Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Toronto International Film Festival announces Canadian Selections for 2015


The Toronto International Film Festival revealed a lineup of bold Canadian works by filmmakers including Patricia Rozema, Andre Turpin, Anne Emond, Kazik Radwanski and Guy Édoin, documentarians Mina Shum and Avi Lewis, trailblazers Bruce McDonald, Guy Maddin and Philippe Falardeau, promising new work from Andrew Cividino, Adam Garnet Jones and Stephen Dunn, and an impressive first feature by renowned visual contemporary artist Mark Lewis. From hardcore horror and political comedy to intense dramas and true tales of bravery, Canadians continue to carve their own place in filmmaking.

“The Festival is excited to showcase these distinctively Canadian voices,” said Steve Gravestock, Senior Programmer, TIFF. “From compelling documentaries on pressing social issues and complex, affecting dramas to political satires, we are proud to share the impressive range and talent of Canada’s directors.”

“This year’s filmmakers represent the depth and diversity of Canadian storytelling,” said Magali Simard, Film Programmes Manager, TIFF. “By presenting the strong perspectives of the best and brightest in the film industry from across the country, we share with audiences the unique ways Canadians view the world.”

The Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film will be given to one of many outstanding Canadian filmmakers, with the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film being presented to the Canadian filmmaker with the most impressive debut feature film at the Festival. This year’s Canadian awards jury is composed of filmmaker Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction), Jacqueline Lyanga (Director of AFI Fest), and Ilda Santiago (Programming and Executive Director of Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival).


Born to be Blue, director Robert Budreau, Canada/United Kingdom (World Premiere)
Born to be Blue is a reimagining of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker’s life in the 1960s. When Chet is cast to star in a film about himself, a romance heats up with his female co-star, the enigmatic Jane. But his comeback bid is derailed when his past returns to haunt him and it appears he may never play music again. Starring Ethan Hawke and Carmen Ejogo.

Into the Forest, Patricia Rozema, Canada (World Premiere)
In a not-too-distant future, sisters Nell and Eva find themselves shuttered in their home. Surrounded by nothing but miles of dense forest, the sisters must fend for themselves using the supplies and food reserves they have before turning to the forest to discover what it will provide. They are faced with a world where rumour is the only guide, trust is a scarce commodity, gas is king and loneliness is excruciating. And yet somehow miraculously, love still grows. Starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood.

Ville-Marie, Guy Edoin, Canada (World Premiere)
An actress shooting a movie hopes to reconcile with her son. A paramedic haunted by his past tries to stay the course, while a caring nurse keeps an eye on him from afar as she tries, at the same time, to keep an emergency room running. It is at the Ville-Marie Hospital that these four lives will take an unexpected turn. Starring Monica Bellucci, Patrick Hivon, Pascale Bussieres and 2015 TIFF Rising Star Aliocha Schneider.


Al Purdy Was Here, Brian D. Johnson, Canada (World Premiere)
Al Purdy was Canada’s unofficial poet laureate, though he admits he didn’t write a good poem until he was 40. He found his voice in an A-Frame cabin he built in Ontario’s Prince Edward County. Canada’s leading musicians and artists from Bruce Cockburn and Sarah Harmer to Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje come together to tell his story and celebrate his poetry.

Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr, Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard, Canada (World Premiere)
Omar Khadr — child soldier or unrepentant terrorist? The 28-year-old Canadian has been a polarizing figure since he was 15. In 2002, Khadr was captured by American forces in Afghanistan and charged with war crimes, including murder. After spending half his life behind bars, including a decade at Guantanamo, Khadr is released. This is his story, in his own words.

Ninth Floor, Mina Shum, Canada (World Premiere)
It started quietly when six Caribbean students, strangers in a cold new land, began to suspect their professor of racism. It ended in the most explosive student uprising Canada had even known. Over four decades later, Ninth Floor reopens the file on the infamous Sir George Williams Riot: a watershed moment in Canadian race relations and one of the most contested episodes in the nation’s history. Director Shum (Double Happiness) locates the protagonists in clandestine locations throughout Trinidad and Montreal — the wintry city where it all went down. In a cinematic gesture of reckoning and redemption, she listens as they set the record straight.

This Changes Everything, Avi Lewis, Canada/USA (World Premiere)
Seven powerful portraits of community resistance around the world lead to one big question: what if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world? Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international bestseller and directed by her partner Avi Lewis, This Changes Everything is an affecting and hopeful call to action.

Welcome to F.L., Genevieve Dulude-De Celles, Canada (World Premiere)
Welcome to F.L. portrays a community of teenagers navigating their environment, identity and other questions of youth within their high-school world in a small town in Quebec. Learning to define themselves inside and outside school boundaries as they transition into the challenges of adulthood, they expose refreshing points of view filled with humour, philosophy and courage.


Closet Monster, Stephen Dunn, Canada (World Premiere)
Oscar Madly hovers on the brink of adulthood — destabilized by his dysfunctional parents, unsure of his sexuality, and haunted by horrific images of a tragic gay bashing he witnessed as a child. A talking hamster, imagination and the prospect of love help him confront his surreal demons and discover himself. Starring 2015 TIFF Rising Star Aliocha Schneider and 2014 Rising Star Connor Jessup.

Fire Song, Adam Garnet Jones, Canada (World Premiere)
When a teenage girl commits suicide in a remote Northern Ontario Aboriginal community, it’s up to her brother Shane to take care of their family. Shane was supposed to move to the city for university in the fall, and has been trying to convince his secret boyfriend to come with him, but now everything is uncertain. Torn between his responsibilities at home and the promise of freedom calling him to the city, circumstances take a turn for the worse and Shane has to choose between his family and his future.

The Rainbow Kid, Kire Paputts, Canada (World Premiere)
Part gritty coming-of-age story, part episodic road film filled with magic realism, The Rainbow Kid follows Eugene, a young man with Down syndrome as he embarks on a life-changing adventure to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

River, Jamie M. Dagg, Canada/Laos (World Premiere)
In the south of Laos, an American volunteer doctor becomes a fugitive after he intervenes in the sexual assault of a young woman. When the assailant’s body is pulled from the Mekong River, things quickly spiral out of control. Starring Rossif Sutherland.

Sleeping Giant, Andrew Cividino, Canada (North American Premiere)
Spending his summer vacation on rugged Lake Superior, teenager Adam befriends Riley and Nate, smart aleck cousins who pass their ample free time with pranks, vandalism and reckless cliff jumping. The revelation of a hurtful secret sets in motion a series of irreversible events that test the bonds of friendship and change the boys forever.


How Heavy This Hammer, Kazik Radwanski, Canada (World Premiere)
Erwin, a 47-year-old father of two, spends his time idly procrastinating between work and family, and is seemingly more engaged by playing a crude Viking computer game. His listless energy is contrasted on weekends by throwing himself into “old boys” rugby matches. As Erwin’s marriage with his wife becomes increasingly compromised, something stirs inside him, or maybe something has stopped stirring.

My Internship in Canada, Philippe Falardeau, Canada (North American Premiere)
Guibord is an independent Member of Parliament representing a vast county in Northern Quebec who unwillingly finds himself in the awkward position of determining whether Canada will go to war. Accompanied by his wife, daughter and Souverain (Sovereign) Pascal, an idealistic intern from Haiti, Guibord travels across his district in order to consult his constituents and face his own conscience. This film is a sharp political satire in which politicians, citizens and lobbyists go head-to-head tearing democracy to shreds.

Our Loved Ones (Les etres chers), Anne Emond, Canada (North American Premiere)
The story begins in 1978 in a small town on the Lower St. Lawrence, where the Leblanc family is rocked by the tragic death of Guy, found dead in the basement of the family home. For many years, the real cause of his death is hidden from certain members of the family, his son David among them. David starts his own family with his wife Marie and lovingly raises his children, Laurence and Frederic, but deep down he still carries with him a kind of unhappiness. Our Loved Ones is a film of filial love, family secrets, redemption and inherited fate. Featuring 2015 TIFF Rising Star Karelle Tremblay.

The Waiting Room, Igor Drljaca, Canada (North American Premiere)
Jasmin, once a successful actor in former Yugoslavia, now lives in Toronto with his second wife and young son. While juggling a construction job and a busy audition schedule, he dreams of re-launching an old televised stage show that made him famous in his homeland. When he is cast in a role that triggers recollections of the civil war, he is forced to reconcile his current reality with memories of his past success. From the team behind Krivina and In Her Place.


Endorphine, Andre Turpin, Canada (World Premiere)
Thirteen-year-old Simone is trying to feel emotion again as a trauma survivor. Twenty-five-year-old Simone is a solitary woman trying to control panic attacks. Sixty-year-old Simone is an accomplished physician who gives a conference on the nature of time. The new film from celebrated director and cinematographer Andre Turpin intertwines the lives of three women in an intoxicating cinematic puzzle.

Hellions, Bruce McDonald, Canada (Canadian Premiere)
Strange trick-or-treaters plague conflicted teenager Dora Vogel at her isolated home on Halloween. Under siege by forces she can’t understand, Dora must defend both body and soul from relentless hellions, dead set on possessing something Dora will not give them. Set in a visually haunting landscape, Hellions redefines the boundaries of horror with its potent brew of Halloween iconography, teenage angst and desperate survival. Starring Chloe Rose.

No Men Beyond This Point, Mark Sawers, Canada (North American Premiere)
Sixty years ago, women began reproducing asexually, and now are no longer able to give birth to male babies. This deadpan mockumentary follows 37-year -old Andrew Myers — the youngest man alive —who is at the centre of a battle to save men from extinction. No Men Beyond This Point asks what would happen if only women ran the world.


The following feature films will screen as part of the Wavelengths programme:

88:88, Isiah Medina, Canada (North American Premiere)
A digital cinema incendiary, Isiah Medina’s anticipated feature debut explodes with ideas about time, love, knowledge, poverty, and poetry, all erupting within a densely layered montage that is formally rigorous and emotionally raw. 88:88 (or —:—) is what appears when bills are paid after the electricity has been abruptly cut off, demonstrating that people who live in poverty live in suspended time. To be preceded by Denis Cote’s short film, May We Sleep Soundly.

The Forbidden Room, Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin, Canada (Canadian Premiere)
Honouring classic cinema while electrocuting it with energy, Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin’s grand ode to lost cinema begins (after a prologue on how to take a bath) with the crew of a doomed submarine chewing flapjacks in a desperate attempt to breathe the oxygen within. Suddenly, a lost woodsman wanders into their company to tell his tale of escape from a fearsome clan of cave dwellers, and we are taken high into the air, around the world, and into dreamscapes, spinning tales of amnesia, captivity, deception and murder, skeleton women and vampire bananas. Like a glorious meeting between Italo Calvino, Sergei Eisenstein and a perverted six-year-old child, created with the help of master poet John Ashberry, Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adèle Haenel,Amira Casar and Elina Lowensohn make up a cavalcade of misfits, thieves and lovers.

Invention, Mark Lewis, United Kingdom/Canada (World Premiere)
Shot in Paris, Sao Paulo and Toronto, Mark Lewis’ anthology of films captures the ever-changing textures of these cities through moving images of glass, light, shadows and reflections, offering homage to the City Symphony films of the 1920s, while also juxtaposing modernist architecture with the compositional structures of old master paintings.

Minotaur, Nicolas Pereda, Mexico/Canada (World Premiere)
Acclaimed Mexican-Canadian auteur Nicolas Pereda (Greatest Hits) returns to the Festival with this lovely, wraithlike fantasy that observes three thirty-somethings as they sleep, dream, read and receive visitors in a Mexico City apartment. Free and open to the public during the Festival, the following Wavelengths Installations will be showcased at various venues throughout downtown Toronto:

Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton, Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson (World Premiere)
Guided by the spirit of Maddin’s “Cuadecec Manifesto” (which calls for makings-of en masse), Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton is a strange and stirring behind-the-scenes look at Paul Gross’s new feature, Hyena Road. Shot on location at CFB Shilo near Brandon, Manitoba and in Aqaba, Jordan, the film summons psychedelic energy from the main event. Presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West.

The Forbidden Room — A Living Poster, Galen Johnson (World Premiere)
Initially designed to promote Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room, A Living Poster employs the same digital techniques used to create the text-based intertitles and treat the footage within the film. A looping collection of living, moving, morphing posters, it blurs the boundaries between poster and trailer and suggests an anachronistic collision between digitally corrupted video files and a damaged film print from the silent era forming a beguiling hybrid aesthetic of digital data loss and decaying analogue emulsion. Presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West.

La Giubba, Tony Romano and Corin Sworn, Canada/United Kingdom (World Premiere)
The first major collaboration between Canadian artist Tony Romano and English-born, Toronto-raised Corin Sworn, La Giubba follows the intersections of five drifters over the course of two summer days in southern Italy. This installation is presented in partnership with Clint Roenisch Gallery (190 St Helens Ave, Toronto).

Stories are Meaning-Making Machines, Annie MacDonnell and Maider Fortune, France/Canada (International Premiere)
A live in-cinema reading at TIFF Bell Lightbox performed by Canadian artist Annie MacDonnell and French artist Maider Fortune which explores a new form of cinematic memory. Originally commissioned by Le Centre Pompidou’s Hors Pistes Festival, Paris.

Deepa Mehta’s Beeba Boys, Jon Cassar’s Forsaken, Paul Gross’ Hyena Road (Hyena Road: Le Chemin du Combat), and Atom Egoyan’s Remember are Canadian features previously announced in the Galas Programme.


The Toronto International Film Festival® unveils a slate of 44 world-class homegrown short films packed with strong emerging voices and uniquely Canadian perspectives. Boasting a lineup as diverse in themes and cultures as the country itself, this year’s roster is highlighted by a record number of Canadian works in the Wavelengths programme. From smart satire to savvy social commentary, twists on genre to gut-punching powerful dramas, quirky documentaries to delightfully deranged animation and daring, formal experiments, these works showcase fascinating, provocative stories in short form.

Films in the Short Cuts programme are eligible for the Award for Best Canadian Short Film. This year's jury includes the head of the shorts program and creations unit at Canal+ France, Pascale Faure, film writer John Anderson (The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times), and actor Rizwan Manji (Outsourced, The Wolf of Wall Street).

The 40th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 to 20, 2015.


4 Quarters Ashley McKenzie, Canada (Toronto Premiere)
Willy and Jane just want to feel happy in one another’s company. He’s a sleep-deprived student living close to the bone. She’s a troubled drug addict in constant need of $20. Nursing their fledgling friendship on the margins of society proves to be a wicked problem.

A New Year (Nouvel an) Marie-Ève Juste, Canada (World Premiere)
Florence is having a New Year’s Eve party, but at 37 weeks pregnant she feels somewhat ambivalent about the festivities and frolics of her friends.

Bacon & God’s Wrath Sol Friedman, Canada (World Premiere)
In this short documentary, a 90-year-old Jewish woman reflects on her life’s experiences as she prepares to try bacon for the first time.

The Ballad of Immortal Joe Hector Herrera, Canada (World Premiere)
Written with a nod to traditional cowboy songs and to the northern ballads of Robert W. Service, this film puts a supernatural twist on a tragically romantic Western. Voiced by Canadian actor Kenneth Welsh (Twin Peaks, The Aviator, The Day After Tomorrow) and scored by Toronto greats The Sadies, this is the third chapter in the silly rhyme collection Beastly Bards.

BAM Howie Shia, Canada (World Premiere)
In a dense inner city haunted by primordial gods, a young boxer struggles to understand the disturbing consequences of his explosive rage — both inside and outside the ring. Presenting the young boxer’s battles in terms both heroic and tortured, BAM combines a biting urban soundtrack with a hand-drawn, comic-book style, mashing up cacophonous drums and grinding electronics with soft brushwork and swift action.

Benjamin Sherren Lee, Canada (World Premiere)
When a dually-pregnant lesbian couple loses one of the babies in utero, the grieving mothers break their surrogacy arrangement with their closest friends in order to keep the remaining baby.

Beyond The Horizon Ryan J. Noth, Canada (World Premiere)
In 1845 Sir John Franklin led 128 men on the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror on a search for the Northwest Passage. The fate of the crew and ships has been slowly uncovered since September 2014, when Parks Canada archaeologists discovered the resting place of the HMS Erebus in the remote Arctic Ocean. Reflecting on the ship and story from the perspective of the sailors and the archaeologists, the film paints a crushing visual portrait of a place where time can lose all meaning.

Boxing Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley, Canada (World Premiere)
Sheila returns to her weekly boxing class after a traumatic event, and tensions mount when one of the other women refuses to stop showering her with sympathy.

Boy Connor Jessup, Canada (World Premiere)
After a fatal bicycle accident, 12-year-old Jacob moves through the world as a ghost. Unseen and unheard, he trails his classmate home from school. As the ghost boy watches, an image of a grief-stricken family slowly begins to take shape.

Casualties of Modernity Kent Monkman, Canada (World Premiere)
Celebrity artist and humanitarian Miss Chief Eagle Testickle tours a hospital specializing in the treatment of conditions afflicting modern and contemporary art. Led by the doctor of fine arts and closely supervised by the no-nonsense head nurse, Miss Chief encounters romance, tragedy and triumph.

Clouds of Autumn Trevor Mack and Matthew Taylor Blais, Canada (North American Premiere)
Set on the Tsilhqot’in plateau in the 1970s, this film focuses on two siblings, and explores the impact that Canadian residential schools had on the relationships of First Nations children with each other, their heritage, and nature itself.

Dogs Don’t Breed Cats (Les chiens ne font pas des chats) Cristina Martins, Canada (Canadian Premiere)
Pregnant and homeless, Joëlle shows up at the home of her father Jeff. Even though this solitary non-conformist and former punk rocker is reluctant to the idea, she decides to stay and Jeff is overwhelmed by his new interactions with the daughter he barely knows.

Dredger Phillip Barker, Canada (World Premiere)
The crew of a salvage ship is tossed into turmoil when the young captain’s wife becomes infatuated with an older shipmate. She casts herself ashore but can’t break free from the seabed of secrets the old man brought to the surface.

The Guy From Work (Les gars d’la shop) Jean-François Leblanc, Canada (World Premiere)
Raynald is a family man who has been working in the same tire plant for over 30 years. This week, there is nothing unusual in his daily life: work, hockey games with the guys, and family night. However, Raynald will make the biggest move of his life.

It’s Not You Don McKellar, Canada (World Premiere)
It’s not you…or is it? Whether dumper or dump-ee, being in that situation brings out feelings you didn’t know you had. Under the direction of the talented Don McKellar, the graduating class of the National Theatre School of Canada takes audiences through the perpetuity of break ups.

KOKOM Kevin Papatie, Canada (Toronto Premiere)
Kevin Papatie, participant of the Wapikoni Mobile for 10 years, presents a beautiful experimental film that pays tribute to his grandmother — his kokom — and to the Anishnabe people who have survived the trials of history and remained strong.

The Magnificent Life Underwater (La vie magnifique sous l’eau) Joël Vaudreuil, Canada (World Premiere)
In this absurd animated parody of a classic undersea adventure show, an authoritative narrator reveals the wonders and mysteries of the sea — although the banal habits of these homely aquatic creatures have an odd familiarity.

The Man Who Shot Hollywood Barry Avrich, Canada (World Premiere)
In a town lit up by a thousand stars, Jack Pashkovsky practiced his art anonymously. By the time he was finished, he had brilliantly photographed hundreds of the biggest Hollywood icons from Garbo to Swanson. His collection of photographs have never been seen. Until now.

Mia’ Amanda Strong and Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Canada (World Premiere)
A young Indigenous female street artist walks through the city streets painting scenes rooted in the supernatural history of her people. As the alleyways become her sanctuary and secret gallery, her art comes to life, pulling Mia’ into her own transformation via the vessel of a salmon. This hybrid documentary uses animation and sound as a vehicle to tell the story of transformation and re-connection.

Mobilize Caroline Monnet, Canada (World Premiere)
Guided expertly by those who live on the land and driven by the pulse of the natural world, this film takes audiences on an exhilarating journey from the far north to the urban south. The fearless polar punk rhythms of Tanya Tagaq’s “Uja” underscore the perpetual negotiation between the modern and traditional by a people always moving forward. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) invited four talented and renowned Aboriginal artists to create a program of works addressing Aboriginal identity and representation by reworking material in the NFB’s archives.

Never Happened Mark Slutsky, Canada (World Premiere)
When colleagues Grady and Laura have an affair on a business trip, they decide it might be easier if it just never happened.

Never Steady, Never Still Kathleen Hepburn, Canada (World Premiere)
Distressed and overwhelmed by the mistakes of his past, a young lease-hand returns from Alberta’s oil fields to his childhood home on Lillooet Lake, where he finds solace in the strength of his recently widowed mother.

NINA Halima Elkhatabi, Canada (World Premiere)
At 16 years old, Nina is helpless to her 4-month-old baby’s incessant crying. Without any escape from the cries and from this new presence in her life, she ventures out from her tiny apartment into a working-class neighbourhood of Montréal for a brief escapade.

o negative Steven McCarthy, Canada (World Premiere)
A young woman and the man who takes care of her find shelter in a roadside motel and take the necessary steps to feed her addiction.

Our Remaining Lives (Les vies qui nous restent) Luiza Cocora, Canada (World Premiere)
Having recently moved to Quebec, Sofia, a 10-year-old Romanian girl, lives with her mother in a small flat in Montreal. In a world where technology imposes human isolation, Sofia is trying to understand her new life.

Overpass (Viaduc) Patrice Laliberté, Canada (World Premiere)
A 17-year-old named Mathieu goes out one night to write graffiti on an overpass. But whereas his actions require a swift escape from the scene of the crime, their true meaning is far more unexpected.

Portal to Hell!!! Vivieno Caldinelli, Canada (World Premiere)
The late and great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper plays a crusty superintendent who is thrust into the ultimate fight against evil when a pair of cultists opens a multidimensional portal in his basement.

Quiet Zone (Ondes et silence) David Bryant and Karl Lemieux, Canada (Canadian Premiere)
This film takes audiences deep into the world of those who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Combining elements of documentary, film essay and experimental film, David Bryant and Karl Lemieux — known for their work in the musical group Godspeed You! Black Emperor — weave together an unusual story in which sound and image distort reality to convey the suffering of these “wave refugees.”

Rock the Box Katherine Monk, Canada (World Premiere)
Electronic dance music (EDM) is now the most lucrative sector of the music industry but it’s dominated by men. To break that glass ceiling, a Vancouver-raised deejay named Rhiannon Rozier did something she never thought she’d do: pose for Playboy. Thanks to its impressionistic images, exhilarating montage and Rozier’s remarkable candour, this film tells the story of one woman who rocked conventions by owning her own image, her own voice, and her own box.

She Stoops To Conquer Zachary Russell, Canada (World Premiere)
An aspiring performer struggles to breathe life into a new character she’s created. Suddenly, she sees him: the real-life version of the man she’s been playing. Where’s the line between inspiration and theft? A gender-bending romantic comedy about a man and her double.

The Sleepwalker (Sonámbulo) Theodore Ushev, Canada (North American Premiere)
A surrealist journey through colours and shapes inspired by the poem Romance Sonámbulo by Federico García Lorca. It’s visual poetry in the rhythm of fantastic dreams and passionate nights.

The Swimming Lesson (Le cours de natation) Olivia Boudreau, Canada (North American Premiere)
Brought by her mother to her first swimming lesson, a 7-year-old girl must find, on her own, her place in the unfamiliar world of the pool.

Wolkaan Bahar Noorizadeh, Canada/Iran/USA (World Premiere)
Insightful and enigmatic, this multi-layered mediation on the experience of exile begins with the streets of Tehran gradually filling with enigmatic streams of lava. In Michigan, a boy and his father’s fateful journey ends up amid dinosaurs and a plastic volcano.

World Famous Gopher Hole Museum Chelsea McMullan and Douglas Nayler, Canada (World Premiere)
A portrait of Torrington, a fading Albertan farm town with a secret wish to be frozen in time like the taxidermied gophers that populate its world-famous tourist attraction.


The Chickening Nick DenBoer and Davy Force, Canada (World Premiere)
How can a boy not get excited when his dad gets a new job as senior chief night manager at Charbay’s Chicken World and Restaurant Resort, the world’s largest fast food entertainment complex in North America? However, in this short film things quickly get very, very clucked.

The Chickening will screen preceding the Opening Night Film in the Midnight Madness programme.


Bunte Kuh Ryan Ferko, Parastoo Anoushahpour and Faraz Anoushahpour, Canada/Germany (Toronto Premiere)
Through a flood of images, a narrator attempts to recall a family holiday. Bunte Kuh combines a found postcard, family photo album, and original footage to weave together the temporal realities of two separate vacations.

Engram of Returning Daïchi Saïto, Canada (World Premiere)
The figure of the jig-saw / that is of picture, / the representation of a world as ours / in a complex patterning of color in light and shadows, / masses with hints of densities and distances, / cut across by a second, discrete pattern / in which we perceive on qualities of fitting and not fitting / and suggestions of rhyme / in ways of fitting and not fitting – / this jig-saw conformation of patterns / of different orders, / of a pattern of apparent reality / in which the picture we are working to bring out appears / and of a pattern of loss and of finding / that so compels us that we are entirely engrossed in working it out, / this picture that must be put together / takes over mere seeing. — Robert Duncan, poet

Fugue Kerstin Schrödinger, Canada/Germany (North American Premiere)
Fugue is a formal and physical experiment in order to understand the relationship between image, sound and movement. Movements are also printed on the part of the film strip that is read as optical sound by the light sensitive sensor of the projector. What you hear is what you see.

May We Sleep Soundly Denis Côté, Canada (World Premiere)
Winter persists. Something happened. At the heart of the woods, on the slopes of mountains, in the streets and even inside homes, a strange silence took up residence. Will there remain a soul to witness the recent event?

May We Sleep Soundly will screen preceding the feature 88.88.

Office Space Modulation Terrarea (Janis Demkiw, Emily Hogg and Olia Mishchenko), Canada (World Premiere)
The Office Space Modulator is an improvised animation device employing an outsized Lazy Susan as the central mechanism to produce looped analogue projections of light and shadow. The resulting single-take field recordings document a subtle gymnastic interplay of scale, transparency, reflection, rotation, puppetry, and general field-ground tomfoolery.

Palms Mary-Helena Clark Canada/USA (World Premiere)
Musical and mysterious, this is a sphinx-like, modular film in four parts, with two hands animating stillness, the repeated approach of headlights, a < — > tennis match, and thoughts that emerge like objects.

Something Horizontal Blake Williams, Canada/USA (World Premiere)
Three-dimensional flashes of Victorian domestic surfaces and geometric shadows transform the physical world into a somber, impressionistic abstraction, while elsewhere a spectre emerging from the depths of German Expressionism reminds us that what goes up always comes down.

Théodolitique David K. Ross, Canada (World Premiere)
Théodolitique merges the geodetic and the filmic, linking the very long history of land surveying with the comparatively new technologies of filmmaking. Connecting these two methods of visual observation and recording, the film documents student surveyors from the École des Métiers du Sud-Ouest-de-Montréal as they take an outdoor exam over the course of a single day.

UNcirCling John Creson and Adam Rosen, Canada (World Premiere)
Elegant and enigmatic, UNcirCling is a visual music miniature composed of a bokeh of lights and digital chirping.

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