The Canadian portion of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival will have Canadian films from a few familiar names such as Denys Arcand, Patricia Rozema, Jennifer Baichwal, Don McKellar, and Thom Fitzgerald. That list now includes Xavier Dolan.
The world will finally get to see the much anticipated film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan in its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The new Dolan film stars Kit Harington, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Thandie Newton as well as familiar Canadian faces such as Emily Hampshire, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Gadon, and Ari Millen. Jessica Chastain was originally cast but her part was cut from the film.
This will be the first Dolan film to debut at TIFF. Dolan's track record is to debut at the Cannes Film Festival. That festival offered a slot to the newest film for the 2018 festival but Dolan declined the offer. The only other Dolan film not to debut at Cannes was Tom at the Farm (Tom à la ferme), which debuted at the Venice International Film Festival.
Denys Arcand's The Fall Of The American Empire will be in the special presentations program. The film is loosely related to Arcand's classic films The Decline of the American Empire (1986) and The Barbarian Invasions (2003). The film, which has already opened in Quebec, stars Alexandre Landry as a man who finds 2 bags of money after an armed robbery and doesn't know what he will do.
Other spotlight Canadian films in the Special Presentations category include Mouthpiece (Patricia Rozema) featured above; Through Black Spruce (Don McKellar); The Hummingbird Project (Kim Nguyen); and Giant Little Ones (Keith Behrman). All of these films are world premieres.
Anthropocene is the latest environmental documentary from directors Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier along with photographer Edward Burtynsky. The trio also put together Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark.
Splinters from Thom Fitzgerald is about a young woman who had difficulties when coming out as a lesbian to her mother and now has to come out again as bisexual.
Rob Stewart died in a scuba diving accident while filming Sharkwater Extinction in 2017. The completed film will be a “special event” during the festival.
Here are some other Canadian film highlights from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival
- The Grizzlies about the true story of the Kugluktuk lacrosse team from Miranda de Pencier and co-written by Moira Walley-Beckett, de Pencier’s writing and producing partner on Anne with an E.
- Firecrackers with Michaela Kurimsky and Karina Evans as best friends in rural Ontario. The Jasmin Mozaffari film is expanded from her short film that premiered at TIFF 2013.
- Edge Of The Knife from Helen Haig-Brown and Gwaai Edenshaw. This will be the first feature film shot in the Haida language.
- Grace Park is in Freaks, a science fiction film from Adam Stein.
- Karelle Tremblay is the lead in Sébastiane Pilote’s The Fireflies Are Gone.
- Maxime Giroux, who brought us Félix And Meira, is back with The Great Darkened Days about a Quebecois draft-dodger disguised as a Charlie Chaplin impersonator with Sarah Gadon and French actor Roman Duris.
- Les salopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau (The Naturally Wanton Pleasure Of Skin) from Quebec director Renée Beaulieu is about a wife and mother with a promiscuous secret life who is facing the consequences of her choices.
You can check out the details for all the Canadian films in the festival. The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival runs September 6-16.
video credit: YouTube/Cine Maldito