– Themes of injustice and resistance run through many of the European productions featured in the section, while the continent is a small but incisive presence in Midnight Madness
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Dedicated to first and second feature films in the category broadly defined as contemporary international cinema, the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival (September 7-17, 2023) tends to feature its fair share of European productions. The 2023 programming is no exception: of the 26 films selected, 10 are European (co)productions; of those 10, 8 are world premieres. The two films that will already have been released elsewhere are how to have sex (+read also:
interview: Molly Manning Walker
movie card)the first feature film by the British director Molly Manning-Walker, winner of the Un Certain Regard award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; and an endless sundayfrom the Italian director Alain Parronidebut film centered on three young people from the suburbs of Rome that will land in Canada after its premiere in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival.
Among the first films that will have their world premiere in the Discovery section, we find Achillesfrom the iranian director Farhad Delaramwhich tells of two fugitives in contemporary Iran and the various people they meet who help them survive.
Themes of oppression and resistance will also be central to the French director Mehdi Fikri‘s after the firecentered on a family seeking justice after the police murder of a young man in the suburbs of Strasbourg, France.
In addition Teacher. Protagonist Saleh Bakri (The blue caftan (+read also:
movie card)) and imogen pootsthe first feature-length fiction from the British-Palestinian filmmaker farah nabulsi follows a Palestinian schoolteacher engaged in political resistance.
Another school teacher resists in Without airthe first feature film by the Hungarian director Katalin Moldova. Billed as an absurd film, it centers on a high school teacher accused of promoting homosexual values in the classroom.
arthur and dianafrom the german director sara sum (the last to see them (+read also:
movie card)), sounds like a potentially lighter proposition. The director stars alongside her brother in real life. summa robin on a semi-biographical and autofictional road trip from Berlin to Paris.
Another duo is at the center of Loneliness. The first feature film by the Icelandic filmmaker Ninna Palmadóttir (who participated in Future Frames in Karlovy Vary in 2021 – read our interview) tells of an intergenerational friendship between a man forced to move to the city and a 10-year-old boy.
The Norwegian director also makes her debut in the feature film Sara Margarita Oskal. the tundra inside of me follows a Sami artist as she returns to her hometown.
Finally, the British filmmaker Thomas Napper (Maxillary (+read also:
movie card)) will take us out of the present and into the past with Widow Clicquota biographical film of French champagne producer Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, also known as Veuve Clicquot, starring the American actress haley bennett in the role of the same name.
The lineup of the famous Midnight Madness section, focused on horror movies and bloody emotions, is also revealed. Of the ten selected films, seven will have their world premiere at the festival.
This year’s edition marks the first time for a Saudi Arabian film to be presented, but also the first time for a Serbian film: the honor goes to The working class goes to hellby Mladen Đorđevića socio-horror satire in which the workers’ union of a small town decides to resort to the dark arts in the face of local corruption.
Also selected, along Weston Razooli‘s fire riddle (+read also:
movie card) (which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at this year’s Cannes Film Festival), is kid kills world by moritz-mohr (Germany/South Africa/USA), starring bill skarsgard as a deaf man trained to be used as a killing machine in a dystopian world.
The current alignment of the sections:
Achilles – Farhad Delaram (Iran/Germany/France)
after the fire – Mehdi Fikri (France)
at the match – Jayant Digambar Somalkar (India)
andragogy – Wregas Bhanuteja (Indonesia/Singapore)
an endless sunday – Alain Parroni (Italy/Germany/Ireland)
arthur and diana – sara sum (Germany)
setback points – D.W. Waterson (Canada)
fried bread face and me – billy luther (USA)
gonzo girl – patricia arquette (USA)
Hayyan – Abu Bakr Shawky (Saudi Arabia/Egypt/Jordan)
how to have sex (+read also:
interview: Molly Manning Walker
movie card) – Molly Manning-Walker (United Kingdom)
I do not know who you are – M H Murray (Canada)
The Supreme – Felipe Holguin Caro (Colombia)
mandoob – Ali Kalthami (Saudi Arabia)
mimang – kim taeyang (South Korea)
sea grass – Meredith Hama-Brown (Canada)
Tautuktavuk (What we see) – carol kunnuk, lucy tulugarjuk (Canada)
Teacher – farah nabulsi (UK/Palestine/Qatar)
the tundra inside of me – Sara Margarita Oskal (Norway)
The queen of my dreams – Fawzia Mirza (Canada)
Valentine or serenity – angels cross (Mexico)
Widow Clicquot – Thomas Napper (France)
Wild woman – alan gonzalez (Cuba)
Without air – Katalin Moldova (Hungary)
yellow bus – Wendy Bednarz (United Arab Emirates)
AGRO DR1FT – Korine Harmony (USA)
kid kills world – moritz-mohr (Germany/South Africa/USA)
Dicks: The Musical – larry-charles (USA)
hell of a summer – Finn Wolfhard, Billy Bryk (USA/Canada)
KILL – Nikhil Nagesh Bhat (India)
NAGA – Meshal Aljaser (Saudi Arabia)
fire riddle (+read also:
movie card) – Weston Razooli (USA/France)
Sleep – jason yu (South Korea)
when evil lurks – Damian Rugna (Argentina)
The working class goes to hell – Mladen Đorđević (Serbian)