The Toronto International Film Festival​®​unveiled today the ​26 ​Canadian features within various programmes that are part of the Festival’s 2019 lineup. The slate offers a wide range of perspectives and themes, from youth struggling with the pressures of adulthood to seniors fighting for their independence in virtually every region in the country. The Canadian selection includes ​seven ​first features, ​13 ​works by returning TIFF alumni, and almost 50% films directed by women.

“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. “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.”

“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. “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.”

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​,which follows two Indigenous women as they deal with domestic violence​; and Zacharias Kunuk’s ​One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk​,​about an encounter on Baffin Island in 1961 when life on the land changed forever for Inuit.

TIFF debuts include Aisling Chin-Yee’s family dramedy The​ Rest of Us​;Harry Cepka’s Raf​​,​starring​ Grace Glowicki as a woman in her twenties trying to find her way in modern Vancouver; ​Matthew Rankin’s ​The Twentieth Century​,screening as part of the Midnight Madness programme; Heather Young’s ​Murmur​,​​about a middle-aged woman cut off from her loved ones by her struggle with alcoholism;​ and Nicole​ Dorsey’s atmospheric psychological drama ​Black Conflux​.

Returning filmmakers include Atom Egoyan, who presents an exploration of personal trauma with ​Guest of Honour​;​Sophie Deraspe, who examines the Canadian refugee/immigrant experience in ​Antigone​;Joey Klein, whose Castle​ in the Ground​explores the opioid crisis that continues to affect communities across North America; ​Albert Shin with psychological thriller ​Clifton Hill​;​​Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis with ​White Lie​, ​a character-driven psychological drama; Louise​ Archambault with And​ the Birds Rained Down​,adapted from the acclaimed novel by Jocelyne Saucier; Kire Paputts with The​ Last Porno Show​,about identity, grief, and reconciliation; and ​Amy Jo Johnson, whose dark comedy ​Tammy’s Always Dying ​about addiction, recovery, and the female experience stars Felicity Huffman, Anastasia Phillips, and Clark Johnson.

Rounding out the Canadian features selection is a strong contingent of documentaries, from Alan Zeig’s Coppers​,a portrait of the personal joys and challenges that come with policing, to Yung Chang’s ​This Is Not a Movie​,about the unique and incendiary perspective of veteran journalist Robert Fisk. The slate also features performances from both established and rising stars, including Heather Graham, Alex Wolff, Imogen Poots, David Thewlis, Clive Owen, Nahéma Ricci, Ella Ballentine, Kacey Rohl, and legendary Canadian director David Cronenberg, who stars in Shin’s ​Clifton Hill.

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. This year’s Canadian feature-film jury is composed of Alicia Elliott, Tuscarora writer and​ 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award, ​Devyani Saltzman, Canadian writer and Director of Public Programming at the Art Gallery of Ontario and ​M​agali Simard, Film Sector Development Officer, City of Toronto.

Previously announced Canadian titles include François Girard’s The​ Song of Names​,Semi Chellas’s American​

Woman​,​Barry Avrich’s​ David​ Foster: Off the Record​,and Daniel Roher’s Once​ Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band​.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.


  • American Woman​Semi Chellas | Canada
  • Canadian Premiere
  • Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band​Daniel​ Roher | Canada
  • World Premiere
  • The Song of Names​François Girard | Canada

World Premiere


Clifton Hill Albert​ Shin | Canada

World Premiere


Guest of Honour Atom​ Egoyan | Canada

North American Premiere



David Foster: Off the Record Barry​ Avrich | Canada

World Premiere

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk Zacharias​ Kunuk | Canada North American Premiere



Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger Alanis​ Obomsawin | Canada World Premiere



Coppers Alan​ Zweig | Canada | World Premiere

This Is Not a Movie Yung​ Chang | Canada | World Premiere

There’s Something in the Water ​Ellen Page, Ian Daniel | Canada World Premiere 

Black Conflux​Nicole Dorsey | Canada | World Premiere

Easy Land Sanja​ Zivkovic | Canada | World Premiere

Kuessipan Myriam​ Verreault | Canada | World Premiere

Murmur Heather​ Young | Canada | World Premiere

Raf Harry​ Cepka | Canada | World Premiere

The Rest of Us Aisling​ Chin-Yee | Canada | World Premiere


And the Birds Rained Down (​​Il pleuvait des oiseaux​)​Louise​ Archambault | Canada World Premiere

Antigone Sophie​ Deraspe | Canada | World Premiere

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open​Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn | Canada North American Premiere

Castle in the Ground Joey​ Klein | Canada | World Premiere

The Last Porno Show​Kire Paputts | Canada | World Premiere

Tammy’s Always Dying Amy​ Jo Johnson | Canada | World Premiere

White Lie​Calvin Thomas, Yonah Lewis | Canada | World Premiere


Opening​ Midnight Madness Film​.

Blood Quantum Jeff​ Barnaby | Canada | World Premiere

The Twentieth Century Matthew​ Rankin | Canada | World Premiere

For film synopses, cast lists, images, and more information, see

Festival ticket packages start at $110. Purchase packages online at​, by phone (416.599.2033 or 1.888.599.8433), or in person at TIFF Bell Lightbox until August 11 while quantities last.

TIFF prefers Visa.

Social Media:

  • #TIFF19

About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit

The Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L’Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and the City of Toronto.

The Gala programme is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Fairmont.