TIFF unveils Canada's Top Ten list 2023

media release

December 6, 2023

TIFF unveils Canada's Top Ten list 2023

This year's must-see films include works from emerging and established filmmakers from across the country

Audiences can catch this year's selections at TIFF Bell Lightbox, January 25–28

Toronto - TFF is proud to reveal the 23rd edition of Canada’s Top Ten, presented by new partner MUBI — an exciting selection curated by TIFF’s programmers in collaboration with their counterparts from across Canada. From January 25 to 28, film enthusiasts can immerse themselves in this year’s outstanding lineup at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The 2023 feature film roster showcases cinematic gems hailing from British Columbia, Alberta, Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. Noteworthy this year is that seven of the films are debut features from filmmakers in the early stages of their promising careers. The shorts lineup, equally compelling, showcases the works of seven Quebecois filmmakers. TIFF Members have early access to tickets starting December 20 at 10am, and public tickets go on sale on December 22 at 10am — don’t miss your chance to be part of this cinematic celebration.

“As we announce TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten for 2023, we applaud the visionary filmmakers who have enriched the Canadian cinematic landscape with their creativity and the power of their stories. These films not only showcase the depth of our homegrown talent, but also underscore the cultural richness of our nation and the many stories we have to tell,” stated Cameron Bailey, CEO, TIFF. “Each year, we are proud to celebrate and showcase the best of Canadian cinema, and more importantly, provide a platform and opportunity for audiences in the city and across the country to experience these films together.”

Following their theatrical runs, several of Canada’s Top Ten films and filmmakers will travel across Canada with TIFF’s popular Film Circuit programme. Film Circuit provides access to 100+ Circuit locations in rural, remote, and underserved communities that otherwise would not have an opportunity to see these films, extending their theatrical life beyond their initial release.

In Meredith Hama-Brown’s (TIFF Filmmaker Lab participant – 2000) shattering Seagrass and TIFF Rising Star’s Cody Lightning’s hilarious Hey, Viktor!; in Ariane Louis-Seize’s charming Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person and TIFF Studio alum Fawzia Mirza’s rapturous The Queen of My Dreams; in Henri Pardo’s beautiful Kanaval and Carol Kunnuk and Lucy Tulugarjuk’s spare, bracing Tautuktavuk (What We See); and in Zack Russell’s urgent documentary Someone Lives Here, these first-time filmmakers share the discovery of new visions, new voices, new passions. With their third features, Solo and BlackBerry, Sophie Dupuis and Matt Johnson both demonstrate a masterful sense of environment and character shaped by their previous work. In addition, Johnson’s BlackBerry has been selected as the Sloan Science on Film Showcase, spotlighting two compelling scientific feature films annually, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Rounding out the list is Atom Egoyan’s Seven Veils. The veteran filmmaker draws on his own history, integrating elements of the operas he’s directed over the decades.

Two of the directors making their feature debuts have seen their short films honoured in previous Top Tens: Louis-Seize’s Les petites vagues in 2018, and Mirza’s The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night in 2021. Writer-director Jasmin Mozzaffari (TIFF Writer’s Studio participant – 2020), whose own first feature Firecrackers was a Top Ten honouree in 2018, is also switching sections: her short film, Motherland, is one of this year’s Top Ten shorts alongside Alisi Telengut’s Baigal Nuur – Lake Baikal, Zoé Pelchat’s (TIFF Filmmaker Lab participant – 2021) Gaby’s Hills, Ryan McKenna’s I Used to Live There, Julien G. Marcotte and Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush’s Katshinau, Raquel Sancinetti’s Madeleine, Eric K. Boulianne’s Making Babies.

Representing a diverse range of new voices in fiction and documentary, the annual showcase of Canadian films celebrates some of our most storied and award-winning filmmakers offering audiences a variety of perspectives, insights, and experiences from coast to coast to coast.

Canada’s Top Ten Official Selections of 2023

Feature Films

BlackBerry | dir. Matt Johnson | Ontario
Hey, Viktor! | dir. Cody Lightning | Alberta
Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person | dir. Ariane Louis-Seize | Quebec
Kanaval | dir. Henri Pardo | Quebec
The Queen of My Dreams | dir. Fawzia Mirza | Nova Scotia/Ontario
Seagrass | dir. Meredith Hama-Brown | British Columbia
Seven Veils | dir. Atom Egoyan | Ontario
Solo | dir. Sophie Dupuis | Quebec
Someone Lives Here | dir. Zack Russell | Ontario
Tautuktavuk (What We See) | dir. Carol Kunnuk, Lucy Tulugarjuk | Nunavut

Short Films

Baigal Nuur – Lake Baikal l dir. Alisi Telengut | Quebec
Gaby’s Hills | dir. Zoé Pelchat | Quebec
I Used to Live There | dir. Ryan McKenna | Quebec
Katshinau | dir. Julien G. Marcotte, Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush | Quebec
Madeleine | dir. Raquel Sancinetti | Quebec
Making Babies | dir. Eric K. Boulianne | Quebec
Motherland | dir. Jasmin Mozaffari | Ontario
Mothers and Monsters | dir. Edith Jorisch | Quebec
Sawo Matang | dir. Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto | Ontario
Thriving: A Dissociated Reverie | dir. Nicole Bazuin | Ontario

Canada’s Top Ten champions 10 feature films and 10 short films that reflect a richness of voices and perspectives from some of Canada’s finest established and emerging filmmakers. The final selections for Canada’s Top Ten were determined by TIFF’s Canadian Programmers and the Senior Programming team, taking into consideration the recommendations of consultant programmers from film festivals across the country.

Committee Members - 2023 Canada’s Top Ten: Feature Films & Shorts

Feature Film Committee
Pahull Bains, Safia Abdigir (Reelworld Film Festival)
Vincent Georgie (Windsor International Film Festival)
Lisa Haller (Atlantic International Film Festival)
Brenda Lieberman (Calgary International Film Festival)
Émilie Poirier (Festival du Nouveau Cinéma)
Alex Rogalski (Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival)
Curtis Woloschuk (Vancouver International Film Festival)

Short Film Committee
Mélissa Bouchard (REGARD: Le Festival international du court métrage au Saguenay)
Lisa Haller, Sandi Rankaduwa, Seán Maheux Galway (Atlantic International Film Festival)
Adam Keresztes (Calgary International Film Festival)
Patrick O’Hearn, Michael Scherzinger, Brandon Patry, Christa Corbiere (Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival)
Émilie Poirier (Festival du Nouveau Cinéma)
Casey Wei (Vancouver International Film Festival)
Miriam Zaidi (Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival)

Press Contact

Netta Rondinelli

Senior Manager, Communications


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TIFF 2024 takes place September 5–15, 2024.

About TIFF
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival®in September; TIFF Lightbox, which features five cinemas, learning and entertainment facilities; and the innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $200 million CAD. TIFF Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel, and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation, and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Major Sponsors RBC and Visa, and Major Supporters: the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and City of Toronto.

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