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Primetime, Industry Programming, Hidden Figures & TIFF 2016

TIFF 2016 logo

The Primetime programme will be part of the 41th Toronto International Film Festival with the sophomore edition featuring five world premieres of television shows originating from the UK, South Africa, Kenya, U.S, Czech Republic, and Canada.

“This peak era for television has ushered in a gold mine of prime, movie-quality, small-screen projects from a growing spectrum of diverse voices and original content creators,” stated TIFF Primetime Programmer and Acting Head of Programming  Michael Lerman. “The new nimbleness of storytelling formats and multiple viewing platforms has sparked an unprecedented level of innovation and experimentation in the TV world, inspiring an explosion of narratives and new ways of connecting with global audiences.”

Here are five shows getting showcased:

black mirror

Black Mirror created by Charlie Brooker; directed by Owen Harris and Joe Wright, UK/South Africa

Charlie Brooker’s anthology series continues to tap into the collective unease within the modern world, each stand-alone episode a sharp and suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Alice Eve.  The Festival presents episodes San Junipero and Nosedive.


Transparent created by Jill Soloway; directed by Jill Soloway and Silas Howard, USA

The new season of Transparent sees its nuclear family splinter into disparate journeys on their continued path of self-discovery. Starring Anjelica Huston, Jeffrey Tambor, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Judith Light, Cherry Jones, Rob Hubel, Alexandra Billings, Trace Lysette, Alexandra Grey, and Kathryn Hahn. The Festival presents episodes 1, 2 and 3 from season 3.

Tuko Macho

Tuko Macho created and directed by Jim Chuchu, Kenya

This procedural crime thriller follows the kidnappings carried out by the titular terrorist cell, Tuko Macho. Run by a ruthless vigilante named Biko, the organization snatches up criminals from the streets of Nairobi and puts them on trial before the world’s most powerful public court — the internet, whose anonymous viewership decides whether the offender should live or die. The Festival presents two episodes.
wasteland 1

Wasteland (Pustina) created by Štěpán Hulík; directed by Ivan Zachariáš and Alice Nellis, Czech Republic

This thrilling mystery miniseries tells the story of a coal-mining village on the verge of extinction, where companies threaten to displace the population by offering large sums in exchange for land. At the centre of it all is an ambitious mayor, Hana Sikorova, who seeks to hold true to the community’s way of life. Starring Zuzana Stivínová, Jaroslav Dušek, Eliška Krenková, Leoš Noha, Jan Cina, Štěpán Benoni, Petra Špalková, Eva Holubová, Oskar Hes, and Miroslav Vladyka. The Festival presents all eight episodes.

nirvanna the band the show

nirvanna the band the show created by Matt Johnson and Jay McCarrol, Canada

Matt Johnson (Operation Avalanche) directs this television adaptation of his cult-hit web series about a hapless two-piece Toronto band who will do anything to play a show at their favourite club, the Rivoli — apart from actually writing and rehearsing any actual songs. The Festival presents three episodes from season 1.

Freida Pinto 2

The TIFF Industry Conference will feature over 200 speakers including Cherly Boone Isaacs, Mira Nair, Feng Xiaogang, Raoul Peck, Freida Pinto, Doug Liman, Jonathan Demme and David Glasser.

“The programme will feature creative insights from outstanding filmmaking talent, while major industry leaders will debate topical subjects, including diversity and gender inclusion,” stated TIFF Industry Director Kathleen Drumm. “In crafting the sessions, our programming team has recognized that providing access to opportunities and enabling a greater understanding of evolving investment models is essential for the artistic and financial sustainability of the industry.”

A new edition to industry proceedings is the Connections series which will provide curated networking opportunities in five different streams: Women in Film, Documentary, Short Cuts, Virtual Reality, and City to City.

Jonathan Demme

From September 8 to 11 King Street West between Peter and University Streets will be closed and transformed into Festival Street which will feature a first look at Hidden Figures by Theodore Melfi on Saturday, September 10, a Q&A with Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Pharrell Williams, and the filmmakers and a concert with Pharrell Williams.  “I am so honoured for the world to first see a part of Hidden Figures at TIFF where I was lucky enough to premiere my first ever feature, St. Vincent,” remarked Melfi. “TIFF has a very special place in my heart. Pharrell’s musical genius acumen takes the film to a different level.”

Hidden Figures

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016 and for more information visit


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