Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TIFF 2011's City to City, Vanguard and TIFF Kids programs

Buenos Aires Takes Centre Stage In Festival’s City To City Programming

Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® proudly welcomes back its City to City programme for the third consecutive year with today’s announcement of the 10 feature-length films encompassing the 2011 lineup. Earlier this year, Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Festival, confirmed that the 2011 spotlight would shine on Buenos Aires and introduce audiences to a newly inspired generation of Argentine filmmakers. The City to City series is an exploration of the urban experience, highlighting the best in emerging cinematic talent in a particular locale.

“We found an impressive new generation of filmmakers in Buenos Aires and a thriving film culture," said Cameron Bailey. "We can't wait to present these films to the world's film critics and distributors, and especially to our audience."

“Argentine film has been inspiring international audiences since the late 1990s, but with this programme, we wanted to consider to what extent this success is an urban phenomenon rather than simply a question of national cinema,” added Kate Lawrie Van de Ven, City to City Programmer. “The array of perspectives we’ve seen while programming this series speaks strongly of the diverse influences this community of filmmakers is bringing to the screen. There’s a dynamic film scene in the city, and many of the new directors are working in contrasting dialogue with the styles established in the 2000s by leading Argentine directors like Lucrecia Martel, Lisandro Alonso and Pablo Trapero. There’s a rich array of cinematic styles emerging across Buenos Aires, from more experimental narratives to sly genre reworks, and we’re excited to bring a sampling of that diversity to TIFF.”

Additionally, TIFF is pleased to present the return of the City to City symposium, a thought-provoking dialogue between the visiting city's filmmakers and experts on urban culture. This year’s panel, “Buenos Aires – A Conversation,” will take place on Tuesday, September 13 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, and will be open to the public. Admission is free. Further details on featured panellists and invited guests will follow. 

Caprichosos de San Telmo  
Alison Murray, Argentina/Canada
World Premiere
A portrait of the working-class musicians and dancers of Buenos Aires’s San Telmo neighbourhood, who have channelled the city’s many cultural influences into the street performance called Murga.

The Cat Vanishes  
Carlos Sorin, Argentina
International Premiere
When Beatriz picks up her husband Luis from the sanatorium, she is not quite sure if she should believe his psychiatrist’s pronouncement that he is fully cured. Her usually churlish, academic husband is suddenly friendly and cooperative, even willing to take a trip to Brazil’s beaches. When their cat Donatello disappears, Beatriz’ suspicions lead her to question her own sanity. The tension is on high throughout in Carlos Sorin’s latest feature, The Cat Vanishes.

Crane World  
Pablo Trapero, Argentina
Pablo Trapero’s reputation-making feature debut was a seminal work in the Argentine New Wave of the 2000s. An unadorned look at the life of a man trying to make a living as a crane operator in Buenos Aires, Crane World introduced a new talent and a new realist aesthetic to the city’s cinema.

Nicolás Prividera, Argentina
World Premiere
This rigorously structured and visually engrossing essay film explores Argentina’s fractious modern history through the words of writers – both founding fathers and oppositional voices – who lay buried in Buenos Aires's famed Recoleta Cemetery.

Hugo Santiago, Argentina
Canadian Premiere
Invasion is the legend of a city, imaginary or real, besieged by powerful enemies and defended by a handful of men who may not be heroes. In this rare inclusion of a retrospective title, Santiago’s protagonists will fight to the end without suspecting that their battle is endless.

A Mysterious World  
Rodrigo Moreno, Argentina/Germany
North American Premiere
After his girlfriend suddenly breaks up with him, a young man’s life transforms into an erratic urban journey inexplicably connected to his temperamental communist-era car. The latest film from Rodrigo Moreno (El Custodio) is an affectionate, singular portrait of one guileless protagonist’s quixotic journey through a period of uncertainty.

Tamae Garateguy, Argentina
North American Premiere
A junior screenwriter is hired by an established film director to write his new film: a gangster movie set in Buenos Aires. In each meeting, the filmmakers create a story that takes place in an imaginary Pompeya neighbourhood, plagued by secrets, political disputes and crime. When pure fiction and reality are completely corrupted, the unexpected happens. In her first solo feature, Tamae Garateguy simultaneously lambasts the Buenos Aires filmmaking scene and the gangster film, ingeniously stirring up a volatile alchemy of genres.

The Stones  
Román Cárdenas, Argentina
International Premiere
In a quiet interrupted only by the noise of boats, a couple lives without crossing each other’s paths. He is a writer waiting for the words; she is an alienated employee of a fumigation company. The Stones explores the increasing space between two people at the same time as it maps the short distance between urban Buenos Aires and its rustic flip-side in the neighbouring Paraná Delta. Román Cárdenas pairs a spellbinding visual acuity with thrilling eruptions of comedy in this feature debut.

The Student  
Santiago Mitre, Argentina
North American Premiere
The graffitied halls, run-down classrooms and surrounding streets of the University of Buenos Aires provide the ideal location for Santiago Mitre’s briskly paced debut, The Student. Mitre brilliantly exposes the backroom dealings and negotiations in the murky world of student politics, a microcosm for the world at large, in this fictional account of a young man’s discovery of his talent for politicking through his seduction of an assistant professor and activist.

Juan Minujín, Argentina
International Premiere
Julian Lamar, a 33-year-old actor working on the fringes of the Buenos Aires film scene, wants to give his career a boost by landing a role in a Western a Hollywood director is going to shoot in Argentina. Vaquero, the debut feature by Argentine actor, Juan Minujín, gives an insider’s perspective of Argentina’s film community in this hilariously dark comedy.


Festival’s Vanguard Programme Presents Convention-Defying, Genre-Twisting International Cinema

Toronto – The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® announces a fresh and provocative lineup in this year’s Vanguard programme. Works presented under the Vanguard banner are young and cutting edge. From the dystopian to the sci-fi, from comedy to terror, the 2011 Vanguard programme features daring works from around the world, including Russia, France, Thailand, China, Norway, Chile and Australia.

Carré Blanc
Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, France/Luxembourg/Belgium/Switzerland
World Premiere
Philip and Mary, two teenagers whose parents were crushed by the system, are placed in an orphanage with frightening education methods. Twenty years later, they became husband and wife and have all the appearances of a wealthy couple. However, while Philip is a cog in the system, Mary goes into a depression that seems irreversible. Unable to have kids, they are on the verge of breaking. But Mary will do anything to show Philip that together they can love and survive in a frozen desert where men have become monsters. Starring Sami Bouajila, Julie Gayet, Jean-Pierre Andreani, Fejria Deliba and Valerie Bodson.

Generation P
Victor Ginzburg Russia/USA
North American Premiere
Set in 1990s Moscow, Generation P details the parallel rise of poet-turned-copywriter Babylen Tatarsky through both a new advertising business and the shadowy Cult of Ishtar, whose acolytes control the media. Starring Vladimir Yepifantsev, Michael Yefremov and Andrei Fomin.

Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand/France
World Premiere
Tul, a straight-laced cop, is blackmailed by a powerful politician and framed for a crime he did not commit. Disillusioned and vengeful, he is soon recruited to become a hitman for a shadowy group aimed at eliminating those who are above the law. But one day, Tul is shot in the head during an assignment. He wakes up after a three-month coma to find that he sees everything upside down, literally. Tul begins to have second thoughts about his profession. But when he tries to quit, roles are reversed and the hunter becomes the hunted. Can Tul find redemption from the violence that continues to haunt him?

Love and Bruises
Lou Ye, China/France
North American Premiere
Hua, a young teacher from Beijing, is a recent arrival in Paris. Exiled in an unknown city, she wanders between her tiny apartment and the university, drifting between former lovers and recent French acquaintances. She meets Matthieu, a young worker who falls madly in love with her. Possessed by an insatiable desire for her body, he treats Hua like a dog. An intense affair begins, marked by Matthieu’s passionate embraces and harsh verbal abuse. When Hua decides to leave her lover, she discovers the strength of her addiction, and the vital role he has come to play in her life as a woman. Starring Tahar Rahim, Corinne Yam, Jalil Lespert, Sifan Shao, Vincent Rottiers.

Oslo, August 31
Joachim Trier, Norway
North American Premiere
Anders wanders the city, meeting people he hasn't seen in a while. Long into the night, the ghosts of past mistakes will wrestle with the chance of love, of a new life, with the hope to see some future by morning... From the director of the award-winning Reprise.  Starring Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olaf Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Johanne Kjellevik Ledang.

Justin Kurzel, Australia
North American Premiere
When 16-year-old Jamie is introduced to a charismatic man, a friendship begins. As the relationship grows so do Jamie’s suspicions, until he finds his world threatened by his loyalty for, and fear of, his newfound father-figure John Bunting, Australia’s most notorious serial killer. Starring Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris.

The Year of the Tiger
Sebastián Lelio, Chile
North American Premiere
Manuel is imprisoned in a jail in the south of Chile, which collapses on the night of the violent earthquake of February 27, 2010. Manuel escapes and becomes a fugitive, lost in the middle of the catastrophe. He returns to his home only to find out that it has been ravaged by a tsunami, which has also taken the lives of his wife and daughter. As Manuel travels through completely destroyed landscapes, he enters deeper and deeper into his own devastated areas. This strange freedom will bring him to face nature’s cruelty and take his own human existence to its limit. Starring Luis Dubó, Sergio Hernández, Viviana Herrera.


Toronto International Film Festival Invites Kids Of All Ages To Its Cinematic Playground

Toronto — The Toronto International Film Festival® presents a charming lineup of films in this year’s TIFF Kids™ programme (formerly known as Sprockets Family Zone). These selections from around the globe will captivate film-lovers of all ages, showcasing the best and brightest in family-friendly cinema. From battling ballerinas to a mysterious 3D monster, this colourful collection of characters animates the screen with hours of action-packed film fun for everyone.

First Position
Bess Kargman, USA
World Premiere
This documentary follows six talented dancers (ages 9 to 19) from around the world, as they prepare for an international ballet competition that could transform their futures overnight. In the face of injury, disappointment and gruelling rehearsals, these dancers share a drive to succeed that trumps money, politics, culture and even war.

The Flying Machine Martin Clapp, Geoff Lindsey and Dorota Kobiela, Poland/China
International Premiere
The Flying Machine is a live action/animation family film about a stressed-out businesswoman, Georgie, who takes her two children to see the animated Magic Piano, which is being performed live by world-famous pianist Lang Lang. A magical event occurs and Georgie’s kids get transported inside the animation world. Starring Heather Graham.

A Letter to Momo
Hiroyuki Okiura, Japan
World Premiere
After the loss of her father, young Momo moves to the old family house on a remote island: wooden buildings, terraced fields... and no shopping mall. Not too fond of the new environment, Momo is also feeling uneasy about an unfinished letter her father left behind with only two words: “Dear Momo.” Then, exploring the attic of her new house, she finds an antique book— and from that moment, strange happenings occur all around her.

A Monster in Paris
Bibo Bergeron, France
World Premiere
Paris, 1910. Emile, a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul, a colourful inventor, find themselves embarked on the hunt for a monster terrorizing citizens. They join forces with the big-hearted star of the Bird of Paradise cabaret, an eccentric scientist and his irascible monkey to save the monster, who turns out to be an outsized but harmless flea, from the city's ruthlessly-ambitious police chief. One of Dreamworks Animation’s finest directors, Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale, The Road to Eldorado) returns to his homeland with a supra-inventive project. With its exceptional voice-cast, featuring iconic star Vanessa Paradis, A Monster in Paris invites audiences to an enthralling world of adventure and fantasy. Also stars Sean Lennon and Adam Goldberg.

All films are rated. Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at, by phone Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at 416-599-TIFF or 1-888-599-8433, and in person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Box Office at 350 King St. West from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Methods of payment include cash, debit or Visa†. The 36th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2011.

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 $170 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, Major Sponsor and official bank RBC, Major Sponsor BlackBerry and Visa†. For more information, visit

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