(September 8, 2017 – Toronto, ON) It was Norman Jewison’s dream to turn the former estate of Canadian industrialist and horse breeder E.P. Taylor into a training centre for filmmakers. You can measure its success, particularly this year, by the number of students who have not just gone on to careers in the film biz, but are accomplished enough to have films screening in Canada’s most important film festival, TIFF, or the Toronto International Film Festival, which got underway yesterday. This year more than 65 Canadian Film Centre alumni spread across 26 projects will participate in the 42nd edition of the festival. Here’s a quick look:
Writer/director Molly McGlynn’s first feature, Mary Goes Round, produced by Matt Code, executive-produced by Aeschylus Poulos, edited by Christine Armstrong and Bryan Atkinson, featuring music by Dillon Baldassero and Casey Manierka-Quaile, as well as two original songs by Lisa Conway, and an appearance by Bruce Novakowski.
The family drama Never Steady, Never Still, the first feature from writer/director Kathleen Hepburn, is associate-produced by Evan Crowe, executive-produced by Lori Lozinski, edited by Simone Smith, with music by Ben Fox, production design by Liz Cairns, and starring 2017 TIFF Rising Stars Mary Gallowayand Théodore Pellerin.
The political satire Black Cop is the first feature written and directed by Cory Bowles (pictured), starring Sophia Walker and featuring music by Dillon Baldassero.
Micro-budget thriller Cardinals, starring alumna Grace Glowicki (2016 TIFF Rising Star), produced by Matt Code, executive-produced by Chris Bennett, with music by Todor Kobakov is also screening. As is Indian Horse, an adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel of the same name, produced by Paula Devonshire and Trish Dolman.
Both Mary Goes Round and Never Steady, Never Still were developed at the CFC through the Cineplex Entertainment Film Program Writers’ Lab.
Six films featuring the work of CFC alumni and/or mentors will make their World Premieres in the Contemporary World Cinema programme, including Don’t Talk to Irene and Public Schooled, which were developed through CFC’s Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange:
Don’t Talk to Irene is the second comedy feature from writer/director Pat Mills, produced by Alyson Richards and Michael MacMillan, line-produced by Brendan Brady, edited by Tiffany Beaudin, with music by Erica Procunier
The previously announced CFC Features’ comedy Public Schooled is from writer/director Kyle Rideout and writer/producer Josh Epstein, featuring original songs by The Slaight Family Music Lab alumnae Adaline and Allie X, and starring TIFF Rising Star Daniel Doheny.
The bittersweet comedy Meditation Park, which has its World Premiere at TIFF today, was written, directed and produced by Mina Shum, produced by Raymond Massey and Stephen Hegyes, featuring Don McKellar.
Then there’s the coming-of-age film Porcupine Lake, which is the sixth feature-length project from veteran Toronto-based writer, director and producer Ingrid Veninger, edited by Chris Mutton.
The occult horror Pyewacket was edited by Maureen Grant and Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle from producer Don Carmody, who is the Producer Chair of CFC’s Film Programs.
Festivalgoers can see the work of the following CFC alumni in the TIFF Special Presentations program: The road-trip drama Kodachrome, executive- and line-produced by Mary Anne Waterhouse, featuring Paolo Mancini and current Actors Conservatory resident Humberly Gonzalez; Aaron Sorkin’s latest, Molly’s Game, which was shot in Toronto, features Actors Conservatory alumna Natalie Krill; and the hand-drawn animated feature The Breadwinner, co-written by Anita Doron, produced by Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen, featuring music by CFC’s former Composer Chair of The Slaight Family Music Lab, Mychael Danna (also part of the TIFF Kids lineup).
CFC alumni talent is also involved in a number of short films screening at TIFF 2017, including:
The Argument (with annotations), from director Daniel Cockburn.
Bickford Park, directed by Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark, written by Dane Clark, produced by Lauren Corber and Matt Code, edited by Jonathan Eagan.
An Imagined Conversation: Kanye West & Stephen Hawking, sound and music composed by Lodewijk Vos and Joseph Murray of Menalon.
We Forgot to Break Up, directed and co-written by Chandler Levack, produced by Nicole Hilliard-Forde, line-produced by Kat Hidalgo, edited by Bryan Atkinson, featuring Grace Glowicki.
Rupture was written, directed, executive-produced and co-edited by Yassmina Karajah, with assistant art direction by Liz Cairns.
Additionally, the much-anticipated series Alias Grace, based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood, is written and produced by alumna Sarah Polley and features music by Mychael Danna. Alias Grace will see its World Premiere in the Primetime program at TIFF. And the emotionally charged Tragically Hip documentary, Long Time Running, from co-writer and co-director Nicholas de Pencier is also set to World Premiere at TIFF as one of the 2017 Galas.
As previously announced, CFC Features’ groundbreaking 1995 drama Rude, written and directed by CFC alumnus Clement Virgo and produced by fellow alumni Damon D’Oliveira and Karen King, will receive an encore screening at TIFF as part of the Cinematheque programme, alongside Peter Mettler’s film Picture of Light (1994), which was produced by alumna Ingrid Veninger.
Alumni participation and projects extend to the 2017 TIFF Industry Conference:
Three of the teams named finalists of the 2017 Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! competition include CFC alumni; Adam Goldhammer with his feature-film idea Imposter, based off of the 2016 CFC short film of the same name; Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith and Dylan Reibling with their film project We Will Not Be Defeated; and alumna Jennifer Mesich with her project 12 Days.
Yassmina Karajah (Rupture) is set to participate in the Short Cuts Dialogues focusing on excellence indirecting performance.
Pat Mills and Tiffany Beaudin (Don’t Talk to Irene) will take part in the Foundations programme lineup, which explores cinematography, editing, story development, music licensing, US/Canadian legal co-ventures and collaborative teams.
And finally, two current residents of the Cineplex Entertainment Film Program Directors’ Lab, Connor Gaston and Thyrone Tommy, have been selected to participate in this year’s TIFF Talent Lab.