TIFF Adds Canadian Titles, More Star Power to 2021 Fest

A few more Canadian titles are heading to the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF updated its line-up today with some films playing in the Discovery and Contemporary World Cinema programmes. The announcement also brought a few additions to the Galas and Special Presentations line-up.

The Canadian front for TIFF 2021 looks small but strong with Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson’s Scarborough (pictured) offering a hometown highlight. The film is an adaptation of Catherine Hernandez’s award-winning novel about an indefatigable teacher and her class of diverse young students. Scarborough is the first dramatic feature for Nakhai and Williamson after the feature doc Take Light, directed by Nakhai, and the short doc Frame 394, directed by Williamson. The latter of made the Oscar shortlist. The duo frequently collaborates on their work, but Scarborough is their first feature credited as co-directors.

Also premiering in TIFF’s Discovery programme is Thyrone Tommy’s Learn to Swim. The film is described as a sensuous jazz-fuelled romance. Tommy was previously at the festival with the acclaimed short Mariner. Learn to Swim is Tommy’s first feature.

TIFF’s Canadian line-up offers strong representation for diverse storytellers, which is further evident in the Discovery selection Wildhood. Directed by Bretten Hannam, the English/Mi’kmaq production is the story of a young man who discovers his sexuality and rediscovers his roots while fleeing his father. Hannam previously directed the feature North Mountain. Meanwhile, Discovery pick Quickening is an ode to women of colour from Haya Waseem.

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Maria Chapdelaine | Courtesy of TIFF

Fest Gets a Little Glitzier

The biggest of TIFF’s Canuck additions is Sebastien Pilote’s Maria Chapdelaine. Based upon Louis Hémon’s 1913 novel, Maria Chapdelaine is a sweeping historical drama about one family’s struggle in rural Quebec. Seen through the eyes of the titular matriarch, Maria Chapdelaine has major expectations to help revive the Quebec box office. It was supposed to open theatrically last year, but delayed due to COVID. Pilote previously won TIFF’s Best Canadian Feature prize for The Fireflies Are Gone.

TIFF goers worried that COVID-19 might inspire major titles to skip Toronto in favour of a Telluride/New York double tap can breathe somewhat easier with today’s announcement. TIFF added Jane Campion’s highly anticipated adaptation The Power of the Dog, which was recently tapped for Venice and NYFF. The film stars Kirsten Dunst and Shelf favourite Benedict Cumberbatch. Also coming to Hogtown is Cannes premiere Mothering Sunday and the world premiere of Wolf. The latter brings high expectations for 1917’s George Mackay as a man who believes he’s a wolf. Also world premiering at TIFF is The Good House starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline. The film screens among the Galas. TIFF rounded out the Galas with the Keira Knightley Christmas flick Silent Night, while Cannes’ Best Actress winner The Worst Person in the World got an upgrade from the Special Presentations.

TIFF had previously announced that it would unveil the TIFF Docs, Midnight Madness, Wavelengths, and Primetime films today, but those selections will be released another day.

 

The New TIFF Titles Are

 

CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
Presented by Sunlife

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Are You Lonesome Tonight? Wen Shipei | China
North American Premiere

The Box (La Caja) Lorenzo Vigas | USA/Mexico
North American Premiere

Costa Brava, Lebanon (Costa Brava) Mounia Akl | Lebanon/Norway/Sweden/France/Spain/Denmark/Qatar
North American Premiere

The Daughter (La Hija) Manuel Martín Cuenca | Spain
World Premiere

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The Hill Where the Lionesses Roar (Luaneshat e kodrës) Luàna Bajrami | Kosovo/France
North American Premiere

Întregalde Radu Muntean | Romania
North American Premiere

Kicking Blood Blaine Thurier | Canada
World Premiere

La Soga 2 Manny Perez | USA
World Premiere

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Maria Chapdelaine Sébastien Pilote | Canada
World Premiere

Medusa Anita Rocha da Silveira | Brazil
North American Premiere

Murina Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović | Croatia/Brazil/USA/Slovenia
North American Premiere

Nobody Has to Know Bouli Lanners | France/Belgium/United Kingdom
World Premiere

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The Odd-Job Men (Sis dies corrents) Neus Ballús | Spain
North American Premiere

The Other Tom (El otro Tom) Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo | Mexico/USA
North American Premiere

OUT OF SYNC (Tres) Juanjo Giménez | Spain
North American Premiere

Terrorizers Ho Wi Ding | Taiwan
World Premiere

Unclenching The Fists Kira Kovalenko | Russia
North American Premiere

Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas) Edwin | Indonesia/Singapore/Germany
North American Premiere

The Wheel Steve Pink | USA
World Premiere

Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon) Carlo Francisco Manatad | Philippines/France/Singapore/Indonesia/Germany/Qatar
North American Premiere

DISCOVERY
Presented by Dyson

Aloners Hong Sung-eun  | South Korea
International Premiere

Anatolian Leopard (Anadolu LeoparıEmre Kayış | Germany/Denmark/Turkey/Poland
World Premiere

As In Heaven (Du som er i himlen) Tea Lindeburg | Denmark
World Premiere

A Banquet Ruth Paxton | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Dug Dug Ritwik Pareek | India
World Premiere

Farha Darin J. Sallam | Jordan/Sweden/Saudi Arabia
World Premiere

The Game Ana Lazarevic | Serbia/USA
World Premiere

Learn To Swim Thyrone Tommy | Canada
World Premiere

Lo Invisible Javier Andrade | France/Ecuador
World Premiere

Paka (River of Blood) Nithin Lukose | India
World Premiere

Quickening Haya Waseem | Canada
World Premiere

Scarborough Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson | Canada
World Premiere

Snakehead Evan Jackson Leong | USA
International Premiere

To Kill The Beast Agustina San Martín | Argentina/Brazil/Chile
World Premiere

Tug of War (Vuta N’Kuvute) Amil Shivji | Tanzania/South/Africa/Germany/Qatar
World Premiere

Wildhood Bretten Hannam | Canada
World Premiere

GALA PRESENTATIONS

The Good House Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky | USA
World Premiere

Silent Night Camille Griffin | United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Worst Person In The World (Verdens Verste Menneske) Joachim Trier | Norway/France/Sweden/Denmark
North American Premiere
(*Previously announced as a Special Presentation)

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
Presented by Visa

The Falls (Pu Bu) Chung Mong-Hong | Taiwan
North American Premiere

The Humans Stephen Karam | USA
World Premiere

Inu-Oh Masaaki Yuasa | Japan/China
North American Premiere

Lingui, The Sacred Bonds (Lingui) Mahamat-Saleh Haroun | Chad/France/Germany/Belgium
North American Premiere

Mothering Sunday Eva Husson | United Kingdom
North American Premiere

The Power of the Dog Jane Campion | Australia/New Zealand
Canadian Premiere

Sundown Michel Franco | Mexico
North American Premiere

Wolf Nathalie Biancheri | United Kingdom/Ireland/Poland
World Premiere

TIFF Rewind presented by Bell

Antoine Fuqua on Training Day
Director Antoine Fuqua revisits his acclaimed police thriller about a rookie cop who spends 24 hours in Los Angeles gang territory with a corrupt senior narcotics officer, which marks the 20th anniversary of its North American premiere at the Festival in 2001. The film earned Denzel Washington his first Academy Award for Best Actor after two previous nominations (and an earlier Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor).

Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara on Best in Show
Director and co-writer Christopher Guest and stars Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy revisit the making of their cult classic about the competitive world of dog shows, which made its world premiere at the Festival in 2000.

Patricia Cardoso and America Ferrera on HBO’s Real Women Have Curves
Director Patricia Cardoso and star America Ferrera discuss their breakout hit about a young Mexican American woman coming of age in Los Angeles, which was helmed by a Latina creative team and had its international premiere at the Festival in 2002.

Viggo Mortensen on Eastern Promises
Viggo Mortensen revisits his second collaboration with David Cronenberg, a crime thriller set in the nebulous, cut-throat underworld of Russian organized crime in London, which made its world premiere at the Festival in 2007 and won the People’s Choice Award.

 

TIFF runs September 9-18.

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