The Toronto Film Festival unveiled its diverse Canadian slate today, adding 37 features across various programs, including Xavier Dolan’s 2014 Cannes jury prize-winning “Mommy” (Roadside Attractions) and Denys Arcand’s “An Eye for Beauty” in Special Presentations.
Dolan also stars as a mind-game-playing psychiatric patient in veteran TV helmer Charles Binane’s return to the bigscreen, “The Elephant Song,” which world preems in Special Presentations, as does Ruba Nadda’s “October Gale,” starring Patricia Clarkson as a grieving widow who saves a mysterious man (Scott Speedman) from a gunshot wound, and Jacob Tierney’s expectant-mom comedy “Preggoland,” starring Sonja Bennett and James Caan.
Besides “Mommy,” the festival will screen other pics from acclaimed Quebec directors: As previously announced, Jean-Marc Vallee’s likely Telluride-bound “Wild” and Philippe Falardeau’s world-preeming “The Good Lie,” both starring Reese Witherspoon, will be in the mix. Other selections from the province’s talent pool include Maxime Giroux’s star-crossed love story “Felix and Meira”; Rodrigue Jean’s tale of Montreal junkie hustlers “Love in the Time of Civil War”; and Stephane Lafleur’s romantic summer misadventure “Tu dors Nicole,” all three screening in Contemporary World Cinema.
The world cinema section has also added the world premieres of Andrea Dorfman’s “Heartbeat,” about an aspiring musician stuck in a rut, and Blaine Thurier’s “Teen Lust,” in which a teen races to lose his virginity before his parents sacrifice him to the devil, starring “True Blood” thesp Kristin Bauer van Straten and Cary Elwes.
Midnight Madness has added the world premiere of Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brook’s giallo homage/sendup “The Editor,” the latest pic from Winnipeg horror-comedy production company Astron-6 (“Manborg”).
TIFF Docs has programmed three world preems, including Sturla Gunnarsson’s “Monsoon,” a spectacle exploring the impact of monsoons on India’s varied culture; veteran docu writer Harold Crooks’ “The Price We Pay,” about big-business tax avoidance; and Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan’s international co-production “The Wanted 18,” the story of village cows that became a symbol of resistance during the First Intifada.
Veteran docu helmer Alanis Obomsawin will return to Toronto for the world preem of justice-themed “Trick or Treaty?,” a National Film Board of Canada production set to screen in the Masters sidebar.
The festival’s Discovery slate is chockablock with world-preeming pics from fresh talent, including Adam MacDonald’s based-on-a-true-story survival story “Backcountry”; Jeffrey St. Jules’ 1960s-set small-town horror-thriller “Bang Bang Baby”; Jefferson Moneo’s modern-day outlaw tale “Big Muddy”; Mathieu Denis’ drama about a teen caught up in Quebec’s 1960s socialist revolution “Corbo”; Pat Mills’ comedy about an alcoholic former child actor “Guidance”; Albert Shin’s South Korea-set rural drama “In Her Place”; Kris Elgstrand’s comedy “Songs She Wrote About People She Knows”; Kyle Thomas’ music-fueled, Alberta-set multi-narrative “The Valley Below”; Jordan Canning’s story of estranged brothers “We Were Wolves”; and Lindsay Mackay’s coming-of-ager “Wet Bum.”
TIFF Cinematheque, a retrospective strand, will screen the digital restoration of Atom Egoyan’s “Speaking Parts” and John Paizs’ 1985 Canuck classic “Crime Wave.”
The festival also unveiled Canadian short works bowing in its experimental Wavelengths and Future Projections programs, as well as the Short Cuts Canada slate of 42 titles, including two recently restored titles screening in commemoration of the centenary of the birth of animation pioneer Norman McLaren.
The Toronto Film Festival runs September 4-14.