TIFF's February programming features powerful storytelling and the legacies of filmmaking giants

programming release

January 17, 2024

TIFF's February programming features powerful storytelling and the legacies of filmmaking giants

Celebrating Black History Month, Lunar New Year, and Valentine’s Day at TIFF Lightbox with Cinematheque retrospectives highlighting the works of Sergei Parajanov, James Baldwin, and Yash Chopra & Douglas Sirk

A still from Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

Left to right: The Color of Pomegranates (1969); All That Heaven Allows (1955); Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris (1970)

TORONTO — This February, TIFF Cinematheque is set to captivate audiences with a dynamic lineup featuring legendary directors, as the return of popular series such as From The Collection, Midnight Madness Presents, MDFF Selects, See the North, New and Restored, TIFF Next Wave Presents, and Oscar-nominated international films, promising an exhilarating cinematic experience.

Among the highlights is a special partnership between Wavelengths Presents, LUX Scotland, and Mercer, Union Toronto, to welcome to TIFF Lightbox Turner Prize–winning artist Charlie Prodger, whose celebrated trilogy of films (Stoneymollan Trail, BRIDGIT, SaF05) will be presented together for the first time in North America.

Adding to the excitement, TIFF Cinematheque pays tribute to the iconic Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov, an original master of cinema, marking his centenary, and his extraordinary contributions to film also being recognized as an official 100th anniversary celebration in UNESCO’s calendar. The mini-retrospective titled 100 Years of Parajanov will showcase his final masterpiece, Ashik Kerib. This film serves as a poignant love letter to Azeri culture, exemplifying Parajanov’s unparalleled artistic legacy that continues to resonate with audiences today.

A spotlight on the great American writer, thinker, and civil rights activist James Baldwin in Remembering James Baldwin, programmed as part of Black History Month, showcases four recently restored documentaries, three of which are shorts. Award-winning writer, executive producer, and host Amanda Parris joins TIFF for the launch of For the Culture with Amanda Parris, a CBC Gem documentary series. Access to the screening and a pre-screening conversation with Amanda for emerging creators will be provided by Visa through the Visa Sharing the Screen Program.

TIFF’s celebration of Lunar New Year, generously supported by the RBC Foundation, kicks off on February 11 with a special screening of Lulu Wang’s acclaimed film The Farewell. Prior to the screening, audiences are invited to explore an arts fair in the TIFF Lightbox atrium, a free drop-in event presented in partnership with Asian Arts and Culture Trust.

In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, TIFF Cinematheque is presenting the works of Yash Chopra and Douglas Sirk, two filmmakers operating in vastly different industries and time periods, bridging the audiences through their heroine-led melodramas in alluring yet subversive ways in Desirous Discords: Romantic Melodramas of Yash Chopra & Douglas Sirk. Foregrounding in their work the finest of aesthetic pleasures, both Chopra and Sirk surround their self-sacrificing characters with bourgeois excess, florid stimuli, and a spectral, lurking animacy.

With awards season in full swing, Lila Avilés’ Tótem (TIFF ’23), Mexico’s entry for this year’s Best International Feature Oscar, screens on January 25 as part of MDFF Selects, followed by a limited theatrical run starting February 2; the latest installment in See the North presented by MUBI ― TIFF’s free monthly series of Canadian cinematic treasures ― is Nisha Pahuja’s documentary To Kill a Tiger on February 13, shortlisted for the 2024 Oscars, and a 2022 Canada’s Top Ten film; for the 19th consecutive year, ShortsTV and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films opening February 16; and Pawo Choyning Dorji’s The Monk and the Gun (TIFF ’23), Bhutan’s entry for the Best International Feature Oscar, begins its theatrical run on February 23.

Other New Releases coming to TIFF Lightbox include the highly anticipated release of Lijo Jose Pellissery’s period action drama Malaikottai Vaaliban, featuring veteran superstar Mohanlal, opening on January 24, joining TIFF’s recently announced lineup of New Releases: Captain Miller, Origin, Ferrari, The Teachers' Lounge, Four Daughters, The Settlers, How To Have Sex, The Peasants, and Perfect Days.

Secret Movie Club and International Cinema Cafe also return this month. TIFF Cinematheque and Public Programming tickets are available now for TIFF Members and to the public on January 19. For tickets to New Releases, check TIFF.net.


Desirous Discords: Romantic Melodramas of Yash Chopra & Douglas Sirk
This series unites two creative forces within their respective genres. Their lushly stylized melodramas centre protagonists who negotiate romantic desires and erotic entanglements, if not always successfully, in the face of familial or societal adversity. Programmed by 2023 WB Curatorial Fellow Aaditya Aggarwal, the films in this series are:

Written on the Wind | February 2, 6:30pm
Silsila | February 3, 6:30pm
Lamhe | February 9, 6:30pm
Magnificent Obsession | February 10, 6:30pm // February 15, 6:30pm
Interlude | February 11, 6:30pm
Kabhi Kabhie | February 14, 6:30pm // February 20, 6:30pm
All That Heaven Allows | February 16, 6:30pm // February 27, 6:30pm
There’s Always Tomorrow | February 18, 6:30pm
Chandni | February 22, 6:30pm
Daag | February 25, 3pm
All I Desire | February 25, 7pm

Remembering James Baldwin
The four films in this series honour the legacy of the writer, civil rights activist, brilliant observer, and steadfast witness to injustice and inhumanity in America and abroad. The feature documentary I Heard It Through the Grapevine follows Baldwin as he revisits the activists and historic sites of resistance of the civil rights movement. Reflecting on the resilience of racist policies and institutions despite hard-won progress, Baldwin and the community leaders affirm the ongoing, cyclical, but not hopeless nature of the work. Programmed by TIFF’s Director of Programming, Festival and Cinematheque, Robyn Citizen, the films featured in this series include:

I Heard It Through the Grapevine (d. Dick Fontaine, Pat Hartley) | February 8, 6:30pm
James Baldwin Abroad: Istanbul - Paris - London and James Baldwin: From Another Place (d. Sedat Pakay); Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris (d. Terence Dixon); Baldwin’s N***** (d. Horace Ové)| February 18, 3:30pm

From the Collection
In the Mood for Love with Cameron Bailey (d. Wong Kar-wai) | February 6, 6:30pm

Midnight Madness Presents
Fear Is the Key (d. Michael Tuchner) | February 24, 6:30pm

MDFF Selects
In Water (d. Hong Sang-soo) preceded by The Daughters of Fire (d. Pedro Costa) | February 29, 6:30pm

New and Restored
Bushman (d. David Schickele) | February 3, 3:30pm
Nostalghia (d. Andrei Tarkovsky) | February 23, 6:30pm

See the North presented by MUBI (FREE)
To Kill a Tiger (d. Nisha Pahuja) | February 13, 6:30pm

TIFF Cinematheque Special Screenings
Far from Heaven (d. Todd Haynes) | February 4, 3pm
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (d. Rainer Werner Fassbinder) | February 28, 6:30pm

TIFF Wavelengths Presents
A Trilogy of Films by Charlie Prodger (Stoneymollan Trail, BRIDGIT, SaF05) | February 7, 6:30pm
A Trilogy of Films by Charlie Prodger is co-presented by TIFF Wavelengths, LUX Scotland, and Mercer Union, Toronto, with support from the British Council and Creative Scotland.

TIFF Next Wave Presents
Young Soul Rebels (d. Isaac Julien) | February 21, 6:30pm


For the Culture with Amanda Parris | February 6, 7pm
TIFF would like to extend a thank-you to Visa for generously providing emerging creators access to an exclusive moderated conversation with Amanda Parris through the Visa Sharing the Screen Program.

Lunar New Year: The Farewell and Welcome Spring Arts Fair | February 11, 3pm
Audiences are invited to explore a Welcome Spring Arts Fair in the TIFF Lightbox atrium at 1pm, prior to the screening, presented in partnership with Asian Arts and Culture Trust. This free drop-in event will have various artmaking, activity, and food stations related to Lunar New Year for families and friends to enjoy together.
Generously supported by the RBC Foundation

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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.

TIFF Cinematheque is supported by Ontario Creates and Canada Council for the Arts.

Silver Screenings is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Canada.

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