The World Premiere of Rocks, director Sarah Gavron’s “intimate, honest, and precise” third feature, will open the 2019 Platform program of the Toronto International Film Festival. The follow-up to her earlier Suffragette and Brick Lane stars Bukky Bakray in a career-launching role as Rocks, a teenager who suddenly finds herself struggling to take care of herself and her younger brother.
A film about resilience, joy, and the spirit of girlhood, Rocks follows a teenager who fears that she and her little brother will be forced apart if anyone finds out they are living alone. With the help of her friends, she evades the authorities and navigates the most defining days of her teenage life.
“I am so honored and excited that Rocks will open Platform, a section that has included films by some of my recent cinema heroes,” said Gavron. “With Rocks we set out to collaborate with the young people in the cast, working in a way I have never worked before to create a film that feels true to the contemporary teenage girl experience. Like the London of our film, Toronto is filled with people from all walks of life, and the Festival has — in my experience — the most passionate audiences. It is very special for us to be invited with the cast for their first film premiere.”
The film is eligible for the Toronto Platform Prize, an award of $20,000 CAD given to the best film in the program, selected by a three-person jury. Named after Jia Zhang-ke’s trailblazing second feature, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Platform programme champions bold directorial visions.
The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15, 2019.