Quebec Dominates TIFF's Top Ten Canadian Films of 2011

Vanessa Paradis Cafe de Flore - H 2011

Vanessa Paradis Cafe de Flore - H 2011

Philippe Falardeau’s "Monsieur Lazhar," Jean-Marc Vallée’s "Café de flore," which starred Vanessa Paradis, and Ken Scott's "Starbuck" lead the French-language movie contingent in the Toronto fest's annual survey of the best films of the year.

TORONTO - The Toronto International Film Festival revealed its top ten Canadian feature films of 2011, and the list is dominated by French language titles from Quebec, the sweet spot for indie movies here.

Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, which won the best Canadian feature film prize at TIFF and is Canada’s entry in the Academy Awards’ best foreign language feature competition, made it into the 2011 league table.

That makes Falardeau’s drama about an Algerian immigrant hired to replace an elementary school teacher who dies tragically a shoe-in for a nomination in the Genies, Canada’s film awards.

Also making the TIFF list is Jean-Marc Vallée’s Café de flore, which marks a return by the Quebec director to French language filmmaking after the 2009 drama The Young Victoria; Ken Scott’s Starbuck, a commercial hit in Quebec; Guy Édoin’s Marécages and Le Vendeur, by Quebecois director Sébastien Pilote.

Traditionally, the TIFF top ten list is filled with Canadian titles that screened at the annual September festival, and this year that includes David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, which bowed in Venice, Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz, and Nathan Morlando’s Edwin Boyd, which won the best first feature prize in Toronto.

Rounding out the TIFF honor list is Guy Maddin’s 1930s drama Keyhole and Jason Eisener’s Hobo With a Shotgun, both gangster genre pictures.

Left off the festival’s choice picks for 2011 were Canadian titles like Bruce McDonald’s Hard Core Logo 2, Mike Clattenberg’s Afghan Luke, Randall Cole’s 388 Arletta Avenue, which starred Nick Stahl and Mia Kirshner, Robert Lieberman’s Breakaway, an Indo-Canadian hockey drama, Michael Dowse’s Goon, another homegrown hockey drama starring Seann William Scott, and Erik Canuel’s Barrymore, which starred Christopher Plummer.