TIFF's festival and program director Lisa Hoen and assistant program director Henning Rosenlund shares their thoughts on why you should attend these 8 film experiences from this year's festival program.
1. ÁRRAN 360°
ÁRRAN 360° is a hybrid between indigenous stories and innovative technology. It is the very first project that presents six original 360 films by six leading Sámi filmmakers and artists from Sápmi. ÁRRAN 360° shows the films in the world's largest purpose-built lávvu equipped with a 28-meter-long screen.
— ÁRRAN 360° is a unique experience! Here you can watch 6 films that tell different stories, and where the filmmakers have experimented with the use of a completely new format, Lisa Hoen says.
In The Gravity we meet Daniel and Joshua who has a fall out with a younger gang in their neighbourhood. A battle for territories between the old and the new generation begins. As the color of the sky turns more and more red, the pressure on the fragile balance increases.
— The Gravity is in many ways about being torn between different interests and choices, and it has a touch of science fiction to it, says Hoen.
Arsenal is a silent film made by the ukrainian director Alexander Dovzhenko. In the film we are shown a series of vignettes that sheds light on the January Rebellion in Kyiv in 1918, and through a strong sense of symbolism the destructive forces of war are being described.
— Arsenal is an Ukrainian silent film from the Soviet era that is still relevant today. It highlights the tension that has existed between Ukraine and Kremlin for a long time, and is a master piece from the silent film era. The film is accompanied by metal-rock from the Northern Norwegian band ATTAN, says Hoen.
In this French drama film, we meet a family that faces unexpected challenges after an accident. The fabric of their relationships is put under pressure. This is a classic french drama where conflicts always loom and where fights are always lurking.
— A very funny film that shows how family relations and the male role changes when a member of the family starts to behave completely different. It has a lot of recognisable funny moments, says Henning Rosenlund.
For the brothers Francis and Michael, the road toward adulthood is paved with adversity, grief and violent street justice. The responsibility they feel for their loved ones weighs heavily on their shoulders. Brother is an elegant and haunting drama.
— This is a wonderful and warm portrait of two brothers - a story about growing up where the main characters need to take on responsibilities and different roles, tells Hoen.
In this Norwegian horror film, a woman is plagued by constant nightmares after moving into a large, suspiciously cheap apartment. The apartment's terrible secret soon reveals itself through her dreams.
— The horror film Nightmare has its Norwegian premiere at TIFF. The film mixes topics of pregnacy and sleep paralysis in a way that gives you the chills. Eili Harboe, known from the film THELMA, delivers a strong portrayal of the main character, says Hoen.
La Maternal is not afraid to show an unsentimental portrait of teen pregnancy in the Spanish countryside. We get served an honest and unpolished chronicle of the trials and tribulations of our young heroine, Carla. Director Pilar Palomero has chosen to use amateur actors who tell their own stories of teenage pregnancy. This is a move that works well and adds authenticity to the film. The friendship and cohesion between the characters add warmth and humor to an engaging story.
— In La Maternal we get to witness a fantastic acting achievement by the young actress in the lead role!, says Rosenlund.
The Rite of Spring is a strong character portrait of a young woman's encounter with adulthood and exploration of her sexuality, through both conversation and action. This drama is strengthened by strong performances as well as elegant, observational camerawork focused on Laura's face, and the more intimate scenes are tastefully depicted. The film also explores sexuality as a universal concept, which is a natural part of all people's lives.
— The Rite of Spring is a warm and humanistic film, says Hoen.