Two Canadian films will compete in this year’s TIFF Platform competition. Riceboy Sleeps, directed by Anthony Shim, and Viking (pictured), directed by Stéphane Lafleur, were announced today among the Toronto International Film Festival’s celebration of auteur cinema. 10 titles are among the competition.
Riceboy Sleeps is Shim’s second feature. The film is the story of a Korean-Canadian mother raising her family in the Canadian suburbs. Riceboy Sleeps is already garnering strong word of mouth buzz as one of the Canadian films to watch at the festival. Shim previously directed the feature Daughter and has over 15 years of work as an actor in the industry, including the TV series Smallville, 21 Thunder, and The Man in the High Castle.
The TIFF Platform slot for Viking, meanwhile, is an overdue boost for Lafleur. The director previously delivered the laugh-out-loud coming-of-age comedy Tu dors Nicole, an offbeat black-and-white tale of a young woman growing up in dreary Quebec. The film was nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards and nine Jutra Awards, and won the Vancouver Critics’ prize for Best Canadian Feature. Viking is Lafleur’s fourth feature. It offers a portrait of a B-group for a space mission acting out the adventure on Earth. (The film was among the titles on That Shelf’s TIFF wish list.) His other works as a director include Continental, a film without guns (2007) and En terrains connus (2011), although he has a prolific career as an editor on the Canadian scene, having cut several notable titles including Oscar nominee Monsieur Lazhar and the Canadian Screen Award Best Picture winner A Colony.
Emily to Open
The opening night selection for the TIFF Platform competition is Emily, the feature directorial debut of actor Frances O’Connor. The film is a portrait of author Emily Brontë. Death on the Nile’s Emma Mackey stars as the author. .
“We launched Platform to shine a brighter light on some of the most original films and distinct voices at our Festival,” said Cameron Bailey, TIFF CEO, in a statement from the festival. “Now in year seven, it’s become a true home for international auteurs on the rise.”
Named after Jia Zhang-ke’s groundbreaking second feature, Platform is curated by TIFF Chief Programming Officer Anita Lee; Director, Festival Programming Robyn Citizen; and Senior Manager, Festival Programming Ravi Srinivasan.
“Eclectic in vision, this year’s selection not only represents all World Premieres of exciting, on-the-rise voices from around the world, but it also reflects the very timely and unique perspectives of racialized filmmakers from diasporic communities broadening the canvas,” added Lee in a statement.
The TIFF Platform competition carries a cash prize of $20,000. The international jury will be announced leading up to the festival. Previous Platform winners include Yuni, Jackie, and Hurt, the only documentary ever to compete in the line-up.
The 2022 TIFF Platform lineup is as follows
Charcoal (Carvão) Carolina Markowicz | Brazil, Argentina
Emily Frances O’Connor | UK
The Gravity (La Gravité) Cédric Ido | France
Hawa Maïmouna Doucouré | France
How to Blow Up a Pipeline Daniel Goldhaber | USA
Riceboy Sleeps Anthony Shim | Canada
Subtraction (Tafrigh) Mani Haghighi | Iran, France
Thunder (Foudre) Carmen Jaquier | Switzerland
Tora’s Husband Rima Das | India
Viking Stéphane Lafleur | Canada