Un Film Dramatique directed by Éric Baudelaire
Un Film Dramatique directed by Éric Baudelaire

The Wavelengths program of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival consists of 37 films, comprised of four programs of experimental short films, two curated pairings, and 10 features, each contributing to a dynamic survey of some of today’s most exciting moving-image work.

Wavelengths will host a number of Festival alumni including Catalan artist-filmmaker Albert Serra with Liberté, his award-winning tale of 18th-century decadence and desire; Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa with Vitalina Varela, a continuation of his pathos-laden tales of life in Lisbon’s margins; Sergei Loznitsa with State Funeral, in which he repurposes footage shot in 1953, in the days following the death of Joseph Stalin, into a trenchant reflection on cults of personality; and Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers, who return to TIFF with Krabi, 2562, a collaborative work on memory, landscape, and social awareness.

Resistance and tenacity — both political and personal — are the theme of several Wavelengths selections, including two highlights from the burgeoning “Galician New Wave”: Oliver Laxe’s quietly monumental Fire Will Come, the follow-up to his Festival selection Mimosas (TIFF 2016), and Eloy Enciso’s Endless Night, set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, with its script drawn from letters and other texts of the era. A different strength is exhibited in Hassen Ferhani’s understated documentary 143 Sahara Street, which presents the world in a microcosm as seen through a portrait of octogenarian Malika, who lives and works alone in her roadside diner in the Sahara Desert.

Wavelengths 2019 also welcomes many newcomers to the program, with a number of works that reflect on the state of contemporary geopolitics through a mix of styles that range from non-fiction to the speculative. Highlights from contemporary Brazil include The Fever by director Maya Da-Rin, an Indigenous-led tale of a father who must navigate his daughter’s imminent departure for medical school; Affonso Uchôa’s forceful yet elegant documentary experiment Seven Years in May (which screens with Gabino Rodríguez and Nicolás Pereda’s previously announced My Skin, Luminous); and the short film The Bite by artist Pedro Neves Marques, a science fiction–tinged story about a queer love triangle struggling to survive an encroaching mosquito epidemic in the rainforest.

This year’s shorts programs feature formally impressive and surprising work by a number of leading international talents, including World Premieres by Zachary Epcar, Luke Fowler, Gastón Solnicki, Mike Gibisser, and Tomonari Nishikawa, as well as the North American Premieres of Turner Prize–winning artist Charlotte Prodger’s entry in this year’s Venice Biennale, SaF05, and Marwa Arsanios’s Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Part 2, which premiered at the Sharjah Biennial. As ever, the program is rounded out by a number of restorations and rediscoveries, including Edward Owens’s Remembrance: A Portrait Study (1967), a touching and playful tribute to the artist’s mother, and 2minutes40seconds (1975), an experimental documentary by Korean filmmaker Han Ok-hee, founding member of the feminist film collective Kaidu Club.

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

TIFF Wavelengths’ 2019 lineup

SHORT FILM PROGRAMS

Wavelengths 1: WLS19

Austrian Pavilion Philipp Fleischmann | Austria | World Premiere

SaF05 Charlotte Prodger | United Kingdom | North American Premiere

Slow Volumes Mike Gibisser | USA | World Premiere

The Bite (A Mordida) Pedro Neves Marques | Portugal/Brazil | World Premiere

Wavelengths 2: Sun Rave

2008 Blake Williams | Canada | World Premiere

Amusement Ride Tomonari Nishikawa | Japan | World Premiere

Black Sun (Sol Negro) Maureen Fazendeiro | Portugal/France | International Premiere

A Topography of Memory Burak Çevik | Turkey/Canada | North American Premiere

Sun Rave (Lafhat Shams) Roy Samaha | Lebanon | North American Premiere

(tourism studies) Joshua Gen Solondz | USA | Canadian Premiere

Wavelengths 3: Look Around

2minutes40seconds Han Ok-hee | South Korea | International Premiere

Hrvoji, Look at You From the Tower Ryan Ferko | Canada/Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia | World Premiere

Circumplector Gastón Solnicki | Argentina | World Premiere

Cézanne Luke Fowler | United Kingdom/France | World Premiere

Second Generation Miryam Charles | Canada | North American Premiere

Transcript (Lín Mó) Erica Sheu | USA/Taiwan | Canadian Premiere

Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Part 2 Marwa Arsanios | Lebanon/Kurdistan/Syria | North American Premiere

Wavelengths 4: Lives of Performers

Billy Zachary Epcar | USA | World Premiere

Remembrance: A Portrait Study Edward Owens | USA | Festival Premiere

Vever (for Barbara) Deborah Stratman | Guatemala/USA | Canadian Premiere

Book of Hours Annie MacDonell | Canada | World Premiere

We Still Have to Close Our Eyes John Torres | Philippines | North American Premiere

This Action Lies (Cest Action Gist) James N. Kienitz Wilkins | USA/Switzerland | North American Premiere

PAIRINGS

Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another
Jessica Sarah Rinland | United Kingdom/Argentina/Spain
North American Premiere

preceded by
Heavy Metal Detox
Josef Dabernig | Austria
World Premiere

Seven Years in May (Sete Anos em Maio)
Affonso Uchôa | Brazil/Argentina
North American Premiere

and My Skin, Luminous (Mi Piel, Luminosa)
Gabino Rodríguez, Nicolás Pereda | Mexico/Canada
North American Premiere

FEATURES

143 Sahara Street (143 rue du désert)
Hassen Ferhani | Algeria
North American Premiere

Endless Night (Longa noite)
Eloy Enciso | Spain
North American Premiere

The Fever (A Febre)
Maya Da-Rin | Brazil/France/Germany
North American Premiere

Fire Will Come (O que arde)
Oliver Laxe | Spain/France/Luxembourg
North American Premiere

Heimat is a Space in Time (Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit)
Thomas Heise | Germany/Austria
North American Premiere

Krabi, 2562
Anocha Suwichakornpong, Ben Rivers | Thailand/United Kingdom
North American Premiere

Liberté
Albert Serra | France/Spain/Portugal/Germany
North American Premiere

State Funeral
Sergei Loznitsa | Netherlands/Lithuania
North American Premiere

Un Film Dramatique
Éric Baudelaire | France
North American Premiere

Vitalina Varela
Pedro Costa | Portugal
North American Premiere

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