February 23, 2022
TORONTO — Toronto film lovers are in for a treat this March and April at TIFF Bell Lightbox. With awards season in full swing and TIFF cinemas back to operating at 100 percent capacity, audiences will have a chance to experience a lineup of Oscar New Releases, exciting TIFF Cinematheque series, including a tribute to Jonas Mekas, an artist who has been called “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema”; REVOLUTION! In Cinema, a timely programme by TIFF Festival programmer Dorota Lech on the meteoric rise of socialist revolt during the 20th century; the return of Midnight Madness; See the North; MDFF Selects; and Boosie Fade Film Club. Plus, the works of Nordic Women Filmmakers, as part of a year-long initiative devoted to the best of Nordic cinema.
This year, International Women’s Day will be celebrated all month long at TIFF as part of its commitment to Share Her Journey, generously supported by the RBC Women Creators’ Initiative. Throughout March, programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox will spotlight women creators in film, both historical and contemporary, and focus on films with a coming-of-age theme. Highlights include An Education from Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig and Sami Blood from Swedish filmmaker Amanda Kernell, featured as part of the Nordic Women Filmmakers series; and a retrospective on the late American filmmaker Joan Micklin Silver, which uncovers the hidden gems of the American New Wave and reveals Micklin Silver herself as one of the movement’s under-acknowledged mavericks. On March 23, TIFF audiences are invited to attend an In Conversation With… event with Canadian filmmaker and author Sarah Polley for the launch of her new collection of essays, Run Towards the Danger.
Also screening in March is Canada’s Top Ten Features and Shorts programme, a showcase of the best Canadian shorts and feature films of 2021, several of which have been nominated for Canadian Screen Awards. On March 9, TIFF will honour the late French-Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée on his birthday with a tribute screening of his 2005 award-winning film C.R.A.Z.Y.
Oscar-nominated films screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox include Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers, Joachim Trier's The Worst Person In The World, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, and the Oscar Shorts programme opening on February 25th. Stay tuned for more announcements on TIFF’s showing of Oscar-nominated films.
Books on Film returns to TIFF Bell Lightbox on April 12 with six screenings followed by in-depth conversations with renowned authors, filmmakers, and screenwriters about the challenging but rewarding process of adaptation.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY PROGRAMMING
Supported by the RBC Women Creators’ Initiative
Throughout March, TIFF’s diverse programme of films spotlights the achievements and impact of women in the film industry in support of Share Her Journey. Introduced in 2017 and recently made a permanent campaign at TIFF, Share Her Journey is a global initiative developed to broaden parity, equality, and inclusion in the film industry, and to increase opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera as part of TIFF’s broader Every Story fund. TIFF is supporting International Women’s Day with a campaign that honours women creators and features a personality quiz on groundbreaking filmmakers, along with a limited-edition e-greeting card. All proceeds from the campaign will support Share Her Journey. To date, TIFF has raised more than $3 million to provide direct support to women along their creative journeys, from inspiration to a finished product showcased on TIFF platforms.
SCREENING AT TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX
A Home of One’s Own: Nordic Women Filmmakers
March 10 to April 16
This selection of 14 titles looks at key filmmakers who emerged around the turn of the century — Lone Scherfig (Denmark), Amanda Kernell (Sweden), and Iram Haq (Norway) — as well as veterans like Pirjo Honkasalo (Finland) and Mai Zetterling (Sweden). Many of these filmmakers premiered their films at the Festival. In addition, the series includes Svala Hannesdóttir’s Greed (1952), the first Icelandic narrative film directed by a woman, and The Man Who Was Allowed to Leave (1995), the fractured folktale by the Faroe Islands’ Katrin Ottarsdóttir, who has almost single-handedly established Faroese cinema.
TIFF Cinematheque is presenting three retrospectives in a year-long series celebrating the best of Nordic cinema and filmmakers, made possible as part of NORDIC BRIDGES 2022 in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre, Toronto.
Both Sides, Now: The Roles of Natalie Wood
March 4 to 24
Natalie Wood’s career spanned four decades, beginning in early childhood and including three Academy Award nominations by the time she was 25. This series explores Wood’s most familiar role as a woman between two worlds, navigating shifting romantic expectations and social mores with a modern combination of fragility and assertiveness. Featuring Gypsy, Splendor in the Grass, This Property is Condemned, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.
Joan Micklin Silver: One More Problem
March 5 to April 2
When contemplating a move from screenwriting to directing, Joan Micklin Silver sought advice from an influential Hollywood producer, only to be told that “women directors are one more problem we don’t need.” With the studio gates closed to her, she launched a career in independent filmmaking that defied tradition, self-releasing her Yiddish masterpiece Hester Street in 1975. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Micklin Silver’s name was a bankable art-house favourite, with her films earning millions at the box office, garnering Academy Award and WGA nominations, and, in showcasing then-unknowns in their first lead roles, launching the careers of icons such as Carol Kane and Jeff Goldblum. Following her death at the end of 2020, Micklin Silver’s legacy demands celebration. TIFF is proud to present this selection of her works, some of which have been newly restored. This series is programmed by Alicia Fletcher.
In Conversation With... Sarah Polley
Director, actor, Academy Award–nominated screenwriter, and author Sarah Polley joins us in-person for the Canadian launch event of her debut collection of essays, Run Towards the Danger. Polley will discuss the complex process of exploring these personal stories from her life, the strategy in overcoming past trauma that helped her find a path forward, and the fallibility of our own memories.
TIFF CINEMATHEQUE SERIES
TIFF Members get free access to all regular priced Cinematheque screenings.
New and Restored
March 5 (monthly series)
A selection of recent restorations of films that have been painstakingly brought back to life in revived cinematic presentations. This month, audiences can screen Lynne Ramsay’s first feature, Ratcatcher, one of the most astonishing debuts of the 1990s. In the opening sequence, some good-natured roughhousing between two young boys next to a canal ends with a shocking death. The film is a grim, grungy, yet wondrously lyrical evocation of lower-class life in 1970s Glasgow. The new 4K digital restoration was undertaken by The Criterion Collection and supervised by director Lynne Ramsay and cinematographer Alwin Küchler.
Early American Underground: A Century of Jonas Mekas
March 19 and April 2
Experimental filmmakers everywhere are indebted to Jonas Mekas and the legacy he left behind. Mekas co-founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative and the Filmmakers’ Cinematheque — now known as Anthology Film Archives — which today represents one of the largest collections of avant-garde cinema in the world. The Lithuanian American director, poet, and artist’s boundary-pushing works propelled the New American Cinema movement of the 1960s and ’70s to bold new heights. He became best known for his diaristic film style, which was both impressionistic and poetic as it brought everyday events to life. Programmed in celebration of Mekas’s centenary, this spotlight presents two of his most acclaimed works: Walden and Lost, Lost, Lost.
March 26 and April 23 (monthly series)
Since 1988, TIFF’s annual Midnight Madness programme has presented the wildest and strangest cinematic provocations from around the world while cultivating an infectiously raucous audience experience. The madness now extends to a monthly series at TIFF Bell Lightbox — commemorating past selections and inducting older midnight classics into our ever-evolving canon. On March 26, whet your appetite for blood, gore, and Satanic lore with Kenneth Anger’s hypnotic short film Invocation of My Demon Brother before diving into Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Tony Randel’s continuation of Clive Barker’s legendary 1987 supernatural horror. On April 23, Jan Švankmajer’s 1968 surrealist short film The Flat screens before Evil Dead II, Sam Raimi's neo-remake of his breakout first feature. Both events will feature introductions from co-programmers Peter Kuplowsky and Liane Cunje.
March 27 and April 21 (monthly series)
MDFF Selects features a showcase of the world’s best, most challenging, and most provocative new international cinema. The dreamlike documentary Faya Dayi from Ethiopian-Mexican writer-director-producer Jessica Beshir explores Ethiopia’s most sought-after cash crop, khat. The film was an official selection at Sundance and was shortlisted for Best Documentary by the Academy Awards; this screening will mark its Toronto premiere. Alexandre Koberidze’s second feature, What Do We See We When Look at the Sky?, is a contemporary fairy tale about two lovers who meet through a chance encounter but are separated when they are magically transformed by an evil curse. Narrated by the director, it announces Koberidze as a new visionary voice. This will be the Toronto premiere of the film, which won the FIPRESCI Prize at Berlin and was an official selection at both Venice and the NYFF. MDFF co-founder Kazik Radwanski will host a Q&A with directors following their screenings.
REVOLUTION! In Cinema
April 9 to 17
REVOLUTION! In Cinema is a curated programme on the meteoric rise of socialist revolt. Told through four films, Part 1 opens with communism’s violent birth in the USSR as documented in Dziga Vertov’s History of the Civil War (1921). We move westward in Phil Jutzi’s Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness (1929), a staggering depiction of the left’s short-lived foothold in Weimar Germany. After that we cross the ocean with Mikail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba (1964), focused on a former colony on the verge of insurrection against a right-wing military dictatorship, and then, south to Argentina for Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas’ powerful opus The Hour of Furnaces (1968), a brutal exploration of ideological battles for the souls of countries ravaged by neoliberalism. This series is programmed by Dorota Lech.
See the North
April 3 (monthly series)
The latest instalment of TIFF’s free series of Canadian cinematic treasures is a 22-film programme comprising some of the best titles from The 48 Film Festival. Organized by Winnipeg-based programmer Ben Williams, The 48 began as a primarily local event, giving filmmakers the chance to write, direct, and complete a film within 48 hours. This collection was culled from over 200 titles to offer one of the most compelling slates produced to date. Highlights include Ryleigh Hatch’s Life Sentence, Taylor Brown’s Phenomena, Kristen Anderson-Sauvé’s How to Spell Dad, Cud Eastbound’s Stop Looking And Listen, Travis Grant’s Rock Paper Soul, and Brianne Nord-Stewart’s Shit Sponge. Sure to be one of the most adventurous programmes to screen in Toronto this year, The 48 provides a glimpse today of tomorrow’s movers and shakers. In addition to many of the filmmakers, Williams and festival jurors Guy Maddin and Terril Calder will be on hand to present the films.
Boosie Fade Film Club
April 7 (quarterly series)
Jordan Sowunmi and James Rathbone of Boosie Fade fame return with their pick of TIFF’s ongoing cult classics. Charles Stone III’s Drumline, a 2002 box-office and critical success, is the series’ April selection. Devon Miles (Nick Cannon) attends a historically Black college, Atlanta A&T, where he has been given a full scholarship to play drums in the school’s prestigious marching band. Despite his promising performance, Devon’s cocky attitude puts him in conflict with band leader Dr. Lee (Orlando Jones) and percussion leader Sean (Leonard Roberts). Featuring Zoe Saldana, Blu Cantrell, and Petey Pablo, coming-of-age cinema.
SPECIAL SCREENING EVENTS
This screening event is presented as an homage to Jean-Marc Vallée, one of Quebec and Canada’s most celebrated filmmakers, who passed on Christmas Day 2021. C.R.A.Z.Y. won the Best Canadian Feature Film prize at TIFF when it played the Festival in 2005, but was unavailable for many years. This screening is a 4K presentation of the film, supported by Telefilm.
Canada’s Top Ten 2021 Shorts
The shorts programme includes new films by two of the most revered directors in Canada, Zacharias Kunuk and Alanis Obomsawin. Several of the filmmakers will be in attendance for the shorts screenings.
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TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is 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 Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, 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.
Announced late last year, a new membership benefit has been added to TIFF Memberships for the duration of 2022, with Members now receiving free access to over 200 Cinematheque screenings, which includes film classics, rarities, recent restorations and new auteurs. Additionally, last month TIFF introduced the TIFF Under-25 Free Pass, which offers young film lovers under the age of 25 a pass to access a range of free benefits, such as tickets to Cinematheque screenings, encouraging them to take advantage of exclusive year-round benefits and be part of a community of up-and-coming film lovers.
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