TIFF ’17: Mary Goes Round, Meditation Park to world premiere

More than 50 Canadian features and shorts have been added to the festival's lineup, as well as the world premiere of Mary Harron's miniseries Alias Grace.

A large crop of up-and-coming Canadian filmmakers will rub elbows with seasoned veterans at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, with eight of the 26 Canadian films announced today from first-time directors.

The first features debuting at the festival include Molly McGlynn’s Mary Goes Round (pictured), Black Cop from Trailer Park Boys’ alum Cory Bowles, Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley’s CardinalsSadaf Foroughi’s Iran/Canada/Qatar copro AVA, Carlos and Jason Sanchez’s psychological thriller A Worthy Companion, Ian Lagarde’s All You Can Eat Buddha, Wayne Wapeemukwa’s Luk’Luk’I and Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still, which was acquired by Soda Pictures before it went into production. 

Festival vets Alanis Obomsawin, Alan Zweig, Mina Shum and Ingrid Veninger will also have world premieres in Toronto.

Obomsawin’s Our People Will Be Healed will screen in the Masters program, and Zweig’s latest This is a House Here will debut in the TIFF Docs program, alongside Sean Menard’s Canada/U.S. Vince Carter doc The Carter Effect, and Matt Embry’s MS doc Living Proof. 

Meanwhile, Mina Shum’s Meditation Park, which received funding through CBC’s Breaking Barriers Film Fund, will debut in the Contemporary World Cinema program. Joining Shum in the lineup are Ingrid Veninger’s coming-of-age drama Porcupine LakeTarique Qayumi’s Canada/Afghanistan copro Black Kite, Pat Mills’ Guidance follow-up Don’t Talk to Irene, Robin Aubert’s France/Canada copro Les Affamés, Kyle Rideout’s Judy Greer-starrer Public SchooledAdam MacDonald’s sophomore film Pyewacketand Simon Lavoie’s solo effort The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (Lavoie co-directed last year’s best Canadian featureThose Who Make Revolution Only Dig their Own Graves, with Mathieu Denis).

Mary Harron’s Alias Grace will debut in TIFF’s TV program, Primetime. The six-part miniseries based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name was adapted for the screen by Sarah Polley. It’s set to debut on CBC Sept. 25 and on Netflix outside of Canada on Nov. 3.

Three other Canadian features will have their North American premieres at TIFF. Kim Nguyen’s Eye On Julietproduced by Montreal’s Item 7, will screen as a special presentation, while Blake Williams’ Prototype and Denis Cote’s Canada/Switzerland copro Ta peau si lisse (A Skin so Soft) will screen in the Wavelengths program.

TIFF also announced today that 29 Canadian shorts will screen at the festival, including Michelle Latimer’s Nuuca, exec produced by Oscar-winner Laura Poitras; Sol Friedman’s black-and-white animation An Imagined Conversation: Kanye West & Stephen Hawking; Kazik Radwanski’s Scaffold; Caroline Monnet’s Creatura Dada, which stars Alanis Obomsawin; Trevor Mack’s Grandmother; Naledi Jackson’s sci-fi immigration thriller The Drop In, set in a Toronto hair salon; Molly Parker’s directorial debut Bird; TIFF Rising Star alum Connor Jessup’s Lira’s Forest; Matthew Rankin’s Cannes selection The Tesla World Light; and Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark’s Bickford Park.

The festival also announced that Graeme Ferguson’s North of Superior (’71) will have a free screening at Cinesphere IMAX cinema, as part of its free Canada 150 Cinematheque programming.

Image courtesy of TIFF