The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled 20 Canadian feature films that will premiere at this year’s festival, and the Canadian lineup boasts films full of intimate social commentary and stranger than fiction documentaries.
A still from upcoming Canadian release, Siddharth.
“Canadian films and filmmakers are gaining more and more influence on global audiences each year,” said Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo, a Canadian Features Programmer at TIFF. “The diversity and curiosity of Canada’s filmmakers gives them a unique ability to make films with wide ranging appeal and impact.”
This year’s Canadian lineup features powerful dramas and films that are not afraid to take chances. As a true film lover who appreciates cinema in all its forms, it was extremely difficult to choose my favourites, but here are the titles from the Canadian lineup I’m most eager to see.
Siddharth: In his latest film, Toronto native Richie Mehta (Amal) brings us a film (which he also wrote and produced) about a father and son. To alleviate his financial burdens, Mahendra, a poor chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets, sends his 12 year-old son, Siddharth away to work. Things go awry when Siddharth fails to return home and Mahendra learns child traffickers may have taken his young son. With no connections and few resources, Mahendra embarks on a journey across India to find Siddharth, with the hope that whatever force took Siddharth away will return him unharmed.
Enemy: I absolutely loved Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies (a 2011 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film) and I’m so excited that the director is making his English-language debut at TIFF this year with Enemy. Based on The Double by Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago, Enemy explores the troubled psyche of Adam, played by Jake Gyllenhall, who seeks out his doppleganger, Anthony, after seeing him in a movie. For those who can’t get enough of Villeneuve, his film Prisoners (starring Gyllenhall, Hugh Jackman and Paul Dano) will also have its world premiere at TIFF!
Watermark: Documentaries are where I seek refuge from the red carpet commotion at the festival. As a documentary lover, I’m looking forward to Watermark. This feature doc by Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes) and photographer Edward Burtynsky, brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our fragile relationship with water. The film, shot in ultra high-definition video and full of soaring aerial perspectives promises to be a visual stunner.
All The Wrong Reasons: All The Wrong Reasons is generating a lot of buzz at TIFF because it’s the last project from the late Cory Monteith (Glee). In her first feature film, director Gia Milani explores the loss of identity. Monteith stars as an ambitious 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 the entire situation. It’ll be interested to see how Milani directs this ensemble cast.
The Husband: Bruce McDonald’s The Husband follows Henry, a married man with a son and a decent job in advertising. The only hiccup is that Henry’s wife is in jail for sleeping with a 14 year-old boy. Films that centre on taboo topics are usually interesting and definite conversation starters.
The F Word: As a fan of the HBO series Girls and actor Adam Driver, I’m looking forward to the world premiere of Michael Dowse’s, The F Word. The film tells the story of Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who falls in love with Chantry (Zoe Kazan) at first sight. The only problem, however, is that Chantry lives with her long-term boyfriend. What ensues is Wallace discovering the dirtiest word in romance: ‘friends’. With rumours that Radcliffe will be attending TIFF this year, this Special Presentation will definitely be a hot ticket.
The 38th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15, 2013. Tickets are on sale now.
Story By: Sheetal Maya Nanda