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Stories about youth, queer culture and romance dominate Canada's TIFF lineup

Clement Virgo speaks at the Canadian Press Conference for the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on August 10th.JeremyChanPhotography.com/Getty Images

Stories of youth and queer culture are heating up the Canadian lineup for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, with some filmmakers saying this uplifting theme comes at a time when it’s much needed.

Gail Morris Director Rosiethe story of an indigenous orphan raised by her French-speaking aunt and two friends who reject gender restrictions, she is emerging from a time when a vibrant generation was “dark and uncertain”. I believe that

“We need hope. To survive, we need to show our strength and resilience,” she said after a press conference at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox. “We’ve spent this quiet time reflecting and introspecting. We’re finally saying, ‘I’m telling the story I want to tell.'” ”

Maurice’s comedy-drama was one of many films in the full Canadian TIFF program that opened Wednesday, exploring queerness and indigenousness. Hers covered both subjects, with a cast and crew of mostly women and LGBTQ people.

Transgender coming-of-age film writer and director Luis de Filippis Something You Said Last NightCanadian filmmaking is in the midst of a pivotal movement for queer filmmakers.

This is also a personal moment for De Filippis, who worked as an usher in a TIFF cinema ten years ago.

“I think we’re just trying to move forward,” said De Filippis. “Girls say, ‘We’re sick of being here and people telling us their story wrong.'” It feels right. It feels like this is the moment. A new wave is happening. ”

Kelly Boutsalis, associate programmer for TIFF’s Canadian feature, said she’s seen a surge in coming-of-age stories submitted for consideration at this year’s festival. i like moviestakes place in a video store circa 2003.

“It got to the point where TIFF couldn’t be ‘always a teenager,'” she said. “The interesting thing that comes out of COVID is that a lot of people are focused at that time.”

She added: [them] Authentic. Without those stories at the festival, it would feel lazy. Because they are everywhere, they are relevant, and we need them. ”

Brother Director Clement Virgo, returning to TIFF for his first feature film in over a decade, a story set in Toronto’s hip-hop scene, said he has a new perspective.

“My first movie, impoliteness, played at TIFF in 1995, and it feels like it’s come full circle,” he said. “As a young filmmaker, you take it for granted. But as a filmmaker who’s been making films for over 20 years… I’m grateful. I’m honored.”

Some Canadian artists offer snippets of their lives through documentary films – Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq Everdeadlyco-directed by Chelsea McMullan, Buffy St. Marie: Carry It On It chronicles the life of a legendary Cree artist and activist.

Among other documentaries on deck is Babak Payami’s 752 is not a number176 passengers died when a Ukrainian plane was shot down in Tehran in 2020, many of them Canadians. black icewhich explores anti-black racism in hockey and is executive produced by LeBron James and Drake.

Producer Vinay Virmani said when we first heard about it five years ago. black icewhich “raised so many questions as to why we were ignorant of this black hockey history”.

“We ask a lot of questions about this game that we are proud of, but we know there are many cultural issues,” he added.

TIFF Closing Night Selection, Daliland Directed by Ontario-raised Mary Harron. The film stars Ben Kingsley as Salvador Dalí and impoverished actor Ezra Miller as a young Surrealist artist. Miller wasn’t named in the TIFF announcement at the same time the star was charged with felony robbery in Vermont earlier this week.

With in-person events returning, many of the films look primed for the theatrical experience. jar of insultsis a musical by Lindsay McKay, who made her feature debut at the festival in 2014. wet bum.

“We did the final mix of the film in the theater, and hearing it in that space is very important because of the musical element,” she said.

“It’s an experience you want to hear out loud…doing it in a big room with a large audience is much more exciting.”

TIFF also plans to do some small screen projects on the big screen.

Final season episode of Ontario Shot Handmaid’s Tale debuts and Tegan and Sara’s autobiography is reinterpreted into a series. high schoolco-directed by Claire Duvall, and filmed in the twin sisters’ hometown of Calgary.

lido tvCBC’s variety show by Colombian-Canadian musician and artist Lido Pimienta will also premiere as part of TIFF’s primetime program.

Other Canadian films announced include: Stella From 2018 TIFF Air Canada Audience Choice Award Winner, Anishina Abe Filmmaker Darlene Naponse fall around herThe film stars El Maya Tailfeathers and Braden Clarke as star-crossed lovers who share a cosmic encounter in a bar in northern Ontario.

Edmonton-born film director Graham Foy maiden is about a trio of teens whose summer fun turns surreal and a documentary from Toronto-raised director Nisha Pahuja. to kill a tiger An Indian farmer fights for justice after gang-raping his 13-year-old daughter.

Katherine Jerkovich won the Best Canadian Feature Award at TIFF 2018. february roadis back coyoteMontreal’s cook-turned-cleaner, his hopes of returning to the kitchen are dashed when he is asked to look after his grandchildren.

Also on Wednesday, the federal government announced a $10 million investment to support the comeback of TIFF as an in-person movie attraction.

The funding will help TIFF regain some of its pre-pandemic shine and lost revenue after COVID-19 forced the festival to go digital, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a statement. .

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