TIFF’S WAVELENGTHS PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS POLITICAL AND FORMAL ACUMEN IN 2019 LINEUP

Including films by Pedro Costa, Albert Serra, Charlotte Prodger, Oliver Laxe, Marwa Arsanios, Éric Baudelaire, Anocha Suwichakornpong & Ben Rivers, Sergei Loznitsa, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Deborah Stratman, and Burak Çevik

TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths programme revealed today the lineup for its 19th edition, consisting of international shorts and features by established and emerging talents. With a total of 37 titles, this year’s selection is a testament to political fortitude and artistic experimentation, seen across a captivating mix of genres and perspectives.

The selection comprises four programmes of experimental short films, two curated pairings, and 10 features, each contributing to a dynamic survey of some of today’s most exciting moving-image work. Wavelengths is curated and overseen by Andréa Picard, with contributions from members of TIFF’s international programming team — namely Brad Deane, Giovanna Fulvi, Dorota Lech, and Kiva Reardon — and programming associate Jesse Cumming.

“As we approach the 20th anniversary of Wavelengths, one can discern an important shift in formal language and experimentation, and an even wider range of artistic expression, which reflects — in some cases seriously, and others surprisingly playfully — a refusal to be contained, confined, or even labelled,” said Picard. “As the world runs further amok, it is comforting and inspiring to see filmmakers and artists continue to make work that is personal, committed, generous, aesthetically alert, and rigorous. The films in this year’s programme perfectly exemplify the essential role art plays in resistance and resilience, but also in our capacity for imagination.”

Wavelengths is pleased to host a number of alumni to present some of their most provocative and accomplished work to date, including Catalan artist-filmmaker Albert Serra with Liberté, his award-winning tale of 18th-century decadence and desire; Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa with Vitalina Varela, a continuation of his pathos-laden tales of life in Lisbon’s margins; Sergei Loznitsa with State Funeral, in which he repurposes footage shot in 1953, in the days following the death of Joseph Stalin, into a trenchant reflection on cults of personality; and Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers, who return to TIFF with Krabi, 2562, a collaborative work on memory, landscape, and social awareness.

Resistance and tenacity — both political and personal — are the theme of several Wavelengths selections, including two highlights from the burgeoning “Galician New Wave”: Oliver Laxe’s quietly monumental Fire Will Come, the follow-up to his Festival selection Mimosas (TIFF 2016), and Eloy Enciso’s Endless Night, set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, with its script drawn from letters and other texts of the era. A different strength is exhibited in Hassen Ferhani’s understated documentary 143 Sahara Street, which presents the world in a microcosm as seen through a portrait of octogenarian Malika, who lives and works alone in her roadside diner in the Sahara Desert.

Wavelengths 2019 also welcomes many newcomers to the programme, with a number of works that reflect on the state of contemporary geopolitics through a mix of styles that range from non-fiction to the speculative. Highlights from contemporary Brazil include The Fever by director Maya Da-Rin, an Indigenous-led tale of a father who must navigate his daughter’s imminent departure for medical school; Affonso Uchôa’s forceful yet elegant documentary experiment Seven Years in May (which screens with Gabino Rodríguez and Nicolás Pereda’s previously announced My Skin, Luminous); and the short film The Bite
by artist Pedro Neves Marques, a science fiction–tinged story about a queer love triangle struggling to survive an encroaching mosquito epidemic in the rainforest.

This year’s shorts programmes feature formally impressive and surprising work by a number of leading international talents, including World Premieres by Zachary Epcar, Luke Fowler, Gastón Solnicki, Mike Gibisser, and Tomonari Nishikawa, as well as the North American Premieres of Turner Prize–winning artist Charlotte Prodger’s entry in this year’s Venice Biennale, SaF05, and Marwa Arsanios’s Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Part 2,
which premiered at the Sharjah Biennial. As ever, the programme is rounded out by a number of restorations and rediscoveries, including Edward Owens’s Remembrance: A Portrait Study (1967), a touching and playful tribute to the artist’s mother, and 2minutes40seconds (1975), an experimental documentary by Korean filmmaker Han Ok-hee, founding member of the feminist film collective Kaidu Club.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.

Wavelengths’ complete 2019 lineup is as follows:

SHORT FILM PROGRAMMES

Wavelengths 1: WLS19
Austrian Pavilion Philipp Fleischmann | Austria | World Premiere
SaF05 Charlotte Prodger | United Kingdom | North American Premiere
Slow Volumes Mike Gibisser | USA | World Premiere
The Bite (A Mordida) Pedro Neves Marques | Portugal/Brazil | World Premiere

Wavelengths 2: Sun Rave
2008 Blake Williams | Canada | World Premiere
Amusement Ride Tomonari Nishikawa | Japan | World Premiere
Black Sun (Sol Negro) Maureen Fazendeiro | Portugal/France | International Premiere
A Topography of Memory Burak Çevik | Turkey/Canada | North American Premiere
Sun Rave (Lafhat Shams) Roy Samaha | Lebanon | North American Premiere
(tourism studies) Joshua Gen Solondz | USA | Canadian Premiere

Wavelengths 3: Look Around
2minutes40seconds Han Ok-hee | South Korea | International Premiere
Hrvoji, Look at You From the Tower Ryan Ferko | Canada/Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia | World Premiere
Circumplector Gastón Solnicki | Argentina | World Premiere
Cézanne Luke Fowler | United Kingdom/France | World Premiere
Second Generation Miryam Charles | Canada | North American Premiere
Transcript (Lín Mó) Erica Sheu | USA/Taiwan | Canadian Premiere
Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Part 2 Marwa Arsanios | Lebanon/Kurdistan/Syria | North American Premiere

Wavelengths 4: Lives of Performers
Billy Zachary Epcar | USA | World Premiere
Remembrance: A Portrait Study Edward Owens | USA | Festival Premiere
Vever (for Barbara) Deborah Stratman | Guatemala/USA | Canadian Premiere
Book of Hours Annie MacDonell | Canada | World Premiere
We Still Have to Close Our Eyes John Torres | Philippines | North American Premiere
This Action Lies (Cest Action Gist) James N. Kienitz Wilkins | USA/Switzerland | North American Premiere

PAIRINGS

Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another Jessica Sarah Rinland | United Kingdom/Argentina/Spain
North American Premiere
preceded by
Heavy Metal Detox Josef Dabernig | Austria
World Premiere

Seven Years in May (Sete Anos em Maio) Affonso Uchôa | Brazil/Argentina
North American Premiere
and
My Skin, Luminous (Mi Piel, Luminosa) Gabino Rodríguez, Nicolás Pereda | Mexico/Canada
North American Premiere

FEATURES

143 Sahara Street (143 rue du désert) Hassen Ferhani | Algeria
North American Premiere

Endless Night (Longa noite) Eloy Enciso | Spain
North American Premiere

The Fever (A Febre) Maya Da-Rin | Brazil/France/Germany
North American Premiere

Fire Will Come (O que arde) Oliver Laxe | Spain/France/Luxembourg
North American Premiere

Heimat is a Space in Time (Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit) Thomas Heise | Germany/Austria
North American Premiere

Krabi, 2562 Anocha Suwichakornpong, Ben Rivers | Thailand/United Kingdom
North American Premiere

Liberté Albert Serra | France/Spain/Portugal/Germany
North American Premiere

State Funeral Sergei Loznitsa | Netherlands/Lithuania
North American Premiere

Un Film Dramatique Éric Baudelaire | France
North American Premiere

Vitalina Varela Pedro Costa | Portugal
North American Premiere

For film synopses, cast lists, images, and more information, see tiff.net/wavelengths
Festival tickets go on sale September 2 at 10am (TIFF Member pre-sale August 31, 10am–4pm). Buy tickets online at tiff.net, by phone at 416.599.2033 or 1.888.258.8433, or in person at a box office. See box office locations and hours at tiff.net/tickets.

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About TIFF
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, major exhibitions, and 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.

The Toronto International Film Festival 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.

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