TIFF® salutes the country’s cinematic superstars tonight, revealing the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival™ lineup of the top 10 features, shorts and student shorts for 2015. Established in 2001, the festival celebrates and promotes contemporary Canadian cinema and raises awareness of Canadian achievements in film. Running January 8 to 17, 2016 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, the 10-day event presents public screenings of the selected films accompanied by introductions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers, as well as special events, industry panels and free engagements. On January 16, Golden Globe–, Emmy- and Screen Actors Guild Award– winning Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland will take the stage for an intimate discussion about his fascinating career. The 1985 landmark film My American Cousinrounds out the lineup as the festival’s Canadian Open Vault selection.
New this year, the festival will present a special screening simultaneously in three different cities, which includes a simulcast introduction and interactive Q&A offering audiences in Vancouver’s The Cinematheque and Montreal’s PHI Centre the chance to ask questions of the talent in Toronto. Select screenings from the lineup also return to Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg, with added stops in Halifax and Ottawa. Filmgoers in Toronto can once again vote to crown the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival People’s Choice Award winner. These announcements were made at an industry event in Toronto tonight, hosted by Entertainment City’s Teri Hart.
“From exceptional debut features to veteran filmmakers at the top of their craft, Canadian talent from coast to coast cracked this year’s list,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival. “What better way to escape winter’s icy grip than with a toasty lineup of special guests and homegrown films presented in eight cities across the country.”
“One of our most geographically representative programmes to date, the strength of this year’s lineup is a testament to the diversity and curiosity of our nation’s filmmakers — from Newfoundland to British Columbia,” said Steve Gravestock, Senior Programmer, TIFF. “The collaborations from across the country demonstrate the versatility of our filmmaking community, delivering deeply engaging cinema in their exploration of Canadian values.”
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival features for 2015, in alphabetical order. Synopses below.
Closet Monster, Stephen Dunn (Elevation Pictures)
The Demons (Les démons), Philippe Lesage (FunFilm Distribution)
Les êtres chers (Our Loved Ones), Anne Émond (Entertainment One Films)
The Forbidden Room, Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson (Mongrel Media)
Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr, Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard (White Pine Pictures)
HURT, Alan Zweig (Super Channel/MDF)
Into the Forest, Patricia Rozema (Elevation Pictures)
My Internship in Canada (Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre), Philippe Falardeau (Entertainment One Films)
Ninth Floor, Mina Shum (National Film Board of Canada)
Sleeping Giant (Le géant endormi), Andrew Cividino (D Films Corp)
A special simulcast screening of Into the Forest takes place in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on Saturday, January 9 at 9 p.m. ET, and includes an interactive Q&A with Patricia Rozema.
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival shorts for 2015, in alphabetical order. Synopses below.
Bacon & God’s Wrath, Sol Friedman
Balmoral Hotel, Wayne Wapeemukwa
Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton, Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson (Elevation Pictures)
Interview with a Free Man (Entrevue avec un homme libre), Nicolas Lévesque (NFB)
The Little Deputy, Trevor Anderson
My Enemy, My Brother, Ann Shin
Never Steady, Never Still, Kathleen Hepburn
NINA, Halima Elkhatabi (Les Films du 3 mars)
o negative, Steven McCarthy
Overpass (Viaduc), Patrice Laliberté (Travelling, les films qui voyagent)
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival student shorts for 2015, in alphabetical order. Synopses below.
Alia, Raghed Charabaty (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design)
The Casebook of Nips & Porkington, Melody Wang (Sheridan College)
Cupid, Maria De Sanctis (York University)
Dysmorphia, Katherine Grubb (Emily Carr University of Art + Design)
ed, Taha Neyestani (Sheridan College)
Menesetung, Kyle McDonnell (Ryerson University)
Michi, Kaho Yoshida (Emily Carr University of Art + Design)
Ms. Liliane (Mme Liliane), Junna Chif (Concordia University)
Pretty Dangerous, Dan Laera (Humber College)
Smoke, Kellen Jackson, Suzanne Friesen and Sasha Tomasky (Simon Fraser University)
The Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival tours select films to major cities across the country including stops at Vancouver’s The Cinematheque (January 8 to 17), Montreal’s PHI Centre(January 8 to 16), Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematheque (January 15 to February 28),Edmonton’s Metro Cinema (January 22 to 31), Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada(January 23, additional dates TBA), the Calgary International Film Festival at the Globe Cinema (February 4 to 7), and the Atlantic Film Festival in association with the Halifax Central Library (May 2 to 8).
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival 2015 features panel
A national panel of six filmmakers and industry professionals selected the best in Canadian features.
Liz Braun ─ entertainment columnist (Sun Media/Postmedia newspaper chain)
Marie-Hélène Cousineau ─ filmmaker and producer (Sol, Before Tomorrow)
Stacey Donen ─ film programmer
Kris Elgstrand ─ writer and filmmaker (Songs She Wrote About People She Knows)
Midi Onodera ─ filmmaker and video artist (Skin Deep)
Ravi Srinivasan ─ executive director of the South Western International Film Festival
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival 2015 shorts panel
A national panel of five filmmakers and industry professionals selected the best in Canadian shorts.
Sarah Goodman ─ filmmaker and writer (Army of One, Porch Stories, National Parks Project)
Lisa Haller ─ Senior Canadian Programming Associate, TIFF
Aeschylus Poulos ─ producer (Sleeping Giant, The Book of Negroes)
Nicholas Pye ─ artist and filmmaker
Albert Shin ─ filmmaker (In Her Place, Point Traverse)
The Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival student shorts were selected by Lisa Haller (Senior Canadian Programming Associate, TIFF).
The Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival shorts panel will select the student shorts winners for Best Film (Live Action) and Best Film (Animation).The filmmakers will be awarded with prize packages following the screening in January, courtesy of William F. White International Inc., Technicolor, and the Directors Guild of Canada.
In Conversation With… Kiefer Sutherland — Saturday, January 16 at 4 p.m.
Award-winning Canadian actor and filmmaker Kiefer Sutherland joins Cameron Bailey on stage for a career-spanning discussion that will touch upon both his film and television work, from his early days in Canada up through to Forsaken.
Canadian Open Vault: My American Cousin — Friday, January 15 at 3 p.m. | FREE
Sandy Wilson’s landmark 1985 feature, about a bored preteen on an Okanagan farm whose inner rebellion is inspired by the arrival of her ultra-cool older cousin from California, is both a bittersweet coming-of-age tale and a meditation on the differences between us and our neighbours to the south.
The Canadian Open Vault programme presents free screenings of Canadian classics every season at TIFF Bell Lightbox, as part of TIFF’s efforts to make the country’s rich cinematic heritage more accessible to audiences.
TIFF presents First Things First: Coming of Age in Canadian Film — Friday, January 15 at 1 p.m. | FREE
Moderated by film critic Jason Anderson (Toronto Star), this free panel discussion explores five debut, coming-of-age-themed films at this year’s Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Sleeping Giant(represented by director Andrew Cividino), Closet Monster (executive producer Niv Fichman), Canadian Open Vault selection My American Cousin (director Sandy Wilson), short film NINA(director Halima Elkhatabi), and student-short film Menesetung (director Kyle McDonnell). Tickets are free and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office two hours prior to the event start time.
Tickets and ticket packages for Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival events at TIFF Bell Lightbox go on sale December 9 for TIFF Members and December 16 for the public. Purchase tickets online at tiff.net, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at