Ten of the best films made in Canada this year were feted tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox to mark the passionate creativity of our artists and their unique vision. Highlighted were ten features, shorts and student shorts each with a unique artistic DNA.
TIFF’s annual salute to the of Canada’s best films has become increasingly important and popular since the selections began in 2001. The Canadian film industry continues onward and upward each year with consistently well-made, provocative and insightful films. Our films matter to us at home and to film fans around the world.
Andrew Cividino’s debut feature Sleeping Giant, which opens in limited release Friday Dec 11 and made a splash at Cannes looks at growing up Canadian. Set around the magnificent Sleeping Giant land formation on Lake Superior three teens traverse the complications and joys of being young and alive.
From debut feature to 51st, iconoclastic filmmaker and poetic visionary Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room was the talk of #TIFF15 with its breathtaking individualism and lineup of leading stars from home and abroad. Maddin’s unique vision is unforgettable and grows stronger with each film he makes.
Diversity, artistry and vision makes for a healthy filmmaking environment and these are apparent in all of Canada’s Top Ten features. Here they are in alphabetical order:
Closet Monster, Stephen Dunn (Elevation Pictures)
The Demons (Les démons), Philippe Lesage (FunFilm Distribution)
Les êtres chers (Our Loved Ones), Anne Émond (Entertainment One Films)
The Forbidden Room, Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson (Mongrel Media)
Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr, Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard (White Pine Pictures)
HURT, Alan Zweig (Super Channel/MDF)
Into the Forest, Patricia Rozema (Elevation Pictures)
My Internship in Canada (Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre), Philippe Falardeau (Entertainment One Films)
Ninth Floor, Mina Shum (National Film Board of Canada)
Sleeping Giant (Le géant endormi), Andrew Cividino (D Films Corp)
Rozema’s dystopian future drama Into the Forest starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood will be screened simultaneously in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on Saturday, January 9 at 9 p.m. ET, featuring an interactive Q&A with the filmmaker.
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival shorts for 2015, in alphabetical order:
Bacon & God’s Wrath, Sol Friedman
Balmoral Hotel, Wayne Wapeemukwa
Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton, Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson (Elevation Pictures)
Interview with a Free Man (Entrevue avec un homme libre), Nicolas Lévesque (NFB)
The Little Deputy, Trevor Anderson
My Enemy, My Brother, Ann Shin
Never Steady, Never Still, Kathleen Hepburn
NINA, Halima Elkhatabi (Les Films du 3 mars)
o negative, Steven McCarthy
Overpass (Viaduc), Patrice Laliberté (Travelling, les films qui voyagent)
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival student shorts for 2015:
Alia, Raghed Charabaty (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design)
The Casebook of Nips & Porkington, Melody Wang (Sheridan College)
Cupid, Maria De Sanctis (York University)
Dysmorphia, Katherine Grubb (Emily Carr University of Art + Design)
ed, Taha Neyestani (Sheridan College)
Menesetung, Kyle McDonnell (Ryerson University)
Michi, Kaho Yoshida (Emily Carr University of Art + Design)
Ms. Liliane (Mme Liliane), Junna Chif (Concordia University)
Pretty Dangerous, Dan Laera (Humber College)
Smoke, Kellen Jackson, Suzanne Friesen and Sasha Tomasky (Simon Fraser University)
Canada’s Top Ten will be celebrated at TIFF Bell Lightbox January 8 to 17 with public screenings of the selected films, intros and Q&As with the filmmakers, panels and other special events. Keifer Sutherland will appear in person to reflect on his career and talk about the festival’s Canadian Open Vault Selection My American Cousin.
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival takes the best of the best to the rest of Canada too. Screenings will be held at Vancouver’s The Cinematheque (January 8 to 17), Montreal’s PHI Centre (January 8 to 16), Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematheque (January 15 to February 28), Edmonton’s Metro Cinema (January 22 to 31), Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada (January 23, additional dates TBA), the Calgary International Film Festival at the Globe Cinema (February 4 to 7), and the Atlantic Film Festival in association with the Halifax Central Library (May 2 to 8).
Senior TIFF Programmer Steve Gravestock calls this year’s “one of our most geographically representative programmes to date, the strength of this year’s lineup is a testament to the diversity and curiosity of our nation’s filmmakers — from Newfoundland to British Columbia. The collaborations from across the country demonstrate the versatility of our filmmaking community, delivering deeply engaging cinema in their exploration of Canadian values.”
Ain’t it the truth.