TIFF #48 – Day 7
by Thom Ernst – Film Correspondent
(September 13, 2023 – Toronto ON) The writer’s strike, which has inadvertently cleared a path to consider other roles in the filmmaking process aside from actors and directors, has me thinking about Canadian screenwriters.
Last year, Women Talking premiered at TIFF to great acclaim and went on to earn Sarah Polley, who writes and directs, an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. It’s with the writers in mind that I approach today’s screenings.
Albert Shin is a festival favourite and a known commodity coming out of the Canadian independent filmmaker community. Shin co-wrote The King Tide with William Woods from a story by Kevin Coughlin and Ryan Grassby.
Directed by Christian Sparks, The King Tide tells a contemporary fable of an infant who mysteriously (magically?) appears on the shores of an East Coast community, changes lives, and then, as though reminding us that ‘no good deed goes unpunished’, faces possible persecution from the people she’s helped.
Evidence of the screenwriters—specifically Shin—reverberates in themes of immigration, fear of the unknown, and belonging. Shin left his mark as both screenwriter and director on the Canadian cinema landscape with In Her Place (2014) and Disappearance at Clifton Hill (2019).
The King Tide screens
Wednesday, September 13 at 2:50pm at Scotiabank Theatre.
Director Charles-Olivier Michaud’s RU (still image above) is a story of kindness and compassion as seen through the eyes of a young immigrant who relocates to rural Quebec. In keeping with our acknowledgments of a film’s screenwriter, it’s noted that Michaud is credited as screenwriter, along with Kim Thûy and Jacques Davidts (the latter whose work includes writing Denis Villeneuve’s film Polytechnique).
Wednesday, September 13 at 8:30pm at Scotiabank Theatre
Thursday, September 14 at 11:30 am at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
Director Denis Côté’s Mademoiselle Kenopsia starring Larissa Corriveau gets its first of two screenings tonight. No need to highlight the screenwriter here, as it happens that Côté steps into both the director’s and the writer‘s limelights.
Mademoiselle Kenopsia screens:
Wednesday, September 13 at 1:00pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
Thursday, September 14 at 8:00pm at Scotiabank Theatre
Thom Ernst is a Toronto based film critic and writer and an active member of the (TFCA) Toronto Film Critics’ Association. His work has appeared in various publications including Playback Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. He is known to CBC Radio listeners for his lively contributions to Fresh Air, Metro Morning, and CBC Syndication as well as appearing on-air for CTV News Channel and The Agenda with Steve Paikin. He was host, interviewer and producer of televisions’ longest running movie program Saturday Night at the Movies. Currently he can be heard interviewing Canadian filmmakers on the Kingston Canadian Film Festival podcast, Rewind, Fast-Forward.