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Canadian Presence at TIFF 2016

There will be no lack of Canadian content at the 41st Toronto International Film festival with world premieres of the latest cinematic offerings by filmmakers Deepa Mehta, Alanis Obomsawin, Bruce McDonald, Brigitte Berman, Kevan Funk, Anne Émond, Chloé Robichaud, Jamie Kastner, and Vincent Biron.


“We are thrilled to present a robust selection of projects from some of Canada’s best filmmakers,” stated TIFF Senior Programmer Steve Gravestock. “From thought provoking documentaries and affecting dramas, to unconventional biographies and thrillers, to animated features, this year’s selections highlight the diversity and high-calibre work produced in Canada.”

A sample of what will be showcased:

below her mouth

Below Her Mouth by April Mullen

Dallas, a roofer, and Jasmine, a fashion editor, share a powerful and immediate connection that inevitably derails both of their lives. Starring Erika Linder, Natalie Krill, and Sebastian Pigott.

Weirdos by Bruce McDonald

Nova Scotia, 1976. It’s the weekend of the American Bicentennial and 15-year-old Kit is running away from home. With girlfriend Alice, Kit hitchhikes through the maritime landscape towards a new home with his mother, Laura. Along the way, Kit and Alice’s relationship is tested as Kit approaches a realization that will change his life forever. Starring Dylan Authors, Julia Sarah Stone, Molly Parker, and Allan Hawco.

Anatomy of Violence by Deepa Mehta

In 2012, a young woman was gang raped by six men inside a moving bus in New Delhi. She was beaten senseless and thrown naked out onto the street. Eleven actors collaborated on Deepa Mehta’s devastating fictional dramatization of the lives of the rapists.

black code

Black Code by Nicholas de Pencier

Based on the book by Professor Ron Deibert, Black Code is the story of how the internet is being controlled and manipulated by governments in order to censor and monitor their citizens. As they battle for control of cyberspace, ideas of citizenship, privacy, and democracy are challenged to the core.

Giants of Africa by Hubert Davis

On a continent where dreams are often displaced for necessity and survival, the game of basketball brings hope to many young men in Africa. Masai Ujiri, president and general manager of the Toronto Raptors, returns to Africa each summer to stage basketball development camps. Young men from across the continent overcome staggering odds, with an unwavering spirit, to attend these camps that are held in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda.

Werewolf by Ashley McKenzie

Blaise and Nessa are marginalized methadone users in a small town. Each day they push their rusty lawn mower door-to-door begging to cut grass. Nessa plots an escape, while Blaise lingers closer to collapse. Tethered to each other, their getaway dreams are kept on a suffocatingly short leash.


Nelly by Anne Émond

A film inspired by the life and work of Nelly Arcan. Nelly is a portrait of a fragmented woman, lost between irreconcilable identities: writer, lover, call girl, and star. Several women in one, navigating between great exaltation and great disenchantment. The film mirrors the violent life and radical work of its subject, paying tribute to a writer who insisted on taking risks. Starring TIFF Rising Star Mylène Mackay.

The Canadian films will be competing for The Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film and City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film which will be awarded by a jury consisting of producers Luc Déry (Incendies) and Anita Lee (Stories We Tell), filmmaker Mina Shum (Double Happiness), and cultural critic and novelist Hal Niedzviecki.


The Short Cuts programme will be showcasing 37 Canadian short films that have the opportunity to win Best Canadian Film, and the Short Cuts Award

for Best Film.  Jury members include American filmmaker Abteen Bagheri (That B.E.A.T.), French filmmaker Eva Husson (Bang Gang), and Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby (Rhymes for Young Ghouls).

Here are some World Premieres:

CYCLES by Joe Cobden

A man is stuck in loops of abstract memories after a relationship suddenly ends. He relives the love lost, from first meeting to last goodbye.

Imitations by Fabian Velasco and Milos Mitrovic

After getting plastic surgery to look like a famous teen pop-star, an introverted super fan named Arnold begins to experience irreversible side effects as his face begins to fall apart during a night out doing karaoke.

The Road to Webequie

The Road to Webequie by Ryan Noth and Tess Girard

A mining company has promised to create opportunities for the remote Webequie First Nation. Through the eyes of three youths facing an uncertain future, this observational yet expansive documentary shows the struggles — and hopes — of a community confronting challenges that many Canadians will never experience.

Your Mother and I by Anna Maguire

This adaptation of a story by Dave Eggers looks at the small moments that belie the larger tensions between generations, as a dad recounts to his daughter all the ways he and his wife changed the world… or so he says.

Strange Vision of Seeing Things

Strange Vision of Seeing Things by Ryan Ferko

A film about unseen buildings and conflicts in Belgrade, Serbia: those deliberately obscured; those unseeable to a tourist’s eyes; and those masked by monuments — their hyper-visibility a form of obfuscation.

Hello Destroyer

Up and coming talent will also get the opportunity to shine with the 2016 TIFF Rising Stars programme mentoring Jared Abrahamson (Fear the Walking Dead), Grace Glowicki (Her Friend Adam), Mylène Mackay (Endorphine) and Sophie Nélisse (Mean Dreams).  Previous alumni of the six year old initiative include Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Stephan James (Race), Connor Jessup (Closet Monster) and Shannon Kook (Dark Places).

Mean Dreams still

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2016.  For more information visit


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