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Rising Stars at TIFF

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Rising Stars at TIFF
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(August 9, 2016) When we covered the launch of the 41st annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last week, one of the events within the announcement of this year’s Canadian film lineup was the introduction of TIFF’s Rising Stars. The reason, quite frankly, is we weren’t ready. We needed to research some of the actors, build pages, edit the photos taken at the event and all the rest. Today we’re ready.

This year four actors were selected to participate in the 2016 TIFF Rising Stars programme: Jared Abrahamson, Grace Glowicki, Mylène Mackay and Sophie Nélisse. Now in its sixth year, the intensive professional development programme immerses participants in a series of public events and industry meetings during the Festival. They’ll be taking part in a series of specialized programs organized by TIFF’s Industry team that includes seminars with casting directors, media training, one-on-one meetings with filmmakers, as well as a series of unique networking opportunities. New this year, additional international Rising Stars will be announced in the coming weeks.

Jared Abrahamson was born and raised in Flin Flon, Manitoba and currently resides in Vancouver. After a stint working in the mines and competing as a pro mixed martial arts fighter, he attended the Vancouver Film School. Abrahamson had a lead role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film Finding a Family (2011) and parts in the ABC pilot The Manzanis. He will soon be seen in the TV drama Travelers (2017).

Grace Glowicki is an actor, director, and writer based in Toronto. She has appeared in films at many major US film festivals this year. At the Sundance Film Festival, her performance in Ben Petrie’s Her Friend Adam (2016) won her a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance.

Mylène Mackay is an actor and comedian. Born in Quebec she is currently based in Montreal where she graduated from L’École nationale de théâtre du Canada in 2011. Mackay appeared on television and on stage before her first major film role in André Turpin’s Endorphine (2015). She has the title role in Anne Émond’s Nelly that will screen at TIFF. The film is based on the life and work of author Nelly Arcan.

Sophie Nélisse was born in Windsor, Ontario and raised in Montreal. She starred in Brian Percival’s The Book Thief (2013) and Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar (2011), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and earned her a Genie Award for her performance. Look for her in Dominic James’s Wait Till Helen Comes (2016), set to be released this October; and Academy Award nominee Yan England’s directorial debut, 1:54 (2016). Nélisse begins filming her latest role in Lea Pool’s Et Au Pire On Se Mariera this month.

Alumni of the TIFF Rising Stars programme include Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars, Dracula Untold, Enemy, Belle), Tatiana Maslany (Two Lovers and a Bear, Emmy-nominee for Orphan Black), Stephan James (Race, Selma) and Connor Jessup (American Crime, Closet Monster).

The 2016 jury who helped select the participants includes filmmakers Clement Virgo, Albert Shin, and Jennifer Podemski, Rising Star alumnus Connor Jessup, and film critic Johanna Schneller.

Northernstars logo imageThis article is Copyright © 2017 by Northernstars.ca and may not be reproduced without written permission. For more information about copyright, click here. Ralph Lucas is the Founder and Publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.