What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?

The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled the 18th edition of it’s Wavelengths program showing adventurous and carefully curated lineup of shorts and feature films from around the world.  This year’s selection of 43 films, comprises 4 programs of experimental short films, 2 curated pairings, and 10 features, each contributing to an exciting, diverse lineup of moving-image art.

Wavelengths ’18 offers trenchant reflections on home, memory, and a world in flux through artistic narratives produced by a mix of emerging talent and contemporary masters and working across a variety of inventive styles. Fiction highlights include Bi Gan’s dazzling and mysterious Long Day’s Journey Into Night, a dreamy neo-noir about memories, passion, and the malleability of time that received critical acclaim at Cannes; the beautiful and intimate RAY & LIZ, the searing debut feature by Richard Billingham, Turner Prize–nominated photographer-turned-filmmaker, inspired by his family and his own Thatcher-era childhood memories; and Mariano Llinás’ epic 14-hour drama La Flor — the longest film in Argentine history — which took nearly a decade to produce and which explores the possibilities of cinematic narrative through impressive and ingenious experiments in acting and genre.

Wavelengths will showcase several astonishing and sure-to-be landmark documentaries, including master Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing’s powerful Dead Souls, a momentous, eight-hour documentary that offers sobering testimonials of experiences in China’s forced re-education camps in the 1950s; the World Premiere of the stunningly shot The Stone Speakers by Igor Drljača, a compelling documentary about faith, tourism, shifting industries, and competing historical narratives in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the provocative and powerful What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? by the returning Roberto Minervini, a fiery portrayal of Black life in the American South; the gripping found-footage film The Trial by Festival mainstay Sergei Loznitsa, which assembles original material from a show trial conducted under Stalin’s Soviet government in 1930s Moscow; and the elegant, moving Erased,___Ascent of the Invisible by Ghassan Halwani, a personal-essay film by the animator of The Lebanese Rocket Society (Wavelengths 2012) inspired by the distorted image of a mysterious man thought to have disappeared many years ago in Beirut. Andrea Bussmann’s solo debut, Fausto, and Jodie Mack’s The Grand Bizarre are two of this year’s most exhilarating cinematic experiments; they defy categorization as they meld documentary inquiry with inspired audio-visual expressions, ranging from the mythical to the musical.

Short-film highlights include new works by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Abraaj Group Art Prize winner Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Nathaniel Dorsky, Mary Helena Clark, Laida Lertxundi, Ben Rivers, Kevin Jerome Everson, Laura Huertas Millán, and more. The programme also features the World Premiere of artist-filmmaker Beatrice Gibson’s I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead, a KW Production Series co-commission with Mercer Union (Toronto), Camden Arts Centre (London), and Bergen Kunsthall (Bergen), which is supported by the Julia Stoschek Foundation and Outset Germany_Switzerland and which features appearances by poets Eileen Myles and CAConrad.

Wavelengths will also present a number of historical restorations and rediscoveries. This year’s archival selections include the previously unseen 1986 Summer (1986), by Japanese avant-garde titan Toshio Matsumoto; Lisa Baumgardner’s punchy Girl Pack (1981), recently restored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and the fascinating and idiosyncratic portrait film Alice (1974), directed by Austrian painter and filmmaker Maria Lassnig as part of her Soul Sisters series.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018.

WAVELENGTHS SHORT FILM PROGRAMS

Wavelengths 1: Earth, Wind & Fire

Polly One Kevin Jerome Everson | USA | Canadian Premiere
Blue Apichatpong Weerasethakul | France/Thailand | International Premiere
Fainting Spells Sky Hopinka | Ho-Chunk Nation/USA | International Premiere
Prologue to the Tarot: Glenna Brittany Gravely, Ken Linehan | USA | World Premiere
Hoarders Without Borders Jodie Mack | USA | World Premiere
ante mis ojos Lina Rodriguez | Colombia/Canada | World Premiere
ALTIPLANO Malena Szlam | Chile/Argentina/Canada | World Premiere

Wavelengths 2: Another Brick in the Wall

Ada Kaleh Helena Wittmann | Germany | World Premiere
The Glass Note Mary Helena Clark | USA | North American Premiere
mumok kino Philipp Fleischmann | Austria | International Premiere
TREES DOWN HERE Ben Rivers | United Kingdom | International Premiere
1986 Summer ( 1986夏) Toshio Matsumoto | Japan | International Premiere
Words, Planets Laida Lertxundi | Spain/USA | Canadian Premiere
The Invisible Cinema 3 Philipp Fleischmann | Austria | International Premiere
Walled Unwalled Lawrence Abu Hamdan | Germany | North American Premiere

Wavelengths 3: Centerfold

Girl Pack Lisa Baumgardner | USA | International Premiere
Please step out of the frame. Karissa Hahn | USA | Toronto Premiere
The Air of the Earth in Your Lungs Ross Meckfessel | USA/Japan | World Premiere
Sira Rolla Tahir | Canada | World Premiere
Slip Celia Perrin Sidarous | Canada | Toronto Premiere
Alice Maria Lassnig | USA | Canadian Premiere
Fallen Arches Simon Liu | United Kingdom/USA/Hong Kong | World Premiere
I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead Beatrice Gibson | USA/Italy/United Kingdom | World Premiere

Wavelengths 4: We’ve Only Just Begun

Colophon (for the Arboretum Cycle) Nathaniel Dorsky | USA | World Premiere
A Return James Edmonds | Germany | North American Premiere
The Labyrinth ( El Laberinto) Laura Huertas Millán | Colombia/France | North American Premiere
Île d’Ouessant David Dudouit | France | North American Premiere
Julio Iglesias’s House ( La casa de Julio Iglesias) Natalia Marín | Spain | North American Premiere
Man in the Well ( Jing li de ren) Hu Bo | China | North American Premiere

PAIRINGS

L. COHEN James Benning | USA
Canadian Premiere
preceded by
Arena Björn Kämmerer | Austria
International Premiere

The Grand Bizarre Jodie Mack | USA
North American Premiere
preceded by
Those Who Desire ( Los que desean) Elena López Riera | Switzerland/Spain
International Premiere

FEATURES

Dead Souls ( Si Ling Hun) Wang Bing | France/Switzerland
North American Premiere

Erased,___Ascent of the Invisible ( Tirss, Rihlat Alsoo’oud ila Almar’i) Ghassan Halwani | Lebanon
North American Premiere

Fausto Andrea Bussmann | Canada/Mexico
North American Premiere

In My Room Ulrich Köhler | Germany/Italy
North American Premiere

The Flower (La Flor) Mariano Llinás | Argentina
North American Premiere

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Di qiu zui hou de ye wan) Bi Gan | China/France
North American Premiere

RAY & LIZ Richard Billingham | United Kingdom
North American Premiere

The Stone Speakers (Kameni Govornici) Igor Drljača | Canada/Bosnia/Herzegovina
World Premiere

The Trial Sergei Loznitsa | Netherlands
North American Premiere

What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? Roberto Minervini | Italy/USA/France
North American Premiere

Previously announced Canadian titles in the Wavelengths Program include Lina Rodriguez‘s ante mis ojos, Andrea Bussmann’s Fausto, Rolla Tahir’s Sira , Celia Perrin Sidarous’ Slip, and Igor Drljača’s The Stone Speakers.

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