TORONTO — TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente announced today additional TIFF programming for audiences to enjoy as part of TIFF 2020. In Conversation With… talks, Special Events, and Short Cuts elevate TIFF’s offerings, providing an immersive experience for Festival-goers. Also announced today: the IMDbPro Short Cuts Awards, Amplify Voices Awards presented by Canada Goose, and the crowd-pleasing TIFF People’s Choice Award.
“TIFF is about the films, and we’ve stayed true to that mission,” stated Vicente. “We also are committed to an enhanced Festival experience for film lovers. TIFF is renowned for conversations that dive deep into the history and context of the films that we curate, and the artistic processes of the talent who create those films. TIFF is an international platform for audiences, media, and the industry to discover great filmmakers, and explore new directions in cinema.”
It was important for TIFF to move forward and keep the creative spirit alive,” added Bailey. “That is why we are so happy to deliver TIFF. We are dedicated to providing a platform for filmmakers of colour, emerging talents, and independent creative film artists, and particularly women filmmakers — to spotlight their work, raise their profiles, and amplify their voices, especially those of Canadian and Indigenous artists, and continue to be a thought leader in film culture.”
In Conversation With…
In Conversation With…, one of TIFF’s most exciting programmes, features candid, intimate, and entertaining sit-downs with some of the industry’s biggest names. This year there will be six inspiring conversations about art, creative processes, activism, and the power of music and film to unite us. The confirmed events are:
In Conversation With… Halle Berry
This conversation delves into all aspects of Berry’s experience directing Bruised, in which she also stars, and will also provide a first-person discussion about her groundbreaking film and television career that spans 30 years. As previously announced, this event is part of TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative in support of women behind and in front of the camera.
In Conversation With… Claire Denis & Barry Jenkins
Prolific French auteur Claire Denis and Oscar-winning writer-director Barry Jenkins come together for a conversation that’s been years in the making.
In Conversation With… Ava DuVernay
Oscar-nominated multi-hyphenate Ava DuVernay discusses art, activism, and Black Lives Matter in this intimate conversation.
Presented by BRON
In Conversation With… Saoirse Ronan
Four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan discusses her powerhouse performances over the past decade that have catapulted her to international fame.
In Conversation With… Barry Levinson & Denzel Washington
Master filmmaker Barry Levinson discusses the art of directing with Denzel Washington in this conversation between two Academy Award winners.
Presented by BRON
In Conversation With… D-Nice & Anthony Mandler
Club Quarantine founder D-Nice and Anthony Mandler, one of the most influential music-video directors of our time, discuss the power of music and film.
Presented by BRON
Many of TIFF’s talks will be presented on TIFF’s platform Bell Digital Talks. Tickets can be purchased or reserved through tiff.net.
Reflecting the diversity of TIFF’s audiences and the breadth of their interests, this year’s Special Events lineup focuses on a wide range of topics from around the globe.
Underplayed Stacey Lee | Canada
● This documentary follows radical female artists breaking the rhythm of inequality in the
electronic-music industry. Underplayed will screen at OLG Play Stage at Ontario Place on Saturday, September 19, followed by a live performance set with Top 100 DJ/Producer REZZ, one of the main subjects of the film.
The Boy from Medellín Matthew Heineman | USA
● With unprecedented access, this deeply immersive and character-driven film will give viewers a front-row seat to J Balvin, one of the world’s most famous Colombian musicians, as he is forced to define his voice as an artist amidst the largest protests his country has seen in decades. There will also be a talk with Colombian reggaeton superstar J Balvin.
The Truffle Hunters Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw | Italy/USA/Greece
● Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle — which, to date, has resisted all of modern science’s efforts at cultivation. They’re guided by a secret culture and training passed down through generations, as well as by the noses of their cherished and expertly trained dogs. A special curated menu from Official Hospitality Partner Oliver & Bonacini will be available for purchase by audiences.
The Water Man David Oyelowo | USA
● Selma star David Oyelowo directs this mystical adventure recalling the beloved, family-friendly movies of the 1980s. One of two specially selected family films at the Festival.
Wolfwalkers Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart | Ireland/Luxembourg/France
● From the brilliant animators behind Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells comes this tale of a girl who goes hunting wolves in Ireland and discovers a surprising world. Steeped in Irish folklore, this is an uplifting fantasy for the whole family.
All films noted here as part of Special Events are accessible on the Bell Digital Cinema platform. They are part of TIFF’s Official Selection. Please see tiff.net for additional information.
Planet Africa 25
Created in 1995 by Cameron Bailey, Planet Africa was a Festival programme dedicated to cinema from Africa and the African diaspora. Programmed by Bailey, then June Givanni and Gaylene Gould, it ran as a part of the Festival for 10 years. As we celebrate its founding a quarter century ago, TIFF also marks 2020’s Black Lives Matter uprisings with special events under the banner of Planet Africa 25.
TIFF has selected four new films for its Official Selection that embody the spirit of Planet Africa:
Akilla’s Escape Charles Officer | Canada
● In a crime-noir about the urban child-soldier, Akilla Brown captures a fifteen-year-old Jamaican boy in the aftermath of an armed robbery. Over one gruelling night, Akilla confronts a cycle of generational violence he thought he escaped.
Downstream to Kinshasa (En route pour le milliard) Dieudo Hamadi | Democratic Republic of the Congo/France/Belgium
● From 5th to 10th June 2000, the city of Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the scene of heavy weapons fighting between two Congolese rebel groups. Since then, the Association of Victims of the Six-Day War has been fighting for the recognition of this bloody conflict and demanding compensation for the damage suffered. Tired of the bureaucratic negotiations and unsuccessful pleas that have been drawn out for years, the members of the Association have finally decided to take their fate into their own hands: after a long journey on the Congo River, they will voice their claims in Kinshasa, the capital.
40 Years A Prisoner Tommy Oliver | USA
● 40 Years A Prisoner is the story of 9 people from Philadelphia-based back-to-nature group, MOVE, whowere convicted of murdering a police officer they likely didn’t kill. It’s now 40 years later and they’re still in prison as the son of two of the convicted has committed his life to fighting for their release.
The Way I See It Dawn Porter | USA
● Inspired by the New York Times #1 bestseller comes Dawn Porter’s The Way I See It, an unprecedented look behind the scenes of two of the most iconic Presidents in American History, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, as seen through the eyes of renowned photographer Pete Souza.
A panel entitled, Planet Africa 25: Origin Stories, will take place on Sunday, September 13. Bailey and the team that built Planet Africa will look at what the programme’s legacy means today.
And in celebration of what was often called the hottest night of the Festival, TIFF presents Planet Africa 25: The Return of the Planet Africa Party. Join legendary DJ Dave Campbell and special guest, Mr Akil D, from the annual B.L.A.C.K. Ball, for a dance party livestreamed from a secret location at 10pm EDT.
“Planet Africa stands as one of the proudest moments in my career,” said Bailey. “Twenty-five years ago, I joined with colleagues and friends to launch a Festival platform for films from all over the African diaspora. We brought filmmaking legends together with new talent. We hosted a Planet Africa party that got both Hollywood stars and everyday Black people on the dance floor. We made our dreams for Black creativity real. I hope celebrating that work now can help inspire the next generation.”
TIFF is delighted to announce the 36 short films as part of Short Cuts. The 2020 lineup includes the directorial efforts of TIFF alumni and discoveries by TIFF programmers that together present a powerful and eclectic mix. In addition to a wide range of genres, the Festival’s short-film selection also encompasses a variety of perspectives, voices, and emerging and established talents from Canada and all over the world.
4 North A Jordan Canning, Howie Shia | Canada
Aniksha Vincent Toi | Canada
The Archivists Igor Drljača | Canada
As Spring Comes (Comme la neige au printemps) Marie-Ève Juste | Canada
Benjamin, Benny, Ben Paul Shkordoff | Canada
Black Bodies Kelly Fyffe-Marshall | Canada
David Zach Woods | USA
Drought Remi Itani | Lebanon
Dustin Naïla Guiguet | France
Every Day’s Like This Lev Lewis | Canada
Found Me David Findlay | Canada
The Game (Das Spiel) Roman Hodel | Switzerland
History of Civilization (История Цивилизации) Zhannat Alshanova | Kazakhstan
In Sudden Darkness Tayler Montague | USA
Loose Fish Francisco Canton, Pato Martinez | Morocco/USA/Argentina
Marlon Brando Vincent Tilanus | Netherlands
Mountain Cat (Shiluus) Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir | Mongolia/United Kingdom
Navozande, the musician Reza Riahi | France
O Black Hole! Renee Zhan | United Kingdom
Our Hearts Beat Like War (Zchuhit Bayam) Elinor Nechemya | Israel
Pilar Yngwie Boley, Diana van Houten, J.J. Epping | Netherlands/Belgium
Point and Line to Plane Sofia Bohdanowicz | Canada/USA/Iceland/Russia
The Price of Cheap Rent Amina Sutton, Maya Tanaka | USA
RKLSS Tank Standing Buffalo | Canada
Rules for Werewolves Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux | Canada/USA
Scars Alex Anna | Canada/France
Sër Bi (Les Tissus Blancs) Moly Kane | France/Senegal
Shooting Star (Comme une comète) Ariane Louis-Seize | Canada
Sing Me a Lullaby Tiffany Hsiung | Canada
Sinking Ship (La Naufrage) Sasha Leigh Henry | Canada
Stephanie Leonardo van Dijl | Belgium
Still Processing Sophy Romvari | Canada
Strong Son Ian Bawa | Canada
Succor Hannah Cheesman | Canada
Tie (Elo) Alexandra Ramires | Portugal/France
The Water Walker James Burns | United States
In keeping with tradition, TIFF will celebrate exceptional filmmaking with the following awards:
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD — A longstanding tradition at TIFF, the People’s Choice Award is celebrating its 43rd year. Audiences can vote online this year. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced on Sunday, September 20.
IMDbPro AWARDS — Films programmed in this year’s Short Cuts selection are eligible for three jury-selected IMDbPro Short Cuts Awards: Best Film, Best Canadian Film, and, new this year, the Share Her Journey Award for best film by a woman. IMDbPro will provide each of the three winners with a bursary of $10,000 CAD and a one-year membership to IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, to help them continue achieving success in their careers. These awards build on IMDbPro’s nearly 20-year history of empowering entertainment professionals to discover new talent and projects, and on its ongoing commitment to supporting and collaboratively working with organizations that create greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the entertainment industry — including TIFF’s Share Her Journey campaign. The IMDbPro Awards will be
announced on Sunday, September 20.
AMPLIFY VOICES AWARDS PRESENTED BY CANADA GOOSE — These awards will be presented to the three best feature films by under-represented filmmakers. Canada Goose embraces diversity in all its forms and definitions, including technique and passion that transports storytelling to screen. All feature films in Official Selection by self-identified BIPOC and Canadian filmmakers are eligible, and the three winners will receive $10,000 each. The Amplify Voices Awards will be announced on Sunday, September 20.
Due to ever-evolving health precautions necessary for the back-to-school season in September, the Isabel Bader Theatre, which is a part of the Victoria University at the University of Toronto’s campus, is no longer available as a screening venue for TIFF 2020. All screenings previously scheduled at Isabel Bader have now been moved to TIFF Bell Lightbox. Please check the official schedule and list of screening venues at tiff.net
for the most up-to-date information.
TIFF continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the Festival, with its number-one priority being the health and well-being of both Festival filmgoers and the residents of the entire community. The Province’s Stage 3 reopening guidelines currently cap a movie theatre’s occupancy at 50 guests per cinema regardless of the total capacity of the theatre. Additionally, TIFF has partnered with Medcan, a global health care leader providing medical expertise, consultation, and health inspiration to achieve its mission of helping people “Live Well for Life.” Based on the pillars of evidence-based care, exceptional client service, and the latest in technology, Medcan’s team of over 90 physicians and specialists support employee health care across the continuum of health, including its “Safe at Work System” helping organizations navigate the pandemic.
The 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10–19, 2020.
As previously announced, tickets are available for the TIFF Member pre-sale starting August 28. Public tickets are on sale September 5, and additional ticket information is available at tiff.net.
For more information on all events noted above, please see tiff.net.
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding
Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.
TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L’Oréal Paris, and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and the City of Toronto.
Watch TIFF anywhere with Bell. Proud Lead sponsor and preferred network of TIFF.
TIFF gratefully acknowledges Canada Goose for its support of the Amplify Voices Awards.
TIFF gratefully acknowledges IMDbPro for its support of the Short Cuts Awards