TIFF opens in Toronto: all you need to know | TIFF 2022

The 2022 program, which marks the return to theaters of the public, is full of promises, memories and emotions.

The headliners

Among the most anticipated screenings is Steven Spielberg’s latest production, The Fabelmansa personal and partly autobiographical film about the birth of his passion for cinema.

Another big meeting is made between the festival and Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis, who plays the heroine of The Woman Kingby Gina Prince-Bythewood, which tells the story of the Agojie, a unit of warriors present in West Africa in the 19th century.

Steven Spielberg will be making his first appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Photo: Associated Press/Chris Pizzello

Also on the bill, films with Nicolas Cage (Butcher’s Crossing), Jennifer Lawrence (Causeway), Daniel Radcliffe (Weird : The Al Yankovic Story), Tilda Swinton (The Eternal Daughter) or even Jane Fonda (Moving On).

Immigration and human relations at the heart of TIFF 2022

In order to navigate through the selection, our team has identified around twenty films that deserve special attention in the midst of a 2022 program that is both rich and of high quality.

In a world faced with major population displacements, due to wars or climate change, the TIFF leaves an important place to the question of immigration.

The programming team chose to project The Swimmers by Sally El Hosaini in the opening film. This story inspired by real events, which shows the struggle for survival of two Syrian sisters, is eagerly awaited on King Street West.

Nathalie Issa and Manal Issa in a scene from the film “The Swimmers” whose screening will launch the 47th TIFF.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Netflix/LAURA RADFORD

Nanny is another film that shares this theme. We follow Aisha, an undocumented nanny employed by a family on the Upper East Side of New York. As she prepares for the arrival of her son left behind, a supernatural presence disrupts her daily life and the dreams she has patiently built.

It is also on the road to New York that Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, creators of the series Dark (Netflix) situate their new project, 1899 : a migrant boat leaving Europe at the end of the 19th century accidentally encounters a ship that has been missing for months.

Indigenous issues, racism and society

The question of indigenous cultures and their history is the subject of several films.

In Canada, the Bones of Crows by Marie Clements chronicles a life of resistance and resilience in the face of misfortune through the life of Cree matriarch Aline Spears and the generations that followed her.

The documentary sound hunter by Tanya Tagaq and Chelsea McMullan is an ode to the sound, music and power of nature in Nunavut.

Marie Clements’ film ‘Bones of crows’ will have its world premiere at TIFF.

Photo: Courtesy: TIFF

Moreover, the 2022 festival also addresses Indigenous issues outside of Canada by offering Muru by Tearepa Kahi, the story of a New Zealand Maori policeman torn between his job and his community when he finds himself having to take part in an operation targeting his people.

It is also worth noting the presence of sweet ace by Jub Clerc, which evokes the life of a young indigenous girl from Australia who thrives in photography.

The 2022 edition embraces all major social issues. At a time when several disturbing facts mark the Canadian hockey community, the documentary Black Ice by Hubert Davis invites reflection. This project, produced in particular by basketball player LeBron James and rappers Drake and Future, examines racism against black people in this sport from the 19th century until today.

Ecology is not left out with the film with the provocative title How To Blow Up A Pipeline (or how to blow up a pipeline, in French) by Daniel Goldhaber which evokes, in the form of a suspense film, the sabotage action of a group of activists.

Moreover, in a different field, the Hollywood romantic comedy Bros by Nicholas Stoller is the first of its kind to focus on a couple of men.

A selection from all over the world, the Francophonie very represented

As for films in French, the selection is particularly wide this year. There is in particular ROSIE by Métis director Gail Maurice, where a young girl whose mother has just died finds herself going to live with her aunt. French actress Virginie Efira is starring in two films, See Paris againby Alice Winoncour, and other people’s children, by Rebecca Zlotowski.

In addition to the notable presence of films from around the world, South Korean cinema holds a special place in this edition. There’s the long-awaited spy movie Hunt by Lee Jung-jae, as well as the Return to Seoul by Davy Chou who follows the quest towards his parents for the adopted daughter of a French couple.

“Hunt” is the first film of actor Lee Jung-jae, known in particular for his role in the hit series “Squid Games” or “Le Jeu du Calamar”, in French.

Photo: Cannes Film Festival

After Scarborough by Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson in 2021, it’s the turn of Brother of Clément Virgo to represent the eastern part of the Queen City. In recent years, it seems that this area of ​​the agglomeration has seen the birth of a cinema of its own, grappling with its realities. In Brothertwo Canadian brothers of Jamaican origin see their dreams abused by the violence that plagues the community.

The local vein is also found in I Like Movies by Chandler Levack, which focuses on describing the life of a young man in a suburban Ontario town.

In addition to this promising program, the TIFF 2022 also marks its return to the public space, since a large number of events are planned on King Street West between University Avenue and Peter Street: free outdoor screenings, shows and other surprises.

Navigating through the categories

In order to find one’s bearings in this very dense programme, the TIFF is organized into different categories. The one that brings together the most anticipated films by the industry, often preceded by red carpets, is called “Gala Presentation”. It is followed closely by that of the “Special Presentations”, quite similar to the first, except that the screenings are not preceded by a parade of celebrities.

The “Cinema of the contemporary world” section brings together fiction films generally produced by established international directors, unlike ” Discovery », which brings together the first or second films of directors in the making, while the section « Platform » brings together projects that are still looking for a distributor, generally for North America.

The most experimental sections are “ Wave length » devoted to art house films and « Midnight Madness for genre films. As for the sections “TIFF Docs” and “ prime time », they respectively present documentaries and television series before their large-scale distribution.

The rewards

the TIFF is one of the most important film festivals in the world, just behind those of Cannes, Venice or Berlin, and it is even considered by some professionals as the last springboard to the Oscars. However, its operation is different from its European cousins, since it is not a competition. This does not prevent him from distributing a few distinctions even before the opening of the festivities.

Michelle Yeoh, an actress from Malaysia with an international career, won the first tribute award associated with the program of the TIFFShare Her Journey which recognizes a woman’s leadership role in the film industry. Among the other winners, Brendan Fraser has already been awarded the tribute prize for a performance with his role in The Whale where he plays an obese English teacher who seeks to restore a relationship with his 17-year-old daughter.

The festival also announced the film My Policemanfronted by Harry Styles, would also be presented with the tribute award for the entire cast, while director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Sky Fall, 1917) would receive the Ebert Award recognizing a director’s lifetime achievement.

The entire cast of “My Policeman,” directed by Michael Grandage, will be honored at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Photo: Courtesy: TIFF

Finally, the price TIFF emerging talent was awarded to Sally El Hosaini, who directed the opening film, The Swimmers, where two sisters flee war-torn Syria to pursue their dreams of becoming professional swimmers. During the festival, other prizes must be awarded: the highly anticipated audience prize, but also the “Platform” prize which will reward a film from the eponymous section or the IMDbPro prizes for short films.

The 2022 edition is so varied that it has everything from an invitation addressed to each of the spectators to take their place in the history of the festival.

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