The Toronto International Film Festival revealed an artistically stimulating and thought-provoking lineup for 2016 Platform, the juried program that champions director’s cinema from around the world. In its second year, the international lineup includes two Canadian features as well as selections from Australia, France, Bhutan, Belgium, USA, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
This year, Platform takes on complex and bold narratives that range from a dark, twisted fantasy, a dramatic crime thriller, an existential illusion to the reinterpretation of a satirical tragedy, a raw coming-of-age story, and tales of revolutions, radicals, and revenge. The program will open with the international premiere of the powerful and topical drama Nocturama from critically acclaimed director-writer Bertrand Bonello.
Platform titles are eligible for the Toronto Platform Prize ($25,000 CAD), which goes to the best film in the program as selected by a three-person international jury, and will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on September 18, 2016.
The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016.
Films screening as part of the Platform program include:
Daguerrotype (Le Secret de la chambre noire) Kiyoshi Kurosawa, France/Japan/Belgium
Kiyoshi Kurosawa makes his first film outside Japan with this French-language ghost romance fantasy, about an aging photographer whose obsession with an archaic technique draws his young assistant and beautiful daughter into a dark and mysterious world. Starring Tahar Rahim, Constance Rousseau, Olivier Gourmet, and Mathieu Amalric. ***
Goldstone Ivan Sen, Australia
Indigenous detective Jay Swan arrives in the Australian outback town of Goldstone investigating a missing persons enquiry. What seems like a simple light duties case opens into a web of crime and corruption. Jay must pull his life together and bury his personal differences with young local cop Josh, so together they can bring justice to Goldstone. Starring Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Pei Pei Cheng, David Gulpilil, David Wenham, and Jacki Weaver.
Heal the Living (Réparer les vivants) Katell Quillévéré, France/Belgium
North American Premiere
It all starts at daybreak, three young surfers on the raging seas. A few hours later, on the way home, an accident occurs. Now entirely dependent upon life-support in a hospital in Le Havre, France, Simon’s existence is little more than an illusion. Meanwhile, in Paris, a woman awaits the organ transplant that will give her a new lease on life. Starring Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval, Bouli Lanners, Kool Shen, Monia Chokri, Alice Taglioni, Karim Leklou, Alice de Lencquesaing, Finnegan Oldfield, Théo Cholbi, Gabin Verdet, and Dominique Blanc.
Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (he-mà he-mà) Khyentse Norbu, Bhutan/Hong Kong
North American Premiere
The new film from Bhutanese lama and filmmaker Khyentse Norbu chronicles a sacred jungle ritual where masked, anonymous participants seek complete self-knowledge — or descend into thievery, violation, and murder. Starring Tshering Dorji, Sadon Lhamo, Thinley Dorji, and Xun Zhou.
Home Fien Troch, Belgium
North American Premiere
Home portrays the struggle between two generations: teenagers who explore a thin line between trust, friendship, and loyalty, and adults who seem alienated from their past younger selves. Both find it difficult to communicate and understand each other’s closed-off world. The clash can be more brutal than expected. Starring Sebastian Van Dun, Mistral Guidotti, Loïc Batog, Lena Suijkerbuijk, Karlijn Sileghem, Els Deceukelier, Robby Cleiren, Yavuz Saçikara, and Els Dottermans.
Jackie Pablo Larraín, United Kingdom
North American Premiere
After US President John F. Kennedy is murdered, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy. Starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt.
Lady Macbeth William Oldroyd, United Kingdom
Rural England, 1865. Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age and his cold, unforgiving family. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Starring Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, and Christopher Fairbank.
Layla M. Mijke de Jong, Netherlands/Belgium/Germany/Jordan
Eighteen year-old Layla, a Dutch girl with Moroccan roots, joins a group of radical Muslims. She encounters a world that nurtures her ideas initially, but finally confronts her with an impossible choice. Starring Nora El Koussour and Ilias Addab.
Maliglutit (Searchers) Zacharias Kunuk, Canada
Nunavut, Canada circa 1913. Kuanana returns from a caribou hunt to discover his wife and daughter kidnapped, and the rest of his family slaughtered. His father’s spirit helper, the loon Kallulik, sets him on course to overturn fate and reunite his family. Starring Benjamin Kunuk, Karen Ivalu, and Jonah Qunaq.
Moonlight Barry Jenkins, USA
Moonlight is the tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality. Anchored by the singular vision of filmmaker Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is an exploration of male masculinity — a sensual, intoxicating piece of cinema that uncovers deep truths about the moments that define us, the people who shape us most, and the ache of love that can last a lifetime. Starring Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Alex Hibbert, and Jaden Piner.
Nocturama Bertrand Bonello, France/Germany/Belgium
Bertrand Bonello directs this provocative account of a group of young, multiracial radicals whose terrorist attacks on Paris lead to a massive manhunt. Starring Finnegan Oldfield, Vincent Rottiers, Hamza Meziani, Manal Issa, Martin Guyot, Jamil Mc Craven,
Rabah Nait Oufella, Laure Valentinelli, Ilias Le Doré, Robin Goldbronn, Luis Rego, Hermine Karagheuz, and Adèle Haenel.
Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves
(Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n’ont fait que se creuser un tombeau)
Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie, Canada
Klas Batalo, Giutizia, Tumulto, and Ordine Nuovo, four twenty-somethings from Québec, reject the world in which they live. Three years after the collapse of the Maple Spring protest movement, they resort to a form of vandalism that gradually leads them closer to terrorism. But their revolutionary avant-garde is far from society’s prevailing aspirations and threatens to blow up in their faces. Starring Charlotte Aubin, Laurent Bélanger, Emmanuelle Lussier-Martinez, and Gabrielle Tremblay.
***Previously announced as a Special Presentation, Daguerrotype (Le Secret de la chambre noire) now screens in Platform.