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Blood Quantum directed by Jeff Barnaby
Blood Quantum directed by Jeff Barnaby

The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled today the 26 Canadian features that are part of the Festival’s 2019 lineup. The Canadian selection includes seven first features, 13 works by returning TIFF alumni, and almost 50% films directed by women.

This year’s Canadian features slate includes five titles by Indigenous filmmakers and film teams: Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger; Jeff Barnaby’s chilling Blood Quantum; Myriam Verreault’s Kuessipan, based on the novel by Naomi Fontaine about life among Innu in northeastern Quebec; Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, which follows two Indigenous women as they deal with domestic violence; and Zacharias Kunuk’s One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, about an encounter on Baffin Island in 1961 when life on the land changed forever for Inuit.

TIFF debuts include Aisling Chin-Yee’s family dramedy The Rest of Us; Harry Cepka’s Raf, starring Grace Glowicki as a woman in her twenties trying to find her way in modern Vancouver; Matthew Rankin’s The
Twentieth Century, screening as part of the Midnight Madness programme; Heather Young’s Murmur, about a middle-aged woman cut off from her loved ones by her struggle with alcoholism; and Nicole Dorsey’s atmospheric psychological drama Black Conflux.

Returning filmmakers include Atom Egoyan, who presents an exploration of personal trauma with Guest of Honour; Sophie Deraspe, who examines the Canadian refugee/immigrant experience in Antigone; Joey Klein, whose Castle in the Ground explores the opioid crisis that continues to affect communities across North America; Albert Shin with psychological thriller Clifton Hill; Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis with White Lie, a character-driven psychological drama; Louise Archambault with And the Birds Rained Down, adapted from the acclaimed novel by Jocelyne Saucier; Kire Paputts with The Last Porno Show, about identity, grief, and reconciliation; and Amy Jo Johnson, whose dark comedy Tammy’s Always Dying about addiction, recovery, and the female experience stars Felicity Huffman, Anastasia Phillips, and Clark Johnson.

Rounding out the Canadian features selection is a strong contingent of documentaries, from Alan Zeig’s Coppers, a portrait of the personal joys and challenges that come with policing, to Yung Chang’s This Is Not a Movie, about the unique and incendiary perspective of veteran journalist Robert Fisk. The slate also features performances from both established and rising stars, including Heather Graham, Alex Wolff, Imogen Poots, David Thewlis, Clive Owen, Nahéma Ricci, Ella Ballentine, Kacey Rohl, and legendary Canadian director David Cronenberg, who stars in Shin’s Clifton Hill.

All 26 Canadian feature films at the Festival are eligible for the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. All seven Canadian feature directorial debuts are eligible for the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film. This year’s Canadian feature-film jury is composed of Alicia Elliott, Tuscarora writer and 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award, Devyani Saltzman, Canadian writer and Director of Public Programming at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Magali Simard, Film Sector Development Officer, City of Toronto.

Previously announced Canadian titles include François Girard’s The Song of Names, Semi Chellas’s American Woman, Barry Avrich’s David Foster: Off the Record, and Daniel Roher’s Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15, 2019.


American Woman
Semi Chellas | Canada
Canadian Premiere

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band
Daniel Roher | Canada
World Premiere

The Song of Names
François Girard | Canada
World Premiere


Clifton Hill
Albert Shin | Canada
World Premiere

Guest of Honour
Atom Egoyan | Canada
North American Premiere


David Foster: Off the Record
Barry Avrich | Canada
World Premiere

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk
Zacharias Kunuk | Canada
North American Premiere


Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
Alanis Obomsawin | Canada
World Premiere


Alan Zweig | Canada
World Premiere

This Is Not a Movie
Yung Chang | Canada
World Premiere

There’s Something in the Water
Ellen Page, Ian Daniel | Canada
World Premiere


Black Conflux
Nicole Dorsey | Canada
World Premiere

Easy Land
Sanja Zivkovic | Canada
World Premiere

Myriam Verreault | Canada
World Premiere

Heather Young | Canada
World Premiere

Harry Cepka | Canada
World Premiere

The Rest of Us
Aisling Chin-Yee | Canada
World Premiere


And the Birds Rained Down (Il pleuvait des oiseaux)
Louise Archambault | Canada
World Premiere

Sophie Deraspe | Canada
World Premiere

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn | Canada
North American Premiere

Castle in the Ground
Joey Klein | Canada
World Premiere

The Last Porno Show
Kire Paputts | Canada
World Premiere

Tammy’s Always Dying
Amy Jo Johnson | Canada
World Premiere

White Lie
Calvin Thomas, Yonah Lewis | Canada
World Premiere


Opening Midnight Madness Film.
Blood Quantum
Jeff Barnaby | Canada
World Premiere

The Twentieth Century
Matthew Rankin | Canada
World Premiere

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