As the Toronto International Film Festival gradually unveils its programming, we’ll be providing cheat sheets with each major announcement.
Still from Ingrid Veninger’s MODRA, courtesy of TIFF.
CATEGORY: Contemporary World Cinema, i.e. your best place to track trends in global film culture.
HEAVY-HITTERS: Being as the Contemporary World Cinema program is all about showcasing talents from the farthest reaches of global cinephilia, it kind of precludes “huge” names in any conventional way. Unless you consider the director of Beshkempir a huge name. In which case, you’re in luck! Kyrgyzstani director Aktan Abdykalykov is back with his international co-production The Light Thief.
Otherwise, there’s plenty to take note of. Feng Xiaogang’s Aftershock, a look at the fallout of a 1976 earthquake in China, makes its North American premiere. Based on the novel by Chinese-Canadian author Zhang Ling, Aftershock is notable for being the first IMAX film produced in China. Perhaps most exciting is the North American premiere of Kelly Reichardt’s western Meek’s Cutoff, starring Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, and Bruce Greenwood. Reichardt’s last feature, 2008’s Wendy and Lucy, netted Best Picture and Best Actress (for Michelle Williams’ performance as an itinerant twenty-something) awards from the Toronto Film Critics Association, so local anticipation for her latest is running high.
OF NOTE: After the mixed reactions to his two English-language thrillers, 2006’s Perfume and 2009’s The International, Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer returns to his native Germany with Three, a comedy about the muddied affair of a Berlin couple. TIFF also marks the World Premiere of Late Autumn, from South Korean director Kim Tae-Yong (best known for the 1999 horror film Memento Mori) .
EVEN MORE: As previously announced, film from Toronto-born filmmakers Ingrid Veninger and Ed Gass-Donnelly will also premiere as part of the Contemporary World Cinema program.