TIFF unveils Canadian lineup, industry talent

Filmmakers, media and cinephiles descended upon Toronto's Royal York Hotel Wednesday for the unveiling of the Canadian feature lineup and industry program participants (Rising Stars pictured).
TIFF Rising Stars 2013  Photo by Adam Benzine-1

Filmmakers, media and cinephiles descended upon Toronto’s Royal York Hotel on Wednesday for a slew of announcements for the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

That included the Canadian film lineup, the Short Cuts Canada program announcement, and the unveiling of this year’s roster of industry talent and Rising Stars.

On hand were TIFF CEO Piers Handling, artistic director Cameron Bailey, and programmers Magali Simard, Alex Rogalski, Steve Gravestock and Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo to unveil the news.

Actors Evelyne Brochu, Megan Park, Cara Gee and Johnathan Sousa, who all star in films at this year’s festival, were announced as this year’s Rising Stars. Bailey implored the crowd not just to appreciate actors but to see their films.

Short Cuts Canada programmers Magali Simard and Alex Rogalski said this year’s 39-film program sees both new and returning filmmakers taking “daring steps” in their projects. And in a move to broaden their exposure, the festival’s short films will be available on YouTube 24 hours after their premieres, until Sept. 19. Simard also announced the YouTube Award for Best Canadian Short Film, a $10,000 cash prize, which will be selected by a jury comprised on Vice magazine Canadian editor Rafael Katigbak; director and Euclid 431 Pictures co-founder Nathan Morlando; and doc filmmaker Nisha Pahuja (The World Before Her).

Senior programmer Steve Gravestock and Canadian feature film programmer Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo took to the stage to announce the Canadian feature lineup.  Canadian filmmakers this year “upped the ante,” they said, and that the 2013 selections reflect an intense curiosity. The lineup, a mix of veteran perspectives and new voices, sees “troubling events addressed and questioning of perceived knowledge,” Gravestock said.

“These are universal stories that have international cinematic impact,” Del Sorbo added, noting several films give voices to people or groups who have been denied a platform in the past.

Filmmakers present included Jeff Barnaby, whose Rhymes for Young Ghouls, set in the Red Crow Mi’gMaq reservation in 1976, will have its world premiere in the Discovery program, and Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky, whose latest documentary, Watermark, will screen in as a special presentation.

Watermark is five years in the making,” said Baichwal. “We’ve grown up with TIFF – this is the right place for the film to premiere.”

Baichwal and Burtynsky previously partnered on 2006 documentary Manufactured Landscapes, and Burtynsky told the crowd that Watermark is his first venture into co-directing.

“If we get it right, my hope is that the next time that someone turns on the tap, they’ll think very differently,” he said.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 5 to 15, 2013.

See the full stories here: TIFF13: Dowse, McDonald features to bow at TIFF; TIFF announces industry talent, Rising Stars

Photo by Adam Benzine