Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 TIFF announces inaugural Short Cuts International selections


The Toronto International Film Festival® is pleased to announce the lineup for the inaugural Short Cuts International programme. Thirty-six international shorts will screen in five curated programmes. The compelling lineup encompasses works from filmmakers representing an impressive 29 countries.

“Some of the best filmmaking in the industry is happening in the short form and the introduction of this programme allows the Festival to identify talented filmmakers and connect them to the rest of the world as well as the highly engaged audience present here in Toronto,” said Shane Smith, Director of Special Projects, TIFF. “From politically and socially provocative narratives, to aesthetically compelling animation and profoundly moving documentaries, the works in Short Cuts International are vigorous and vital films showcasing unique, yet universal, stories about the human condition.”

Short Cuts International is programmed by: Shane Smith; Kathleen McInnis, Short Cuts International Programmer; and Magali Simard, Short Cuts Programmer and Manager of Film Programmes, TIFF. The Festival’s Short Cuts International screenings will kick off a new monthly shorts programme that will run year-round at TIFF Bell Lightbox. More information regarding these screenings will be announced in the coming months.

The Festival is proud to announce the first Short Cuts International Award. Sponsored by Vimeo, the award carries a cash prize of $10,000.

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

( NULL ) David Gesslbauer and Michael Lange, Germany, 4’ North American Premiere
Routine or vicious cycle? An unknown girl breaks out of her daily grind by undergoing an intense audio-visual trip. Starring Sylvia Bryjok.

130919 • A Portrait of Marina Abramović Matthu Placek, USA, 7’ Canadian Premiere
A one-take film in 3D, 130919 • A Portrait of Marina Abramović is a majestic document of legendary performance artist, Marina Abramović. In the film, Abramović stands nude in the middle of an abandoned building in Hudson, NY. It will soon be the Marina Abramović Institute, a palpable legacy to an art pioneer. A 50-foot crane spans to capture the breadth of space in infinite detail; the life of an artist, her keen sense of transition, a space’s decay, and the ripeness of rebirth. An original score is sung by world-renowned Serbian folk singer, Svetlana Spajic.

8 Bullets (8 balles) Frank Ternier, France, 13’ North American Premiere
This feverish, suspenseful mixed-media animation follows a grief-stricken French expat in Taipei who obsessively tracks down the man hebelieves is responsible for killing his family. Starring Stéphane Gasc, Laurent Serron-Keller and Camille Trophème.

Aïssa Clément Trehin-Lalanne, France, 8’ Canadian Premiere
Aïssa is Congolese and is presently residing illegally on French territory. She claims to be a minor however the authorities believe she isover 18. In order to determine whether or not she can remain in the country, a doctor must give her a physical examination. Starring Manda Touré and Bernard Campan.

Boogaloo and Graham Michael Lennox, Northern Ireland/United Kingdom, 14’ International Premiere
Jamesy and Malachy are over the moon when their soft-hearted Dad presents them with two baby chicks to care for, but the two boys are in fora shock when their parents announce that big changes are coming to the family. Starring Martin McCann, Charlene McKenna, Riley Hamilton andAaron Lynch.

A Ceremony for a Friend (Marasemi baraye yek doost) Kaveh Ebrahimpour, Iran, 14’ World Premiere
Having decided that their comrade Mansour has “gone too far,” a group of friends resolve to hang him. As they discuss details of the coming execution, the condemned is graciously allowed the time to make a few last requests and accept his fate. Starring Mehrdad Iranmanesh, Maryam Noormohamadi and Parham Yadollahi.

Chop My Money Theo Anthony, Congo, 13’ World Premiere
Director Theo Anthony’s vibrantly stylized doc follows three street kids in the Eastern Congo who share their dreams and philosophies to the rhythm of Montreal-based musician Dirty Beaches. Featuring Manu “Patient” Bahiti Jean Christophe, Guillain Paluku and David Muhindo.

Discipline Christophe M. Saber, Switzerland, 12’ World Premiere
Near closing time in a Lausanne grocery store, a man loses patience with his child, which prompts a woman to intervene. Other patrons join in, and what started as an impromptu debate on proper parenting rapidly descends into a full-on ideological showdown. Starring Florence Quartenoud, Frank Semelet and Garance Rohr.

everything & everything & everything Alberto Roldán, USA, 15’ World Premiere
The oppressively vapid life of Morgan is forever transformed when a mystical blue pyramid — that inexplicably produces doorknobs —appears in his apartment. What follows is a Charlie Kaufman-esque tale of greed and loss as Morgan builds an impossible, absurd corporate empire of doorknobs. Starring Shane Carruth, Makeda Declet, Ethan Leaverton and Kirsten Roquemore.

Eye & Mermaid (Houreya Wa Ein) Shahad Ameen, Qatar/Saudi Arabia, 14’ North American Premiere
Ten-year-old Hanan lives in a fishing village on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula. She has always wanted to join her father on his night-time fishing trips, but he refuses. Every morning he returns with wonderful black pearls, but where do they come from? Does he harbour a secret? Hauntingly beautiful and brutally metaphorical, Eye & Mermaid is an unsettling reminder that the lovely things in life may come at a hefty cost. Starring Baseema Hajjar, Nadine Fadayel, Sarah Dorani and Rashid Al-Sheeb.

German Shepherd Nils Bergendal, Sweden, 10’ North American Premiere
Growing up as an American Jew with a Holocaust survivor mother, David is haunted by “the Nazi thing”, an irrational fear of Germans and an obsession with Holocaust movies. Nils Bergendal interprets David’s interview into a wry animated introspection, questioning whether it’s wise to look to the past for answers. Featuring David Paul.

The Goat (Ibhokhwe) John Trengove, South Africa, 13’ Canadian Premiere
A young Xhosa initiate recuperates in a mountain hut after a ritual circumcision. When he learns that his elders have abandoned him, the initiate is left with no one but his young brother to care for him. Caught between observing the sacred protocols of his culture and the secret of his gay sexuality, the initiate’s panic turns to desperation. Starring Nkosipendule Cengani, Thando Mhlontlo, Mbasa Tsetsana and Hlangi Vundla.

Growing Pains (Vokseværk) Tor Fruergaard, Denmark, 21’ International Premiere
Fabian is a shy, introverted teenager who lives with his bossy and prudish mother. Fabian’s world gets turned upside down when he meets the fun and cool Felicia and they fall in love. But there is one small problem. Whenever Fabian gets horny, he turns into a werewolf. A twisted coming of age film about a young man who has to discover and accept who he really is. Starring Elliott Crosset Hove, Amalie Lindegård and Iben Hjejle.

Here is the Concatenation (Voilà l'enchainement) Claire Denis, France, 30’ World Premiere
With two actors and no sets, master filmmaker Claire Denis traces the arc of a strained relationship, with a focus on race and language. In this fraught arena, words omitted can be as potentially devastating as words used, and what is not seen can have greater political consequences than what is.

Ice Cream (Dondurma) Serhat Karaaslan, Turkey, 16’ World Premiere
Eleven-year-old Rojhat lives in a small and remote village. On a hot summer day, an ice cream seller arrives on his motorbike and is immediately surrounded by the village children. The children bring what they can find from their home and in return they get ice cream. Rojhat also runs home and asks his mother for something he can bring to the ice cream seller but his mother has nothing to give him. When Rojhat starts crying, his mother gets really angry. Her anger gives Rojhat an idea. Starring Rojhat Deli, Ubeydullah Hakan and Ebru Ojen Sahin.

I’m in the Corner with the Bluebells Ako Mitchell, United Kingdom, 20’ World Premiere
Julie, a happily-married mother meets her half-brother for the first time at a family gathering. Their meeting stirs unexpected emotions in Julie and sends unwelcome ripples through her family. Starring Alice Bird, Alberto Maneiro and Nathan Osgood.

An Immortal Man Josh Koury and Myles Kane, USA, 15’ World Premiere
Ted Williams was one of the most beloved and well documented baseball icons of all time. When the record-setting hitter's life ended on July 5, 2002, his body was cryonically preserved and the unconventional decision shocked the nation. From contradicting facts and multiple wills to family disputes, the line between fact and fiction was blurred in the media hysteria that followed the icon’s death. An Immortal Man walks the viewer through the winding tale of family drama to unravel the mystery surrounding Ted Williams’ end of life.

The Last Day of Summer (De Laatste Dag van de Zomer) Feike Santbergen, Netherlands, 18’ World Premiere
The inherent melancholia of the end of summer is suddenly intensified for three teenage friends on a quiet beach when one of them receives a phone call with tragic news. Reeling from shock and realizing that the future has changed irrevocably, the trio desperately seeks some kind of solace beneath the expansive, uncaring canopy of the overcast skies.

Lava James Ford Murphy, USA, 7’ Canadian Premiere
Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, Lava is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years. Starring Kuana Torres-Kahele and Napua Greig.

Listen Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni, Denmark/Finland 13’ North American Premiere
A foreign woman in a burqa brings her young son to a Copenhagen police station to file a complaint against her abusive husband, but the translator assigned to her seems unwilling to convey the true meaning of her words.

Midfield (Meio Campo) Pedro Amorim, Portugal, 5’ World Premiere
In Lisbon’s port, the world’s midfield, a group of stevedores carries out another day of work. What appears to be just a group of colleagues reveals itself as an example of unity and friendship. In the midfield there’s Paulo, the stevedore, the captain — an ordinary man with an extraordinary strength. Starring Paulo Azevedo.

Newborns Megha Ramaswamy, India, 8’ World Premiere
Newborns attempts to provide a lens to the survivors of acid violence, to look forward and gaze back. They take us through the ennui of their domestic and public spaces in a nameless dystopian city, its factories, houses and motels, and its promises, never honoured. Featuring Laxmi, Nasreen and Sapna.

Oh Lucy! Atsuko Hirayanagi, Japan/Singapore/USA, 22’ North American Premiere
Setsuko, a 55-year-old single office lady in Tokyo, is given a blonde wig and a new identity, “Lucy,” by her young unconventional English instructor. “Lucy” awakens desires Setsuko never knew she had. When the instructor suddenly disappears, Setsuko must come to terms with what remains — herself. Starring Kaori Momoi, Miyoko Yamaguchi and Billy Scott.

Papa Machete Jonathan David Kane, USA, 10’ World Premiere
Alfred Avril is an aging Haitian farmer who has lived through dictatorships, droughts, and even the devastating earthquake of 2010. As one of the few remaining masters of Tire Machèt — Haitian machete fencing — he has inherited a cultural legacy of fortitude that allows him to endure through it all. Featuring Alfred Avril, Jean-Paul Avril, Roland Avril and Mike Rogers.

Persefone Grazia Tricarico, Italy, 18’ World Premiere
In this dark fable rendered in golden, sun-kissed images, a young diver on the coast of the Adriatic in southern Italy finds another kind of natural wonder amidst the bounty of the sea: a beautiful woman. As his strange romantic obsession grows, he withdraws ever further into silence. Starring Ciro Contessa and Olga Shuldyk.

Pineapple Calamari Kasia Nalewajka, United Kingdom, 9’ Canadian Premiere
Pineapple Calamari dreams of being a horse-racing champion. He lives with two inseparable women who share a very special connection. When tragedy befalls this happy family, their social dynamic takes a drastic turn to the unexpected.

Playing with Balls (Tvíliðaleikur) Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir, Iceland, 8’ World Premiere
A lesbian in a midlife crisis acts on her desire to escape the day-to-day routine only to find disappointment. Now she has to live with the fact that she betrayed her loved ones and disgraced her own beliefs and rights. Starring Guðrún Gísladóttir, Svandís Dóra Einarsdóttir and Kristbjörg Kjeld.

Seven Boats Hlynur Pálmason, Denmark/Iceland, 10’ World Premiere
In a single, black-and-white 360-degree shot that traverses seven boats surrounding a man lost at sea, director Hlynur Pálmason crafts a simple yet potent statement about mankind’s struggle to survive. Starring Olgeir Karl Ólafsson, Einar Örn Thorlacius and Ómar Frans Fransson.

The Shove (Knuffen) My Sandström, Sweden, 14’ International Premiere
Tobbe works as a bouncer at a night club. One night he confronts a drunken guest and it ends with Tobbe shoving the guest down the street. A council inspector happens to witness the event and gives Tobbe an on-the-spot penalty: to settle the matter in kind. The inspector informs Tobbe that he will be shoved within one to two weeks. Tobbe now has no choice but to endure a long, drawn-out, fraught-filled wait. A wait that proves far more arduous than Tobbe could have imagined. Starring Hanna Ullerstam and Magnus Sundberg.

A Single Body (Un seul corps) Sotiris Dounoukos, Australia/France, 19’ International Premiere
Set against the raucous and grisly backdrop of an abattoir, best friends and skilled workers David and Wani diligently ply their trade as they dream of opening their own butchery.

A Single Life Job, Joris & Marieke, Netherlands, 2’ World Premiere
When playing a mysterious vinyl single, Pia is suddenly able to travel through her life.

Skinner (Sintér) Gábor Fabricius, Hungary, 12’ World Premiere
In economically depressed Budapest, to avoid being evicted from your home means you need to evict others — and Tibi, a hardcore bouncer with a conscience, soon finds that he must turn against his own to save himself. Skinner takes a raw, incisive look at how theglobal financial crisis transforms the life of the disenfranchised into brutal gladiatorial combat.

A Spark at Darkest Night Paul De Silva, USA, 3’ World Premiere
Two lamp posts in a park at night experience a brief connection before one of them shatters, falling into darkness. The other must sacrifice himself so that she may be reignited, now twice as bright.

Tatuapé Mahal Tower (Edifício Tatuapé Mahal) Carolina Markowicz and Fernanda Salloum, Brazil, 10’ International Premiere
An existential drama set in a scalemodel-sized São Paulo, this animated short follows Javier Juarez Garcia, who abandons his tiresome job with a residential tower developer and makes a life-changing decision — but even the new possibilities he discovers are not enough to wipe out his desire for revenge against those who have betrayed him. Starring Daniel Hendler.

Tricycle Thief (Sánlúnchē fū) Maxim Bessmertnyi, Macau, 17’ World Premiere
After discovering his eviction notice, a tricycle driver goes on a desperate hunt for money in night-time Macau. Starring Sam Leung, Aeson Lei and Chu Wing Mui.

The Warren (L'Warren) James Adolphus, Israel/Palestine/USA, 11’ World Premiere
The Warren is a dramatization of a raid to capture a militant in the maze of Balata Refugee Camp by the Israeli Defense Forces during the Second Palestinian Intifada. Starring Ali Suliman, Mohammad Bakri and Guy Elhanan.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the Gupta Box Office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 20 while quantities last.

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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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