In addition to its selection at TIFF, the DFI-supported films have also been screened at Cannes, Venice, Locarno, and Sarajevo earlier this summer.
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which begins on September 8 and continues until September 18, will screen 11 films supported by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) grants programme.
The selection includes films from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
The 47th edition of the festival will feature some of the most celebrated names in cinema offering diverse perspectives in storytelling. The films in the Official Selection supported by the Institute at TIFF 2022 will be screened in four key programming sections – Discovery, Contemporary World Cinema, Short Cuts and TIFF Docs – with many of them making their World Premiere.
The selection at TIFF builds on the strong showing of DFI-supported films at the Cannes, Venice, Locarno and Sarajevo film festivals earlier this summer.
Speaking about the films, Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of Doha Film Institute, said: “We are incredibly proud to continue a successful fall festival season with a strong showcase of films at Toronto. In addition to presenting important voices in filmmaking from the Arab world, the selection includes films from emerging talent in global cinema that offer fresh perspectives on life that reflect human hopes, aspirations and challenges.
“Over the years, we have built a strong reputation for our grants programme and established the initiative as an important source for standout Arab and international talent in contemporary cinema. The 11 films selected to screen at Toronto are truly representative of the kind of films we support – diverse, compelling, and innovative, with powerful human stories at their centre. We hope that the films receive the international acclaim and attention that they deserve.”
The premiere of A Gaza Weekend (Palestine, UK, Qatar), the feature debut in the Discovery Programme of Academy Award and Palme d’Or nominee Palestinian-British director Basil Khalil, whose Ave Maria was nominated for an Academy Award in the Short Film (Live Action) category. The film is about a deadly virus outbreak in Israel that makes Gaza the only safe haven, where wheeler-dealer, Waleed accepts a fast-cash job smuggling a British man out of the country that leads to several complications.
Also screening in the Discovery programme is Return to Seoul (France, Germany, Belgium, South Korea, Romania, Qatar) by Davy Chou. The film is about 25-year-old Freddie, who gets back for the first time to South Korea to reconnect with her origins. The headstrong young woman starts looking for her biological parents in a country she knows so little about.
Six films screen in the Contemporary World Cinema programme, including the premiere of Alam (Palestine, France, Qatar), by Firas Khoury, about Palestinian student Tamer, Ashkal (Tunisia, France, Qatar), by Youssef Chebbi, Autobiography (Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Poland, Germany, France, Qatar) by Makbul Mubarak, Domingo and the Mist (Costa Rica, Qatar) by Ariel Escalante Meza, Plan 75 (Japan, France, Philippines, Qatar) directed by Hayakawa Chie, and Under the Fig Trees (Tunisia, Switzerland, France, Qatar) by Erige Sehiri.
Sofia El Khyari’s The Shadow of the Butterflies (France, Qatar, Portugal) makes its world premiere in the TIFF 2022 Short Cuts programming. The film is about a time that has gone and about regrets and fears of one’s own choices, and the refuge that nostalgia provides.
Two documentaries supported by the Institute will make their world premiere in the TIFF Docs programme. Cine-Guerrillas: Scenes from The Labudovic Reels (Serbia, France, Croatia, Montenegro), directed by Mila Turajlić, charts Stevan Labudovic, the cameraman of Yugoslav President Tito, who takes audiences on an archival road trip through the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement. Revealing his role in filming the Algerian revolution, he plunges us into the heart of an epic battle of images in which cinema gave voice to a decolonising world.
Vinay Shukla’s While We Watched (India, United Kingdom, Qatar) is a raw and timely ‘newsroom thriller’ that offers an intimate portrait of the frontlines of truth in India. It examines how independent news reporting is under threat of budgetary cuts and is being used for spreading misinformation. Shukla caused significant disruption with his politically charged crowd-funded feature debut An Insignificant Man which premiered at TIFF 2016.