The Toronto True Crime Film Festival billed as the only festival completely devoted to the true crime genre of film, unveiled the films selected for its second annual edition this June 14th to 15th, 2018 at their new location, The Revue Cinema in Toronto. The 2019 lineup includes four feature films, seven short films, and three speaking events, with 15% of all pass and ticket sales being donated to charity.
“I am incredibly excited about this year’s lineup” says Festival Director Lisa Gallagher “Our films cover everything from unjust incarcerations to internet scams to murder and more, and our live events include a forensics lecture, a live podcast about cults, and a sneak peek at the first Ted Bundy project to be directed by a woman! I could not be more happy with how our sophomore year has come together. I’m so excited to share all of these incredible true crime films and events with Toronto!”
BEI BEI (OPENING FILM)
Dir. Rose Rosenblatt & Marion Lipschutz / USA / 2018 / 77 min / Canadian Premiere
Depressed, pregnant, and abandoned by her boyfriend, Chinese immigrant Bei Bei Shuai is eight months along when she attempts suicide by ingesting rat poison. Bei Bei survives the ordeal, but the fetus does not. Before even being discharged from the hospital, Bei Bei is taken to jail on charges of first degree murder and attempted feticide.
Screens with short film WATCHING KARLA HOMOLKA (Dir. Jordan Steinhauer, Canada, 2018).
Dir. Ben Asamoah / Belgium, Netherlands / 2018 / 81 min / Canadian Premiere
SAKAWA is an intimate portrait of underemployed youth in Ghana who are struggling to make a living by scamming Westerners through the internet. Utilizing photos and videos harvested from discarded computers, the scammers enter into romantic online relationships with lonely men around the world, pretending to be sexy single women, sending frequent online messages, and engaging in the occasional phone sex session (often with not terribly convincing female voices) in order to keep them on the hook.
Screens with short film STRANGER DANGER (Dir. Michael Gil, USA, 2018).
MOPE (CLOSING FILM)
Dir. Lucas Heyne / USA / 2019 / 105 min / Canadian Premiere
In the world of pornography, the term “mope” refers to a low-level, wannabe porn actor who perhaps isn’t quite well endowed or otherwise attractive enough to achieve the success granted to “bigger”-name porn stars. Stephen Clancy Hill and Herbert Wong, respectively known by their porn alter egos Steve Driver and Tom Dong, were two such mopes—real-life best friends attempting to live the impossible porno dream, but the blurred line between reality and delusion ultimately sent them both tumbling down a path of destruction.
Screens with short film THE INCIDENT AT TREASURY GARDENS (Dir. Brendan J. Doyle, Australia, 2018).
LAW & SHORTER: SHORT FILM UNIT
ADJOURNMENT | KATIE AND THE BLACK ROBIN HOOD | MR. WASH | SWATTED / 83 min
These four incredible short films were too long to be programmed in front of the features at ~20 minutes long, but they absolutely needed to be seen, and so Toronto True Crime Film Festival’s very first shorts block – Law & Shorter: Short Film Unit – was born.
HE HURRICANE (20TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING)
Dir. Norman Jewison / USA / 1999 / 146 min
Oscar-nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Denzel Washington is a force of nature as real-life middleweight boxer Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter, convicted of a triple murder in a bar in Paterson, New Jersey. Toronto native Norman Jewison (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, MOONSTRUCK) weaves this true story in the style of an old Hollywood inspirational tale, allowing the actors to shine, especially Washington in this physically and emotionally complex role.
The festival will also feature three daytime speaking events through which audiences can get up-close and personal with true crime professionals and creatives.