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TIFF Canadian Features Slate Provides Solid Ground for Innovative Talent and Diverse Filmmakers
- Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2019
Featuring World Premieres from Alanis Obomsawin, Alan Zweig, Albert Shin, Calvin Thomas & Yonah Lewis, Amy Jo Johnson, Aisling Chin-Yee, Louise Archambault, Sophie Deraspe, Nicole Dorsey, Joey Klein, Sanja Zivkovic, and Myriam Verreault
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 Groundexplores 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 26Canadian 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 Magali 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 WomanSemi Chellas | Canada
- Canadian Premiere
- Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The BandDaniel Roher | Canada
- World Premiere
- The Song of NamesFrançois Girard | Canada
Clifton Hill Albert Shin | Canada
Guest of Honour Atom Egoyan | Canada
North American Premiere
David Foster: Off the Record Barry Avrich | Canada
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 ConfluxNicole 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
CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
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 OpenElle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn | Canada North American Premiere
Castle in the Ground Joey Klein | Canada | World Premiere
The Last Porno ShowKire Paputts | Canada | World Premiere
Tammy’s Always Dying Amy Jo Johnson | Canada | World Premiere
White LieCalvin 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 tiff.net/programme
Festival ticket packages start at $110. Purchase packages online at tiff.net/tickets, by phone (416.599.2033 or 1.888.599.8433), or in person at TIFF Bell Lightbox until August 11 while quantities last.
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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 tiff.net.
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.