Presenting new films from Maxime Giroux, Ron Mann, Jennifer Baichwal, Denys Arcand, Bruce Sweeney, and exciting newcomers Jasmin Mozaffari and Renée Beaulieu
Today, the Toronto International Film Festival ® added another 19 Canadian titles to the Festival’s lineup. The selection includes nine films directed by wom en and six exciting debut features. From personal dramas exploring identity to documentaries that spotlight a world at risk and democracy in jeopardy, this year’s lineup is rich in stories that tap into contemporary Canadian and International anxieties.
“We’re especially proud to present such a diverse group of films,” said Steve Gravestock, Senior Programmer, TIFF. “Ranging from science fiction to fantasy, myth to documentary, and romance to a dystopic vision of our neighbours to the south, this year’s Canadian films come from every region in the country, stretching from east to west and north to south.”
TIFF presents the World Premieres of three films that showcase Indigenous talent: Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s Edge of the Knife , the first feature-length film made in Haida, which is classified by UNESCO as an endangered language; Darlene Naponse’s Falls Around Her , a moving portrait of healing and resilience, starring renowned Métis actor Tantoo Cardinal; and Miranda de Pencier’s feature directorial debut The Grizzlies , a creative collaboration between De Pencier and Inuit producers Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Stacey Aglok MacDonald that tells an inspiring, true story and that was shot on location in MacDonald’s home community in Nunavut.
“We’re thrilled with this year’s lineup of compelling and distinctive films,” said Danis Goulet, TIFF Canadian Features Programmer. “The films feature characters who push hard against prescribed boundaries, asking vital questions about the state of the world and the status quo. We are especially excited to have a strong slate of bold and dynamic women-centric stories. Forty percent of the Canadian film slate this year is directed by women.”
This year’s lineup also includes works by legendary Canadian documentary filmmakers that look at contemporary culture through a critical lens, such as Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky’s highly anticipated documentary Anthropocene , Ron Mann’s Carmine Street Guitars and Thom Fitzgerald’s Splinters ; Festival alumnus Igor Drlja č a is making his feature-documentary debut at the Festival with The Stone Speakers , and veteran Barry Avrich returns with Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz , a portrait of the United States’ chief prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials.
A highlight of the festival will be a Special Event World Premiere and tribute showcasing the illuminating documentary Sharkwater Extinction , the final work by the late filmmaker and conservationist Rob Stewart.
Other works by TIFF alumni premiering at the Festival include Canadian master Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire ; Bruce Sweeney’s Kingsway ; Sébastien Pilote’s The Fireflies Are Gone ; Maxime Giroux’s The Great Darkened Days ; and Astra Taylor’s What is Democracy? Ren é e Beaulieu is at TIFF for the first time with Les Salopes or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin , a study of a professor’s hidden desires.
The Canadian feature debuts at this year’s Festival are: Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s Haida epic Edge of the Knife ; Akash Sherman’s sci-fi fantasy drama Clara ; Jasmin Mozaffari’s Firecrackers ; Andrea Bussmann’s first solo project, Fausto ; Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein’s Freaks and Miranda De Pencier’s Grizzlies .
This year’s slate also features performances by multiple Canadian and international stars, such as Amanda Crew, Graham Greene, Brigitte Poupart, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, and Kyle MacLachlan. Other talent includes TIFF 2018 Rising Star Michaela Kurimsky ( Firecrackers ) and former TIFF Rising Stars Sarah Gadon ( The Great Darkened Days ) and Karelle Tremblay ( The Fireflies Are Gone ).
All 23 Canadian feature films at the Festival are eligible for the Canada Goose ® Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. All five Canadian feature directorial debuts are eligible for the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film. This year’s Canadian feature-film jury is composed of award-winning Montreal filmmaker Mathieu Denis ( Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves ), renowned Toronto journalist and documentarian Michelle Shephard ( Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr ), and legendary Turkish director Ali Özgentürk , who wrote the screenplay for The Girl with the Red Scarf .
The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th to the 16th, 2018.