Film Festival Today

Founded by Jeremy Taylor

Toronto Spotlight On Canadian Cinema

Written by: FFT Webmaster | August 22nd, 2011

With the world industry heading to Toronto in two weeks for the annual Toronto International Film Festival, it is a huge opportunity for local filmmakers and dealmakers to put their best foot forward. Traditionally, the Festival has long been a major supporter of Canadian cinema, which within its own boundaries is as diverse as the world cinema offerings on tap. From the French-language films from the province of Quebec, to the outdoor influence of British Columbia to the Hollywood-on-the-lake ambience of Toronto, Canadian cinema is a world unto itself.

This year, the Toronto International Film Festival will showcase 25 native feature films and 43 native shorts. The list includes some a mix of veterans such as David Cronenberg, Sarah Polley, Guy Maddin, Bruce McDonald, Lea Pool, Jean-Marc Vallée and Mary Harron, as well as new works from Carl Bessai, Mike Clattenburg, Mike Dowse and Philippe Falardeau. Among the most anticipated are A DANGEROUS METHOD by David Cronenberg, which stars Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knighley; TAKE THIS WALTZ by actress-turned-director Sarah Polley, which stars Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman; CAFÉ DE FLORE, the newest film from Jean-Marc Vallée, the director of the cult favorite C.R.A.Z.Y.; SISTERS & BROTHERS by Carl Bessai which will have its world premiere in the Special Presentations program; Canadian-Irish co-production THE MOTH DIARIES by Mary Harron, which will have its first screening after its world debut at the Venice Film Festival; veteran Quebec director Léa Pool’s documentary PINK RIBBONS INC. and the world premiere of KEYHOLE by cult director Guy Maddin, starring Jason Patric and Isabella Rossellini.

The Festival’s Canada First! Program, which celebrates new and provocative Canadian auteurs, will include seven new films, of which three are world premieres. Here is the list of the films in that section:

Amy George

Yonah Lewis + Calvin Thomas

Thirteen-year-old Jesse wants to be an artist, but believes that his mundane middle class Toronto life has left him unprepared. After reading a book on what it takes to be a “true artist,” he sets out looking for risk, ecstasy, wildness and women.

Leave It On The Floor

Sheldon Larry

This indie-narrative musical is set in the drag-ball community memorialized in the documentary Paris Is Burning. With 11 original songs by Beyoncé‟s musical director Kim Burse and choreography by Beyoncé choreographer and “Mr. Single Ladies‟ Frank Gatson Jr., the film tells the story of a young African American thrown out by his narcissistic mother for being gay. He stumbles upon a competitive drag ball organized by runaways and throwaways where he ultimately finds a new home and family.

Nuit #1

Anne Emond

Clara and Nikolaï meet at a rave. They return to Nicolaï‟s apartment and make love. Afterwards, instead of parting, the two lovers divulge their deepest secrets to one another. Starring Catherine De Léan and Dimitri Storoge.

The Odds

Simon Davidson

In The Odds, a murder mystery set in the world of illegal teenage gambling, 17-year-old Desson Orr must find his best friend‟s killer before the game is exposed.

The Patron Saints

Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky

The Patron Saints is a disquieting and hyper-realistic glimpse into life at a nursing home. Bound by the candid confessions of a recently disabled resident, the film weaves haunting images, scenes and stories from within the institution walls. Sidestepping conventional documentary methods for a heightened cinematic approach to storytelling, the film employs lyrical realism and black humour in its charged portrait of fading bodies and minds.

Romeo Eleven (Roméo onze)

Ivan Grbovic

Romeo Eleven is the intimate portrait of a shy young man looking for love in all the wrong places. A path of lies slowly catches up to him before leading the audience to a surprising and moving conclusion.

Wetlands (Marécages)

Guy Édoin

On a dairy farm in the Eastern Townships, in the middle of a drought, an accident will disrupt the life of the Santerre family. Forced to band together like never before, they will have to learn to forgive. Starring Pascale Bussières, Luc Picard, François Papineau and Gabriel Maillé.

Here is the list of Canadian films in all the various TIFF sections:


A Dangerous Method

Director: David Cronenberg

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Sarah Gadon


Director: Ken Scott

Cast: Patrick Huard, Antoine Bertrand and Patrick Labbé

Take This Waltz

Director: Sarah Polley

Cast: Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman


Hard Core Logo 2

Director: Bruce McDonald

Cast: Bruce McDonald, Care Failure and Julian Richlings

Special Presentations

Afghan Luke

Director: Mike Clattenberg

Cast: Nick Stahl, Nicolas Wright, Stephen Lobo, Vik Sahay and Steve Cochrane


Director: Robert Lieberman

Cast: Vinay Virmani, Russell Peters, Anupam Kher, Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, Sakina Jaffrey, Noureen Dewulf, Rob Lowe and Camilla Belle

Café de Flore

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Cast: Kevin Parent, Vanessa Paradis, Evelyne Brochu, Hélène Florent and Evelyne de la Chenelière

Edwin Boyd

Director: Nathan Morlando

Cast: Scott Speedman, Kevin Durand, Kelly Reilly, Joseph Cross, Brendan Fletcher, Charlotte Sullivan and Brian Cox


Director: Michael Dowse

Cast: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Marc-Andre Grondin, Eugene Levy and Liev Schreiber


Director: Guy Maddin

Cast: Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini, Udo Kier, Louis Negin and Brooke Palsso

Monsieur Lazhar

Director: Philippe Falardeau

Cast: Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Émilien Neron, Danielle Proulx and Brigitte Poupart

The Moth Diaries

Director: Mary Harron

Cast: Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, Sarah Bolger, Judy Parfitt and Scott Speedman


Doppelgänger Paul

Director: Dylan Akio Smith and Kris Elgstrand

Cast: Tygh Runyan, Brad Dryborough, Ben Cotton and Matty Finochio

i am a good person/i am a bad person

Director: Ingrid Veninger

Cast: Hallie Switzer, Ingrid Veninger, Jacob Switzer, Mathieu Chesneau, Suzana Mikytova and Simon Reynolds

Contemporary World Cinema

Billy Bishop Goes to War

Director: Barbara Willis-Sweete

Cast: Eric Peterson and John Gray

I’m Yours

Director: Leonard Farlinger

Cast: Rossif Sutherland, Karine Vanasse, Don McKellar and Nicolas Campbell

Sisters and Brothers

Director: Carl Bessai

Cast: Cory Monteith, Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew, Gabrielle Miller and Kacey Rohl

For more descriptive information on the full Canadian program, visit:


The FFT Webmaster account displays articles from old versions of Film Festival Today. The original author byline might be missing! If you are the author of this article please send us an email. Some of our contributors that might be missing bylines are: Brad Balfour, Laura Blum, Sandy Mandelberger among others.

Other posts by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *