Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2014 TIFF announces Discovery programme selections


The Toronto International Film Festival® highlights 39 first and second feature films made by exceptional filmmakers from Canada and around the world in the Discovery programme. The lineup showcases brave films representing diverse perspectives and global voices from Pakistan, Vietnam, Kurdistan, Kenya, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain and more.

“Christopher Nolan, Steve McQueen, Lynne Ramsay and David Gordon Green all presented their first features in our Discovery section,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “It's a great place to spot new talent first.”

’71 Yann Demange, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere
A young British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe and increasingly wary of his own comrades, the raw recruit must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorienting, alien and deadly landscape. Starring Jack O'Connell, Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer and Sean Harris.

Adult Beginners Ross Katz, USA World Premiere
A young, narcissistic entrepreneur crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s big launch. With his entire life in total disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged pregnant sister, brother-in-law and 3-year-old nephew in the suburbs — only to become their nanny. Starring Rose Byrne, Nick Kroll and Bobby Cannavale.

Atlantic. Jan-Willem van Ewijk, Netherlands/Belgium/Germany/Morocco World Premiere
After watching European tourists come and go for many years, Fettah takes off on an epic ocean journey along the Moroccan Atlantic coast to Europe on a windsurf board. Starring Fettah Lamara, Thekla Reuten and Mohamed Majd.

The Crow’s Egg (Kaakkaa Muttai) M. Manikandan, India World Premiere
When a pizza parlour opens on their old playground, two carefree slum boys are consumed by the desire to taste this new-fangled dish. Realizing that one pizza costs more than their family’s monthly income, they begin to plot ways to earn more money – inadvertently beginning an adventure that will involve the entire city.

Dukhtar Afia Nathaniel, Pakistan/USA/Norway World Premiere
Fleeing with her 10-year-old daughter after the girl is promised in marriage as part of a peace treaty, the wife of a tribal chieftain is pursued through the mountains by both her husband and the intended groom’s henchmen. Starring Samiya Mumtaz, Mohib Mirza and Saleha Aref.

Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere (Ðap Cánh Giua Không Trung) Nguyen Hoang Diep, Vietnam North American Premiere
Huyen, a pregnant teenage girl, reluctantly agrees to prostitute herself in order to make money for an abortion. When the only customer willing to give her money has a fetish for her pregnant belly, things get complicated. Starring Nguyen Thuy Anh, Tran Bao Son, Ha Hoang and Thanh Duy Pham Tran.

The Great Man (Le Grand Homme) Sarah Leonor, France World Premiere
Recuperating in Paris after being wounded in Afghanistan, a French Foreign Legion soldier is reunited with the man who saved his life and unexpectedly finds himself able to repay his debt when he is compelled to take care of the man’s young son. Starring Jérémie Renier, Surho Sugaipov and Ramzan Idiev.

I am not Lorena (No soy Lorena) Isidora Marras, Chile/Argentina World Premiere
Fraudulent charges aimed at a certain “Lorena Ruiz” begin to plague Olivia, who descends into the dark labyrinth of the Chilean payment collection system to confront the unknown woman. However, each step deeper into the underworld progressively blurs the line between Olivia and Lorena’s real identities. Starring Loreto Aravena, Paulina García and Maureen Junott.

The Intruder (Infiltrant) Shariff Korver, Netherlands World Premiere
The Intruder follows an ambitious young Dutch-Moroccan policeman who infiltrates one of the most notorious criminal families in Amsterdam and finds himself torn between his conscious desire for recognition in his profession and his unconscious desire for a home and an identity. Starring Nasrdin Dchar, Walid Benmbarek and Rachid el Ghazaoui.

La Salada Juan Martín Hsu, Argentina World Premiere
La Salada depicts the experience of new immigrants in Argentina told through three stories that take place in La Salada — the largest informal market in Argentina. A group of characters from different ethnic origins struggle against loneliness and uprooting. Starring Ignacio Huang, Yunseon Kim, Chang Sun Kim and Nicolás Mateo.

Life in a Fishbowl (Vonarstræti) Baldvin Zophoníasson, Iceland/Finland/Sweden/Czech Republic International Premiere
Life in a Fishbowl is about three people whose lives are intertwined. After a horrible tragedy, a writer drinks himself into oblivion on a 20-year binge. A young single mom moonlights as a prostitute to make ends meet. A former soccer star is recruited into the snake pit of international banking and loses touch with his family. Starring Hera Hilmar, Thorsteinn Bachmann and Thor Kristjansson.

The Little Death Josh Lawson, Australia International Premiere
The Little Death, which marks the arrival of Australian writer-director Josh Lawson, is both an edgy sex comedy and a warm-hearted depiction of the secret lives of five suburban couples living in Sydney. Lawson's searing and sometimes shocking screenplay weaves together a story that explores a range of sexual fetishes and the repercussions that come with sharing them. Starring Josh Lawson, Bojana Novakovic, Damon Herriman and Kate Mulvany.

Los Hongos Oscar Ruiz Navia, Colombia/Argentina/France/Germany North American Premiere
The second feature from Colombian director Oscar Ruiz Navia (Crab Trap) follows two young street artists as they explore the vibrant and exciting milieu of the director’s hometown of Cali. Starring Jovan Alexis Marquinez Angulo “Ras” and Calvin Buenaventura Tascón.

Magical Girl Carlos Vermut, Spain World Premiere
Desperate to fulfill his terminally ill daughter’s last wish, a grief-stricken man plunges into a vortex of blackmail, deception and doublecross in this deliriously stylized noir thriller from dynamic young Spanish director Carlos Vermut. Starring José Sacristán, Bárbara Lennie, Luis Bermejo and Lucía Pollán.

Mardan Batin Ghobadi, Kurdistan World Premiere
Leyla is a young woman who goes to Iraq with her four-year-old son in search of her missing husband. She seeks help from a policeman named Mardan. During the process Mardan finds himself falling in love with Leyla. Starring Hossein Hassan, Helan Abdullah, Esmail Zagros and Feyaz Duman.

May Allah Bless France! (Qu’Allah bénisse la France!) Abd Al Malik, France World Premiere
The true story of a French teenager rising out of the underprivileged suburbs through love, education and rap music. Regis is a culturally gifted boy who dreams of success for his rap band, but he must accept drug money for the sake of his project. Discovering Islam and love, he bears with the harsh loss and paybacks of delinquency, until he finds the strength to express himself through music and slam-poetry — and ultimately becomes a major artist of the French music scene. Starring Marc Zinga, Sabrina Ouazani and Larouci Didi.

The Narrow Frame of Midnight (Itar el-Layl) Tala Hadid, Morocco/United Kingdom/France World Premiere
Moroccan-Iraqi director Tala Hadid’s brooding first feature laces the intersecting destinies of three characters who will alternately rescue one another and continue on their respective journeys. Zacaria, a Moroccan/Iraqi writer is looking for his missing brother, Aïchais a young orphan sold to a petty criminal, and Judith yearns to have a child. A meditation on redemption with an evocative urgency. Starring Khalid Abdalla, Marie-Josée Croze, Fadwa Boujouane and Hocine Choutri.

OBRA Gregorio Graziosi, Brazil World Premiere
In the heavily populated city of São Paulo, Brazil, a young architect discovers a clandestine cemetery while walking through the worksite of his first important project. As terrible memories float back, he must struggle with his conscience and question his own heritage. Starring Irandhir Santos, Lola Peploe, Julio Andrade and Marku Ribas.

Run Philippe Lacôte, France/Ivory Coast North American Premiere
In his first fiction feature, with irreverent humour and an unflinching subjective voice, director Philippe Lacôte refracts the fraught and blood-drenched history of the Ivory Coast through the story of a young man’s 20-year journey from country boy to political militant to assassin. Starring Abdoul Karim Konaté, Isaach De Bankolé, Reine Sali Coulibaly and Abdoul Bah.

Second Coming Debbie Tucker Green, United Kingdom World Premiere
Jackie is pregnant and knows it’s not her husband Mark’s. She says she’s slept with nobody else. Mark and their son JJ don't know what to say. Second Coming follows this family over a year as they navigate their way through the aftermath of an unexplained pregnancy. Starring Nadine Marshall, Idris Elba, Kai Francis-Lewis and Sharlene Whyte.

Senza nessuna pietà Michele Alhaique, Italy International Premiere
A loyal Mafia enforcer becomes a hunted man when he protects a beautiful young escort from his boss’ sadistic son. Starring Pierfrancesco Favino and Greta Scarano.

Stories of Our Lives Anonymous, Kenya World Premiere
Stories of Our Lives adapts five short stories assembled by a small Nairobi-based multi-disciplinary arts collective and inspired by real life testimonies from persons who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex. Presented without accreditation in order to protect its makers from punitive reprisals, Stories of Our Lives is both a labour of love and a bold act of militancy, defying the enforced silence of intolerance with tales rooted in the soil of lived experience.

Sway Rooth Tang, USA/France/Thailand World Premiere
The lives of three generations of Asian immigrants play out across three different cities: in Paris, a young man returns to his girlfriend as family trouble brews back home in the United States; in Bangkok, a young couple prepares for their move to the U.S.; and in Los Angeles, a woman marries into the family of a Japanese widower. Starring Matt Wu, Huang Lu, Ananda Everingham and Sajee Apiwong.

Theeb Naji Abu Nowar, Jordan/Qatar/United Arab Emirates/United Kingdom North American Premiere
In the Ottoman province of Hejaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination. Naji Abu Nowar’s first feature was shot in the Jordanian desert, with the last Bedouin tribe to settle down. Starring Jacir Eid, Hussein Salameh, Hassan Mutlag, Marji Audeh and Jack Fox.

The Tribe (Plemya) Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Ukraine North American Premiere
A deaf mute teenager enters a specialized boarding school where, to survive, he becomes part of a wild organization — the Tribe. His love for one of the concubines will unwillingly lead him to break all the unwritten rules within the Tribe’s hierarchy. Starring Yana Novikova and Grigoriy Fesenko.

Unlucky Plaza Ken Kwek, Singapore World Premiere
Onassis Hernandez was once the proud owner of Singapore’s most popular Filipino diner. But a food poisoning scandal triggered by a disgruntled cook has left him on the brink of bankruptcy. When he is further outdone by a financial scam, Onassis takes a group of people hostage in a millionaire’s bungalow. The crisis is captured on video and sparks an international outcry. Will Onassis be pronounced a victim or a villain? Based on true events. Starring Epy Quizon, Adrian Pang and Judee Tan.

The Vanished Elephant (El Elefante Desaparecido) Javier Fuentes-León, Peru/Colombia/Spain World Premiere
Edo Celeste, a renowned crime novelist, is obsessed with the disappearance of his fiancée during the 2007 earthquake in Peru. Seven years later, an enigmatic woman brings Edo dozens of cryptic photos that will help him solve the mystery of her disappearance. Starring Salvador del Solar, Angie Cepeda, Lucho Cáceres and Tatiana Astengo.

Villa Touma Suha Arraf North American Premiere
Three unmarried aristocratic Christian sisters from Ramallah have shut themselves in their villa clinging desperately to their former glory, until their orphan niece, Badia, walks into their lives and turns their world upside down. The sisters see it as their mission tomarry her to an eligible Christian man. Starring Nisreen Faour, Ula Tabari, Cherien Dabis and Maria Zreik.

X +Y Morgan Matthews, United Kingdom World Premiere
Young mathematics prodigy Nathan struggles with people but finds comfort in numbers. When Nathan wins a place at the Mathematics Olympiad, he develops unfamiliar feelings for his Chinese counterpart, the beautiful Zhang Mei. Ultimately this is Nathan’s journey towards discovering the unfathomable experience of first love. Starring Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan and Jo Yang.

Previously announced titles in the Discovery programme include: Adam MacDonald’s Backcountry, Jeffrey St. Jules’ Bang Bang Baby, Jefferson Moneo’s Big Muddy, Mathieu Denis’ Corbo, Pat Mills’ Guidance, Albert Shin’s In Her Place, Kris Elgstrand’s Songs She Wrote About People She Knows, Kyle Thomas’ The Valley Below, Jordan Canning’s We Were Wolves and Lindsay MacKay’s Wet Bum.

The 2014 Toronto International Film FestivalOfficial Film Schedule was released today and is available at TIFF Bell Lightbox or by visiting tiff.net/festival. Copies will also be distributed in the Toronto Star and Metro on Thursday, August 21. A section about the Festival will appear in the Toronto Star on Thursday, August 28, and will include the full film schedule.

Purchase Festival ticket packages until August 20 while quantities last. Single tickets are on sale from Sunday, August 31 to Sunday, September 14. Purchase packages and tickets online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433. Festival Box Office located at 225 King Street West opens on August 31.

The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4 to 14, 2014.

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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 Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, 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.

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