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Celebrities, Discovery, Next Wave, Kids, VR & TIFF 2016

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red carpet TIFF scarlett Johansson

No doubt there will be a bunch of selfies being taken when the red carpet gets rolled out at the 41 Toronto International Film Festival which will have no shortage of celebrity wattage to light up the faces of fans.  Among the acting talent expected to arrive are: Amy Adams, Gemma Arterton, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Jennifer Connelly, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aaron Eckhart, Joel Edgerton, Fan Bingbing, Dakota Fanning, Richard Gere, Ryan Gosling, Naomie Harris, Anne Hathaway, Oscar Isaac, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, Lily James, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Kwak Do-won, Brie Larson, Charlotte Le Bon, John Malkovich, Matthew McConaughey, Bill Nighy, Lupita Nyong’o, Sandra Oh, David Oyelowo, Christopher Plummer, Natalie Portman, Zachary Quinto, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Liev Schreiber, Léa Seydoux, Charlize Theron, Jacob Tremblay, OC Ukeje, Gaspard Ulliel, Emily VanCamp, Visra Vichit-Vadakan,  Mark Wahlberg, Ken Watanabe, Susan Yeagley, Ivan Zacharias, and Zhang Ziyi.

red carpet Ken Watanabe

For emerging filmmaking talent the Discovery programme will be featuring 16 World Premieres.   “Toronto audiences first found Christopher Nolan, Lynne Ramsay and Steve McQueen in our Discovery section,” stated TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey. “We can’t wait to introduce a new generation of vibrant, original voices in cinema.”

Some to watch out for include:

blessed benefit

Blessed Benefit (Inshallah Estafadet) by Mahmoud al Massad, Jordan/Germany/Netherlands

Imprisoned on an unfair charge of fraud, a mild-mannered Jordanian contractor discovers that prison has its own rhythms, rules, and economies — and he soon begins to carve out a position for himself in this place where fraud isn’t a crime so much as a way of life.

The Giant (Jätten) by Johannes Nyholm, Sweden/Denmark

A young man born with physical challenges that impede his ability to communicate finds freedom in his fantasies.

in the blood

In the Blood (I blodet) by Rasmus Heisterberg, Denmark

It’s summer in Copenhagen; a time of endless days and carefree nights for medical student Simon and his best friends. They drink excessively, chase girls endlessly, sleep all day, and start again the next night in this scathing critique of entitlement and isolation among the contemporary upper-class.

Katie Says Goodbye by Wayne Roberts, USA

A truck stop waitress and part-time prostitute believes she has found a way out of her dead end life when she falls in love with a handsome and troubled young mechanic, in this heartrending character study.

Mad World (Yat Nim Mou Ming) by Wong Chun, Hong Kong

An absentee father and his bipolar son are forced to live together as they struggle with a recent family tragedy. The tension and anxiety boil as they live and try to cope in a tiny apartment. As time passes, they realize their shared pain is not their only source of grief, as they find the outside world is a cruel and unjust place. Starring Eric Tsang and Shawn Yue.

terry kath experience

The TIFF Docs programme has been expanded with four new titles, among them is The Terry Kath Experience by Michelle Sinclair who explores the life and untimely death of her father Terry Kath who was one of the original members of the band Chicago.

india in a day

Among the 10 films chosen to be part of the New Wave programme are The Edge of Seventeen by Kelly Fremon Craig, India in a Day by Richie Mehta, Handsome Devil by John Butler, and The Wedding Ring (Zin’naariyâ!) by Rahmatou Keïta.

the wedding ring

Children are not neglected moviegoers.  “This year, the TIFF Kids programme is all about perseverance and acceptance, and strong female leads are very much at the heart of these stories,” remarked TIFF’s Director of Youth Learning and TIFF Kids Programmer Elizabeth Muskala. “We encourage families to join us at the Festival, as TIFF is committed to inspiring children and youth to explore the world through cinema, and using film to spark important conversations at home while growing the next generation of film lovers.”

Here are a couple of cinematic offerings recommended for children ages 10 and up:

the eagle huntress

The Eagle Huntress by Otto Bell, USA, Canadian Premiere

13-year-old Aisholpan trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter — a tradition that until now had been handed down over the centuries from father to son.

day my father became a bush

The Day My Father Became a Bush (Toen mijn vader een struik werd) by Nicole van Kilsdonk, Netherlands/Belgium/Croatia, World Premiere

Ten-year-old Toda lives in a bakery with her dad and knows everything there is to know about cakes and pastries. Then, one day, her life is turned upside down: her dad is called away unexpectedly to defend his country. In order to stay safe, Toda has to undertake an adventurous and challenging journey to the neighbouring country where her mother lives. On the way she encounters challenging situations, meets interesting people and finds a special new friend. But will she eventually find her mother?

jafri

Virtual Reality makes an appearance as part of the festivities.  “We continue to celebrate the evolution and progression of moving image works at the Festival with POP VR,” stated Bailey.  “We are thrilled to share this curated virtual reality experience with our audiences and explore together where the future of storytelling will take us.”

Two World Premieres are part of the showcase:

kathebattle_still_06

KÀ The Battle Within by Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, François Blouin, Canada

Two rival clans from an ancient and mythical world confront one another in a furious clash of vertiginous acrobatics and breathtaking combat. The very fabric of reality is transcended, as the physical world is broken into horizontal and vertical choreographies.

right to pray

Right to Pray by Khushboo Ranka, India

In the western Indian city of Trimbak, home of the ancient Hindu temple of Trimbakeshwar, a group of female activists fight against the regressive institutional forces of patriarchy and tradition that bar their entry into the shrine’s sanctum sanctorum and deny them the right to pray.

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

Check out all of our TIFF coverage.

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