We are weeks away from the 37th Toronto International Film Festival and with that comes the final announcement of films to round out the festival’s programming. Next up the festival shines a spotlight on first and second feature films from up-and-coming filmmakers, with 27 diverse features charging up its Discovery programme. The lineup showcases dynamic films by enterprising directors from around the world including Paraguay, France, Sweden, Estonia, Ivory Coast and Serbia.
“North American audiences have first found films like Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg and Steve McQueen‘s Hunger in our Discovery programme,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “With another strong crop of films this year and two prizes specifically for Discovery filmmakers, Toronto continues to be a prime place for debut films.”
Films in the Discovery programme are eligible for two awards: the new Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award that honours a filmmaker in the Discovery programme for their exceptional journey to date and that includes a $10,000 cash prize to support the winner’s next project, and the juried International Federation of Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI Prize) for the Discovery programme.
Check out the lineup below and head stay tuned for Xavierpop’s ongoing and unmatched coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival.
7 Boxes Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori, Paraguay International Premiere
It’s Friday night in Asunción and the temperature is 40ºC. Víctor, a 17-year-old wheelbarrow-boy, dreams of becoming famous and covets a cell phone in Mercado 4. He is offered the chance to deliver seven boxes with unknown contents in exchange for $100. This sounds like an easy job but it soon gets complicated. Something in the boxes is highly coveted. Víctor and his persecutors find themselves caught up in a crime they know nothing about. Starring Celso Franco, Lali González, Víctor Sosa and Nico García.
Augustine Alice Winocour, France International Premiere
Paris, winter 1885. At the Pitié-Salpêtriere Hospital, Professor Charcot is studying a mysterious illness: hysteria. Augustine, 19 years old, becomes his favourite guinea pig and the star of his demonstrations of hypnosis. The object of his studies will soon become the object of his desire. Starring Soko, Vincent Lindon and Chiara Mastroianni.
Blancanieves Pablo Berger, Spain/France World Premiere
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who never knew her mother. She learned the art of her father, a famous bullfighter, but was hated by her evil stepmother. One day she ran away with a troupe of dwarfs and became a legend. Set in southern Spain in the 1920s, Blancanieves is a tribute to silent film. Starring Maribel Verdú and Daniel Giménez Cacho.
Boy Eating the Bird’s Food Ektoras Lygizos, Greece North American Premiere
A 22-year-old boy in Athens has no job, no money, no girlfriend and no food to eat. He has only a canary bird and a beautiful singing voice. When he finds himself without a home, he must seek shelter for his bird. Starring Yiannis Papadopoulos.
The Brass Teapot Ramaa Mosley, USA World Premiere
John and Alice are in their 20s, married, very much in love, and broke. In high school, gorgeous Alice was voted “most likely to succeed” but now she’s just trying to make ends meet while her friends are enjoying the good life. Her husband John, loving but
immature, just wants to get the bills paid. After they get into an accident and end up at a roadside antique shop, Alice is uncharacteristically drawn to shoplift a brass teapot. It isn’t long before they realize this is no ordinary teapot. Starring Juno Temple, Michael Angarano, Alexis Bledel, Alia Shawkat, Bobby Moynihan, Stephen Park, Billy Magnussen and Debra Monk.
Burn It Up Djassa Lonesome Solo, Ivory Coast/France World Premiere
In the busy streets of Abidjan, Tony, an out-of-school youth, scrapes together a living by hawking cigarettes but he soon turns to violence. Shot in 11 days in Abidjan, Burn It Up Djassa breathes new life into Ivory Coast film. Starring Abdoul Karim Konaté, Adélaïde Ouattara, Mamadou Diomandé and Mohamed Bamba.
Call Girl Mikael Marcimain, Sweden/Ireland/Norway/Finland World Premiere
Stockholm, late 1970s. Within a stone’s throw of government buildings and juvenile homes lies the seductive world of sex clubs, discotheques and private residences. Call Girl tells the story of how young Iris is recruited from the bottom of society into a ruthless world where power can get you anything. Starring Pernilla August, Sofia Karemyr, Simon J Berger, Sven Nordin, David Dencik, Ruth Vega Fernandez, Josefin Asplund, Magnus Krepper and Kristoffer Joner.
Clip Maja Milos, Serbia North American Premiere
Jasna is a beautiful girl in her mid-teens, leading a crude life in postwar Serbia. With a terminally ill father and dispirited mother, she is disillusioned and angry with everyone and everything, including herself. Having a huge crush on a boy from school, she goes on a spree of sex, drugs and partying, constantly filming with her mobile phone. Still, in that very harsh environment – love and tenderness emerge. Starring Isidora Simijonovic, Vukašin Jasnic, Sanja Mikitišin, Jovo Makisc and Monja Savic.
The Color of the Chameleon Emil Christov, Bulgaria World Premiere
This is a story without innocents. A maniacal informant creates his own phantom secret-police department. He recruits a group of intellectuals to spy on each other and uses his secret archive to wreak havoc on the government. Secret policing reveals its dark nature not only in its nauseating cruelties, but in its deviant pleasures. Starring Ruscen Vidinliev, Irena Milyankova, Rousy Chanev, Deyan Donkov, Svetlana Yancheva and Samuel Finzi.
The Deflowering of Eva van End Michiel ten Horn, The Netherlands World Premiere
The Deflowering of Eva van End is a tragicomedy about the van End family who, after the arrival of an impossibly perfect German exchange student, can no longer imagine how they ever managed to live with their imperfect selves. Starring Vivian Dierickx, Abe Dijkman, Tomer Pawlicki, Jacqueline Blom, Ton Kas and Rafael Gareisen.
Detroit Unleaded Rola Nashef, USA World Premiere
Caught between the cultures of contemporary Detroit and traditional Arab-America, Sami works behind the bulletproof glass of a 24-hour gas station with his cousin Mike. Inside this unique East-side neighborhood, the once university-bound Sami is forced to put his dreams aside and resign himself to a world composed of junk food, overpriced Tigers baseball memorabilia, and cheap, long-distance phone cards. And then the beautiful Naj walks in. Starring E.J. Assi, Nada Shouhayib, Mike Batayeh, Mary Assel, Akram El-Ahmar and Steven Soro.
Eat Sleep Die Gabriela Pichler, Sweden North American Premiere
When the forceful young Muslim Swedish/Balkan factory worker Raša loses her job, she must navigate the unemployment system. With no high school diploma, no job – but her boots deeply stained with the mud of the small town she grew up in – Raša finds herself on a collision course with society and its contradictory values and expectations. First time amateur actors play all of the main characters in the film. Starring Nermina Lukac, Milan Dragišic, Peter Fält, Ružica Pichler and Jonathan Lampinen.
Fill the Void Rama Burshtein, Israel North American Premiere
Fill the Void tells the story of an Orthodox Hassidic family from Tel Aviv. Eighteen-year-old Shira is the youngest daughter of the family. She is about to be married to a promising young man of the same age and background. It is a dream come true and Shira feels prepared and excited. When her 28-year-old sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child, Shira’s promised match is postponed. When Shira’s mother finds out that Esther’s widower may leave the country with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty. Starring: Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir, Razia Israely, Hila Feldman, Renana Raz, Yael Tal, Michael David Weigl and Ido Samuel.
The Interval Leonardo Di Costanzo, Italy North American Premiere
A boy and a girl have been locked up in an enormous abandoned building in Naples. The boy has been forced by a Camorra gang to act as her jail-keeper. But as the hours go by, hostility gives way to a form of exchange and when the Camorra gang members make their appearance at sunset, the pair are different from what we were expecting. Starring: Francesca Riso, Alessio Gallo, Carmine Paternoster, Salvatore Ruocco, Antonio Buil, Jean Yves Morard
Janeane from Des Moines Grace Lee, USA World Premiere
A conservative housewife wants to “take America back” in the 2012 election, but a tough economy causes some difficulties in her life, leading her to confront Republican contenders as they criss-cross her state during the Iowa Caucuses. But will anyone hear her story? Starring Jane Edith Wilson, Michael Oosterom, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.
La Sirga William Vega, Colombia/France/Mexico North American Premiere
Alice is helpless. War memories invade her mind like threatening thunder. Uprooted by the armed conflict, she tries to reshape her life in La Sirga, a decadent hostel on the shores of a great lake in the highlands of the Andes. There, on a swampy and murky beach, she will try to settle down until her fears and the threat of war resurface again. Starring Joghis Seudin Arias, David Fernando Guacas, Julio César Roble, Heraldo Romero and Floralba Achicanoy.
The Land of Eb Andrew Williamson, USA World Premiere
The Land of Eb relates a compassionate portrait of the Marshallese diaspora in Kona, Hawaii from the point of view of a hard-working and loving family man. Jacob forgoes cancer treatment in order to provide for his family when he’s gone. An insightful and ultimately joyful reminder of the lasting effects of the nuclear age. Starring Jonithen Jackson, Rojel Jonithen, Jeff Nashion and Hilary Monson.
Nights with Theodore Sébastien Betbeder, France World Premiere
A party in a Parisian flat. Theodore meets Anna. Later in the night, while walking through Paris, they decide to climb the fence of Buttes-Chaumont Park. There, they will share their first night and they will continue to come back until this strange attraction begins to separate them. In Nights with Theodore, fiction meets documentary to show the mysteries and fantasies of Buttes-Chaumont Park. Starring Pio Marmaï and Agathe Bonitzer.
Mushrooming Toomas Hussar, Estonia North American Premiere
Politician Aadu and his wife set out to pick mushrooms on a day when he gets a call from a journalist confronting him with suspected corruption. By coincidence, the married couple find themselves in a car with a pompous rock idol named Zäk. After discovering the spot his wife chose to pick mushrooms is full of vacationers, Aadu decides to find a quieter place. The woods where he ultimately ends up however, are perhaps too deep and inhospitable. Finding a way out may not be easy. This black comedy, with touches of political satire, aims at the often unscrupulous behaviour of contemporary politicians and media stars on their way to power and popularity.
Starring Raivo E. Tamm, Elina Reinold, Juhan Ulfsak, Üllar Saaremäe and Hendrik Toompere Jr.
Our Little Differences Sylvie Michel, Germany International Premiere
The seemingly harmonious relationship between the prestigious Doctor, Sebastian and his Bulgarian cleaning lady, Jana, develops into a vicious power game, when her daughter Vera and Arthur, the doctor’s son, vanish without a trace. Starring Wolfram Koch, Bettina Stucky, Leonard Bruckmann, Silvia Petkova, Wilhelm Eilers, Cornelia Brunig, Katharina Kubel and Jacqueline Macaulay.
Out in the Dark Michael Mayer, Israel/USA North American Premiere
Two young men—a Palestinian grad student and an Israeli lawyer—meet and fall in love amidst personal and political intrigue in this striking debut feature. As their relationship deepens, Nimer is confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept him for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. Starring Nicholas Jacob and Michael Aloni.
Satellite Boy Catriona McKenzie, Australia World Premiere
While trying to save his home from being bought up by developers, a young Aboriginal boy becomes lost in the Outback with his smart-mouthed friend, and must call on the wisdom and survival skills passed down to him by his grandfather (played by legendary Australian actor David Gulpilil) in order to lead them out of the wilderness. Starring David Gulpilil, Cameron Wallaby, Joseph Pedley, Rohanna Angus and Dean Daley-Jones.
Wasteland Rowan Athale, United Kingdom World Premiere
Battered, bruised and under arrest, Harvey Denton sits in a police interview room facing interrogation. Clutching a stack of eyewitness statements, Detective Inspector West has no doubt as to Harvey’s part in a foiled robbery and his subsequent attempted murder of local businessman Steven Roper. Denying nothing, Harvey agrees to tell his version of events in full. As the story unfolds, we discover that a malevolent and unjust act perpetrated by Roper put Harvey in prison and now he has a score to settle. What unfolds is a tense and exhilarating heist of unexpected proportions. Starring: Luke Treadaway, Iwan Rheon, Matthew Lewis, Gerard Kearns, Timothy Spall, Vanessa Kirby and Neil Maskell.
Canadian films previously announced in the Discovery programme include: Jason Buxton’s Blackbird, Igor Drljaca’s Krivina, Kate Melville’s Picture Day and Kazik Radwanski’s Tower.
Nono, The Zigzag Kid Vincent Bal, Belgium/The Netherlands World Premiere
Nono wants to be like his father – the best police inspector of the world – but he gets into trouble all the time. Two days before his Bar Mitzvah, he’s sent away to his uncle Sjmoel, in order to keep to the straight and narrow. However, during the train ride Nono gets a last chance to prove himself. Along with master burglar Felix Glick – an old acquaintance of his father – he’s able to stop the train. He then enters a world of disguises, chases, French chansons, and of Zohara, a mysterious lady whose secrets will change Nono’s life forever.
The Festival’s Official Film Schedule was released today, and is available at the Festival Box Office or by visiting tiff.net/festival. Copies will also be distributed in The Grid on Thursday, August 23. Thursday’s issue of the Toronto Star will contain a 24-page section on the Festival, which includes the full film schedule.
Single tickets go on sale September 2. Purchase Festival tickets online at tiff.net/festival, by phone Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to
7 p.m. ET at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, and in person at the Festival Box Office located at 225 King St West. The 37th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 6 to 16, 2012.
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 $170 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 tiff.net.