Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Toronto International Film Festival announces Canadian selections, Talent Lab, Pitch This!, Rising Stars


The Toronto International Film Festival® announced an exciting lineup of Canadian features, packed with World Premieres from acclaimed filmmakers Deepa Mehta, Alanis Obomsawin, Bruce McDonald, and Brigitte Berman to promising new work from Kevan Funk, Anne Émond, Chloé Robichaud, Jamie Kastner, and Vincent Biron. North American Premieres include the latest from Xavier Dolan, Nathan Morlando, Kim Nguyen, Ann Marie Fleming, and Johnny Ma.

“We are thrilled to present a robust selection of projects from some of Canada’s best filmmakers,” said Steve Gravestock, Senior Programmer, TIFF. “From thought provoking documentaries and affecting dramas, to unconventional biographies and thrillers, to animated features, this year’s selections highlight the diversity and high-calibre work produced in Canada.”

“We are proud to shine a spotlight on both veteran filmmakers and emerging talent in this year’s slate,” said Magali Simard, Film Programmes Manager, TIFF. “Canadians continue to forge their own path on a global scale with their own distinct perspectives and methods of storytelling.”

The Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film will be presented to one of many outstanding Canadian filmmakers, and the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film will be presented to the filmmaker with the most impressive debut feature film at the Festival. This year’s Canadian awards jury is composed of producers Luc Déry (Incendies, Monsieur Lazhar) and Anita Lee (Stories We Tell, Invention), filmmaker Mina Shum (Double Happiness, Ninth Floor), and cultural critic and novelist Hal Niedzviecki.

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2016.


Below Her Mouth April Mullen, Canada World Premiere
Below Her Mouth is a bold, uninhibited drama that begins with a passionate weekend affair between two women. Dallas, a roofer, and Jasmine, a fashion editor, share a powerful and immediate connection that inevitably derails both of their lives. Starring Erika Linder, Natalie Krill, and Sebastian Pigott.

It’s Only the End of the World Xavier Dolan, Canada/France North American Premiere
After 12 years of absence, a writer goes back to his hometown, planning on announcing his upcoming death to his family. As resentment soon rewrites the course of the afternoon, fits and feuds unfold, fuelled by loneliness and doubt, while all attempts of empathy are sabotaged by people’s incapacity to listen, and to love. Starring Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, and Léa Seydoux.

Mean Dreams Nathan Morlando, Canada North American Premiere
Mean Dreams is a tense coming-of-age thriller about a 15-year-old boy who steals a bag of drug money and runs away with the girl he loves. While her violent and corrupt cop father hunts them down, they embark on a journey that will change their lives forever. A potent fable at its heart, Mean Dreams fuses the desperation of life on the run with the beauty and wonder of first love. Starring TIFF Rising Star Sophie Nélisse, Josh Wiggins, Bill Paxton, and Colm Feore.

Two Lovers and a Bear Kim Nguyen, Canada North American Premiere
This film is set in the Great North, near the North Pole, in a modern town where about 200 souls live precariously in minus 50 degree weather, and where roads lead to nowhere but the endless white. It is in this eerie lunar landscape that Lucy and Roman, two young tormented souls, fell in love. But now, ghosts from Lucy's past are coming back, and she needs to run away or she will burn. Together, these lovers decide to make a leap for life, a leap for inner peace. Starring Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan.

Weirdos Bruce McDonald, Canada World Premiere
Nova Scotia, 1976. It’s the weekend of the American Bicentennial and 15-year-old Kit is running away from home. With girlfriend Alice, Kit hitchhikes through the maritime landscape towards a new home with his mother, Laura. Along the way, Kit and Alice’s relationship is tested as Kit approaches a realization that will change his life forever. Starring Dylan Authors, Julia Sarah Stone, Molly Parker, and Allan Hawco.

Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming) Ann Marie Fleming, Canada North American Premiere
Window Horses is a feature-length animated film about a young Canadian poet who embarks on a whirlwind voyage of discovery — of herself, her family, love, history, and the nature of poetry. Featuring the voices of Sandra Oh, Ellen Page, Don McKellar, Nancy Kwan, and Shohreh Aghdashloo, the film is filled with poems and histories created by a variety of artists and animators, who set out to blend a vast myriad of differences between cultures, philosophies, arts, and time frames.


Anatomy of Violence Deepa Mehta, Canada/India World Premiere
In 2012, a young woman was gang raped by six men inside a moving bus in New Delhi. She was beaten senseless and thrown naked out onto the street. Eleven actors collaborated on Deepa Mehta’s devastating fictional dramatization of the lives of the rapists.

We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice Alanis Obomsawin, Canada World Premiere
In 2007, the Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations filed a landmark discrimination complaint against Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada. They argued that child and family welfare services provided to First Nations children on reserves and in the Yukon were underfunded and inferior to services offered to other Canadian children. Veteran director Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice documents this epic court challenge, giving voice to the tenacious childcare workers at its epicentre.


All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and The Spirit of I.F. Stone Fred Peabody, Canada World Premiere
Investigative journalists Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Matt Taibbi, and others are changing the face of journalism, no longer tied to mainstream media, choosing independent alternatives. Cameras follow as they uncover government and corporate secrets, just as ground-breaking and influential American journalist I.F. Stone did decades ago.

Black Code Nicholas de Pencier, Canada World Premiere
Based on the book by Professor Ron Deibert, Black Code is the story of how the internet is being controlled and manipulated by governments in order to censor and monitor their citizens. As they battle for control of cyberspace, ideas of citizenship, privacy, and democracy are challenged to the core.

Giants of Africa Hubert Davis, Canada World Premiere
On a continent where dreams are often displaced for necessity and survival, the game of basketball brings hope to many young men in Africa. Masai Ujiri, president and general manager of the Toronto Raptors, returns to Africa each summer to stage basketball development camps. Young men from across the continent overcome staggering odds, with an unwavering spirit, to attend these camps that are held in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda. As Masai and his team of coaches work to train and inspire the raw talent that they encounter, Giants of Africa captures the amazing physical and emotional journey that these young African men pass through.

Mostly Sunny Dilip Mehta, Canada World Premiere
Growing up in small-town Sarnia as the daughter of strict Sikh parents, no one anticipated Sunny Leone’s remarkable transformation into an adult film star and Penthouse cover girl — not even Sunny herself. More astonishing still, she has reinvented herself in India as a mainstream reality TV star and Bollywood actress, beloved by millions despite widespread awareness of her spicy past. Mostly Sunny asks what makes Sunny tick, and explores the birthplace of the Kama Sutra’s paradoxical relationship with sex.

The River of My Dreams Brigitte Berman, Canada World Premiere
Actor-writer-director Gordon Pinsent is one of Canada’s most beloved artists. Filled with humour, passion, and complexity, this film by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman tells Gordon Pinsent's story, as well as a universal story about the human condition, while making creative use of state-of-the art digital technology.

The Skyjacker’s Tale Jamie Kastner, Canada World Premiere
The Skyjacker’s Tale is a documentary thriller about Ishmael Muslim Ali (né Labeet), one of the most wanted U.S. fugitives ever, who successfully hijacked a plane to Cuba after being convicted of murdering eight people on a golf course owned by the Rockefellers.

The Stairs Hugh Gibson, Canada World Premiere
The Stairs tells the story of Marty, Greg, and Roxanne, each of whom survived decades of street involvement in Toronto. Using that experience, each works in public health to help their old neighbourhood, while struggling to maintain their newly-found stability. Told over five years, The Stairs defies stereotypes about drug use, sex work, and homelessness through an intimate portrait that is by turns funny, surprising, and moving.


ARQ Tony Elliott, USA/Canada World Premiere
In a future where corporations battle against sovereign nations over the last of the world’s energy supplies, Renton and Hannah relive a deadly home invasion over and over again. The intruders are bent on getting the ARQ, an experimental energy technology that could end the wars — and is also creating a time loop that is making the day repeat.

Hello Destroyer Kevan Funk, Canada World Premiere
A young junior hockey player's life is shattered by an in-game act of violence. In an instant his life is abruptly turned upside down; torn from the fraternity of the team and the coinciding position of prominence, he is cast out and ostracized from the community. As he struggles with the repercussions of the event, desperate to find a means of reconciliation and a sense of identity, his personal journey illuminates troubling systemic issues around violence. Starring TIFF Rising Star Jared Abrahamson.

Jean of the Joneses Stella Meghie, Canada Canadian Premiere
Writer-director Stella Meghie's debut feature is an acerbic coming-of-age tale that revolves around the troubled Jones family, one of whom dies at the start of the film. When the paramedic who answers their 911 call falls for rambunctious Jean, the courtship goes south during a calamitous funeral. Starring Taylour Paige and Gloria Reuben.

Old Stone Johnny Ma, Canada/China North American Premiere
When a drunken passenger causes Lao Shi to swerve and hit a motorcyclist, the driver stops to help the injured man. When no police or ambulance arrive, he drives the victim to the hospital, checks him in, and finds himself responsible for the man’s medical bills. The repercussions of Shi’s selfless act expose a society rife with bone-chilling callousness and bureaucratic indifference. On the verge of losing his cab, his job, and his family, Lao Shi has to resort to desperate measures to survive. Starring Chen Gang.

Prank Vincent Biron, Canada North American Premiere
Stefie, a lonely young boy, is approached by Martin, Jean-Sé, and Lea to record their daily pranks with his cellphone. The four prankmeisters decide to set up a stunt which goes beyond anything they've done so far... but who will be the victim? Prank is a funny and sometimes scary coming-of-age story about friendship, curiosity, peer pressure, and the loss of innocence.

Werewolf Ashley McKenzie, Canada World Premiere
Blaise and Nessa are marginalized methadone users in a small town. Each day they push their rusty lawn mower door-to-door begging to cut grass. Nessa plots an escape, while Blaise lingers closer to collapse. Tethered to each other, their getaway dreams are kept on a suffocatingly short leash.


Boundaries Chloé Robichaud, Canada World Premiere
The paths of three women cross in Besco, a small isolated island facing an important economic crisis. Starring Macha Grenon, Emily VanCamp, Nathalie Doummar, and Rémy Girard.

X Quinientos Juan Andrés Arango, Canada/Colombia/Mexico World Premiere
Three separate but powerful stories of three teenagers who must come to terms with their new reality when they are forced to migrate to different parts of the Americas after the loss of someone they loved.


Nelly Anne Émond, Canada World Premiere
A film inspired by the life and work of Nelly Arcan. Nelly is a portrait of a fragmented woman, lost between irreconcilable identities: writer, lover, call girl, and star. Several women in one, navigating between great exaltation and great disenchantment. The film mirrors the violent life and radical work of its subject, paying tribute to a writer who insisted on taking risks. Starring TIFF Rising Star Mylène Mackay.


nirvanna the band the show created by Matt Johnson and Jay McCarrol; directed by Matt Johnson, Canada World Premiere
Two lifelong best friends and roommates are planning the greatest musical act in the history of the modern world. If only they could book their first gig.


A Cool Sound from Hell Sidney J. Furie, Canada
A striking record of hipster Toronto in the 1950s, Sidney J. Furie’s long-thought-lost second feature follows a bored young man who kicks his middle-class destiny to the curb and plunges into the Hogtown netherworld of jazz, sex, and narcotics. Bronwen Hughes’ The Journey is the Destination was a Canadian feature previously announced in the Gala programme.


The Toronto International Film Festival® unveiled an exciting slate of 37 Canadian short films sure to captivate and inspire international audiences with their original and compelling stories. This year’s short film roster celebrates established filmmakers and a new wave of talent. Their creative visions are as diverse in perspectives and distinctive in experiences as Canada is rich in communities, people, and voices. This year’s selection includes 17 films by women directors, 6 films from Canadian Indigenous directors, and several films that focus on stories from remote regions of the country. From animation to documentary, fiction to experimental, these shorts showcase fascinating and provocative stories that are uniquely Canadian.

Canadian films in the Short Cuts programme are eligible for the Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film, and the Short Cuts Award for Best Film. This year's jury includes American filmmaker Abteen Bagheri (That B.E.A.T.), French filmmaker Eva Husson (Bang Gang), and Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby (Rhymes for Young Ghouls).


3-Way (Not Calling) Molly McGlynn, Canada World Premiere
Mel struggles to find excitement in her relationship and convinces her reluctant partner Kevin to have a threesome, which he sets up with their local millennial barista, Gina, who overstays her welcome.

5 Films About Technology Peter Huang, Canada World Premiere
A look at the dumber side of modern technology.

Ape Sodom Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Canada World Premiere
Three degenerates navigate the descending hierarchy of post-consumerist enlightenment.

Blind Vaysha Theodore Ushev, Canada North American Premiere
Blind Vaysha doesn’t see the present. She was born with a left eye that only sees the past and a right eye that only sees the future. This story is a metaphor for the struggle to live in the moment, and how people seek comfort in memories of the past or in hope brought on by the future.

Cleo Sanja Zivkovic, Canada World Premiere
Cleo discovers an unexpected connection as she ventures outside her comfort zone into a part of town she has never experienced before.

CYCLES Joe Cobden, Canada World Premiere
A man is stuck in loops of abstract memories after a relationship suddenly ends. He relives the love lost, from first meeting to last goodbye.

DataMine Timothy Barron Tracey, Canada Toronto Premiere
This cunning example of stop-motion animation tackles our obsessions with security, surveillance, and digital culture.

Emma Martin Edralin, Canada World Premiere
Emma, 14, has alopecia — a condition of rapid, unpredictable hair loss. Fighting a futile battle against her changing appearance, her only hope is acceptance.

Four Faces of the Moon Amanda Strong, Canada World Premiere
This intricate stop-motion animation interlaces Canada’s colonial past with writer-director Amanda Strong’s personal family history — and illuminates Cree, Métis, and Anishinaabe reclamation of culture, language, and nationhood.

A Funeral for Lightning Emily Kai Bock, Canada/USA World Premiere
Seven months pregnant, a young woman is stuck living off-the-grid, under her husband’s pretense of a “free life,” as he pursues other ambitions.

Gods Acre Kelton Stepanowich, Canada World Premiere
Frank lives alone on his family’s ancestral Cree lands, but water levels are rising due to climate change, and evacuation seems more necessary every day.

HAND.LINE.COD. Justin Simms, Canada World Premiere
On the remote, ruggedly beautiful Fogo Island, traditional fishers lead a revolution in sustainability. Returning to a traditional cod catching method and engaging in a modern experiment to deliver directly to a commercial market of big city chefs in Toronto, the story provides a provocative window on the concept of the economic nutrition label and exposes where the money goes in the process.

Imitations Fabian Velasco and Milos Mitrovic, Canada World Premiere
After getting plastic surgery to look like a famous teen pop-star, an introverted super fan named Arnold begins to experience irreversible side effects as his face begins to fall apart during a night out doing karaoke.

Late Night Drama Patrice Laliberté, Canada World Premiere
1:34 AM. A snowy suburb. Jérémie, 24, parks his modified car in front of a crowded club. His friends’ usual concerns —“Hey man, do you have something that will help me make it through the night”? — do not interest him. Jérémie is looking for someone.

Mariner Thyrone Tommy, Canada World Premiere
A young, marine navigation student suffers intense anxiety during his final exams, when an incident from his past returns to both haunt and help him.

Mutants Alexandre Dostie, Canada North American Premiere
In the summer of 1996, life throws a curveball in the face of Keven Guénette and it hits him hard. Guided by his paraplegic baseball coach, Keven discovers the mutating effects of sex and love.

Nothing about Moccasins Eden Mallina Awashish, Canada North American Premiere
Director Eden Mallina Awashish struggles to understand why her grandmother refuses to allow her to shoot a film about moccasins. Her failed attempt turns into a playful deconstruction of cultural loss, a record of the resolve to protect Atikamekw tradition.

Nutag – Homeland Alisi Telengut, Canada North American Premiere
A non-narrative hand-painted visual poem about diaspora, homeland, and the tragic mass-deportations of the Kalmyk people during World War II.

Oh What a Wonderful Feeling François Jaros, Canada North American Premiere
A truck stop becomes a nighttime realm of menace and mystery for a young woman who harbours her own secrets.

Plain and Simple Raphaël Ouellet, Canada World Premiere
A window into the lives of four different characters who share an acute sense of loneliness and a hidden longing to connect.

Red of the Yew Tree Marie-Hélène Turcotte, Canada North American Premiere
A voyage begins on the occasion of a pheasant hunt, leading the hunter through a vast and yet intimate landscape in this delicately evocative animation.

The Road to Webequie Ryan Noth and Tess Girard, Canada World Premiere
A mining company has promised to create opportunities for the remote Webequie First Nation. Through the eyes of three youths facing an uncertain future, this observational yet expansive documentary shows the struggles — and hopes — of a community confronting challenges that many Canadians will never experience.

Shahzad Haya Waseem, Canada World Premiere
Shahzad, an 11-year old Pakistani boy who moves to Toronto with his father, has to find his home in a foreign land, only to discover home itself has become foreign.

Small Fry Eva Michon, USA/Poland/Canada World Premiere
A teenage girl visits her dad on vacation and finds his news a little hard to swallow.

SNIP Terril Calder, Canada World Premiere
SNIP cuts up colonial Canadian histories by telling a story of survival amidst genocide. Annie and Gordon travel back in time to save Charlie and Niska, who are trapped in a nightmare reality designed to eradicate native culture by erasing their children.

The Smoke Rebecca Addelman, Canada World Premiere
A woman nearing middle-age returns to her hometown for a bat mitzvah and along the way becomes desperate for a cigarette.

The Taste of Vietnam Pier-Luc Latulippe, Canada World Premiere
Chloe has to leave town. Arnaud is determined to make her last night one she’ll never forget.

TMG_103 (rough cut) Walter Woodman, Canada World Premiere
A behind-the-scenes look at an actress deciding whether or not to do her first sex scene.

Tshiuetin Caroline Monnet, Canada World Premiere
An extraordinary look at the historic Tshiuetin line amidst the beauty of the northern landscape.

Twisted Jay Cheel, Canada World Premiere
In 1996, an urban legend was born in small-town Ontario when the Can-View Drive-In was hit by a tornado during a screening of the movie Twister. News of the event spread around the world. But what is even more amazing is... it didn't happen.

Whispering Breeze Jonathan Tremblay, Canada World Premiere
This captivating ode to the beauty of childhood and the pain of exile combines black-and-white images of a coastal town with the imagined words of an elderly woman, who longs to see her home once more.

Wild Skin Ariane Louis-Seize, Canada World Premiere
The quiet life of a young and solitary woman is disturbed when she discovers a baby python in her apartment. This mysterious presence unleashes her deepest urges and allows her to express, for the first time, who she truly is.

Your Mother and I Anna Maguire, Canada/United Kingdom World Premiere
This adaptation of a story by Dave Eggers looks at the small moments that belie the larger tensions between generations, as a dad recounts to his daughter all the ways he and his wife changed the world… or so he says.


350 MYA Terra Long, Morocco/Canada World Premiere
The Tafilalt region of the Sahara Desert was once the Rheic Ocean. 350 MYA imagines the ocean's continued presence in the landscape.

Dark Adaptation Chris Gehman, Canada World Premiere
Dark Adaptation extends the experiments with refracted light that Chris Gehman began with Refraction Series. Using simple materials, and shooting on 16mm reversal film, Gehman explores the qualities of pure light and colour in motion. The film is a collaboration with electronic music composer Graham Stewart (Violence and the Sacred).

Strange Vision of Seeing Things Ryan Ferko, Canada/Serbia World Premiere
Despite the title’s twin references to eyesight, Ryan Ferko’s Strange Vision of Seeing Things is a film about unseen buildings and conflicts in Belgrade, Serbia: those deliberately obscured; those unseeable to a tourist’s eyes; and those masked by monuments — their hyper-visibility a form of obfuscation.

Untitled, 1925 Madi Piller, Canada Toronto Premiere
Travelling through the highlands of Peru, the artist follows the path her grandfather took in 1925, from Lima to Cuzco. The vast, silent territory of the Andes is the backdrop for the artist’s insights and reflections on identity and belonging.

International titles for the Short Cuts programme will be announced on August 9. The complete Wavelengths programme will be announced on August 16.

Atom Egoyan, Christine Vachon, and Jim Stark to act as Governors for 13th annual Talent Lab

The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced the participants in the 2016 editions of Talent Lab™ and Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! Produced by TIFF’s Industry team, these programmes provide an opportunity for talented emerging filmmakers to learn from leading international film artists, helping to develop their skills and knowledge of the industry at a pivotal point in their careers.

“We are delighted to welcome all the participants in these two terrific programmes,” said Kathleen Drumm, Director, Industry at TIFF. “It’s a great chance for them to hone their craft, to develop their projects and to access the knowledge of highly respected voices in the industry.”

Now in its 13th year, the Talent Lab is a comprehensive, five-day artistic development programme led by esteemed Governors, who will guide 20 filmmakers to develop their creativity, artistic process, and independent voices. Featuring both Canadian and International participants, the Talent Lab is designed to launch the careers of the next generation of filmmakers. This year’s Governors include Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Adoration), Christine Vachon (Carol, Boys Don’t Cry), and Jim Stark (Coffee and Cigarettes). Additional guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Talent Lab runs from September 6 to 10, 2016.

Returning for its 17th year, Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! gives six talented teams the chance to bring their feature film project to life. Each team will have six minutes to pitch their original projects, live in front of a jury of international film experts, and an audience of over 200 industry professionals. The winner will be awarded a $15,000 prize to develop their project.


The 2016 Talent Lab participants:

Canadian Participants  International Participants
Ben Petrie   Alejandra Márquez Abella (Mexico)
Caroline Monnet Aleksandra Terpinska (Poland)
Frieda Luk   Anwar Boulifa (United Kingdom)
Jesse Klein   Bryn Chainey (Australia)
Joyce Wong   Mark Noonan (Ireland)
Kelton Stepanowich   Martín Morgenfeld (Argentina)
Meryam Joobeur  Mateo Bendesky (Argentina)
Randall Okita  Myrsini Aristidou (Cyprus)
Reem Morsi  Sofia Carrillo (Mexico)
Slater Jewell-Kemker  Zamo Mkhwanazi (South Africa)

The 2016 Talent Lab Governors:

Atom Egoyan
Atom Eqoyan is a Canadian director, writer, and producer. He has won numerous awards, including five prizes at the Cannes Film Festival (the Grand Prix, International Critics Awards, and Ecumenical Jury Prizes), two Academy Award nominations, eight Genie Awards, prizes from the National Board of Review, and an award for Best International Adaptation at the Frankfurt Book Fair. His films have been presented in numerous retrospectives across the globe and 14 have played at the Festival.

Christine Vachon
Christine Vachon is an American film producer. She is an Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award winner and co-founded indie powerhouse Killer Films with partner Pamela Koffler in 1995. Over the past decade and a half, the two have produced some of the most celebrated American indie features, including Carol (nominated for six Academy Awards), Far From Heaven (nominated for four Academy Awards), Still Alice (Academy Award winner), Boys Don’t Cry (Academy Award winner), One Hour Photo, Kids, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Happiness, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, I Shot Andy Warhol, Camp, Swoon, and I’m Not There (Academy Award nominated).

Jim Stark
Jim Stark is an independent American producer. He has been involved in writing, developing, financing, producing, selling, distributing, and marketing low budget fiction feature films since 1983. His films have won numerous prizes and have been selected to premiere in major festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, and TIFF, and have been exhibited theatrically and broadcast on television in countries around the world.

Congratulations to Talent Lab participants Caroline Monnet (Tshiuetin) and Kelton Stepanowich (Gods Acre) on the selection of their films in the 2016 Short Cuts programme and to the following Talent Lab alumni with films in the Festival’s 2016 selection:

Feature Films:
 Ashley McKenzie, Director, Werewolf
 Hugh Gibson, Director, The Stairs
 Johnny Ma, Director, Old Stone
 Kevan Funk, Director, Hello Destroyer
 Tony Elliot, Director, Arq

Short Cuts Canada:
 Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Director, Ape Sodom
 Tess Girard, Co-Director, The Road to Webequie


Telefilm Canada’s PITCH THIS! challenge takes place on Sunday, September 11 at 4:30 p.m. and is open to all Festival Industry and Press delegates.

The 2016 Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! finalists are:

Mary Goes Round Matt Code and Molly McGlynn
Mary Goes Round is a comedic drama about a closeted alcoholic and substance abuse counsellor who gets arrested for a DUI and loses both her job and fiancé. When she gets a call from her estranged father, she returns to her hometown in New Jersey where she must learn to take responsibility for herself and her family. She learns that her father is dying of cancer and he wants Mary to form a bond with her teenaged half-sister whom she’s never met.

Qalupalik Sean Wainsteim and Nyla Innuksuk
Set amidst stunning Baffin Island landscape in Nunavut and filmed in the Inuit language of Inuktitut, Qalupalik is a thriller about an Inuit girl who returns to her hometown to search for her missing brother, only to discover that she’s being hunted by creatures awakened from Inuit legend.

Sharkasaurus Spencer Estabrooks and Greg Jeffs
The story of a pair of star-crossed lovers. When the rebellious Emo, son of a paleontologist, falls for the promiscuous daughter of a widowed creationist, they accidentally awaken a prehistoric tunneling dino-shark and they must evolve their ideological difference or succumb to the inevitable jaws of Sharkasaurus.

The Art of Being Busy Lauren Grant, Chris Ross, and Lauren Corber
The Art of Being Busy is a romantic comedy about a young woman who’s terrified her newly discovered breast cancer is going to ruin a hot new romance and derail her career, so she uses social media to pretend she’s far away…having the time of her life.

The Edible Woman Francine Zuckerman and Karen Shaw
When a soon-to-be married, market research employee who has recently lost her appetite for food meets a freewheeling academic in 1960s Toronto, she must decide to accept the life laid out in front of her or use her newly blossoming appetite for life to create a future of her choosing.

To Be Continued Rob Grant, Luke Black, and Mike MacMillan
After committing suicide, bullied teen Evan discovers that he and his friends return to life every time they die — sparking an increasingly bloody prom-night battle between the tormented and their aggressors.

Jared Abrahamson, Grace Glowicki, Mylène Mackay and Sophie Nélisse

The Toronto International Film Festival® proudly introduces the four actors selected to participate in the 2016 TIFF Rising Stars programme: Jared Abrahamson, Grace Glowicki, Mylène Mackay and Sophie Nélisse. Now in its sixth year, the intensive professional development programme immerses participants in a series of public events and industry meetings during the Festival.

“Canadian talent have proven themselves among the best in the world,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival. “We are truly proud to connect this year’s TIFF Rising Stars with the global film industry, offering them an international platform for showcasing their work and a launch pad to develop their careers.”

The four Rising Stars will take part in a series of specialized programming organized by TIFF’s Industry team that includes seminars with casting directors, media training, one-on-one meetings with filmmakers, as well as a series of unique networking opportunities. New this year, additional international Rising Stars will be announced in the coming weeks.

Jared Abrahamson
Jared Abrahamson was born and raised in Flin Flon, Manitoba and currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. After a stint working in the mines and competing as a pro mixed martial arts fighter, he attended the Vancouver Film School. Abrahamson had a lead role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film Finding a Family (2011) and parts in the ABC pilot The Manzanis, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012), and Awkward. Recently, Abrahamson filmed roles in Keep Watching (2016); Hello Destroyer (TIFF 2016); Gun (2016); Veracruz (2016); Never Steady, Never Still (2016); Hollow in the Land (2016); and a recurring character on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. He will soon be seen in the TV drama Travelers (2017).

Grace Glowicki
Grace Glowicki is an actor, director, and writer based in Toronto, Ontario. She has appeared in films at many major US film festivals this year. At the Sundance Film Festival, her performance in Ben Petrie's Her Friend Adam (2016) won her a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance. The film has since played SXSW Film Festival, NYC’s Rooftop Films, and the Sundance Short Film Tour. She also starred in Jason Jeffrey’s A Teachable Moment (2016), which played the Tribeca Film Festival. Upcoming acting projects include the narrative feature Cardinal (2017), directed by Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley; Jordan Canning’s Suck it Up (2017), which she co-executive produced; and Tito, her feature-length directorial debut.

Mylène Mackay
Mylène Mackay is an actor and comedian. Born in Saint-Didace, Quebec and currently based in Montreal, she graduated from L’École nationale de théâtre du Canada in 2011. Mackay appeared on television and on stage before her first major film role in André Turpin’s Endorphine (2015). Upcoming roles include André Forcier’s Embrasse moi comme tu m’aimes (2016), and the title role in Anne Émond’s Nelly (TIFF 2016), based on the life and work of author Nelly Arcan. Mackay is also involved in several voice dubbing projects.

Sophie Nélisse
Sophie Nélisse was born in Windsor, Ontario and raised in Montreal, Quebec. She starred in Brian Percival’s The Book Thief (2013) and Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar (2011), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and earned her a Genie Award for her performance. Nélisse’s latest film credits include Andre Turpin's Endorphine (2015); Stephen Herek’s The Great Gilly Hopkins (2015); Nathan Morlando’s Mean Dreams (TIFF 2016), which premiered at Cannes; Radu Mihaileanu’s The History of Love (2016); Dominic James’s Wait Till Helen Comes (2016), set to be released this October; and Academy Award nominee Yan England’s directorial debut, 1:54 (2016). In August 2016, Nélisse begins filming her latest role in Lea Pool's Et Au Pire On Se Mariera.

Alumni of the TIFF Rising Stars programme include Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars, Dracula Untold, Enemy, Belle), Tatiana Maslany (Two Lovers and a Bear, Emmy-nominee for Orphan Black), Stephan James (Race, Selma), Connor Jessup (American Crime, Closet Monster) and Shannon Kook (Dark Places).

The 2016 jury who helped select the participants includes filmmakers Clement Virgo, Albert Shin, and Jennifer Podemski, Rising Star alumnus Connor Jessup, and film critic Johanna Schneller.


TIFF announced today that screenwriter and filmmaker Andrew Cividino is the 2016 Len Blum Resident. Launched in 2015, the Residency pays homage to one of Canada’s most celebrated screenwriters, Len Blum, by providing one Canadian filmmaker with the opportunity to live, work and be mentored at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Residency is generously supported by Toronto-based filmmaker and distributor, Ron Mann.

Cividino will take up residency at the Festival Tower for three months later this year and receive one-on-one script consultations with Len Blum and mentoring from TIFF’s Industry and Programming teams, as well as support from TIFF partners.

A TIFF Talent Lab alumnus, Ontario-born Cividino is an award-winning filmmaker and graduate of Ryerson University. His debut feature, Sleeping Giant, was one of only seven international films selected for the 2015 Cannes Critics’ Week, and went on to win several awards, including Best Canadian First Feature Film at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival®.

“We're delighted this talented filmmaker will be joining us at TIFF Bell Lightbox,” said Kathleen Drumm, Director, Industry at TIFF. “For decades, TIFF has worked to become a supportive hub for emerging artists in the film industry and the Len Blum Residency enables us to elevate new talent and to share our resources.”

“It’s an honour to be selected for the Len Blum Residency and I can’t wait to dive in,” said Cividino. “It’s an opportunity to write my film in a place that is a constant source of inspiration for me, with access to incredible industry support and the Lightbox’s fantastic programming at my doorstep. I couldn’t be happier.”

“I am delighted to support the Len Blum Residency and thrilled to have Andrew Cividino as the 2016 recipient,” said Ron Mann. “The script is the foundation of a film and so important to its success. This programme recognizes that, and will help Andrew continue along his path as a successful filmmaker.”

Cividino will use the Residency to work on a new screenplay, We Ate the Children Last, a feature expansion of his award-winning sci-fi short film, adapted from Yann Martel’s short story of the same name. It tells of a young woman’s strange reaction to a radical treatment for a lethal pandemic that creates an insatiable hunger which she struggles to conceal. When other treatment patients begin to behave darkly, the ensuing media maelstrom creates chaos among the masses.

Andrew Cividino is also developing a project with Rhombus Media, as well as a slate of works at Film Forge, the production banner he co-partners with producer Karen Harnisch.

Writer-director candidates for the programme were nominated by established producers, directors and screenwriters within the Canadian film industry. The 2015 Resident was Stephen Dunn, who is presently collaborating with Len Blum on a feature film project.

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2016.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at; by phone from 10am to 7pm ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433; or visit the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person from 10am to 10pm ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 14 for My Choice packages and August 24 for TIFF Choice packages, 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 Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit

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