Canadian filmmaker Donald Shebib’s Nightalk to debut at TIFF

The mystery-drama, which is Shebib's first feature in over 10 years, will make its world premiere in the festival's Contemporary World Cinema program.

The world premiere of veteran Canadian director Donald Shebib’s feature Nightalk — his first feature in over a decade — is among the titles added to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), running fully in-person from Sept. 8 to 18.

Shebib (Goin’ Down the Road, Down the Road Again) directed the mystery-drama and co-wrote it with Claude Harz. It’s produced by Emily Andrews of Toronto-based Filmcoop and follows a detective, played by Ashley Bryant, as she goes undercover on a phone-sex app as part of a murder investigation.

The film will be in the Contemporary World Cinema program, which also includes the previously announced world premieres of Katherine Jerkovic’s Quebec-shot sophomore feature Coyote (Le Coyote), produced by Nicolas Comeau of Montreal’s 1976 Productions; Hamilton, Ont.-shot The End of Sex by Sean Garrity, on which Vortex Media CEO Justin Rebelo and Sally Karam are producers; and Toronto-shot So Much Tenderness, the third feature by Lina Rodriguez, produced by Brad Deane under Rayon Verde.

Also having their world premieres in Contemporary World Cinema, much of which was announced a week ago: the Canada/U.S./Germany copro Fixation Mercedes by Bryce Morgan; Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows, the feature accompaniment to her five-part miniseries set for 2023-24 premiere on CBC/Radio-Canada and APTN; and North of Normal (JoBro Productions, Independent Edge Films, Undisputed Pictures) by Carly Stone.

Also on the docket: Stellar by writer/director/producer Darlene Naponse and producers Paula Devonshire and Jennifer Weiss; and The Swearing Jar by Lindsay MacKay, produced by Jane Loughman of Toronto-based prodco Monkeys & Parrots, in association with Kyle Bornais of Winnipeg’s Farpoint Films and Tony Wosk of Toronto and Vancouver-based prodco Middle Child Films.

TIFF has also announced the full lineup for its Docs program. The Canadian titles having world premieres were also announced last week and include: 752 Is Not A Number (Payam Films) by Babak Payami; Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On by Madison Thomas (Eagle Vision, White Pine Pictures and Paquin Entertainment); The Colour of Ink, directed by Brian D. Johnson and produced by him for Sphinx Productions, and Sherien Barsoum, Lea Marin and Kate Vollum for the the National Film Board of Canada (NFB); Ever Deadly by Tanya Tagaq and Chelsea McMullan, produced by Lea Marin, Anita Lee and Kate Vollum; and Nisha Pahuja’s To Kill a Tiger, produced by Cornelia Principe and Pahuja for Notice Pictures, and David Oppenheim for the NFB.

TIFF has also announced 39 live-action narrative, documentary, and animated titles for its Short Cuts program. Canadian world premieres in that section include N’xaxaitkw by Asia Youngman, a Playback 10 to Watch alum from 2020. It’s produced by Mike Johnston and executive produced by Youngman.

Other Canadian shorts having world premieres include: À la vie à l’amor by Emilie Mannering; Diaspora by Tyler Mckenzie Evans; Afghanistan/Canada copro Hills and Mountains (Koha wa Tapaha) by Salar Pashtoonyar; and Sophy Romvari’s It’s What Each Person Needs.

The Canadian world premiere shorts lineup is rounded out by: Matthew Rankin’s Municipal Relaxation Module; Nanitic by Carol Nguyen; Rita Ferrando’s Pleasure Garden; Quiet Minds Silent Streets by Karen Chapman; Scaring Women At Night by Karimah Zakia Issa; Aziz Zoromba’s Simo; The Chase by Gurjeet Kaur Bassi; and Daniel Warth’s Untold Hours.

Image courtesy of TIFF