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The Toronto Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled its Canadian film lineup, including world premieres for films by Ellen Page, Joey Klein, Amy Jo Johnson and Jeff Barnaby.
The festival gave a TIFF Docs slot to There’s Something in the Water, Page and Gaycation co-host Ian Daniel’s documentary about environmental racism toward indigenous and African Canadian communities in The Umbrella Academy star’s native Nova Scotia; and a Contemporary World Cinema berth to Joey Klein’s Castle in the Ground, an opioid addiction drama that stars Alex Wolff in the lead, alongside Imogen Poots, Neve Campbell, Tom Cullen and Keir Gilchrist.
Toronto booked a special presentations slot for the world premiere of Albert Shin’s mystery drama Clifton Hill, which stars David Cronenberg, Hannah Gross and Downton Abbey actress Tuppence Middleton as a self-destructive pathological liar.
Also set for the Contemporary World Cinema section are world bows for the Felicity Huffman and Anastasia Phillips-starrer Tammy’s Always Dying, the second feature from director Amy Jo Johnson; White Lie, Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis’ psychological thriller, with Kacey Rohl playing a student who fakes a cancer diagnosis; and Kire Paputts’ The Last Porno Show.
The Midnight Madness sidebar adds Matthew Rankin’s historical political drama The Twentieth Century and Jeff Barnaby’s zombie drama Blood Quantum, which stars Michael Greyeyes and Elle-Maija Tailfeathers. The latter is also bringing to Toronto for a North American premiere her domestic violence drama The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, which she directed with Kathleen Hepburn and debuted in Berlin.
And there’s a special events slot for Zacharias Kunuk’s One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, which receives a North American premiere in Toronto, while Myriam Verreault will screen her film Kuessipan in the Discovery section. And Alanis Obomsawin returns to Toronto with her latest work, Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger, which screens in the Masters sidebar.
Other Canadian documentaries booked into Toronto include Alan Zweig’s Coppers, about retired policemen, and Yung Chang’s This Is Not a Movie, a portrait of veteran British war journalist Robert Fisk.
Rounding out the latest world premieres for Toronto are Louise Archambault’s And the Birds Rained Down, Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone, Nicole Dorsey’s Black Conflux, Sanja Zivkovic’s Easy Land, Heath Young’s Murmur, Harry Cepka’s Raf and Aisling Chin-Yee’s The Rest of Us.
Toronto earlier gave high-profile Roy Thomson Hall slots to Semi Chellas’ American Woman, Francois Girard’s the Song of Names and the festival opener Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, by director Daniel Roher.
The Toronto Film Festival is set to run Sept. 5-15 and will make additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks.
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Sterling K. Brown