We’ve already seen the heavy-hitters of non-documentary films showing at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Today, TIFF has announced its impressive documentary line-up along with line-ups for the interesting smaller films that are worth your attention at the fest. The documentaries include Morgan Spurlock’s Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss, Jonathan Demme’s I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful, and Wim Wenders’ 3D film Pina. The Midnight Madness line-up includes Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest, God Bless America and Douglas Aarniokoski’s The Day starring Ashley Bell and Dominic Monaghan.
Hit the jump for the documentary line-ups (“Real to Reel”), “Midnight Madness”, “Vanguard” (international genre flicks), “TIFF Kids”, and “City to City” (an annual programme that focuses on films from one city; this year is Buenos Aires). The 2011 Toronto Film Festival runs from September 8th to 18th.
REAL TO REEL
FESTIVAL UNVEILS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED WORLD PREMIERES OF DOCUMENTARIES FROM WERNER HERZOG, MORGAN SPURLOCK, JESSICA YU, NICK BROOMFIELD AND MORE
Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® proudly presents an exciting lineup of high-profile documentaries as Werner Herzog explores a triple homicide case in Texas in Into the Abyss; Morgan Spurlock follows fans to San Diego‟s Comic-Con in Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope; Jessica Yu delivers a wake-up call about the world‟s water supply in Last Call at the Oasis; and Nick Broomfield visits Wasilla, Alaska in his search for the “real” Sarah Palin in Sarah Palin – You Betcha!
“I’m thrilled at the large number of veteran filmmakers who have brought us new works this year,” said Thom Powers, TIFF‟s lead programmer for documentaries. “The line-up contains a wide range of memorable characters – crusaders, convicts, artists, athletes, nude dancers, comic book fans, dog lovers and more. Not to mention the epic 15-hour Story of Film. These documentaries will have audiences discussing and debating for months to come.” Other high-profile documentaries screening at this year‟s Festival include: The Last Gladiators, Alex Gibney‟s exploration of the rough-and-tumble world of hockey; Samsara, Ron Fricke‟s highly-anticipated follow-up to Baraka; I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad and the Beautiful, Jonathan Demme‟s tale of an extraordinary woman as she returns home after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina; Urbanized, Gary Hustwit‟s global discussion about how the design of our cities affects our lives; Pina, Wim Wenders‟ tribute to the inventive dance world of Pina Bausch; and This is not a Film, a day-in-the-life portrait of filmmaker Jafar Panahi, under house arrest in Iran.
Pina Wim Wenders, Germany/France Canadian Premiere
German master filmmaker Wim Wenders shoots in 3D to capture the brilliantly inventive dance world of Pina Bausch and her company, Tanztheater Wuppertal. Excerpts from many of her most famous pieces are shot outside in the streets and parks of Wuppertal capturing the drama and power of her repertoire.
This is not a Film Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Iran Toronto Premiere
Sentenced to six years in prison and banned from writing and making films for 20 years by the Islamic Republic Court in Tehran, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi waited for the verdict of his court appeal for months. Through the depiction of a day in his life while he‟s on house arrest, Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (a documentary filmmaker and former assistant director) offer audiences an overview of the current situation of Iranian cinema.
Real to Reel
Arirang Kim Ki-Duk, South Korea North American Premiere While shooting a suicide scene for his last film, Dream, in 2008, filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk‟s lead actress nearly perished and the incident
triggered an emotional and creative breakdown for Kim. As an act of self-administered therapy, Arirang takes playful liberties with the documentary form as Kim traces his experiences and mindset during this period of crisis.
The Boy Who Was King Andrey Paounov, Bulgaria/Germany World Premiere
Director Andrey Paounov (The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories) explores the strange history of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha who became Bulgaria‟s tsar at age 6, then was exiled during years of communism and returned to be elected Prime Minister.
Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope Morgan Spurlock, USA World Premiere
Have you ever imagined a place where Vulcans and vampires get along? Where wizards and wookies can be themselves? Welcome to Comic-Con San Diego. What started as a fringe comic book convention for 500 fans has grown into the pop culture event of the year that influences every form of entertainment, now attended by over 140,000. Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope explores this cultural phenomenon by following the lives of seven attendees as they descend upon the ultimate geek mecca. Includes interviews with Stan Lee, Josh Whedon, Frank Miller and Matt Groening.
Crazy Horse Frederick Wiseman, USA/France North American Premiere
Documentary master Frederick Wiseman (La Danse, Boxing Gym) spent ten weeks exploring the legendary Parisian cabaret club Crazy Horse, which boasts the greatest and most chic nude dancing in the world. Founded in 1951, the club has become a Parisian nightlife „must‟ for any visitor, ranking alongside the Eiffel tower and the Louvre. Wiseman‟s impeccable eye allows us to enter into this intriguing international temple of the Parisian club world and to discover what makes the Crazy Horse tick: elegance, perfectionism and a grueling schedule. The film follows the rehearsals, backstage preparations and performances for a new show, Désirs.
Dark Girls Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, USA World Premiere
It seems beyond comprehension that a child would ask her mother to put bleach in the bathwater to lighten her skin. Yet this is a reality for many members of the African diaspora. For many black women – who, like all women, are often judged by their physical appearance – being dark-skinned becomes their defining characteristic. Actor/director Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry set out to examine why skin colour bias persists and how it affects the lives of women on the receiving end of it.
Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell Rithy Panh, France/Cambodia International Premiere
Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime caused the death of some 1.8 million people, representing one-quarter of the population of Cambodia. Rithy Panh first explored the legacy of Cambodia‟s genocide with S21, the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine. This captivating new documentary continues Panh‟s investigation with a portrait of Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, the man responsible for running the notorious S21 prison.
Gerhard Richter Painting Corinna Belz, Germany International Premiere
Gerhard Richter, one of the internationally most significant contemporary artists of our times, granted filmmaker Corinna Belz access to his studio in the spring and summer of 2009 where he was working on a series of large abstract paintings. In quiet, highly concentrated images, the film gives us a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a very personal, tension-filled process of artistic creation. In her intelligent and perceptive film, Corinna Belz brings us closer to the complex processes of artistic creation. Gerhard Richter Painting is the penetrating portrait of an artist at work – and a fascinating film about the art of seeing.
Girl Model Ashley Sabin and David Redmon, USA World Premiere
Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. Girl Model follows Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese
market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a 13-year-old plucked from the Siberian countryside and dropped into the center of Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley‟s initial discovery of Nadya, the two rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound.
I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful Jonathan Demme, USA North American Premiere
Carolyn Parker was the last to leave her neighbourhood when a mandatory evacuation order was decreed as Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in the summer of 2005, and was the first resident to return to her now flood-devastated community. Mrs. Parker takes us deep inside her personal biography as a child born in the 1940s, raised in segregated New Orleans‟ Lower 9th Ward, who became a teenager joining the front lines in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and later became one of the most outspoken voices in the fight for every New Orleanian‟s right to return home after the devastation of the floods that followed Katrina.
In My Mother’s Arms Atia Al Daradji and Mohamed Al Daradji, Iraq/Netherlands/United Kingdom World Premiere
Husham works tirelessly to build the hopes, dreams and prospects of the 32 damaged children of war under his care at a small orphanage in Baghdad‟s most dangerous district. When the landlord gives Husham and the boys just two weeks to vacate the premises, a desperate search for lodging ensues.
Into the Abyss Werner Herzog, USA World Premiere
Exploring a triple homicide case in Texas, Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man) probes the psyches of those involved, including the 28-year-old death row inmate scheduled to die within eight days of appearing on-screen. Herzog‟s inquiries unveil layers of humanity against an American Gothic landscape. As he‟s so often done before, the director makes an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.
Last Call at the Oasis Jessica Yu, USA World Premiere
We‟re running out of water, and contaminating what’s left. How long before the well runs dry? In unravelling this interconnected global crisis, Last Call at the Oasis focuses on the country with the largest water footprint – the United States – and explores why the threat hasn’t hit home. Academy Award®-winning director Jessica Yu draws upon the research of scientists and enlists diverse voices ranging from the real Erin Brockovich, exemplifying feisty resistance, to actor Jack Black, supplying welcome comic relief.
The Last Dogs of Winter Costa Botes, New Zealand World Premiere
Canadian Eskimo Dogs or Quimmiq were once indispensible to human life in the arctic. Today, the breed faces extinction. Since 1976, Brian Ladoon has stuck to a promise to maintain a viable breeding colony of the animals, battling chronic underfunding, wandering polar bears, officialdom and shocking weather to keep his word.
The Last Gladiators Alex Gibney, USA World Premiere
Chris “Knuckles” Nilan can chart his hockey career by his scars. He earned those stripes as one the NHL‟s fiercest enforcers, throwing punches to defend his teammates. While playing for the Montreal Canadiens in the mid-1980s, his fights racked up penalty minutes, but received roaring approval from fans and helped win the Stanley Cup. When injuries forced Knuckles to retire in 1992, he faced a new battle: how do you stop being a gladiator and re-enter normal society? Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) explores the rough and tumble world of hockey.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, USA World Premiere
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory chronicles the 18-year odyssey of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, three teens incarcerated for a horrifying crime they claim they did not commit. In the latest installment of the acclaimed documentary film series
about the “West Memphis Three,” facts are reexamined, new evidence is revealed, and new suspects are scrutinized. The film is a riveting look at American justice.
Paul Williams Still Alive Stephen Kessler, USA World Premiere
A documentary filmmaker tracks down Grammy and Oscar award-winning actor/singer/songwriter Paul Williams in an attempt to find out what happened to his fallen idol. Paul Williams was one of the biggest stars of the 1970s. He was everywhere – on The Tonight Show 50 times and appeared on variety shows, sitcoms, game shows and movies from The Love Boat to Phantom of the Paradise.
But in the 1980s, he just disappeared. This movie is about what happened when filmmaker Stephen Kessler finds him.
Samsara Ron Fricke, USA World Premiere
Samsara is a Tibetan word that means “the ever turning wheel of life,” a concept both intimate and vast, the perfect subject for filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson whose previous collaborations include Chronos and Baraka. Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation that spans the globe on a journey of the soul. Through powerful images pristinely photographed in 70mm and a dynamic music score, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of the nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.
Sarah Palin – You Betcha! Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill, United Kingdom World Premiere
Nick Broomfield’s quest for the real Sarah Palin involves battling the icy snows of Alaska in mid-winter to speak to the school friends, family, and Republican colleagues that in previous days gave their heart, soul and belief to the charismatic, charming, intoxicating ex-hockey mom. But it’s not all plain sailing. People are frightened to talk; Wasilla makes Twin Peaks look like a walk in the park. It’s a devout evangelical community – 76 churches with a population of only 6 thousand, and the Crystal meth capital of Alaska. Broomfield brings his celebrated wit and determination to cracking her story.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey Mark Cousins, United Kingdom World Premiere
Filmed on four continents over six years, this epic 15-hour documentary tells the story of innovation in the movies based on the acclaimed book of the same title by Mark Cousins. Featuring exclusive interviews with legendary filmmakers like Stanley Donen and Abbas Kiarostami, The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a passionate, cinematic journey across 11 decades of cinema, and a thousand films.
The Tall Man Tony Krawitz, Australia International Premiere
This is the story of Palm Island, the Australian tropical Paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty-five minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. It’s also the story of that policeman, the tall enigmatic Christopher Hurley who prior to Doomadgee’s death had been decorated for his work with aboriginal communities. Based on Chloe Hooper’s award winning book, The Tall Man explores one of Australia’s most sensational cases of culture clash and the haunting moral puzzle at its core.
Undefeated Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin, USA International Premiere
In 2004, football coach Bill Courtney took on the daunting job of coaching at Manassas High School in inner-city Memphis, where players are more likely to wind up in jail than in college. The Manassas Tigers were perennial whipping boys of the league, bereft of victories, funds, and morale. Courtney recruited a group of freshmen to turn things around, and in their first season they got creamed. But with each passing year they won more games and more respect. At the start of the season in 2009, Courtney set a goal: to win the first play-off game in the school‟s 110-year history.
Urbanized Gary Hustwit, U.S./United Kingdom World Premiere
Director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified) completes his design film trilogy with Urbanized. Exploring the design of cities with the world‟s foremost architects, policymakers and engaged citizens, Urbanized frames a global discussion about how the design of our cities affects our lives.
Whores’ Glory Michael Glawogger, Austria/Germany North American Premiere
Whores’ Glory is a cinematic triptych on prostitution: three countries, three languages, three religions. In Thailand, women wait for clients behind glass panes, staring at reflections of themselves. In Bangladesh, men go to a ghetto of love to satisfy their unfulfilled desires on indentured girls. And in Mexico, women mix hard drugs with sex labour to avoid facing their own reality. In worlds where the most intimate act has become a commodity, these women have physically and emotionally experienced everything that can happen between a man and a woman. For this they have always received money, but it has not made their lives rich in anything but stories.
** Note that From The Sky Down (Opening Night Gala) and Pearl Jam Twenty (Special Presentation) were previously announced on July 26. Additional documentaries, including Canadian films, will be announced in the coming weeks.**
WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES TWELVE
MIDNIGHT MADNESS DELIVERS WILD CINEMATIC THRILLS
Toronto – The Midnight Madness programme walks on the cinematic wild side at the Toronto International Film Festival® with a riveting roundup of supernatural slayers, crossbow killers, corpse smugglers and a re-imagined Bonnie and Clyde for the 21st century. Programmed by Colin Geddes, the international lineup features nine world premieres and is one of the most highly-anticipated announcements on the radar of genre geeks around the world.
“Ravenous cinephiles will devour the roster of chillers, action thrillers and pitch-black comedies that fill this year’s slate,” said Colin Geddes, TIFF Programmer. “Martial arts assassins, cops and robbers, escaped lunatics and vampire ballerinas will take over Ryerson Theatre every night at midnight, and deliver the shocking and rocking experience that our loyal audience flocks to take part in, helping make these screenings so memorable.”
The Midnight Madness selection includes films from Bobcat Goldthwait, The Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez, Japanese cult director Katsuhito Ishii, and marks the return of a director-duo discovered in the program in 2007, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo.
The Day Douglas Aarniokoski, USA World Premiere
In a post-apocalyptic future, an open war against humanity rages. Five survivors wander along rural back-roads, lost, starving and on the run. With dwindling food stocks and ammunition, an attempt at seeking shelter turns into a battleground where they must fight or die. Starring Ashley Bell, Dominic Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon.
God Bless America Bobcat Goldthwait, USA World Premiere
Loveless, jobless and possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and decides to off the stupidest, cruellest and most repellent members of society with an unusual accomplice: 16-year-old Roxy, who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement. From stand-up comedian and director Bobcat Goldthwait comes a scathing and hilarious attack on all that is sacred in the United States of America.
The Incident Alexandre Courtes, France World Premiere
George, Max and Ricky are in a rock band and waiting for their big breakthrough. Between small gigs and rehearsals they work in the kitchen of a high-security asylum for good pay at minimum risk – they have no physical contact with the inmates. One night just before dinnertime, a big storm shuts down the security system, the doors open and the lunatics break loose. Help is on its way and should soon arrive… they just have to survive until it does.
Kill List Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere
Eight months after a disastrous job in Kiev left him physically and mentally scarred, ex-soldier-turned-contract-killer Jay is pressured by his partner Gal into taking a new assignment. As they track their prey, they descend into a disturbing world that is darker and more depraved than anything they experienced on the battlefield.
Livid Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, France World Premiere
The directors of 2007’s Midnight Madness hit A L’Interieur (Inside) return with a twisted gothic nightmare. A young woman and her friends break into a decrepit mansion looking for treasure, only to unlock a dark secret of unspeakable horror ready to dish out bloody punishment for their greed.
Lovely Molly Eduardo Sanchez, USA (synopsis needed) World Premiere
When newlywed Molly Reynolds returns to her long-abandoned family home, frightful reminders of a nightmarish childhood begin seeping into her new life. She soon begins an inexorable descent into evil that blurs the lines between psychosis and possession. From the director of The Blair Witch Project.
The Raid Gareth Evans, Indonesia World Premiere
Deep in the heart of Jakarta’s slums lies an impenetrable safe house for the world’s most dangerous killers and gangsters. Until now, the run-down apartment block has been considered untouchable to even the bravest of police. Cloaked under the cover of pre-dawn darkness and silence, an elite swat team is tasked with raiding the safe house in order to take down the notorious drug lord that runs it. But when a chance encounter with a spotter blows their cover and news of their assault reaches the drug lord, the building’s lights are cut and all the exits blocked. Stranded on the sixth floor with no way out, the unit must fight their way through the city’s worst to survive their mission. Starring Indonesian martial arts sensation Iko Uwais.
Sleepless Night Frederic Jardin, France/Belgium/Luxembourg World Premiere
When Vincent, a double-dealing cop, steals a big bag of cocaine from some drug dealers they counter by kidnapping and threatening to kill his son if the bag isn’t returned – fast. The swap is to go down at their headquarters in a big nightclub on the outskirts of Paris, but Vincent gets caught in a spiral of deception and betrayal and must fight his way through packed dance floors and dark corridors of the labyrinth-like club.
Smuggler Katsuhito Ishii, Japan World Premiere
After his dreams of becoming an actor go nowhere, 25-year-old Kinuta does nothing but gamble every day. Broke, framed and now neck-deep in debt, he is recruited as a smuggler – an underground mover of everything from dead bodies to illegal goods – but one cargo triggers the rage of a psychotic gangster hellbent on revenge. By acclaimed cult director Katsuhito Ishii of Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl and Funky Forest fame.
You’re Next Adam Wingard, USA World Premiere
From the director-writer team that brought TIFF audiences A Horrible Way To Die in 2010 comes a new experiment in tension. A family comes under a terrifying and sadistic attack during a reunion getaway. Barricaded in their secluded country home, they have to fight off a barrage of axes, crossbows and machetes from both inside and outside the house. Unfortunately for the killers, one of the victims proves to have a talent for fighting back.
FESTIVAL’S VANGUARD PROGRAMME PRESENTS CONVENTION-DEFYING, GENRE-TWISTING INTERNATIONAL CINEMA
Toronto – The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® announces a fresh and provocative lineup in this year’s Vanguard programme. Works presented under the Vanguard banner are young and cutting edge. From the dystopian to the sci-fi, from comedy to terror, the 2011 Vanguard programme features daring works from around the world, including Russia, France, Thailand, China, Norway, Chile and Australia.
Carré Blanc Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, France/Luxembourg/Belgium/Switzerland World Premiere
Philip and Mary, two teenagers whose parents were crushed by the system, are placed in an orphanage with frightening education methods. Twenty years later, they became husband and wife and have all the appearances of a wealthy couple. However, while Philip is a cog in the system, Mary goes into a depression that seems irreversible. Unable to have kids, they are on the verge of breaking. But Mary will do anything to show Philip that together they can love and survive in a frozen desert where men have become monsters. Starring Sami Bouajila, Julie Gayet, Jean-Pierre Andreani, Fejria Deliba and Valerie Bodson.
Generation P Victor Ginzburg Russia/USA North American Premiere
Set in 1990s Moscow, Generation P details the parallel rise of poet-turned-copywriter Babylen Tatarsky through both a new advertising business and the shadowy Cult of Ishtar, whose acolytes control the media. Starring Vladimir Yepifantsev, Michael Yefremov and Andrei Fomin.
Headshot Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand/France World Premiere
Tul, a straight-laced cop, is blackmailed by a powerful politician and framed for a crime he did not commit. Disillusioned and vengeful, he is soon recruited to become a hitman for a shadowy group aimed at eliminating those who are above the law. But one day, Tul is shot in the head during an assignment. He wakes up after a three-month coma to find that he sees everything upside down, literally. Tul begins to have second thoughts about his profession. But when he tries to quit, roles are reversed and the hunter becomes the hunted. Can Tul find redemption from the violence that continues to haunt him?
Love and Bruises Lou Ye, China/France North American Premiere
Hua, a young teacher from Beijing, is a recent arrival in Paris. Exiled in an unknown city, she wanders between her tiny apartment and the university, drifting between former lovers and recent French acquaintances. She meets Matthieu, a young worker who falls madly in love with her. Possessed by an insatiable desire for her body, he treats Hua like a dog. An intense affair begins, marked by Matthieu’s passionate embraces and harsh verbal abuse. When Hua decides to leave her lover, she discovers the strength of her addiction, and the vital role he has come to play in her life as a woman. Starring Tahar Rahim, Corinne Yam, Jalil Lespert, Sifan Shao, Vincent Rottiers.
Oslo, August 31 Joachim Trier, Norway North American Premiere
Anders wanders the city, meeting people he hasn’t seen in a while. Long into the night, the ghosts of past mistakes will wrestle with the chance of love, of a new life, with the hope to see some future by morning… From the director of the award-winning Reprise. Starring Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olaf Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Johanne Kjellevik Ledang.
Snowtown Justin Kurzel, Australia North American Premiere
When 16-year-old Jamie is introduced to a charismatic man, a friendship begins. As the relationship grows so do Jamie’s suspicions, until he finds his world threatened by his loyalty for, and fear of, his newfound father-figure John Bunting, Australia’s most notorious serial killer. Starring Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris.
The Year of the Tiger Sebastián Lelio, Chile North American Premiere
Manuel is imprisoned in a jail in the south of Chile, which collapses on the night of the violent earthquake of February 27, 2010. Manuel escapes and becomes a fugitive, lost in the middle of the catastrophe. He returns to his home only to find out that it has been ravaged by a tsunami, which has also taken the lives of his wife and daughter. As Manuel travels through completely destroyed landscapes, he enters deeper and deeper into his own devastated areas. This strange freedom will bring him to face nature’s cruelty and take his own human existence to its limit. Starring Luis Dubó, Sergio Hernández, Viviana Herrera.
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
INVITES KIDS OF ALL AGES TO ITS CINEMATIC PLAYGROUND
Toronto — The Toronto International Film Festival® presents a charming lineup of films in this year’s TIFF Kids™ programme (formerly known as Sprockets Family Zone). These selections from around the globe will captivate film-lovers of all ages, showcasing the best and brightest in family-friendly cinema. From battling ballerinas to a mysterious 3D monster, this colourful collection of characters animates the screen with hours of action-packed film fun for everyone.
First Position Bess Kargman, USA World Premiere
This documentary follows six talented dancers (ages 9 to 19) from around the world, as they prepare for an international ballet competition that could transform their futures overnight. In the face of injury, disappointment and gruelling rehearsals, these dancers share a drive to succeed that trumps money, politics, culture and even war.
The Flying Machine Martin Clapp, Geoff Lindsey and Dorota Kobiela, Poland/China International Premiere
The Flying Machine is a live action/animation family film about a stressed-out businesswoman, Georgie, who takes her two children to see the animated Magic Piano, which is being performed live by world-famous pianist Lang Lang. A magical event occurs and Georgie’s kids get transported inside the animation world. Starring Heather Graham.
A Letter to Momo Hiroyuki Okiura, Japan World Premiere
After the loss of her father, young Momo moves to the old family house on a remote island: wooden buildings, terraced fields… and no shopping mall. Not too fond of the new environment, Momo is also feeling uneasy about an unfinished letter her father left behind with only two words: “Dear Momo.” Then, exploring the attic of her new house, she finds an antique book— and from that moment, strange happenings occur all around her.
A Monster in Paris Bibo Bergeron, France World Premiere
Paris, 1910. Emile, a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul, a colourful inventor, find themselves embarked on the hunt for a monster terrorizing citizens. They join forces with the big-hearted star of the Bird of Paradise cabaret, an eccentric scientist and his irascible monkey to save the monster, who turns out to be an outsized but harmless flea, from the city’s ruthlessly-ambitious police chief. One of Dreamworks Animation’s finest directors, Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale, The Road to Eldorado) returns to his homeland with a supra-inventive project. With its exceptional voice-cast, featuring iconic star Vanessa Paradis, A Monster in Paris invites audiences to an enthralling world of adventure and fantasy. Also stars Sean Lennon and Adam Goldberg.
CITY TO CITY
BUENOS AIRES TAKES CENTRE STAGE IN FESTIVAL’S CITY TO CITY PROGRAMMING
Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® proudly welcomes back its City to City programme for the third consecutive year with today’s announcement of the 10 feature-length films encompassing the 2011 lineup. Earlier this year, Cameron Bailey,
Co-Director of the Festival, confirmed that the 2011 spotlight would shine on Buenos Aires and introduce audiences to a newly inspired generation of Argentine filmmakers. The City to City series is an exploration of the urban experience, highlighting the best in emerging cinematic talent in a particular locale.
“We found an impressive new generation of filmmakers in Buenos Aires and a thriving film culture,” said Cameron Bailey. “We can’t wait to present these films to the world’s film critics and distributors, and especially to our audience.”
“Argentine film has been inspiring international audiences since the late 1990s, but with this programme, we wanted to consider to what extent this success is an urban phenomenon rather than simply a question of national cinema,” added Kate Lawrie Van de Ven, City to City Programmer. “The array of perspectives we’ve seen while programming this series speaks strongly of the diverse influences this community of filmmakers is bringing to the screen. There’s a dynamic film scene in the city, and many of the new directors are working in contrasting dialogue with the styles established in the 2000s by leading Argentine directors like Lucrecia Martel, Lisandro Alonso and Pablo Trapero. There’s a rich array of cinematic styles emerging across Buenos Aires, from more experimental narratives to sly genre reworks, and we’re excited to bring a sampling of that diversity to TIFF.”
Additionally, TIFF is pleased to present the return of the City to City symposium, a thought-provoking dialogue between the visiting city’s filmmakers and experts on urban culture. This year’s panel, “Buenos Aires – A Conversation,” will take place on Tuesday, September 13 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, and will be open to the public. Admission is free. Further details on featured panellists and invited guests will follow.
Caprichosos de San Telmo Alison Murray, Argentina/Canada World Premiere
A portrait of the working-class musicians and dancers of Buenos Aires’s San Telmo neighbourhood, who have channelled the city’s many cultural influences into the street performance called Murga.
The Cat Vanishes Carlos Sorin, Argentina International Premiere
When Beatriz picks up her husband Luis from the sanatorium, she is not quite sure if she should believe his psychiatrist’s pronouncement that he is fully cured. Her usually churlish, academic husband is suddenly friendly and cooperative, even willing to take a trip to Brazil’s beaches. When their cat Donatello disappears, Beatriz’ suspicions lead her to question her own sanity. The tension is on high throughout in Carlos Sorin’s latest feature, The Cat Vanishes.
Crane World Pablo Trapero, Argentina
Pablo Trapero’s reputation-making feature debut was a seminal work in the Argentine New Wave of the 2000s. An unadorned look at the life of a man trying to make a living as a crane operator in Buenos Aires, Crane World introduced a new talent and a new realist aesthetic to the city’s cinema.
Fatherland Nicolás Prividera, Argentina World Premiere
This rigorously structured and visually engrossing essay film explores Argentina’s fractious modern history through the words of writers – both founding fathers and oppositional voices – who lay buried in Buenos Aires’s famed Recoleta Cemetery.
Invasion Hugo Santiago, Argentina Canadian Premiere
Invasion is the legend of a city, imaginary or real, besieged by powerful enemies and defended by a handful of men who may not be heroes. In this rare inclusion of a retrospective title, Santiago’s protagonists will fight to the end without suspecting that their battle is endless.
A Mysterious World Rodrigo Moreno, Argentina/Germany North American Premiere
After his girlfriend suddenly breaks up with him, a young man’s life transforms into an erratic urban journey inexplicably connected to his temperamental communist-era car. The latest film from Rodrigo Moreno (El Custodio) is an affectionate, singular portrait of one guileless protagonist’s quixotic journey through a period of uncertainty.
Pompeya Tamae Garateguy, Argentina North American Premiere
A junior screenwriter is hired by an established film director to write his new film: a gangster movie set in Buenos Aires. In each meeting, the filmmakers create a story that takes place in an imaginary Pompeya neighbourhood, plagued by secrets, political disputes and crime. When pure fiction and reality are completely corrupted, the unexpected happens. In her first solo feature, Tamae Garateguy simultaneously lambasts the Buenos Aires filmmaking scene and the gangster film, ingeniously stirring up a volatile alchemy of genres.
The Stones Román Cárdenas, Argentina International Premiere
In a quiet interrupted only by the noise of boats, a couple lives without crossing each other’s paths. He is a writer waiting for the words; she is an alienated employee of a fumigation company. The Stones explores the increasing space between two people at the same time as it maps the short distance between urban Buenos Aires and its rustic flip-side in the neighbouring Paraná Delta. Román Cárdenas pairs a spellbinding visual acuity with thrilling eruptions of comedy in this feature debut.
The Student Santiago Mitre, Argentina North American Premiere
The graffitied halls, run-down classrooms and surrounding streets of the University of Buenos Aires provide the ideal location for Santiago Mitre’s briskly paced debut, The Student. Mitre brilliantly exposes the backroom dealings and negotiations in the murky world of student politics, a microcosm for the world at large, in this fictional account of a young man’s discovery of his talent for politicking through his seduction of an assistant professor and activist.
Vaquero Juan Minujín, Argentina International Premiere
Julian Lamar, a 33-year-old actor working on the fringes of the Buenos Aires film scene, wants to give his career a boost by landing a role in a Western a Hollywood director is going to shoot in Argentina. Vaquero, the debut feature by Argentine actor, Juan Minujín, gives an insider’s perspective of Argentina’s film community in this hilariously dark