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TIFF Canadian Press Conference 2014

The future proves to be bright for Canadian film at TIFF’s Canadian Press Conference. Today the Canadian features were unveiled and Scene Creek had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the festivities at the Fairmont Royal York.

Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey were in attendance to introduce the Canadian programmers who unveiled many very exciting titles that are sure to make Canada proud at this years festival. Among the title’s included are Xavier Dolan’s Mommy which won The Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. For those who miss seeing this rising Canadian director on-screen, he will also be starring in another Canadian film in the Special Presentations Programme, Elephant Song, along with Bruce Greenwood and Catherine Keener.

Also announced today were TIFF’s Rising Stars. Alumni of this accolade include Sarah Gadon (Enemy, Antiviral) and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and so it is definitely a coveted title for young Canadian talent. This year four actors were chosen, Sophie Desmarais of last year’s Sarah Prefers to Run, Shannon Kook who will next be seen in Dark Places alongside Charlize Theron, Alexandre Landry who charmed audience’s in last year’s Gabrielle, and Julia Sarah Stone who stars on the hit television show The Killing and is featured in TIFF 2014 selection Wet Bum.

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Speakers at the Press Conference this year included Alanis Obomsawin, Jeffery St. Jules, and Sturla Gunnarsson; three film-makers with three very different films at the festival this year. Alanis Obomsawin gave an emotional speech while previewing her film Trick or Treaty?, a documentary that examines and aspires to educate Canadians about what a treaty is, specifically the implications of the infamous Treaty 9.

Jeffrey St. Jules discussed his film Bang Bang Baby, a horror/musical 10 years in the making that stars Justin Chatwin and Jane Levy, and looks to be an extremely fun-filled ride that blends 1950’s Sci-Fi with a musical infusion.

Sturla Gunnarsson, who previously won the TIFF People’s Choice Award for his Documentary Force of Nature in 2010 is back with another environmental themed documentary entitled Monsoon, which explores the cultural, physical and economical affects of monsoons in India.

Scene Creek also had the opportunity to chat with the people behind Backcountry, a thriller in the Discovery Programme that pits a couple against nature, specifically a bear, during a weekend retreat. This film looks like one to add to your must-see list.

The Short Cuts Canada program was announced as well, featuring 42 short films in six different groups that explore such themes as fame, the environment, family, and generational clashes. The Short Cuts Canada program is a great place for emerging Canadian filmmakers, and alumni include Jeffrey St. Jules, who as previously stated is bringing his debut feature-length film Bang Bang Baby to TIFF this year. This is the place to seek out emerging Canadian talent.

All in all, the TIFF Canadian Press Conference boasts amazing talent grown from home at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Many of the most intriguing titles can be found from Canada this year, so make sure to seek them out when you make your festival selections.

Adriana Floridia

Adriana Floridia is a singer, writer, and film critic from Toronto. She loves watching movies, but even more than that, she loves discussing them with film lovers alike.