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Roots Canada: TIFF Adds Latest From Dolan, Maxime Giroux, Ruba Nadda & Rodrigue Jean

The luxurious banquet hall in Toronto’s Royal York hotel was electric with excitement as TIFF senior programmers including Steve Gravestock and Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo announced the robust lineup of Canadian films (several world preems) at this year’s TIFF plus the 40+ short titles (out of an astounding 840 short films — an increase of over 200 titles from last year) that will screen at the prestigious festival. With features populating almost every section at the fest, among the headliner items from English Canada, Cairo Time‘s Ruba Nadda returns to the fest with October Gale, while also world preeming is Bang Bang Baby — Jeffrey St. Jules marks his feature film debut with a film that is equal parts Rocky Horror Picture Show and early Cronenberg. Starring Jane Levy of the recent About Alex, it revolves around a small-town teenager in the ’60s whose dream of becoming a famous singer is dashed when a leak in a nearby chemical plant causes mass mutations in all those around her. The film plays as part of the Discovery program. Sturla Gunnarsson’s latest (Monsoon) is a rumination on India’s turbulent weather conditions. The film plays as part of the TIFF Docs program.

Bypassing the out of touch Montreal World Film Festival (currently on its death-bed) and joining the likes of Xavier Dolan and Stephane Lafleur’s Cannes preemed items, Quebecois auteurs hitching an east to west ride on the Trans-Canada Highway include Eldorado helmer Charles Binamé with The Elephant Song (which stars Xavier Dolan and Capote‘s Bruce Greenwood and Catherine Keener) is an adaptation of Nicolas Billon’s controversial play which focuses on a mysterious psychiatrist who is drawn into a labyrinthine game of cat and mouse with his complex patient. The film plays as part of the Special Presentations program. Jo pour Jonathan‘s Maxime Giroux’s third feature film – the culture-clasher Félix and Meira (see pic above), Lost Song‘s Rodrigue Jean’s Love in the Time of Civil War (see pic on left), and let’s not forget Quebecer-anglo filmmaking pride Good Neighbors‘ Jacob Tierney’s fourth feature entitled Preggoland. Leaving behind his perennial muse Jay Baruchel, Tierney’s latest focuses on Sonja Bennett’s Ruth, who enjoys the perks of pregnancy whilst faking hers. The film plays as part of the Special Presentations program. An Eye for Beauty (Le regne de la beaute) by Oscar winning auteur Denys Arcand brings his latest to TIFF after a theatrical release in Quebec this past summer. Starring the exceptionally talented Marie-Josee Croze (Calvary, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), the drama centres on a Montreal architect whose life is serendipitously altered following an affair with a Toronto woman. And as a final mention worthy item, our very own Blake Williams has been included in the Wavelength section with Red Capriccio. Here is the press release with Canuck films spread out in all the sections.

Also skyrocketing in popularity is the Talent Lab. Now in its 11th year, the four day programme, led by notables such as filmmaker Claire Denis (who brought her divisive Bastards to last year’s festival) and acclaimed actress Sandra Oh (Sideways) will educate twenty up and coming filmmakers in discussions that will focus on the artistic process. TIFF programmers were also keen to shine the spotlight on this year’s crop of Rising Stars, including award winning actor Alexandre Landry (from Canada’s Oscar contender Gabrielle). Previous TIFF Rising Stars include Canadian IT girls Sarah Gadon and Tatiana Maslany. Here are the selections:

“An Eye for Beauty” (“Le règne de la beauté”), Denys Arcand / Toronto Premiere
“The Elephant Song,” Charles Binane / World Premiere
“Mommy,” Xavier Dolan / Toronto Premiere
“October Gale,” Ruba Nadda / World Premiere
“Preggoland,” Jacob Tierney / World Premiere

“Monsoon,” Sturla Gunnarsson / World Premiere
“The Price We Pay” (“La Face cachée de l’impôt”), Harold Crooks / World Premiere
“The Wanted 18,” Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan / World Premiere

“Backcountry,” Adam MacDonald / World Premiere
“Bang Bang Baby,” Jeffrey St. Jules / World Premiere
“Big Muddy,” Jefferson Moneo / World Premiere
“Corbo,” Mathieu Denis / World Premiere
“Guidance,” Pat Mills / World Premiere
“In Her Place,” Albert Shin / World Premiere
“Songs She Wrote About People She Knows,” Kris Elgstrand / World Premiere
“The Valley Below,” Kyle Thomas / World Premiere
“We Were Wolves,” Jordan Canning / World Premiere
“Wet Bum,” Lindsay Mackay / World Premiere

“Félix and Meira,” Maxime Giroux / World Premiere
“Heartbeat,” Andrea Dorfman / World Premiere
“Love in the Time of Civil War” (“L’amour au temps de la guerre civile”), Rodrigue Jean / World Premiere
“Teen Lust,” Blaine Thurier / World Premiere
“Tu dors Nicole,” Stéphane Lafleur / Toronto Premiere

“The Editor,” Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks / World Premiere

“Trick or Treaty?” Alanis Obomsawin / World Premiere

“Speaking Parts,” Atom Egoyan
“Crime Wave,” John Paizs

“brouillard – passage #14,” Alexandre Larose / World Premiere
“The Innocents,” Jean-Paul Kelly / World Premiere
“Red Capriccio,” Blake Williams / World Premiere
“Lunar Almanac,” Malena Szlam / Toronto Premiere

“Anna and the Tower,” Lynne Marsh / World Premiere

David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” was previously announced in the Gala program.

“An Apartment,” Sarah Galea-Davis
“Around Is Around,” Norman McLaren
“The Barnhouse” (“La Grange”), Caroline Mailloux
“Bison,” Kevan Funk
“Broken Face” (“Sale Gueule”), Alain Fournier
“Burnt Grass,” Ray Wong
“Chainreaction,” Dana Gingras
“Chamber Drama,” Jeffrey Zablotny
“CODA,” Denis Poulin and Martine Époque
“Day 40,” Sol Friedman
“Del Ciego Desert,” François Leduc
“A Delusion of Grandeur” (“Une idée de grandeur”), Vincent Biron
“The Encounter” (“La Rencontre”) Frieda Luk
“Entangled,” Tony Elliott
“Father,” Jordan Tannahill
“Fire” (“Fuoco”), Raha Shirazi
“Godhead,” Connor Gaston
“Hole,” Martin Edralin
“Indigo,” Amanda Strong
“Intruders,” Santiago Menghini
“Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes,” Scott Brachmayer
“Last Night,” Arlen Konopaki
“Light,” Yassmina Karajah
“Liompa,” Elizabeth Lazebnik
“Luk’Luk’I : Mother,” Wayne Wapeemukwa
“Me and My Moulton,” Torill Kove
“Migration,” Flourescent Hill
“Mynarski Death Plummet” (“Mynarski chute mortelle”), Matthew Rankin
“O Canada,” Evelyn Lambart
“On Cement” (“Sur le ciment”) Robin Aubert
“Red Alert,” Barry Avrich
“Running Season,” Grayson Moore
“Sahar,” Alexander Farah
“The Sands” (“Plage de sable”) Marie-Ève Juste
“Sleeping Giant” (“Géant Endormi”) Andrew Cividino
“Still,” Slater Jewell-Kemker
“Take Me” (“Prends-moi”) André Turpin and Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette
“A Tomb with a View,” Ryan J. Noth
“The Underground,” Michelle Latimer
“The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer,” Randall Okita
“What Doesn’t Kill You,” Rob Grant
“Zero Recognition,” Ben Lewi

Leora Heilbronn is a Toronto-based writer. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Volver), Coen Bros. (Burn After Reading), Dardennes (Lorna's Silence), Haneke (The Piano Teacher), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Certified Copy), Lynch (Mulholland Drive), Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds), Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), von Trier (Melancholia)

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