The Toronto International Film Festival today unveiled the 48 titles from international filmmakers that make up the Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema slate. The schedule includes an eclectic mix that showcases the visions of returning filmmakers, as well as Festival first-timers from 43 countries.
“Each film in Contemporary World Cinema offers a much-needed look at another part of the world through the eyes of a storyteller embedded in that culture,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. “Taken together, these four dozen films invite us all to expand and deepen our picture of the world.”
Of note in the Contemporary World Cinema section, given this blog’s specific interests, are:
— A Ciambra by Jonas Carpignano, an Italy/France/USA/Germany co-production, making its international premiere: Jonas Carpignano’s coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old boy in a Romani community in southern Italy who is eager to prove he can be a man and is thrust into adulthood when his brother goes missing.
— Félicité by Alain Gomis, a France/Senegal/Belgium/Germany/Lebanon co-production, making its North American premiere: The life of a fiercely independent club singer in Kinshasa is turned upside down when her teenage son suffers a horrific — and expensive — accident.
— The Number by Khalo Matabane, a South African production, making its world premiere: In this harrowing, based-on-fact story about South Africa’s most dangerous and notorious prison gang, a high-echelon gang member begins to question his allegiance to his “family” after a young recruit is brutally killed.
— The Royal Hibiscus Hotel by Ishaya Bako, a Nigerian production, making its world premiere: A spritely Nollywood romantic comedy which follows an aspiring restaurateur as she returns to her home in Lagos to try and refine the fare at her family’s little hotel, only to find that her parents are planning on selling out to a rich buyer.
— Life and nothing more by Antonio Méndez Esparza, a Spain/USA co-production, making its world premiere: The second feature from Spanish-born filmmaker Antonio Méndez Esparza sensitively chronicles the everyday life of an African American family in northern Florida and their struggle to stay afloat in a society that marginalizes them.
The festival also unveiled today its second serving of titles premiering in the Gala and Special Presentations programs in September. Six Galas and 32 Special Presentations have been added to the lineup of leading titles already announced, from some of the most prominent filmmakers and actors in Canada and around the world.
“We’re thrilled to bring Festival audiences some of the year’s most exciting films in our Gala and Special Presentations lineup,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. “But beyond the sizzle of the premieres, this year’s selections show filmmakers continuing to take chances and push boundaries, whether they’re working in Hollywood or Hong Kong, Montreal or Munich.”
This second announcement brings the program’s total to 48 World Premieres, 10 International Premieres, 19 North American Premieres and 10 Canadian Premieres.
Of note, given this blog’s interests, are:
— Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D by John Landis, a USA production making its North American Premiere: director Landis’ horror-film extension of Michael Jackson’s legendary Thriller video receives a complete restoration and 4K/3D conversion, accompanied by a new Dolby Atmos mix.
— And Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller by Jerry Kramer, a USA production, also making its North American Premiere: A new, digitally remastered version of Jerry Kramer’s 1983 documentary chronicling the creation of The Gloved One’s epic and epochal music video.
The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7 to 17, 2017.