Our screenings take place at 162 Mackenzie St. (unless otherwise noted.)
Living alone in her London flat, 12-year-old Georgie must confront reality when her estranged father, Jason, shows up out of nowhere. Uninterested in a sudden new parental figure, she remains stubbornly resistant to his efforts. As they both adjust to their new circumstances, Georgie and Jason soon find that they still have a lot of growing up to do.
Everyone wants something from high school senior Jake: his father is pushing him to try out for the basketball team – an abandoned dream of his own – and his girlfriend wants to take their relationship to the next level. But it’s not until Aleks, an openly gay teen with a love for basketball, moves in across the street that Jake begins to struggle with his own desires. To get closer to Aleks, Jake devotes himself to making the basketball team – only to realize it’s not basketball he really wants. Meanwhile, Jake finds out that his father is having an affair, which leaves him questioning his entire family foundation. Distraught and confused, Jake pulls away - until he’s finally outed as gay. With the truth in the open, Jake and his father come to terms with the reality of their relationship and expectations for each other. At last able to find the courage to be himself, Jake is ready to face the future with his family and friends by his side.
When her sibling Zara suffers a nervous breakdown, the introvert Eva is forced to take on Zara’s job as a Foley artist. She struggles to create sounds for a commercial featuring a horse, and then a horsetail starts growing out of her body. Empowered by her tail, she lures a botanist into an affair, through a game of submission. Piaffe is a visceral journey into control, gender, and artifice.
A dreamy love story between She, played by Night Raiders lead Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and He, up-and-coming actor Braeden Clarke, takes place in the unexpected haven of a Northern Ontario dive bar while natural disasters unfold. The experimental film Stellar is the fourth feature from Anishinaabe director and producer Darlene Naponse, based on her short story of the same name. Veering away from her past work (including Falls Around Her, a TIFF ’18 selection starring Tantoo Cardinal), here Naponse intersperses the flirtation between She and He with a meteorite dropping down outside the bar, creating multiple extreme environmental crises seen only through the giant front window. Inside the bar, She and He are untouched by massive wildfires, flooding, and more happening outside — but their connection to the land isn’t questioned, because every major movement they make cuts to beautiful shots of land and water that are alternately lush and peaceful or extractive and unnatural.
Relax I’m From The Future follows Casper (Rhys Darby, FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS), a charming, but embarrassingly underprepared Time Traveller, now trapped in the past. When Casper befriends Holly (Gabrielle Graham), a jaded drifter, she helps him exploit his trivial knowledge of the future for a series of quick payouts, oblivious to the consequences they have set in motion. When Doris (Janine Theriault), a more competent Time Traveller, tracks them down, Casper and Holly are forced to figure out what they mean to each other and whether the future they’ve threatened is even worth saving. Will they embrace their fate, or do they have the courage to change it?
Chelsea McMullan's intimate process documentary takes us inside the National Ballet of Canada's 2022 production of Swan Lake, choreographed for the first time by the company's artistic director Karen Kain, who famously debuted in the ballet in 1971. Kain chose Swan Lake to be her retirement project after a fifty-year career, but Swan Song is less concerned with further canonizing her than with observing the way aging artists can welcome a new generation, should they choose to. The film darts in and out of its subjects’ lives, homes, and rehearsal spaces to capture the company as an organic entity — performers, choreographers, and technicians pushing through physical and emotional obstacles to remake a revered work in their own image.
Quebec filmmaker Ariane Louis-Seize — whose sultry, stylish coming-of-age study Les petites vagues was named one of Canada’s Top Ten shorts in 2018 — graduates to features with this deadpan horror comedy about a young Montreal bloodsucker who can only feed on people for whom she feels sympathy. Sasha (Sara Montpetit) is a teenage vampire — well, “teenage” is relative in their world — with an empathy problem. Unlike the rest of her clan, Sasha’s fangs don’t come out when she’s hungry or sensing fear; she needs to feel a personal connection to her prey. And then Sasha meets Paul (Félix-Antoine Bénard), an actual teenager convinced he’ll never enjoy anything in life. She befriends him, introduces him to her world and its secrets, and he happily volunteers to be her next meal. Which would be great, except for the whole empathy thing.
Trying to get her life back on track after a breakup, Ariane moves back to her hometown and in with her mother. To save her sinking finances, she takes a job at the local corn plant as a French-to-Spanish interpreter for the seasonal migrant workers employed there. She befriends Manuel, an illiterate, naive young man who has left his small children behind in Guatemala to earn as much as he can in Canada. As Ariane begins to witness how the workers are being taken advantage of, and as the only one who seems to see them as real people, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep quiet. What unites all of them, from boss to migrant worker, is a deep desperation to keep their job, but the individual choices they make in the face of mounting pressure reveal everyone's true character.
A social thriller inspired by true events, The Royal Hotel follows Hanna (Garner) and Liv (Henwick) who are best friends backpacking in Australia. After they run out of money, Liv, looking for an adventure, convinces Hanna to take a temporary live-in job behind the bar of a pub called ‘The Royal Hotel’ in a remote Outback mining town. Bar Owner Billy (Weaving) and a host of locals give the girls a riotous introduction to Down Under drinking culture but things turn nasty when their jokes and behaviour cross the line. Soon Hanna and Liv find themselves trapped in an unnerving situation that grows rapidly out of their control.
Director Jonathan Demme captures the frantic energy and artsy groove of Talking Heads in this concert movie shot at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in 1983. The band's frontman, David Byrne, first appears on an empty stage, armed with only an acoustic guitar, and is gradually joined by bassist Tina Weymouth, drummer Chris Frantz, keyboardist Jerry Harrison and a cadre of backup singers as they perform the band's hits, culminating in an iconic performance featuring Byrne in an enormous suit.
At only 14 years old, Aurora lost everything during the horror of the Armenian Genocide. But with luck and extraordinary courage she escaped to New York, where her story became a media sensation. Starring in one of the first Hollywood blockbusters as herself in 1919, Auction of Souls, Aurora would become the face of the largest charity campaign in American history. With a blend of vivid animation, aged Aurora’s video testimony, and 18-minute rediscovered footage from her original lost silent epic, Aurora's Sunrise revives Aurora her inspiring forgotten story.
After 25 years apart, rancher Silva (Pedro Pascal) rides across the desert to visit his former flame, town sheriff Jake (Ethan Hawke). But after an evening of shared intimacy, reminiscing, and reconciliation, the revelation of both men’s link to a local crime suggests there is more to their meeting than a trip down memory lane.
Simon (TIFF ’17 Rising Star Théodore Pellerin) is a skilled makeup artist by day and a sensational drag artist by night. Young and carefree, his energies are overwhelmingly set on honing his act and partying — until he meets Olivier (Félix Maritaud), a handsome, charming fellow drag artist from France. The two become lovers and artistic partners, crafting sexy, flamboyant duets that thrive on their intrinsic chemistry. Just as Simon is getting accustomed to this exciting new relationship, his long-estranged mother, Claire (Quebec screen icon Anne-Marie Cadieux), swoops back into his life. A revered opera singer, Claire is in town for a show — and Simon must work around her schedule if he wants to see her. As Olivier becomes more domineering and Simon struggles to get Claire’s attention, disquieting similarities emerge between lover and mother. Neither Olivier nor Claire seems to truly respect Simon. Both offer just enough love to hook Simon, but prove emotionally unavailable the moment things become complicated.