told as a Russian fable, Patch Town is a story about what parents tell their children when asked: ‘Where do babies come from?’ This satirical comedy-meets-musical clashes Russian folklore and Soviet-style oppression with western-style consumerism, and a culture of discarded love. Starring Lisa Ray.
Pathways Dusty Mancinelli, ON, 12’
A little boy is forced to defend himself when he stumbles upon an unconscious man in a forest with a gun and a briefcase.
The Pedestrian Jar Evan Morgan, ON, 4’
A short mock-doc about an office of co-workers who come up with their own solution to pedestrian-related driving accidents in the city: every time you hit someone on the way to work, you have to put a quarter in the jar.
The Red Virgin Sheila Pye, ON, 17’
In 1933, political activist and champion for sexual freedom Aurora Rodriguez killed her utopian ‘project’ and brilliant young daughter Hildegart. Selectively bred and educated by Aurora to become the world’s first truly free woman to lead humanity into a new era, Aurora couldn’t bear finding out that Hildegart wanted independence, rather than following the fate her mother systematically raised her to follow. On the surface, Hildegart’s strength and confidence was unbreakable; she published books and essays about taboo subjects and sexual topics, gained power as the leader of the young socialist party, and started the World League for Sexual Reform in Spain. This is a film about the human propensity to kill the thing that it loves the most.
A River in the Woods Christian Sparkes, NL, 12’
A fable about a group of feral children that befriend a monster they find in the woods.
La Ronde Sophie Goyette, QC, 23’
North American Premiere
Come nightfall Ariane leaves her sleepy suburb, driven by a longing to wake up elsewhere – anywhere but there. From one unusual tableau to the next her quest becomes a moving pilgrimage, offering a singular meditation on leaving, loss and night’s power of abstraction.
Solar Wind (Vent solaire) Ian Lagarde, QC, 18’
During the last days before a mass suicide of an isolated cult, Michel prepares for the ultimate transfer. Along with Louise, a co-disciple, he goes to the local department store to buy the cult’s uniforms: black jogging pants and running shoes. The movements are simple, but the body struggles to follow.
Sorry, Rabbi Mark Slutsky, QC, 10’
Surrounded by angry Hassids, Josh is astonished to find himself accused of anti-Semitic violence. He’s Jewish himself, if non-practicing – what would his mother think? With a bleeding Hassid, an exasperated rabbi, and Josh’s newly-broken heart jostling for space in the crowded office, who’s telling the truth? Starring Jacob Tierney.
Spirit of the Bluebird Xstine Cook and Jesse Gouchey, AB, 6’
Using spray paint on a garage where Aboriginal woman Gloria Black Plume was brutally murdered in 1999, Cree artist Jesse Gouchey paints a large-scale animation of a bluebird in flight.
Sundays (Les dimanches) Jean-Guillaume Bastien, QC, 14’
In the small town of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Quebec, three short stories unfold in the surreal atmosphere of a Sunday. An imaginative boy and his sister play inside their house, a Colombian priest faces his new community while giving an uneasy mass, and a teenager falls into the reality of work.
Surveillant Yan Giroux, QC, 17’
It’s another quiet summer day in Parc Dufresne. The neighbourhood teens loiter about until a young park monitor arrives for his first day of work. Tension rises as the two worlds clash in an unbalanced territorial struggle. In this impressionistic film, the banal day-to-day rituals of a suburban park take on a poetic tone through carefully planned and choreographed takes.
Tabula Rasa Matthew Rankin, MB and QC, 10’
In the aftermath of the 1950 Winnipeg flood, apathetic Fernand floats listlessly through a ruined city while his estranged wife, Marie- Oiseau, prays for the drowned souls of Saint-Boniface.
Throat Song Miranda de Pencier, ON and NU, 15’
In the snowy Canadian Arctic, a young Inuk woman silently suffers in an abusive relationship with her alcoholic husband. When she gets a job that connects her with other victims of abuse, she discovers that her voice is not yet entirely diminished.
Trotteur Arnaud Brisebois and Francis Leclerc, QC, 9’
A young outcast pits himself in a race against a raging locomotive. Fantastic visual effects add to this powerful tale of man versus machine.
Up In Cottage Country Simon Ennis, ON, 10’
An absurd re-imagining of Kafka’s In Der Strafkolonie, Up in Cottage Country has George (Josh Peace) stumble upon an elaborate torture machine operated by a defunct officer (Julian Richings). Also stars Liane Balaban.
Waning Gina Haraszti, QC, 8’
Waning is a short fiction film using spatial montage to address the narratives of memory and loss. The story follows an aspiring model who one day meets a photographer with a unique portfolio, seeking beauty in death.
Water (Acqua) Raha Shirazi, ON, 8’
In a film that celebrates traditions and their roots, a girl travels far from home to bring back water.
We Ate the Children Last Andrew Cividino, ON, 11’
Researchers discover a radical cure for digestive tract illnesses by transplanting organs from pigs into the human body. Medical miracle morphs into pop phenomenon as eating garbage explodes in popularity, but society is not prepared for consequences more irreversible and chilling than a fleeting fad.
The Weight of Emptiness (Le poids du vide) Alain Fournier, QC, 13’
Thomas suffers from strange weightlessness crises. Distressed, his mother takes every means to bring him down to earth.
A Yodeling Farmer Mike Maryniuk and John Scoles, MB, 6’
In a wooden folk-art universe, a crude internet search takes the viewer on a ride down the information super-railroad, exploring the life and music of Manitoba cowboy yodeling legend Stu Clayton.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th to 18th.