Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Toronto International Film Festival announces 2015 Midnight Madness and Vanguard programmes


Midnight Madness returns to the Toronto International Film Festival® to satiate late night audiences’ appetites for wild sensory stimulation. The programme will present the best in action, horror, shock and fantasy films from the rabble-rousers of cinema, opening with Jeremy Saulnier’s tense siege shocker Green Room.

“Midnight Madness winds up Festival audiences as the days are winding down and they are hungry for more,” says Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival. “From adrenaline-filled action and untamed horror to twisted comedy and darkly blurred lines of reality, this year’s lineup welcomes back celebrated masters and fresh visionaries of renegade genre cinema.”

Among this year’s returning Midnight Madness directors are Joe Begos and Sean Byrne, who both debuted in the programme and are back with their much anticipated follow-up features, and Japanese bad boy auteur Takashi Miike with his high-octane Yakuza Apocalypse. Closing out the selection is the raucously reverent homage to classic slasher movies The Final Girls. Films screening as part of the Midnight Madness programme include:

Baskin Can Evrenol, Turkey (World Premiere)
A squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building. The nightmarish feature debut Baskin is the first-ever Midnight Madness film from Turkey.

The Devil’s Candy Sean Byrne, USA (World Premiere)
The director of the 2009 Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award winner The Loved Ones is back with an equally fresh twist on the supernatural genre. A struggling artist (Ethan Embry) and his family buy the house of their dreams only to discover the property's mysterious dark past and a former tenant who wants more than to simply come back home. From the producers of Midnight Madness hits You’re Next and The Guest.

Midnight Madness Closing Night Film
The Final Girls Todd Strauss-Schulson, USA (International Premiere)
Max (American Horror Story’s Taissa Farmiga) is a high school senior whose mom (Malin Akerman) was a celebrated ’80s scream queen. At a screening, Max and her friends are mysteriously transported inside her mom’s most infamous movie, where they must fend off the camp counselors’ raging hormones, battle a deranged machete-wielding killer and find a way to escape the movie and get back home.

The Girl in the Photographs Nick Simon, USA (World Premiere)
Big-city glamour clashes with small-town values and a killer’s knife, in this bloody cocktail of terror from director Nick Simon and executive producer Wes Craven. Colleen’s life in the sleepy town of Spearfish is disrupted when she starts receiving photographs of brutally murdered women. Things get even crazier for Colleen when L.A. based celeb-photographer Peter Hemmings (Kal Penn) returns to his hometown of Spearfish to investigate.

Midnight Madness Opening Night Film
Green Room Jeremy Saulnier, USA (North American Premiere)
Broke, tired and at each other’s throats after a cancelled gig, a young punk rock band accepts a sketchy matinee show to get themselves home. When they stumble upon something they weren’t supposed to witness, the quartet is trapped in a terrifying siege. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier (of 2013 Cannes Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize winner Blue Ruin), the film stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, and Patrick Stewart.
Green Room is preceded by the previously announced short film The Chickening from directors Nick DenBoer and Davy Force.

Hardcore Ilya Naishuller, Russia/USA (World Premiere)
Resurrected with no recollection of his past, a cyborg named Henry (the audience’s POV) and his ally, Jimmy (Sharlto Copley, District 9) must fight through the streets of Moscow in pursuit of Henry’s kidnapped wife in the world’s first action-adventure film to be entirely shot from the first person perspective.

The Mind’s Eye Joe Begos, USA (World Premiere)
Joe Begos returns with a psychokinetic thriller about Zack Connors (Graham Skipper), whose abilities have kept him off the grid for years until he’s recruited by the mysterious Dr. Slovak. The snowy New England landscape turns into a whirlwind of psychic rage, flying axes, and brutal revenge as Zack does everything in his power to stop Dr. Slovak's deadly descent into synthetically engineered telekinetic madness.

Southbound Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and Radio Silence, USA (World Premiere)
Five intertwining tales of terror unfold along an endless desert highway. On a desolate stretch of road, weary travellers — two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation — are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in these interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road.

SPL 2 - A Time For Consequences Soi Cheang, Hong Kong (International Premiere)
The anticipated follow-up to the bone-cracking martial arts brawler SPL (also known as Sha Po Lung and Kill Zone) that debuted in the programme in 2005 stars Midnight Madness discovery Tony Jaa (Ong Bak). When an undercover cop (Wu Jing) has his cover blown and is thrown into a prison in Thailand run by a crime syndicate, he must team up with a prison guard (Jaa) to bust out and get revenge on those who wronged him. Filled with gun battles, prison riots and frenetic fight choreography, SPL 2 might knock the wind out of you — and possibly a few teeth.

Yakuza Apocalypse (Gokudo Daisenso) Takashi Miike, Japan (North American Premiere)
Japanese cinematic extremist Takashi Miike returns to his gonzo roots with this mind-melter that finds room for vampires, gangsters, monsters, martial arts and even a yakuza knitting circle. A true master and MVP of the programme, Miike wowed previous Midnight Madness audiences with such hits as Fudoh: The New Generation, Audition, The City of Lost Souls, Ichi the Killer, Zebraman, The Great Yokai War and Sukiyaki Western Django. He returns with a film too wild to be described and too fun to be missed!

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

Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the Midnight Madness Pack, which includes all 10 screenings for $185 or $120 for students and seniors. 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 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 26 while quantities last.

With latest from Lucile Hadžihalilović, Álex de la Iglesia, Gaspar Noé and Anders Thomas Jensen

The Toronto International Film Festival® revealed today its Vanguard programme featuring new work from 14 daring filmmakers who are transcending the boundaries of creative vision where art house and genre films will spectacularly collide.

“Delving into the dark side of humanity and dangerously sexy, this year’s Vanguard lineup has something unique for everyone,” says International Programmer Colin Geddes. “We’re leading audiences into a wild world of emotional sensations, demons and strange sea creatures — delivered with Vanguard’s distinctive twist on storytelling.”

The 2015 selection includes a mysterious fantasy from French director Lucile Hadžihalilović; an eccentric comedy from Spanish cult favourite Álex de la Iglesia; an erotic 3D epic from Gaspar Noé; a twisted family tale from Danish filmmaker Anders Thomas Jensen and South Korea’s Ryoo Seung-wan busts out with action and thrills.

Films screening as part of the Vanguard programme include:

Collective Invention (Dolyeon Byeoni) Kwon Oh-kwang, South Korea (World Premiere)
Young and unemployed Gu is desperate to make some money and participates in a clinical trial for a pharmaceutical company’s new drug. As an unknown side effect, he slowly transforms into a fish. This bizarre situation becomes Korea’s hottest news and fish man Gu is catapulted into the spotlight and becomes a superstar, only to fall from grace just as quickly.

Demon Marcin Wrona, Poland/Israel (World Premiere)
Peter is a stranger in the hometown of his future wife Janet. As a wedding gift from the bride's grandfather, he receives a piece of land where the two can build a house and raise a happy family. While preparing the land for construction, Peter finds hidden bones of human bodies in the ground beneath his new property. Then very strange things begin to happen.

Der Nachtmahr AKIZ, Germany (North American Premiere)
When 17-year -old Tina passes out at a party, she assumes it was just the side-effect of her wild lifestyle on the decadent Berlin-party scene. Soon she becomes unsettled and nervously manic as a mysterious ugly creature starts to haunt her, in both her dreams and waking hours, and nobody believes her.

Evolution Lucile Hadžihalilović, France (World Premiere)
A 10-year-old boy discovers a dead body in the sea just before he is brought to the hospital for a mysterious injection. Before long, something appears to be growing inside of him.

February Osgood Perkins, USA/Canada (World Premiere)
In February, beautiful and haunted Joan makes a bloody and determined pilgrimage across a frozen landscape toward a prestigious all girls prep school, where Rose and Kat find themselves stranded after their parents mysteriously fail to retrieve them for winter break. As Joan gets closer, terrifying visions begin plaguing Kat while Rose watches in horror as she becomes possessed by an unseen evil force.

Lace Crater Harrison Atkins, USA (World Premiere)
On a weekend trip to the Hamptons with friends, Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) encounters a mysterious ghost (Peter Vack) haunting the guest house. One thing leads to another and they find themselves in the throes of an unexpected one-night stand. Soon, Ruth begins suffering from a bizarre sexually-transmitted disease that leaves doctors and friends confused and frightened. As her body and social connections begin to disintegrate, she must find a way to reconcile her condition with the world around her, or risk losing herself to a void from which she may never emerge.

Love Gaspar Noé, France (North American Premiere)
January 1, early morning. The telephone rings. Murphy wakes up next to his young wife and two-year-old child. He listens to his voicemail: Electra’s mother, sick with worry, wants to know whether he has heard from her daughter. Electra’s been missing for a long time. She's afraid something really bad has happened to her. Over the course of a long rainy day, Murphy finds himself alone in his apartment, reminiscing about the greatest love affair of his life: his two years with Electra. A burning passion full of promises, games, excess and mistakes.

Men & Chicken (Mænd og Høns) Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark (North American Premiere)
Men & Chicken revolves around two special-natured brothers, Elias and Gabriel (Mads Mikkelsen and David Dencik). Upon their father’s passing, they find out through their father’s will that they are adopted. Elias and Gabriel decide to seek out their natural father and set out for the island Ork, where their biological father lives. Here they discover a most paralyzing, yet liberating truth about themselves and their family.

My Big Night (Mi Gran Noche) Álex de la Iglesia, Spain (World Premiere)
The story unfolds amidst a frenzied and lavish New Year's Eve television special, taped during a sweltering hot August in Madrid. An unemployed Jose is sent to join hundreds of extras cooped up on set, day and night, as they hysterically celebrate the fake coming of the New Year — over and over again. The star of the show, Alphonso, is a charismatic ratings-chasing diva; and Adán, a young Latino singer, is being hounded by fans that are trying to blackmail him.

The Missing Girl A.D. Calvo, USA (World Premiere)
The Missing Girl tells the story of Mort, the lonely and disillusioned owner of a comic book shop, and Ellen, the emotionally disruptive, aspiring graphic novelist he's hired. The story involves the search for a girl who isn’t missing and the discovery that it's never too late for late bloomers.

Veteran Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korea (North American Premiere)
A tough cop targets the tyrannical heir to a mega-corporation in this hard-hitting thriller from South Korean cult auteur Ryoo Seung-wan (Crying Fist, City of Violence).

Previously announced Canadian titles in the Vanguard programme include André Turpin’s Endorphine, Bruce McDonald’s Hellions, and Mark Sawers’ No Men Beyond This Point.

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

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 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 26 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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