TIFF 2012: A Quick Look at What’s Happening Up North

Posted by Valentina Valentini on September 14, 2012 at 11:45 am

TIFF 2012: A Quick Look at What’s Happening Up North

I feel like if there is one festival where mid to high-budget independent features go to get a buyer, it’s TIFF, even though the fest isn’t an official market. Cannes is probably the European equivalent of TIFF, but for North America, it’s definitely Toronto that gives indie darling directors their street cred.

“Toronto has just become such a prolific festival,” Jessica Lacy, ICM Partners’ head of international and independent film division, told TheWrap on September 4. “In the past we used other fall festivals as an international space for our films, and now it’s all about those films being in Toronto. We put all of our resources behind Toronto this year, and it seems to be the same for buyers.”

As for the films showing this year that made the most noise among the buzzers, Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder was reportedly very, well, Malick – more scenery than dialogue, more emotion than plotline. Steve Pond from The Wrap said: It’s the kind of movie that requires surrender while it’s on and thoughtful meditation afterward. And apparently the only two actors present from the film (Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko) alluded to the fact that there’s a very different movie out there on the cutting floor.

Another film that got the audiences riled up, but this time out of transfixed horror, was Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing. It is a terrifying look at the little-known mass killings in Indonesia in 1965 and their aftermath. The crimes are ignored by many and celebrated by others, the killers living with impunity. This film is indicative of what really good docs can do – affect real emotion that can hopefully, eventually, lead to real change.

And for a little lightheartedness to end on, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha seems to be a hit in the making. Charlie Schmidlin from IndieWire.com said: [It] finds its director revitalized and at the top of his game. Centered around Gerwig as an aspiring New York dancer, Baumbach’s latest charts her initial steps toward independence while also facing frustration over her career, but in a sweeping, enthralling way that transcends the seemingly tired narrative.”



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