Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Toronto International Film Festival announces 2015 Contemporary World Cinema, City to City, Wavelengths programmes
Films from countries including Ethiopia, New Zealand, Peru, Israel, Indonesia, Germany, Australia, Spain, China, France, Japan, Iceland and Morocco in Festival spotlight
A diverse and fascinating selection of 60 films from countries across the globe were announced today in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema programme. Spotlighting work from some of the world’s finest international filmmakers, the lineup delivers an array of compelling films for Festival audiences to savour, journeying through unique and universal stories told on film.
Included in the lineup is the latest from directors Christian Zübert, Nabil Ayouch, Rúnar Rúnarsson, Alexandra-Therese Keining, Grímur Hákonarson, Erik Matti, Oliver Hermanus, Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, Federico Veiroj, Eric Khoo, Sion Sono, Danielle Arbid, Emin Alper, and Jeremy Sims.
For the fourth year, The Toronto International Film Festival® partners with the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs on the Contemporary World Speakers series. This initiative pairs six films in the Contemporary World Cinema programme with expert scholars from the Munk School. Audiences will have the opportunity to interact with filmmakers and scholars in extended discussions, following each film’s second public screening. Speakers include Stephen J. Toope, Ron Levi, Dan Brenznitz, Robert Steiner, Janice Stein, and Robert Austin. The Contemporary World Speakers series is programmed in conjunction with the TIFF Adult Learning department.
Films screening as part of the Contemporary World Cinema programme include:
25 April Leanne Pooley, New Zealand (World Premiere)
Award-winning filmmaker Leanne Pooley utilizes the letters and memoirs of New Zealand soldiers and nurses along with state of the art animation to tell the true story of the 1915 battle of Gallipoli. Dramatic, moving, sometimes humourous and often thrilling, the film explores an event whose resonance continues for Australians and New Zealanders to the present day.
3000 Nights (3000 Layla) Mai Masri, Palestine/France/Jordan/Lebanon/United Arab Emirates/Qatar (World Premiere)
After Layal, a newlywed Palestinian schoolteacher gives birth to a baby boy in an Israeli prison, the chief warden threatens to take her baby away unless she agrees to spy on the other prisoners who are planning a major strike. 3000 Nights makes a prison into a metaphor for Palestine under occupation, exploring the complicated interplay of resilience, empathy, and psychological manipulation between women. Layal fights to survive and maintain hope.
An Naomi Kawase, Japan/France/Germany (North American Premiere)
Sentaro runs a small bakery that serves dorayakis — pastries filled with sweet red bean paste (“an”). When an old lady, Tokue, offers to help in the kitchen, he reluctantly accepts. But Tokue proves to have magic in her hands when it comes to making “an”. Thanks to her secret recipe, the little business soon flourishes. And with time, Sentaro and Tokue will open their hearts to reveal old wounds.
The Apostate (El Apóstata) Federico Veiroj, Spain/France/Uruguay (World Premiere)
A young man finds himself navigating the baffling, labyrinthine bureaucracy of the Catholic Church when he attempts to formally renounce his faith, in this gently absurdist comedy from Uruguay’s Federico Veiroj (A Useful Life).
As I Open My Eyes (A peine j'ouvre les yeux) Leyla Bouzid, Tunisia/France/Belgium (North American Premiere)
Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution. Eighteen-year-old Farah is at a crossroads: to fulfill her mother’s wish and enroll in medical school or follow her passion for music. She has joined a subversive rock band, “Joujma”. As it becomes more and more visible, she does not suspect the danger of a regime that watches and infiltrates her privacy.
Baba Joon Yuval Delshad, Israel (World Premiere)
Set in northern Israel, the film tells the story of three generations of strong-willed men: Baba Joon, the patriarch who emigrated to Israel from Persia years ago; his son Yitzhak who maintains the family farm; and young Moti, who doesn't feel beholden to Baba Joon or his father for anything.
Box Florin Șerban, Romania/Germany/France (North American Premiere)
The story by acclaimed Romanian director Florin Șerban (If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle) follows talented 19-year-old boxer Rafael, for whom a session in the ring is everything; and Cristina, an attractive 30-something mother who finds herself at a critical moment in her life. Two characters with their own secrets, two journeys, two outlooks and an intense drama that penetrates to the core.
Campo Grande Sandra Kogut, Brazil/France (World Premiere)
Eight-year-old Ygor and six-year-old Rayane were abandoned by their mother, who left them on Regina’s doorstep in Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema neighborhood. The sudden and unexpected arrival of these children in Regina’s life and the search for their mother changes their lives.
Chevalier Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece (North American Premiere)
In the middle of the Aegean Sea, on a luxury yacht, six men on a fishing trip have decided to play a game. Things will be measured, blood will be tested. The man who wins will be the best man, and he will wear upon his littlest finger the victorious signet ring: the “Chevalier”.
A Copy of My Mind Joko Anwar, Indonesia/South Korea (North American Premiere)
She gives facials in a cheap beauty salon. He makes subtitles for pirated DVDs. They find a soulmate in each other. But their love is threatened to a tragic end when she stumbles upon evidence of a corruption case linked to a presidential candidate’s closest aides.
Cuckold Charlie Vundla, South Africa (World Premiere)
Smanga is a successful assistant professor whose life suddenly unravels when his wife leaves him. He spirals into an alcohol, marijuana and sex-fuelled tail spin that places the status of his sanity, career and house in jeopardy. However, with the emergence of a long lost former classmate Jon, he finds the support to fix his life.
Embrace of the Serpent (El Abrazo de la Serpiente) Ciro Guerra, Colombia/Venezuela/Argentina (North American Premiere)
A tale of the first encounter, approach, betrayal and life-transcending friendship between an Amazonian shaman, last survivor of his people, and two explorers that become the first men to travel the Northwest Amazon in search of ancestral knowledge.
The Endless River (La Rivière sans fin) Oliver Hermanus, South Africa/France (North American Premiere)
A fierce crime drama set against an unforgiving landscape, The Endless River is a story about morality, love, revenge and forgiveness.
The Fear (La Peur) Damien Odoul, France (World Premiere)
Gabriel, an introverted young man, finds terror and appalling carnage in the hell-on-earth of the trenches between 1914 and 1918. At the end of his horrifying interior journey through the conflict — full of sound, fury and blood — he will discover his own humanity.
Frenzy (Abluka) Emin Alper, Turkey/France (North American Premiere)
In the new film from award-winning Turkish writer-director Emin Alper, an ex-con, just released after serving a 15-year sentence, is recruited as a police informant as political violence grips Istanbul.
*Stephen J. Toope, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and an officer of the Order of Canada, is an international scholar on law, human rights, and global affairs. He will speak about Frenzy in a Q&A session following the second public screening of the film.
Girls Lost Alexandra-Therese Keining, Sweden (World Premiere)
Kim, Bella and Momo, three bullied teenage girls, are going through the throes of finding themselves. Surrounded by a dark world of teenage violence, marginalization and sexual confusion, the girls have only each other. They come across a curious magical plant that, when consumed, transforms the girls temporarily into boys. Not only does their gender change, the world around them, and their response to it, is altered.
Granny's Dancing on the Table Hanna Sköld, Sweden (World Premiere)
Thirteen-year-old Eini grows up isolated from society with her violent father, a man afraid of the world, who keeps her very close. The brutality that Eini is exposed to pushes her to almost lose her sense of self — but through the power of her own imagination she is able to create a world from which she can draw strength to survive.
A Heavy Heart (Herbert) Thomas Stuber, Germany (World Premiere)
Director Thomas Stuber (winner of the Student Academy Award) tells the story of an aging boxer from the former East who learns he has limited time to try to rectify the mistakes of his past.
Homesick (De nærmeste) Anne Sewitsky, Norway (Canadian Premiere)
When Charlotte, 27, meets her half-brother Henrik, 35, for the first time as an adult, it becomes an encounter without boundaries,between two people who don't know what a normal family is. How does sibling love manifest itself if you have never experienced it before? Homesick is an unusual family drama about seeking a family, and breaking every rule to be one.
Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous Christopher Doyle, Hong Kong (World Premiere)
This is a story of Hong Kong told by three generations. The voices you hear onscreen come from real life interviews. The film is a dream as well as a document, as each generation wonders how to live, here and now.
Honor Thy Father Erik Matti, Philippines (World Premiere)
An idyllic family’s life crumbles when the couple, Edgar and Kaye, discover that the investment scheme Kaye runs is one big scam. With friends turning against them and murderous big-time investors at their heels, Edgar is forced to return to his dark roots to save his family.
Imbisibol (Invisible) Lawrence Fajardo, Philippines/Japan (International Premiere)
Invisible essays the story of four Filipino migrant workers in Japan, in a crucial encounter that mirrors the difficult challenges that confront the “Pinoy” diaspora. The main characters in the film include Linda, a mail-to-order-bride who married a Japanese “salaryman”; Benjie, an illegal migrant worker who has been jumping from one odd job to another in the last 17 years; Manuel, an overstayer who now works as a male entertainer in a bar in the red light district; and Rodel, a newcomer who works as a day labourer in a logging company.
In the Room Eric Khoo, Hong Kong/Singapore (World Premiere)
In The Room deals with love, life and lust. Eric Khoo’s latest film is a tapestry of stories, all of which unfold in a hotel room over several decades. The common thread is sex. That hotel room is Room 27 at the Singapura Hotel, which started out as a ritzy establishment in the 1940s but has, over the decades, lost its sheen of respectability. For some, Room 27 is a nameless numbered room, a place which provides a cloak of anonymity, where one could indulge in indiscretions and the forbidden, where their trespasses will be forgiven once they return the key and sign the bill.
Incident Light (La Luz Incidente) Ariel Rotter, Argentina/France/Uruguay (World Premiere)
Since the car accident where both her husband and brother died, Luisa has not been able to put her life back together, until she meets a seductive stranger who forcefully proposes starting over. The new man’s overwhelming energy may be hiding warning signs about his character. But Luisa is confused, and the desire she feels for the new man merges with the absence of the man she lost — the possibility of rebuilding a family blurring with her own inability to accept her husband’s death.
Ivy (Sarmaşik)Tolga Karaçelik, Turkey (Canadian Premiere)
Trapped at anchor due to a legal dispute, the skeleton crew of a cargo ship come into potentially deadly conflict with one another, in this slow-burning psychological thriller from Turkish writer-director Tolga Karaçelik.
Jack Elisabeth Scharang, Austria (North American Premiere)
One winter’s night a girl freezes to death after suffering brutal injuries. Jack is convicted of her murder. When he is released from prison 15 years later, he goes from being a jailbird poet to a real ladykiller and darling of Vienna’s society. Can a man change so fundamentally? Or is it a case of once a murderer, always a murderer?
Journey to the Shore (Kishibe no tabi), Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/France (North American Premiere)
Mizuki’s husband drowned at sea three years ago. When he suddenly comes back home, she is not that surprised. Instead, Mizuki is wondering what took him so long. She agrees to let him take her on a journey. A touching ghost story from Japanese master Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata, Pulse).
The Kind Words (Hamilim Hatovot) Shemi Zarhin, Israel/Canada (International Premiere)
At the death of their mother, three siblings are shocked to discover that their “real” father may not be their biological father, and he in turn may be an Algerian Muslim. The Kind Words is a warm, sometimes humourous, and often dramatic story about identity and love.
*Dan Breznitz, Director of Research and Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs, is an expert on innovation-based growth and how we respond to global changes. He will speak about The Kind Words in a Q&A session following the second public screening of the film.
Koza Ivan Ostrochovský, Slovakia/Czech Republic (North American Premiere)
This subtle fusion of documentary and fiction follows a young Roma boxer as he embarks on a tragicomic return to the ring in order to pay for his girlfriend’s abortion. Koza features Peter Baláž, who competed at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and Ján Franek, Olympic medallist from Moscow 1980, as his coach. Featuring the outstanding performances of non-professional actors and blurring the lines between representation and presence, Koza is a powerful and haunting challenge to the concept of authenticity.
Lamb Yared Zeleke, Ethiopia/France/Germany/Norway (North American Premiere)
After his mother dies and draught hits his village, Ephraïm, a young Ethiopian boy, has to go live with relatives at the other end of the country. He takes his mother’s lamb with him, it is his only source of comfort. One day, his uncle announces that he will have to sacrifice the lamb for the upcoming religious feast, but Ephraïm is ready to do anything to save his only friend and return home.
Last Cab to Darwin Jeremy Sims, Australia (International Premiere)
Rex drives a cab and has never left Broken Hill in his life. When he discovers he doesn’t have long to live, he decides to drive across the heart of the country to Darwin, where he’s heard he will be able to die on his own terms; but along the way he discovers that before you can end your life you’ve got to live it, and to live it you’ve got to learn to share it.
*Robert Steiner, Director of the Fellowships in Global Journalism Program, is a writer and award-winning former foreign correspondent now teaching journalism at the Munk School. He will speak about Last Cab To Darwin in a Q&A session following the second public screening of the film.
Let Them Come (Maintenant ils peuvent venir) Salem Brahimi, France/Algeria (World Premiere)
Algeria, at the end of the 1980s: against the background of mounting violence from a radical Islamist opposition repressed by the army, compelled by his mother, Noureddine marries Yasmina. As the conflict becomes more pronounced, he and his family have to defend themselves from the onslaught of pervasive barbarity. A chilling foray into a very contemporary drama, and remarkable adaptation from the novel with the same title by Arezki Mellal.
*Janice Stein, founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and member of the Order of Canada, is an internationally renowned expert on conflict management. She will speak about Let Them Come (Maintenant ils peuvent venir) in a Q&A session following the second public screening of the film.
Magallanes Salvador del Solar, Peru/Argentina/Colombia/Spain (International Premiere)
While driving his cab, Magallanes unexpectedly meets Celina, a woman he first met more than 20 years ago, under completely different circumstances. In what would turn out to be a personal quest for redemption, Magallanes will do everything within his power to help her overcome her difficulties, only to find out that Celina would much rather give up everything she owns than accept his help.
Mekko Sterlin Harjo, USA (International Premiere)
Mekko, starring Rod Rondeaux and Zahn McClarnon, tells the story of a homeless Native American parolee who discovers a chaotic yet beautiful community living on the streets of Tulsa. He also uncovers an old-world darkness that threatens to destroy them from within, one he must fight before it’s too late.
A Month of Sundays Matthew Saville, Australia (World Premiere)
Real estate agent Frank Mollard won’t admit it, but he can’t move on. Divorced but still attached, he can’t sell a house in a property boom — much less connect with his teenage son. One night Frank gets a phone call from his mother. Nothing out of the ordinary. Apart from the fact that she died a year ago. A Month of Sundays is about parents, children, regrets, mourning, moments of joy, houses, homes, love, work, television, Shakespeare and jazz fusion; about ordinary people and improbable salvation — because everyone deserves a second chance.
Much Loved Nabil Ayouch, Morocco/France (North American Premiere)
The heat of Marrakesh’s night, money flows freely to the rhythms of lusts satiated and humiliations suffered. Noha, Randa, Soukaina, and Hlima sell pleasures of the flesh. They share an apartment and form a makeshift family, united in their womanhood, full of light, dignity and joy, they manage to keep their spirits and dreams alive. Their families depend on them, and as they move from one embrace to the other, they always go home loveless. A hard-hitting but luminous drama from Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch.
*Ron Levi, Deputy Director of the Munk School and Director of the Master of Global Affairs Degree, is an expert on how people respond to crime and violence in a global context. He will speak about Much Loved in an extended Q&A session following the second public screening of the film.
Murmur of the Hearts Sylvia Chang, Taiwan/Hong Kong (North American Premiere)
Legendary Taiwanese actress and filmmaker Sylvia Chang directs this magical story of estranged siblings whose shared memories of their mother’s fairy tales begin to draw their lives together once again.
One Breath (Ein Atem) Christian Zübert, Germany (World Premiere)
One Breath is the story of two women from different backgrounds but with the same desire: happiness. Elena, young, well-educated and with no perspective in her home country, Greece, is trying to pursue a better life. And Tessa, a 30-something mother and successful manager in Germany, is torn between happiness as an individual and a mother. These two women meet and their encounter changes both their lives forever.
*Robert Austin, Associate Professor at the Munk School’s Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, is an expert on East Central and Southeastern Europe and coordinates the Hellenic Studies Program. He will speak about One Breath in a Q&A session following the second public screening of the film.
One Floor Below (Un Etaj mai Jos) Radu Muntean, Romania/France/Germany/Sweden (North American Premiere)
After being the sole unfortunate witness to a domestic quarrel that ends up in a murder, Sandu finds himself at odds with two very close neighbours. One is the bizarre murderer, the other is his very own conscience.
Parisienne (Peur de rien) Danielle Arbid, France (World Premiere)
The new film from Lebanese director Danielle Arbid follows a young Arab immigrant in Paris, whose encounters with three men reveal different facets of her new country, and of herself.
Paths of the Soul (Kang Rinpoche) Zhang Yang, China (World Premiere)
Director Zhang Yang blurs documentary and fiction in this account of a band of pilgrims who make a 2,000-kilometre journey on foot to Lhasa, the holy capital of Tibet and beyond.
THE PEOPLE vs. FRITZ BAUER (Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer) Lars Kraume, Germany (North American Premiere)
Germany, 1957. Attorney general Fritz Bauer receives crucial evidence on the whereabouts of SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, the man responsible for the mass deportation of the Jews. Because of his distrust in the German justice system, Bauer contacts the Israeli secret service Mossad, thereby committing treason.
Price of Love Hermon Hailay, Ethiopia (North American Premiere)
A young Addis Ababa taxi driver’s cab is stolen when he gets caught up in the dark side of love. He finds himself stuck in a relationship with a prostitute, making him confront his past and discover the price of love.
Rams (Hrútar) Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland (Canadian Premiere)
Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at this year's Cannes festival, Grímur Hákonarson’s stunningly shot drama focuses on two Icelandic sheep farmers whose decades-long feud comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks.
Schneider vs. Bax Alex van Warmerdam, Netherlands/Belgium (North American Premiere)
Schneider, a hit-man, is given a task: before the night has passed he must kill the writer Ramon Bax.
Song of Songs (Pesn pesney) Eva Neymann, Ukraine (North American Premiere)
1905. A Jewish Shtetl. Shimek and Buzya are two 10-year-olds. Of course, she is a princess and he is a prince. They live in the same yard, in neighbouring palaces. Years later Shimek begins to understand what Buzya really means to him when he receives the news that she is about to be married.
Sparrows Rúnar Rúnarsson, Iceland/Denmark (World Premiere)
Sparrows is a coming-of-age story about 16-year-old Ari, who has been living with his mother in Reykjavik and is suddenly sent back to the remote Westfjords to live with his father Gunnar. There, he has to navigate a difficult relationship with his father, and he finds his childhood friends changed. In these hopeless and declining surroundings, Ari has to step up and find his way.
Starve Your Dog Hicham Lasri, Morocco (World Premiere)
Fifteen years after he was dismissed of his functions, the former Minister of Interior during Morocco’s sinister decade of repression steps out of the shadows to make his confessions and disclose the monarchy’s dark secrets. He calls a filmmaker, famous for her daring documentaries during the time when he was in power, before the change of reign. She reunites the technical crew that was once her professional family — and while nothing seems to fall into place, she risks missing the confessions.
The Steps Andrew Currie, Canada (World Premiere)
An uptight New Yorker and his party girl sister visit their dad at his lake house to meet his new wife and her rough-around-the-edges kids. When the parents announce they're adopting a child to bring the family closer together, it has the opposite effect. Starring Jason Ritter, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James Brolin and Christine Lahti.
Story of Judas (Histoire de Judas) Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, France (North American Premiere)
Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche’s bold re-imagining the story of the Biblical figure of Judas Iscariot proposes that he is not a traitor, but rather Jesus’ most loyal and trusted disciple and steward. As Jesus’ teachings astound more and more crowds, he attracts the attention of resistance groups, high priests and the Roman authorities. When he drives the merchants from the Temple, Judas shows himself to be the guardian of the words of the master.
Stranger (Zhat) Yermek Tursunov, Kazakhstan (World Premiere)
Stranger is a film about freedom, with one man’s fate in focus. The times are hard: 1930s to 1940s Kazakhstan. A Kazakh steppe is scourged by famine, wasteland, collectivization and war. Having lost his father, a 9-year-old boy gathers his belongings and disappears. He lives alone in the mountain cave. Years pass by and returning to his village seems almost impossible.
Te prometo anarquía (I Promise You Anarchy) Julio Hernández Cordón, Mexico/Germany (North American Premiere)
Childhood friends Miguel and Johnny are dedicated to skating and having fun. To earn easy money and continue skating they secretly sell their blood. Business is good, until a large transaction turns out to be not as they imagined.
Thank You for Bombing Barbara Eder, Austria (World Premiere)
Three international TV correspondents — Ewald (Erwin Steinhauer), Lana (Manon Kahle) and Cal (Raphael von Bargen) — cross paths while waiting for a war that has already begun long ago in their own lives.
The Treasure (Comoara) Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania/France (North American Premiere)
Two neighbours set out to unearth a buried treasure in their own backyard, in this delightful fusion of contemporary fairy tale and political parable from Romanian New Wave master Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective).
Truman Cesc Gay, Spain/Argentina (World Premiere)
After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, a Madrid man resolves to spend his last days putting his affairs in order, in this delicate and intimate drama from Spanish director Cesc Gay. A humourous and honest portrait of the courage it takes to accept that death is just another part of life.
The Whispering Star (Hiso Hiso Boshi) Sion Sono, Japan (World Premiere)
Sion Sono wrote the screenplay and drew the accompanying storyboards in 1990, and 25 years later they’ve materialized into this black and white science fiction movie.
Previously announced Canadian titles in the Contemporary World Cinema programme include Kazik Radwanski’s How Heavy this Hammer, Anne Émond’s Les êtres chers, Philippe Falardeau’s My Internship in Canada and Igor Drljača’s The Waiting Room.
2015 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL LOOKS TO LONDON FOR SEVENTH ANNUAL CITY TO CITY PROGRAMME
The 40th Toronto International Film Festival® shines its spotlight on eight bold features from the city of London, England for the seventh edition of the City to City programme. The lineup showcases adventurous new works by contemporary directors living and working in the global city, and will expose audiences to the fearless cinema emerging from the region. Already known as a cultural capital and a hotbed for internationally acclaimed film — and contemporary arts in general — England’s capital is home to a number of up-and-coming filmmakers poised to contribute to the future of cinema.
The lineup of City to City films was programmed by Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. The annual City to City series focuses on the films and filmmakers from a selected international hot spot breaking new ground in cinema. Past programmes featured films from Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Athens and Seoul.
“We’re thrilled to shine an international spotlight on these up-and-coming filmmakers out of London, by sharing these exciting and provocative films with our audiences in September,” said Handling. “The Festival has a long relationship with British cinema, and we couldn’t be happier to be continuing this tradition,” continued Bailey.
“We have an excellent relationship with TIFF, and it’s a real pleasure to be partnering on this year’s City To City programme,” said Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission. “As ever, the lineup is incredibly strong, from the London strand to the wider programme which features films like High-Rise, The Program, LEGEND, The Danish Girl, Sunset Song and The Martian, all of which made use of United Kingdom locations, facilities and expertise. It is a fantastic year for UK film at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the world’s best film festivals, and it is set to be all the more exciting thanks to London House and the opportunity it gives us to showcase the UK’s incredible offer when it comes to talent, versatility and innovation.”
Couple in a Hole Tom Geens, United Kingdom/Belgium/France (World Premiere)
A middle class British couple end up living like feral creatures in a camouflaged hole in the middle of a vast forest in France. Starring Paul Higgins and Kate Dickie.
The Hard Stop George Amponsah, United Kingdom (World Premiere)
Over several years The Hard Stop features Marcus and Kurtis, childhood friends of Mark Duggan, the young man whose death ignited the UK riots in 2011. Marcus was sentenced for starting the riots in Tottenham that turned into the worst civil unrest in recent British history. The film reflects the current class divisions in British society as it charts the everyday challenges Marcus and Kurtis face as they grieve the loss of their dear friend, and negotiate incarceration and unemployment while the media debate about who their friend was and the inquest into his killing plays out in the background.
Kill Your Friends Owen Harris, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
Set in 1990s London, Kill Your Friends follows a 27-year-old A&R man — Steven Stelfox — slashing his way through the music business. Fueled by greed, ambition and inhuman quantities of drugs, Stelfox searches for his next hit record. But as the hits dry up and the industry changes, Stelfox takes the concept of “killer tunes” to a murderous new level. Starring Nicholas Hoult, James Corden, Rosanna Arquette and Ed Skrein.
Kilo Two Bravo Paul Katis, United Kingdom (International Premiere)
Set in Afghanistan in 2006, a group of British soldiers find themselves trapped in an unmarked minefield, setting into motion a desperate rescue mission. Based on a harrowing real life event, this suspenseful drama sheds light on the bravery, selflessness and heroism soldiers must have to avoid severely tragic consequences. Starring David Elliot and Mark Stanley.
London Road Rufus Norris, United Kingdom (International Premiere)
A film adaptation of the National Theatre's ground-breaking musical by Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork about the “Suffolk Strangler” murders in Ipswich in 2006. London Road follows the community who found themselves at the epicentre of these tragic events, and uses their own words set to an innovative musical score. Starring Tom Hardy and Olivia Colman.
Northern Soul Elaine Constantine, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
John and Matt are changed forever when they discover American soul music. No longer satisfied with the prospect of a dead-end factory job, they dream of finding the American soul record which will make them famous DJs. Northern Soul was phenomenally popular with British youth in the 1970s, taking the north of the country by storm. This is the story of a youth culture that changed a generation and influenced songwriters, producers, DJs and designers for decades to come. This is the story of Northern Soul. Starring Elliot James Langridge, Joshua Whitehouse, Antonia Thomas and Steve Coogan.
The Ones Below David Farr, United Kingdom (World Premiere)
Kate and Justin are a successful working couple in their mid-30s whose lives are destined to change forever when the seemingly charming Teresa and Jon move into the flat downstairs. Kate and Teresa become especially close when they both discover that they are pregnant. But when Teresa loses her baby in an accident, she blames Kate. After that, nothing is ever the same. Starring Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey and Stephen Campbell Moore.
Urban Hymn Michael Caton-Jones, United Kingdom (World Premiere)
Urban Hymn is a redemptive coming-of-age story which follows a neglected and wayward teen, Jamie, whose incredible singing voice offers an escape to a better life until she finds her loyalties torn between her inspiring, unconventional care worker and her possessive and volatile best friend. Starring Letitia Wright, Isabella Laughland and Shirley Henderson.
WAVELENGTHS PUSHES THE LIMITS OF CINEMATIC ART, FEATURING BOLD, ESSENTIAL WORK FROM SOME OF TODAY’S LEADING AUTEURS AND ARTISTS
Including new films by Miguel Gomes, Tsai Ming-liang, Chantal Akerman, Peter Tscherkassky, Sergei Loznitsa, Ben Rivers, Yto Barrada, Francis Alÿs, Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin, Pietro Marcello, Pablo Agüero, Beatrice Gibson, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Nicolás Pereda, and a major installation by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
The Toronto International Film Festival®’s Wavelengths programme is pleased to present 54 films, videos and installations by some of the world’s most influential auteurs and artists who challenge conventional expression and seek to redefine the art of cinema. Curated by Andréa Picard, with contributions from members of TIFF’s international programming team, Wavelengths comprises experimental film and video art, category-defying feature-length films — many of which flout the traditional fact-fiction boundaries and opt instead for cinema at its most expansive — and immersive, captivating installations, which redefine the potential for moving image art.
The 2015 edition features a seductive mix of master filmmakers, award-winning artists and emerging, new talent. Some of the highlights include the critical hit of this year’s Cannes, Miguel Gomes’ breathtakingly inventive, three-part Arabian Nights; disarmingly intimate dialogue-portraits by iconic and iconoclastic auteurs Chantal Akerman and Tsai Ming-liang, respectively; a major new montage film by Ukrainian master, Sergei Loznitsa; (World Premiere)s by Nicolás Pereda, Pablo Agüero, and Mark Lewis; and two important works from a new Italian cinema, Pietro Marcello’s exquisite Bella e perduta, and Roberto Minervini’s powerful and all-too prescient The Other Side.
“This year’s Wavelengths is marked by a certain youthful exuberance — one that is caught up in the contradiction of exhibiting energy, inventiveness and ample daring, while taking stock of the world’s various states of emergency, on large levels and intimate scales,” said Picard.“With renewed faith in the image — abstract ones, even frail ones, and those stemming from reality, remembrance or imagination — the filmmakers and artists in this year’s programme are actively proving cinema’s singular ability to engage with collective, individual, social and political memory.”
Additional highlights of this year’s programme include a new short and feature-length film by British filmmaker and artist Ben Rivers; the Festival’s first appearance by this year’s Baloise Art Prize winners, UK artist Beatrice Gibson and French artist Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc; the Abraaj Art Prize winner Yto Barrada; new works by emerging filmmaking talents, Lois Patiño and Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias; a record number of Canadian (and Toronto) contributions, including the (World Premiere) of a major new film by Montreal-based experimental filmmaker Daïchi Saïto and two recent discoveries presented in restored archival prints of films by Paul Sharits and by Philippe Garrel.
New to Wavelengths this year, works outside the cinema include the latest installation by Indian-American filmmaker Shambhavi Kaul; a lecture-performance by Toronto-based artist Annie MacDonell and French artist Maïder Fortuné originally commissioned by Le Centre Pompidou’s Hors Pistes festival; and TIFF’s first collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario to present lauded Thai filmmaker and artist, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s installation, Fireworks (Archives), as well as a new work by Corin Sworn and Tony Romano.
SHORT FILM PROGRAMMES
Wavelengths 1: Fire in the Brain
Like a fire in the brain that lights up perceptive powers, this programme is a seductively surreal visual exploration of the relationship between image, sound, and movement.
3D Movie Paul Sharits, USA (restored archival print courtesy of Anthology Film Archives)
Fugue Kerstin Schroedinger, Canada/Germany
Prima Materia Charlotte Pryce, USA
The Fire in My Brain That Separates Us Benjamin Ramírez Pérez, Germany
Something Horizontal Blake Williams, Canada/USA
The Exquisite Corpus Peter Tscherkassky, Austria
Wavelengths 2: YOLO
Subjective experience is channeled through artistic collaborations in this programme, which offers YOLO-infused reflections on identity and contemporary dislocation.
A Distant Episode Ben Rivers, UK
An Old Dog’s Diary Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel, India
The Reminder Behrouz Rae, USA
Solo for Rich Man Beatrice Gibson, UK
YOLO Ben Russell, USA/South Africa
Analysis of Emotions and Vexations Wojcieck Bąkowski, Poland
Bunte Kuh Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour and Ryan Ferko, Canada/Germany
Wavelengths 3: Light Space Modulator
This programme explores ways of recording and reshaping space with light, of measuring and mapping our bodily presence and impact vis-à-vis regional, global and abstracted cartographies.
Navigator Björn Kämmerer, Austria/Germany
Théodolitique David K. Ross, Canada
Office Space Modulation Terrarea (Janis Demkiw, Emily Hogg, Olia Mishchenko) Canada
Palms Mary Helena Clark, Canada/USA
Occidente Ana Vaz, France/Portugal
Terrestrial Calum Walter, USA
Tarlabaşı Cynthia Madansky,Turkey
Wavelengths 4: Psychic Driving
Is now a time for outrage? This programme of political statements and personal inquiries breathes new life into the politics of the image.
Actua1 Philippe Garrel, France (restored archival print courtesy of La Cinémathèque française)
Time for Outrage! Friedl vom Gröller, Austria
Untitled Behrouz Rae, USA
Many Thousands Gone Ephraim Asili, Brazil/USA
Neither God nor Santa Maria Samuel M. Delgado and Helena Girón, Spain
Psychic Driving William E. Jones, USA
UNcirCling John Creson and Adam Rosen, Canada
Engram of Returning Daïchi Saïto, Canada
Night without distance (Noite Sem Distância) Lois Patiño, Spain/Portugal (North American Premiere)
An instant in the memory of a landscape: the smuggling that for centuries crossed the line between Portugal and Galicia. The Gerês Mountains knows no borders, and rocks cross from one country to another with insolence. Smugglers also disobey this separation. The rocks, river, and trees: silent witnesses to help them to hide.
Night without distance precedes previously announced feature-film, Minotaur by Nicolás Pereda.
Santa Teresa and Other Stories (Santa Teresa y Otras Historias) Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias Mexico/Dominican Republic/USA (North American Premiere)
Dominican filmmaker Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias radically extrapolates from Roberto Bolaño’s unfinished, posthumous novel 2666, to produce a baroque fictionalized account of Ciudad Juárez. This noir-tinged tale soon begins to dovetail and intersect with a host of other stories recounted by a chorus of disembodied voices, creating a narrative palimpsest that blurs the line between factual documentation, lyrical observation, and fictional imagination.
Paradox of Praxis 5 Francis Alÿs, Mexico (International Premiere)
The latest in Belgian-born, Mexico City-based contemporary artist Francis Alÿs’ series of performative videos that politicize absurd or seemingly futile gestures, Paradox of Praxis 5 documents the artist’s nocturnal perambulations through Juárez as he kicks a ball of fire along the city’s desolate streets. Transcending metaphor, the eerie, mobile conflagration traces out an imaginary map of a devastated city.
Sector IX B (Secteur IX B) Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, France/Senegal (North American Premiere)
Taking inspiration from L’Afrique fantôme — the controversial diary by surrealist writer Michel Leiris recounting his participation in the ambitious French ethnographic expedition of the 1930s to Dakar and Djibouti — Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s arresting first feature reflects on identity, cultural appropriation, and the transference of memory though objects.
Faux Départ (False Start) Yto Barrada, Morocco/USA (North American Premiere)
The latest film by French-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada observes the elaborate fossil industry in Morocco. Paying homage to the “preparators” in the arid region between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, whose intrepid work is fuelling a thriving trade in artifacts real, faux and hybrid, False Start is a rebuke to the fetishistic thirst for foreign objects, a sly meditation on authenticity, and a paean to creativity.
Previously announced was the pairing of Isiah Medina’s 88:88 preceded by Denis Côté’s short film May We Sleep Soundly.
Afternoon (Na ri xia wu) Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan (North American Premiere)
A disarmingly candid, insightful and ultimately very moving conversation between Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-liang and his muse, actor Lee Kang-sheng, whose storied relationship represents one of the great collaborations in cinema history.
Arabian Nights: The Restless One Miguel Gomes, Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland (North American Premiere)
A major hit at this year's Cannes, this epic, three-part contemporary fable by Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes (Tabu) adopts the structure from the Arabian Nights texts in order to explore Portugal's plunge into austerity. The first volume of this thrillingly inventive and wildly ambitious triptych includes appearances by cunning wasps, virgin mermaids, an exploding whale, erection-inducing potions and a talking rooster.
Arabian Nights: The Desolate One Miguel Gomes, Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland (North American Premiere)
Part Two of Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes’ majestic, mutating modern-day folk tale relates how desolation has invaded humanity through stories involving a distressed judge on a night of three moons, a runaway, a teleporting murderer, a wounded cow, a sad, chain-smoking couple in a concrete apartment block, and a ghost dog named Dixie.
Arabian Nights: The Enchanted One Miguel Gomes, Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland (North American Premiere)
The third and concluding volume of Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes’ Scheherazadean triptych brings this epic to a close with the sound of birdsong and the promise of the ineffable.
Eva Doesn’t Sleep Pablo Agüero, France/Argentina/Spain (World Premiere)
One of Argentina’s most visionary and politically engaged cinematic voices, director Pablo Agüero takes the unbelievable story of the transport of the embalmed body of beloved First Lady Eva Perón, and transforms it into a strangely riveting cinema experience, with a supremely creepy performance from Gael García Bernal.
The Event Sergei Loznitsa, Netherlands/Belgium (North American Premiere)
Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa follows his monumental documentary Maïdan with this found-footage epic about the failed coup of August 1991 that signaled the fall of the Soviet Union.
Lost and Beautiful (Bella e perduta) Pietro Marcello, Italy (North American Premiere)
Part fable, part documentary, part film poem, the latest exquisite feature by Pietro Marcello (La bocca del lupo) pays homage to a humble shepherd who became a symbol of hope and generosity for a struggling and conflicted Italy.
No Home Movie Chantal Akerman, Belgium (North American Premiere)
Shuttling between fiction, adaptation, documentary and essay film, Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman has created one of the most original, daring and influential oeuvres in film history. No Home Movie is a sober, profoundly moving portrait of Akerman’s mother in the months leading up to her death, when she was mostly confined to her Brussels apartment. A Polish Jew who survived Auschwitz, her mother suffered from chronic anxiety, an affliction that shaped Akerman’s thematic preoccupations with gender, sex, cultural identity, existential ennui, solitude and mania.
The Other Side Roberto Minervini, France/Italy (North American Premiere)
In turns tender and disturbing, Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini produces a powerful hybrid docu-fiction film, profiling drug addicts and private militia in Louisiana, who live on the fringes of society.
The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers Ben Rivers, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
Partially inspired by Paul Bowles’ short story A Distant Episode, the latest feature by British filmmaker Ben Rivers (Two Years at Sea, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness) charts a mysterious transformation from observational making-of to inventive adaptation shot against a staggering Moroccan landscape.
Previously announced feature films include Mark Lewis’ Invention, and Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room.
Fallen Objects Shambhavi Kaul, USA/India (World Premiere)
Presented in partnership with Scrap Metal Gallery from September 10-20, this new installation by Indian-American artist-filmmaker Shambhavi Kaul is comprised of a large projected video loop composed of seven shots that continuously rearrange themselves based on an internal code, and floorbound sculptures in the form of scraps of cloth — the “fallen objects” of the title. Stripping away the narrative potential of its genre cinema-derived source material, Fallen Objects considers cinematic space outside the cinema and imagines humans inside it.
Fireworks (Archives) Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/Mexico (Canadian Premiere)
Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario from September 10-27 (Closed on Mondays), the new installation from Palme d’Or-winning Thai filmmaker and contemporary artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul fuses the artist’s exploration of memory, ephemeral elements like light and phantoms, and the malleable nature of history and storytelling while exhuming Thailand’s political legacy through an ingenious use of pyrotechnics.
Previously announced programming includes the lecture-performance, Stories Are Meaning-Making Machines by Annie MacDonell and Maïder Fortuné; and film installations La Giubba by Corin Sworn and Tony Romano; The Forbidden Room – A Living Poster by Galen Johnson; and Bring me the Head of Tim Horton by Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson.
The 40th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 to 20, 2015.
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