Tuesday, August 23, 2011

TIFF finalizes programming with Masters, Discovery, Mavericks


Toronto – The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® is pleased to present today the selection of the 13 films premiering as part of the Masters programme. Today’s announcement offers Toronto audiences some of the most compelling cinematic works from influential filmmakers around the globe.

Almayer's Folly (La Folie Almayer) Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France North American Premiere
Somewhere in South-East Asia, in a little lost village on a wide and turbulent river, a European man clings to his pipe dreams out of love for his daughter. Working freely from Joseph Conrad's debut novel, Akerman tells the story of a trader in 1950s Malaysia whose dreams of a Western life for his Malay daughter slowly lead to destruction. A quest for the absolute, a story of passion and madness.

Faust Alexander Sokurov, Russia North American Premiere
Freely inspired by Goethe’s story, Alexander Sokurov radically reinterprets the myth. Faust is a thinker, a rebel and a pioneer, but also an anonymous human made of flesh and blood driven by inner impulses, greed and lust. Faust is the last part of Sokurov's tetralogy.

Le Havre Aki Kaurismäki, Finland North American Premiere
Marcel Marx, a former author and a well-known Bohemian, has retreated into a voluntary exile in the port city of Le Havre, where he feels he has reached a closer rapport with his people, serving them in the honourable, but not too profitable, occupation of a shoe-shiner. He has buried his dreams of a literary breakthrough and lives happily within the triangle of his favourite bar, his work, and his wife Arletty. When fate suddenly throws in his path an underage immigrant refugee from the darkest Africa and at the same time his wife becomes seriously ill and is bedridden, Marcel once more has to rise against the cold wall of human indifference with his innate optimism and the unwavering solidarity of the people of his quarter as his only weapons.

I Wish (Kiseki) Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Japan International Premiere
Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents in Kagoshima, the southern part of Kyushu region. Separated by their parents’ divorce, his brother Ryunosuke lives with their father in Hakata in northern Kyushu. A new bullet train line in the region will be inaugurated soon, and Koichi starts to believe a “miracle” will happen the first moment these new bullet trains intersect each other from opposite directions with their highest speed; his only wish is for his family to live together once again. With some help from grown-ups around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle.

The Kid with a Bike (Le Gamin au vélo) Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy North American Premiere
Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who temporarily left him in a children's home. By chance, he meets Samantha who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her on weekends. Cyril doesn't recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage.

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da) Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/Bosnia & Herzegovina Canadian Premiere
Life in a small town is akin to journeying in the middle of the steppes: the sense that "something new and different" will spring up behind every hill, but always unerringly similar, tapering, vanishing or lingering monotonous roads... As a confessed killer tries to lead the authorities to the place where he buried the body, a series of clues are laid as to what has actually happened.

Outside Satan (Hors Satan)
Bruno Dumont, France North American Premiere
By the Channel, along the Côte d’Opale, near a hamlet with river and marshland lives a strange guy who struggles along, poaches, prays and builds fires. A girl from a local farm takes care of him and feeds him. They spend time together in the wide scenery of dunes and woods, mysteriously engaging in private prayer at the edge of the ponds, where the devil is prowling…

Restless Gus Van Sant, USA North American Premiere
Restless is a powerful and emotional story of discovery that centres on the relationship of two outsiders brought together by unforeseen circumstances. The story of friendship becomes an engaging and provocative love story.

Snows of Kilimanjaro (Neiges du Kilimandjaro) Robert Guédiguian, France North American Premiere
Despite losing his job, Michel lives happily with Marie-Claire. They have been in love for over thirty years. Their conscience is as clear as their view of life. This happiness will be shattered by two young men, armed and masked, who beat them, tie them up and snatch their money to go for a trip to Kilimanjaro.

The Turin Horse Béla Tarr, Hungary North American Premiere
In Turin in 1889, Nietzsche flings his arms around an exhausted carriage horse, then loses consciousness and his mind. This film tells the story of a farmer and his daughter trying to survive in a desolate landscape even though the horse that had always provided their livelihood has already given up on them.

Previously announced Masters titles include Hard Core Logo II (Bruce McDonald), Pina (Wim Wenders) and This is Not a Film (Jafar Panahi).

The Festival’s Official Film Schedule was released today. It is available at the Festival Box Office and by visiting tiff.net/festival. Copies will also be distributed in The Grid on Thursday, August 25. Thursday’s issue of the Toronto Star will contain a 24-page section on the Festival and includes the full film schedule. Purchase Festival ticket packages online at tiff.net/festival, by phone at 416-599-TIFF or 1-888-599-8433, and in person at the Festival Box Office at 225 King St. West. Single tickets are available beginning September 3. Methods of payment include cash, debit or Visa†. The 36th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2011.



The Toronto International Film Festival® shines a spotlight on first and second feature films from up-and-coming filmmakers, with 25 diverse features charging up its Discovery programme. The lineup showcases dynamic films by enterprising directors from around the world including Iceland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Russia and South Korea.

One additional title has also been added to the Real to Reel programme, The Education of Auma Obama.


Las Acacias Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina/Spain North American Premiere
A truck driver has been charged with transporting a woman on the long journey from Paraguay's border to the city of Buenos Aires. He is totally unprepared for the extra passenger that will accompany them, the woman's infant daughter Jacinta, whose penetrating gaze eventually disarms his gruff exterior. Subtle and poignant, Giorgelli's 2011 Camera D'Or winner is a movingly beautiful road movie highlighted by stunning performances.

Alois Nebel Tomáš Lunák, Czech Republic/Germany/Slovakia North American Premiere
Stories from the past and present converge at a small railway in Billy Potok, a tiny village on the Czech-Polish border. The local dispatcher, Alois Nebel, is a loner who prefers old timetables to people and has hallucinations of trains passing through the station from the last 100 years. Ghosts and visions from the dark past of Central Europe – Nazi occupation, transportation of Jews, communists’ revenge on the Germans – ultimately send him on a tumultuous and ominous journey.

Among Us Marco van Geffen, Netherlands North American Premiere
Split into three segments, each told from a different perspective, this smart thriller focuses on the lives of immigrant workers in Europe. Ewa, a vulnerable and shy girl from Poland, journeys to the Netherlands to work as an au pair. From the onset, the relationship with the young couple she works for is strained as she finds it difficult to live up to their clichéd expectations. When a rape takes place in town, Ewa believes she knows the sexual predator. Having nobody to share this knowledge with further alienates her from the people who surround her.

Avalon Axel Petersén, Sweden World Premiere
After serving time with an ankle bracelet, Janne, a former party organizer, travels to Båstad to open an exclusive nightclub and get his life back on track. A few days before the club’s launch, Janne causes a catastrophic accident, and his increasingly desperate attempts to deal with the situation drag him into a dark downward spiral.

Back to Stay Milagros Mumenthaler, Argentina/Switzerland/Netherlands North American Premiere
Three sisters, bound by the loss of their grandmother, are forced to redefine their relationship with one another in their matriarch’s home. Milagros Mumenthaler’s debut explores the many hidden areas of human desire and the dichotomous relationships between family members, where so much and so little is known and shared.

Behold the Lamb John McIlduff, United Kingdom North American Premiere
Eddie, a depressed accountant, accompanies his junkie son’s girlfriend Liz on a mysterious pick up to help save his neck. Between moments of unexpected heroism and sporadic bird watching, Eddie’s dysfunctional humanity connects with Liz’s tortured past and a kind of healing begins.

Breathing Karl Markovics, Austria North American Premiere
Without a family and seemingly incapable of coping with society, an18-year-old incarcerated boy faces a slim chance of probation. After many failed attempts, he finds a job through the day-release program at the municipal morgue in Vienna. Encountering a dead woman who bears his family name sends him on a quest to find his mother.

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best Ryan O'Nan, USA World Premiere
Equipped with an acoustic guitar, a broken heart, and an arsenal of children’s instruments, Alex, a dejected singer-songwriter, and Jim, a self-appointed music revolutionary, set off on a dubious tour that may be their last shot at achieving their childhood dreams.

Bunohan Dain Said, Malaysia World Premiere
Three estranged brothers return home, each with their own path and their own fate. Adil, a kickboxer, is on the run from an illegal fight while Ilham, an assassin, hunts for his next prey. But it’s their opportunist brother Bakar who propels them all onto a collision course of deceit, regret and murder.

Cuchera Joseph Israel Laban, Philippines International Premiere
Based on a true story, Cuchera examines the grim fate of Filipino drug mules, drug couriers and their recruiters. It follows Isabel, a veteran drug mule, in her first attempt at running her own drug shipment operation between Manila and China.

The Good Son Zaida Bergroth, Finland International Premiere
The Good Son is an unsettling, modern-domestic tragedy about the small gap between childhood and adulthood. After a scandalous premiere, an actress, Leila, escapes to the old family summer house with her two sons. Ilmari, her explosive oldest son, has spent much of his life looking after his mercurial mother who has been constant tabloid fodder. The peaceful vacation is disrupted when Leila invites her artist friends over for a rowdy weekend.

Habibi Susan Youssef, Palestine/USA/Netherlands/United Arab Emirates North American Premiere
Re-telling Majnun Layla, an epic poem on a forbidden love marks the first fiction feature set in Gaza. Two Gazan students in the West Bank are forced to return home, where their love defies tradition. To woo his lover, Qays scribbles verse across walls all over the refugee camp where they live.

Hanaan Ruslan Pak, South Korea North American Premiere
Stas is third generation Korean-Uzbek, a people who were deported from the Far East of the Soviet Union under Stalin. He and his three friends try heroin together, sending them into a downward spiral marked by tragedy. Facing corruption, Stas leaves his job as a police detective and heads to South Korea, where a bright future is guaranteed. Will this be hanaan for him — a land of promise?

Historias Que So Existem Quando Lembradas Julia Murat, Brazil/Argentina/France North American Premiere
In Brazil’s Paraiba Valley, dotted with abandoned estates, ghost towns and vestiges of a short-lived coffee boom, lies the fictitious village of Jotuomba. Here, in a town that has been forgotten by the rest of the world, life rolls on at a languid pace for its elderly inhabitants. When young photographer Rita finds the town by following the unused railroad tracks, her presence, and her questioning of the locked cemetery gates, reveals the secret to Jotuomba’s mystery.

The Invader Nicolas Provost, Belgium North American Premiere
Amadou, a strong and charismatic African man, is washed up on a beach in southern Europe. Fate leads him to Brussels where he tries to make a better life for himself. Exploited by traffickers, his daily life is slowly drained of hope, until he meets Agnès, a beautiful and brilliant businesswoman. She is seduced by his charm and force of character, while he projects all his hope and dreams onto her. The illusion quickly shatters, and Agnès breaks all contact with Amadou, who little by little sinks into destructive violence, struggling with his inner demons.

J'aime regarder les filles Frédéric Louf, France International Premiere
Set against the backdrop of the 1981 presidential elections, Primo, a middle-class youngster, falls in love with Gabrielle, a Parisian upper class rich girl. They soon learn they have to deal with her condescending friends who look down upon this upstart.

Lost in Paradise Ngoc Dang Vu, Vietnam World Premiere
Khoa, an innocent man who leaves his poor village for Sai Gon, falls in love with Lam, a male prostitute. Misunderstanding, jealousy and tragedy unfold when Lam’s ex-boyfriend shows up, and Khoa discovers the truth about his career choice.

The Other Side of Sleep Rebecca Daly, Ireland/Hungary/Netherlands North American Premiere
A sleepwalker. A body. A family. A small community. Arlene is like a ghost in her life. She lives in a small town in the midlands –surrounded by field after field, woodlands and laneways to disappear down and never come back… One morning Arlene wakes in the woods beside the body of a young woman. Someone watches from the trees. The body is soon discovered and suspicion spreads through the community. Increasingly drawn to the girl’s family, her grieving sister and accused boyfriend, Arlene barricades herself in at night, afraid to sleep. Haunted by grief buried and delayed, Arlene’s sleeping and waking realities soon blur. And all this time someone is watching her.

Pariah Dee Rees, USA International Premiere
Alike, a young African American teenager, juggles family and friendships in search of sexual expression. She yearns to embrace her identity as a lesbian, but pressures from her conservative family leave her conflicted while she strives to move through her adolescence with grace, humour and integrity.

Roman's Circuit Sebastián Brahm, Chile/Argentina World Premiere
When a prominent researcher in the field of human memory returns home, he stumbles upon the fact that a man's past – as he remembers and tells it – is nothing but fiction.

Summer Games Rolando Colla, Italy/Switzerland International Premiere
A beach holiday in Tuscany draws families and their children together. The youngsters join into a little gang and engage in fun and games in a nearby abandoned shack. The two eldest find themselves attracted to each other despite their family problems.

The Sword Identity Haofeng Xu, China North American Premiere
Set during the Ming dynasty, when Japanese pirates had long been eliminated from China, a swordsman tries to prove that his weapon was used by the famous General Qi’s regiment to resist Japanese pirates. While attempting to prove the sword’s identity, a top martial arts master finally obtains inner peace. ** Giovanna please confirm accuracy

Twiggy Emmanuelle Millet, France World Premiere
When a young teenager becomes pregnant, she goes into denial. Too late to have an abortion, she is determined to give the child up for adoption immediately. Struggling with her situation, she keeps the news from her mother and withdraws into herself, while also reaching out to a young man.

Twilight Portrait Angelina Nikonova, Russia North American Premiere
An upper-crust social worker with a doting husband and an enviable downtown apartment is suddenly transformed into a bizarre twilight version of herself when she is raped by three policemen.

Volcano Rúnar Rúnarsson, Denmark/Iceland North American Premiere
This coming of age story follows a 67-year-old man who proves that it is never too late to change. Hannes is a bitter old man who finds renewed purpose in life in the wake of a family tragedy. For years, Hannes isolated himself from his wife and his now grown children. Determined to care for his wife for the first time, Hannes slowly discovers sentiments long buried within him.


The Education of Auma Obama Branwen Okpako, Germany World Premiere
Audiences spend the week leading up to the 2008 U.S. presidential elections with Auma Obama at the Obama homestead in Kogelo, Kenya. During this historical moment of transition, Auma shares the powerful and moving story of her family and herself. It is an education.



Tilda Swinton, Neil Young, Deepa Mehta, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Plummer,
Jonathan Demme, President Mohamed Nasheed and Francis Ford Coppola Take the Stage
Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® announces the complete line-up for Mavericks, a programme which gives audiences a rare opportunity to hear from notable newsmakers from around the world as they share anecdotes and engage in unforgettable conversations about their latest projects. This year, Mavericks include World Premieres of Barrymore, The Love We Make, Neil Young Life and The Island President, as well as the North American Premiere of Tahrir 2011: The good, the bad, and the politician. In attendance this year are: filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola, Deepa Mehta, Albert Maysles, Bradley Kaplan, Jonathan Demme, Tamer Ezzat and Ayten Amin; actors Christopher Plummer and Tilda Swinton; author Salman Rushdie; President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed; musician Neil Young; and Sony Pictures Classics founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard.

“This is most ambitious Mavericks section we've ever presented with movie-making legends, timely topics, celebrated artists from music and literature and even a sitting President,” said Thom Powers, Toronto International Film Festival Mavericks programmer. “This diverse group of guests will have audiences talking for months to come.”

Barrymore brings Christopher Plummer's Tony Award-winning tour-de-force stage performance to the screen in this film version of the Broadway hit adapted and directed by Erik Canuel. Acknowledged as one of the greatest actors in the world, Plummer took on the mammoth task of portraying legendary actor John Barrymore as he struggles with inner demons and the result is a breathtaking performance. Playwright William Luce's Barrymore opened at the Stratford Festival in 1996 before moving to Broadway, where Plummer won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor. In an on-stage conversation following the film, Plummer will address the full span of his remarkable career.

Deepa Mehta and Salman Rushdie

Published in 1981, Salman Rushdie's second novel, Midnight’s Children, which chronicles India's transition from British colonialism to independence, won him the Booker Prize. The book then went on to become a perennial bestseller and the core of countless university courses on postcolonial literature. For the past several years, Rushdie has been working with acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta on a film adaptation of Midnight’s Children. It is a challenging task, but Mehta has already proven herself fearless in bringing to the screen films such as Fire, Earth, Water and Heaven on Earth. In this Mavericks conversation, Mehta and Rushdie will discuss bringing the story from page to screen. Having just finished shooting Midnight’s Children this summer in Sri Lanka, Mehta will also offer a sneak peek at scenes from the film. Moderated by Cameron Bailey.

In Conversation With... Francis Ford Coppola
As much as any living filmmaker, Francis Ford Coppola, a prolific writer, director, producer and innovator, has seen it all. He began his film career working under the auspices of legendary producer Roger Corman, gaining respect as a hard-working screenwriter and eventually as a director. He was already well versed in the art and craft, and the business of movies by the time of his ascent to auteurstardom with a string of canonic masterpieces: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II and Apocalypse Now. Later in his career came his S.E. Hinton adaptations The Outsiders and Rumble Fish; his spectacular reclaiming of Bram Stoker in Dracula; and his recent reinvention as a maker of modestly budgeted yet utterly visionary artisanal works like Youth Without Youth, Tetro and, screening at this year's Festival, Twixt. Coppola's dogged endurance and restless inventiveness make him an inspiration as we look ahead to cinema's future. Moderated by Cameron Bailey.

The Island President
In this whirlwind political documentary, Mohamed Nasheed wins the presidency after a 20-year battle for democracy in the Maldives, only to face an unfathomable challenge: to save his island nation from rising seas. The Island President follows Nasheed as he takes the climate fight to backroom chambers of power in New York, London, Delhi, and finally into the fierce realpolitik of the Copenhagen Climate Conference. The film gains remarkable access to Nasheed's first year in office as he sets out to influence the world's superpowers. In this Mavericks session, TIFF presents the world premiere of The Island President, followed by a live conversation with President Nasheed and director Jon Shenk, moderated by Thom Powers.

The Love We Make
Over several weeks in October 2001, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles followed Paul McCartney as he prepared for The Concert for New York City, a 9/11 memorial concert he helped organize to uplift New York during a period of distinct uncertainty and vulnerability. For years the footage went unseen, requiring the passage of time to put it in perspective. Now ten years later, Maysles, along with director partner Bradley Kaplan and editor Ian Markiewicz, have emerged with a deeply intimate film that uniquely explores the roles of art and artists in time of crisis. This Mavericks event presents the world premiere of The Love We Make, followed by a live discussion with Maysles, Kaplan and members of their production team. McCartney has pre-recorded an exclusive introduction to the film. Moderated by Thom Powers.

Neil Young Life
At the culmination of Neil Young's solo “Le Noise” tour, director Jonathan Demme documents the legendary rocker's masterful return to Toronto's iconic Massey Hall, with concert footage interspersed with a road trip through Ontario. At sixty-five, Young retains a youthful vitality and musical curiosity that balances his wisdom and experience. Filmed over two nights and highlighting both new songs and some of the classics, Neil Young Life is a musical journey like no other. For this Mavericks event, Young and Demme will present the world premiere of Neil Young Life in the splendid Princess of Wales Theatre, followed by a live conversation. Moderated by Thom Powers.

Sony Pictures Classics: 20 Years in the Business

Sony Pictures Classics founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard boast a roster of directors that reads like a pantheon of world talent: Woody Allen, Pedro Almodóvar, Susanne Bier, David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro, Norman Jewison, Ang Lee, Errol Morris, Gus Van Sant, Mike Leigh, Zhang Yimou, and the list goes on. To celebrate the company's twentieth anniversary, Mavericks presents a special conversation with Barker and Bernard. The discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Demme, who worked with the duo most recently on Rachel Getting Married. They have an unlimited supply of stories from behind the scenes at the Toronto International Film Festival, Cannes and the Oscars. For cinema lovers, this is a unique opportunity to hear how some of the most lauded films of our time were shepherded to success.

Tahrir 2011: The good, the bad, and the politician

On Jan 25th 2011, Egyptians woke up not expecting that the commemoration of the burning of Cairo and "Police Day" would turn into a revolution that would end the 30-year reign of the regime. Through social media, the new generation of Arabs and Egyptians were able to witness the atrocities that President Hosni Mubarak's regime had caused over the past 30 years. For 18 days, the world watched as Egyptians marched out calling for an end of the injustice, poverty, and corruption. Among this new generation, three directors decided to tell the story in a unique cinematic point of view. The Good, directed by Tamer Ezzat, gives voice to the everyday heroes from Tahrir Square. The Bad, directed by Ayten Amin, films a rare account from four internal security officers assigned to crush the uprising. The Politician, directed by Amr Salama, offers a satirical take on “how to become a dictator in ten steps,” and a smart deconstruction of Mubarak's persona over his 30-year rule. In this special Mavericks presentation, the screening will be followed by a conversation with two of the Cairo-based filmmakers, Ezzat and Amin, who will offer their personal reflections on the changes taking place in their country.

Tilda Swinton
Passionate cinephile and controversial movie star Tilda Swinton is one of those rare performers who has forged a relationship with Hollywood on her own terms, using her stardom to support often challenging film projects. Audiences know that a Swinton performance will give them an uncomfortable glimpse into our own frailty, and she has been richly rewarded for her honesty as an actor with multiple accolades, including an Academy Award® for Michael Clayton. Swinton has produced several exceptional films, including I Am Love, and is at the Festival this year as lead actress and executive producer of We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay's startling new work based on a book once thought unadaptable. Swinton talks about her career in this Mavericks session moderated by Noah Cowan.

The Festival's Official Film Schedule was released today. It is available at the Festival Box Office and by visiting tiff.net/festival. Copies will also be distributed in The Grid on Thursday, August 25. Thursday's issue of the Toronto Star will contain a 24-page section on the Festival and includes the full film schedule.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online at tiff.net/festival, by phone at 416-599-TIFF or 1-888-599-8433, and in person at the Festival Box Office at 225 King St. West. Single tickets are available beginning September 3. 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 tiff.net.

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