The Toronto International Film Festival® unveils a lineup of Canadian features packed with world premieres ranging from first features from the brave new First Nations voice of Jeff Barnaby and audacious artists Seth Scriver and Shayne Ehman, to Canadian indie icon Bruce McDonald and the always provocative work of Denis Villeneuve, Michael Dowse, Jennifer Baichwal with Edward Burtynsky, Bruce Sweeney, Robert Lepage with Pedro Pires, Peter Stebbings and Ingrid Veninger. North American premieres include the latest from Xavier Dolan, Bruce LaBruce, Richie Mehta and Louise Archambault. Here is the stellar list of Canadian films that will be screening at the festival this year:
Enemy Denis Villeneuve, Canada/Spain World Premiere
Based on The Double by Nobel Laureate José Saramago, this film explores the troubled psyche of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a brilliant performance as both Adam and Anthony — a man and his double — engaged in a lethal and erotic battle.
The F Word Michael Dowse, Canada/Ireland World Premiere
When Wallace meets Chantry, it could be love at first sight… except she lives with her long-term boyfriend. And so Wallace, acting with both best intentions — and maybe a little denial — discovers the dirtiest word in romance: friends. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver and TIFF Rising Star Megan Park.
Gabrielle Louise Archambault, Canada North American Premiere
Gabrielle is a young woman with Williams syndrome who has a contagious joie de vivre and an exceptional musical gift. Since she met her boyfriend Martin at the recreation centre where they are choir members, they have been inseparable. However, because they are different, their loved ones are fearful of their relationship. As the choir prepares for an important music festival, Gabrielle does everything she can to gain her independence.
The Husband Bruce McDonald, Canada World Premiere
Henry is married, has a son, and a decent job in advertising. Trouble is his wife is in jail for sleeping with a 14-year-old boy. Struggling to keep it together and prepare for her release, an encounter with the boy — his rival — sends Henry on a path of self-destruction. Starring Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, August Diehl, Sarah Allen, Jodi Balfour and Stephen McHattie
Tom At The Farm (Tom à la ferme) Xavier Dolan, Canada/France North American Premiere
Tom, a young advertising copywriter, travels to the country for a funeral. There, he’s shocked to find out no one knows who he is, or his relationship to the deceased, whose brother soon sets the rules of a twisted game. In order to protect the family’s name and grieving mother, Tom now has to play the peacekeeper in a household whose obscure past bodes even greater darkness for his trip to the farm.
Watermark Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky, Canada World Premiere
Watermark is a feature documentary film that brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it, and the consequences of that use. Shot in stunning 5K ultra high-definition video and full of soaring aerial perspectives.
All the Wrong Reasons Gia Milani, Canada World Premiere
Loss of one’s identity drives this ensemble film from first-time feature writer/director Gia Milani. Cory Monteith stars as an ambitious department store manager whose wife (Karine Vanasse) copes with a loss as co-worker (Kevin Zegers) battles back from a traumatic injury and cashier (Emily Hampshire) takes advantage of it all.
Rhymes for Young Ghouls Jeff Barnaby, Canada World Premiere
Kids on the Red Crow reservation are doomed. If you can’t pay your “truancy tax”, that’s you up at the residential school, beat up and abused. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. After being thrown into the school’s dungeon, she decides to fight back.
Sarah Prefers To Run (Sarah préfère la course) Chloé Robichaud, Canada Toronto Premiere
Sarah is a gifted runner. Her life changes when she’s offered admission to Quebec’s best university athletics program in Montreal — far from her home. Sarah doesn’t have her mother’s financial support for the move, but she leaves anyway with her friend Antoine. Though barely out of their teens, they get married because they want the best scholarships and loans. Sarah doesn’t want to hurt anyone with the choices she makes, it’s just that she loves running more than anything else.
CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
A Journey (Une Jeune Fille) Catherine Martin, Canada World Premiere
Chantal is a secretive young girl who lives with her sick mother and unemployed father. When her mother dies, she leaves the family home for the Gaspé Peninsula. Bringing with her a photo of a beach where her mother longed to return, Chantal tries to find the place — but her efforts are in vain. After wandering around for days, she runs out of money and finds refuge with Serge, a taciturn farmer, on his small farm in the back country. Serge hires Chantal, and gradually they take to each other, forming a strong bond.
The Animal Project Ingrid Veninger, Canada World Premiere
A story about a father, a son, and six characters dressed in furry suits. An unorthodox acting teacher (Aaron Poole) attempts to push a group of eager young performers out of their comfort zones, while struggling with his own ability to live an authentic and fulfilling life with his teenage son.
Cinemanovels Terry Miles, Canada World Premiere
As a young woman (Lauren Lee Smith) prepares a memorial film retrospective for her late estranged father, his work begins to influence her life in strange and significant ways. Also starring Jennifer Beals and Ben Cotton.
Le Démantèlement Sébastien Pilote, Canada North American Premiere
Gaby owns a lamb farm. He has two daughters that he raised like princesses. One day, the oldest asks him for some financial support so she doesn’t end up losing her house. Gaby decides to dismantle the farm.
The Dick Knost Show Bruce Sweeney, Canada World Premiere
The Dick Knost Show is a character-based satire on sports-talk culture. Dick Knost is a star sports talk host. He’s prickly, acerbic and chronically impulsive. After dismissing the danger of concussions in hockey, he suffers a series of concussions himself, and faces the danger of losing his job, his friends and his identity.
Empire of Dirt Peter Stebbings, Canada World Premiere
Like many Native families, Lena Mahikan grew up in the cycle of abuse. Her father, a residential school survivor, was an alcoholic until he killed himself when Lena was 10. Her mother, only 14 years her senior, turned to the slots. By the time Lena was 15, she was pregnant and, before giving birth, was kicked to the curb by her mom. The cycle continues and Lena is now watching helplessly as her own daughter, Peeka, spirals out of control, landing herself in the hospital following a drug overdose. As a final attempt at survival, Lena decides to return home and face her own mother and a past she’s desperate to escape.
Siddharth Richie Mehta, Canada North American Premiere
After sending away his 12-year-old son Siddharth for work, Mahendra (a chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets) is relieved — his financial burdens will be alleviated. But when Siddharth fails to return home, Mahendra learns he may have been taken by child traffickers. With little resources and no connections, he travels across India in pursuit, with the hope that whatever force took his child away will return him unharmed.
Stay Wiebke von Carolsfeld, Canada/Ireland World Premiere
Stay is about people at a crossroads, struggling to find a home. Abbey finds herself in love with Dermot, a disgraced professor who retreated to the rugged expanse of Connemara. Their happy existence is upended when Abbey finds out that she is pregnant and Dermot refuses to consider fatherhood.
Asphalt Watches Seth Scriver and Shayne Ehman, Canada World Premiere
Asphalt Watches is a true story. It is a feature-length animation based on a real-life hitchhiking trip taken by the two directors, Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver in the year 2000. The film details the hilarious and amazing journey of Bucktooth Cloud and Skeleton Hat as they travel eastward across Canada.
Gerontophilia Bruce LaBruce, Canada North American Premiere
The always provocative Bruce LaBruce is back with a new romantic comedy (of sorts).18-year-old Lake has a sweet activist girlfriend, but one day discovers he has an unusual attraction for the elderly. Fate conspires to land him a summer job at a nursing home where he develops a tender relationship with Mr. Peabody. Discovering that the patients are being over-medicated to make them easier to manage, Lake decides to wean him off his medication and help him escape, resulting in a humorous and heartfelt road trip that strengthens their bond.
Triptych (Triptyque) Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires, Canada World Premiere
Triptych is a contemporary urban saga that tells the story of Michelle, a schizophrenic bookseller; Marie, a singer and actress; and Thomas, a German neurologist. These three lives become the primary locus of personal identity and emotion, with their many manifestations, variations, and implications, through each character’s inner development and burning desire for self-expression.
Canadian films previously announced in the TIFF Docs programme include: Jody Shapiro’s Burt’s Buzz, Barry Avrich’s Filthy Gorgeous: The Extraordinary World of Bob Guccione, Alanis Obomsawin’s Hi-Ho Mistahey! and Allan Zweig’s When Jews Were Funny.
Previously announced Canadian features in the Gala programme include Jonathan Sobol’s The Art of the Steal, Don McKellar’s The Grand Seduction and Jeremiah Chechik’s The Right Kind of Wrong.
Derek Lee and Clif Prowse’s Afflicted was previously announced in the Midnight Madness programme.
The 38th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15, 2013.
The Festival offers the TIFF Choice 5-screening Canadian Pack including features and shorts ($79 for adults, $62 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 box office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 19.