TIFF's July 2023 programming lineup announced

programming alert

June 14, 2023

TIFF's July 2023 programming lineup announced

A complete retrospective on French filmmaker Jean Eustache comes to TIFF Bell Lightbox July 7–23

A still from The Mother and The Whore

The Mother and The Whore (1973)

TORONTO — This July, TIFF Cinematheque presents Dirty Stories: The Films of Jean Eustache, a major retrospective featuring the Canadian premiere of the French auteur’s newly restored films; an exploration of magic realism on screen, with films from Guillermo del Toro, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and more; and the return of Boosie Fade Film Club, TIFF Wavelengths Presents with special guest Ali Cherri, TIFF Family Films, and MDFF Selects.

TIFF joins cultural institutions around the world in the rediscovery and appraisal of Jean Eustache’s (1938 – 1981) long unseen yet influential and incomparable body of work, including the re-release of his masterpiece The Mother and the Whore 50 years after it sent shockwaves through French cinemas. This complete retrospective includes all 12 of Eustache’s films in new 4K restorations (and one 2K restoration), thanks to the efforts of Les Films du Losange and Janus Films. Philippe Azoury, author of the forthcoming book Jean Eustache — un amour si grand… and former head of culture at Vanity Fair (France); and Luc Béraud, an assistant director on three of Eustache’s films and author of Au travail avec Eustache, will be in attendance for select introductions and post-screening Q&As. Playing from July 7–23, Dirty Stories: The Films of Jean Eustache is curated by TIFF Cinematheque Senior Curator Andréa Picard and presented by the French Embassy in Canada.

Spectral Visions: the Surreal, Magical, and Fantastic represents a sampling of magic realism and surrealism spanning the last century and features filmmakers from around the world. Directors like Luis Buñuel and Maya Deren offer early depictions of surrealist filmmaking, works that would go on to inspire author Gabriel García Márquez ― who started out his artistic career aspiring to become a filmmaker ― to co-direct his first and only film, The Blue Lobster (1954). Special guests in this series include Canadian filmmaker Connor Jessup, who will be joining TIFF on July 14 for the screening of his 2017 short film Lira’s Forest; and Nigerian filmmaker Abba Makama, who will be joining virtually following the screening of his 2019 film The Lost Okoroshi on July 21. The 15-film series is curated by TIFF Cinematheque Programmer Vivian Branco dos Santos Belik and runs June 30 – July 23.

On July 27, MDFF Selects presents a trio of black-and-white short films shot in 16mm from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) students, screening alongside Hong Sang-soo’s new Lee Hye-young–starrer, The Novelist’s Film.


June 30 – July 23
Spectral Visions: the Surreal, Magical, and Fantastic

This series invites viewers to push beyond conventional expectations and imagine multiple versions of an existing reality. Most popularly associated with the Latin American literary movement of the ’40s and ’50s, which exploded internationally following the Cuban Revolution and foregrounded writers like García Márquez and Isabel Allende, magic realism as a film genre is arguably more closely related to its roots in visual art than literature. Victor Erice’s 1973 film The Spirit of the Beehive, now considered a formative work of magic realist cinema, influenced Guillermo del Toro, who in turn directed the much more fantastical Pan’s Labyrinth three decades later, a film also about Spanish life under Franco’s authoritarian rule. Using social and political undercurrents and weaving in memories and dreams, the films in this series bring the past, present, and future simultaneously into focus.

July 2, 1pm
TIFF Family Films - The Land Before Time

Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by former Disney animator Don Bluth (The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail), this warm-hearted animated adventure takes place in a world on the verge of destruction, where five young dinosaurs set out to find the last habitable place on earth while avoiding the deadly jaws of a pursuing Tyrannosaurus. A sequel-spawning modern classic, this is one of the most lushly realized hand-drawn animated films ever created.

July 6, 6:30pm
Boosie Fade Film Club - Training Day

Introduction by Boosie Fade Film Club Co-Programmers James Rathbone and Jordan Sowunmi.
Boosie Fade Film Club presents the 35mm screening of Training Day featuring Oscar-nominated performances by Ethan Hawke as Officer Jake Hoyt and Denzel Washington, who won the Best Actor award for his performance as Detective Alonzo Harris. Lines of dialogue from the film have been sampled in songs by artists like Kendrick Lamar and The Game. The film also features performances by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

July 7 – 23
Dirty Stories: The Films of Jean Eustache

Long considered a cult filmmaker, or a “filmmaker’s filmmaker” (i.e. a beloved filmmaker of other filmmakers), and young outlier to the French New Wave, Jean Eustache ― whom French critic Serge Daney called “an ethnologist of his own life” ― has remained largely unknown within North America due to the unavailability of his work. TIFF Cinematheque presented a rare, near-complete retrospective of Eustache’s work in 2008, but due to snafus of rights and materials, the films have been nearly impossible to see since (in cinemas and online) and have thus been out of reach for a new generation of filmgoers. This integral and complete retrospective will introduce audiences to one of the most singular, passionate, confessional, and prescient filmographies in film history. Born in 1938 in the small town of Pessac near Bordeaux, Eustache died in Paris by suicide in 1981, his relatively brief but brilliant career marked by auto-fiction, literary romanticism, brutal honesty, and a restless desire to trouble the truth. Included in the retrospective are his two fictional features ― both masterpieces ― The Mother and the Whore and Mes petites amoureuses; as well as his rarely seen documentaries; his infamous diptych, Une sale histoire; and his short films.

Dirty Stories: The Films of Jean Eustache is presented by the French Embassy in Canada.

TIFF thanks Les Films du Losange, who have restored all 12 of Eustache’s films; and Janus Films, who have made them available in North America.

July 12, 6:30pm
TIFF Wavelengths Presents – The Dam

Introduction by TIFF Senior Film Curator Andréa Picard and Q&A with director Ali Cherri following the screening.
Presented in partnership with The Vega Foundation and The Toronto Arab Film Festival.
Wavelengths welcomes Lebanese multi-disciplinary artist Ali Cherri to TIFF to present his acclaimed feature debut, The Dam, which premiered at last year’s Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Cherri, who won the prestigious Silver Lion at the 2022 Venice Biennale where he presented his video work, “Of Men and Gods and Mud” (2022), brings his signature vision to this powerful portrayal of a Sudanese bricklayer working near the Merowe hydroelectric dam situated on the river Nile. A film of elemental powers and tremendous formal beauty ― with the forces of water and sand conjuring more mystical dimensions ― The Dam is also buoyed by the talents of newcomer Maher El Khair in the central performance bearing his namesake. Each night, after work, Maher furtively heads into the desert to work on a construction of his own, one whose sentience is awakened and mirrored by an uprising of the Sudanese people claiming their freedom.

The Dam with Ali Cherri is generously supported by The Vega Foundation.

July 27, 6:30pm
MDFF Selects

Introduction by MDFF’s Kazik Radwanski and Q&A with TMU directors Kyla Stone, Jackson McMurdo, and Justin Tan following the screening.
For Hong Sang-soo’s 27th feature, he again casts Lee Hye-young who in his previous film, In Front of Your Face, played a star from the early ’90s returning to the big screen that poignantly mirrored her real life biography. Both director and actor are of the same generation, and Hong continues their collaboration in The Novelist’s Film by this time casting Lee as Junhee, an author experiencing a creative block that in many ways resembles his own real-life persona. In a series of chance encounters, she runs into a filmmaker and then an actress (Kim Min-hee, Hong’s real life partner), which inspires her to make an impromptu film. This is Junhee’s first film, but it will not be a conventional film ― it will be a “novelist’s film.” In what many have described as Hong’s most personal work, Junhee’s conversations with friends and student collaborators about art feel like a declaration of Hong’s own ideals formed during his decades-long filmmaking practice.

The TMU student short films Barbie and Me, Last Night, and White Belt will screen in advance of The Novelist's Film. The inspired creativity and ingenuity of these three films give audiences a glimpse into the future and bright potential of Canada’s next generation of filmmakers.

TIFF Members and TIFF Under 25-Free Pass Holders receive access to year-round TIFF benefits including free access to more than 300 Cinematheque screenings. To learn more and join as a TIFF Member, visit tiff.net/membership.

Press Contact

Netta Rondinelli

Senior Manager, Communications


Social Media:
X: @TIFF_Net / @TIFF_Industry
Instagram / Letterboxd / TikTok: @tiff_net
Pinterest: @tiffnet

To become a TIFF Member visit tiff.net/join.

TIFF prefers Visa.

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.

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

More Media Releases

media release

Set your watch for 11:59PM: TIFF's Midnight Madness returns

July 25, 2024

media release

TIFF unveils fresh talent and showcases international cinema with its 2024...

July 24, 2024

media release

TIFF unveils its 2024 Platform programme and jury

July 23, 2024