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culture

TIFF Announces This Year’s Slate of International Arthouse Films

The Toronto International Film Festival's Masters and Discovery programmes will include work by major international directors, and also Francis Ford Coppola's granddaughter.

Still from Palo Alto.

As if two Denis Villeneuve films and three starring roles each for Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Radcliffe weren’t enough, the Toronto International Film Festival revealed more planned highlights when it presented the last of its 2013 programming on Tuesday. The festival rounded things out with some more esoteric offerings, including special events like Jason Reitman’s star-studded live table-read of an as-yet-unannounced screenplay (last year’s table read was American Beauty), and an additional viewing option—screenings in IMAX.

Though its announcement came late in the game, as per tradition, TIFF’s Masters programme should satisfy those who may have been waiting to see some of the more established names on the international festival circuit added to this year’s lineup. A few of the anticipated titles here include Jia Zhangke’s thriller A Touch of Sin (a prizewinner for best screenplay at Cannes), Lav Diaz’s Dostoyevsky-inspired Norte, The End of History, and new films by French cinema luminaries Claire Denis and Catherine Breillat.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s TIFF’s Discovery programme, which adds a slew of entries from around the world to a number of already-announced first and second features by Canadians. The joy of Discovery, which showcases emerging directors, is finding exciting work from filmmakers you’ve never heard of. Sight unseen, we’re most excited about Flora Lau’s Bends, a portrait of mainland China that was shot (no doubt gorgeously) by Wong Kar-wai’s longtime cinematographer Christopher Doyle. We might live to regret it, but we’re also tentatively curious about Palo Alto, the debut film from Gia Coppola, Sofia’s niece and Francis’s granddaughter. Only time will tell if the Coppola family’s golden touch extends to adaptations of rocky short-story collections by James Franco.

These announcements come only a few days after the reveal of this year’s Wavelengths slate, which is aimed at those who seek bolder, more avant-garde fare. Curated by Andrea Picard, Wavelengths is consistently one of the most rewarding selections in the festival. It’s a mini-festival unto itself, really, especially since its recent merger with the Visions programme—a merger that expanded Wavelengths’s purview to encompass features as well as experimental shorts. This year’s selection looks especially stacked, with new work from Miguel Gomes, Albert Serra, and Ben Wheatley, among others. Wowed as we were by the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab’s demented fishing documentary Leviathan last year, we’d be remiss not to mention MANAKAMANA, the newest production from students and faculty there. Wavelengths has also scored a coup in the world premiere of La ultíma película, co-directed by Raya Martin and Toronto critic and Cinema Scope editor Mark Peranson.

In addition to closing out its film offerings during Tuesday’s announcement, the festival also welcomed a new screening location: the CBC building’s Glenn Gould Studio. The new venue, commonly used as a concert hall, will primarily house the festival’s industry events, but will also welcome TIFF’s longstanding Mavericks programme—which this year features conversations with cultural figures like Ken Taylor and global stars like Irrfan Khan.

Want more TIFF coverage? Torontoist‘s film festival hub is right over here.

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