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Toronto Film Festival Unveils Contemporary World Cinema and Discovery Lineup

·5-min read

The Toronto International Film Festival has revealed the slate of titles that will round out its contemporary world cinema and discovery programs.

Among the films playing in the contemporary world cinema lineup include director Wen Shipei’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” Lorenzo Vigas’ “The Box,” Manuel Martín Cuenca’s “The Daughter” and Bouli Lanners’ “Nobody Has to Know.” The discovery program will host Tea Lindeburg’s “As In Heaven,” filmmaker Hong Sung-eun’s “Aloners” and Anatolian Leopard from director Emre Kayış.

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“TIFF Programmers continue discovering compelling and diverse stories from around the globe,” said Diana Sanchez, TIFF’s senior director of film. “With these two programmes, Contemporary World Cinema and Discovery, audiences can look forward to this stellar lineup to immerse themselves in. TIFF is dedicated to amplifying the voices of Black and Indigenous filmmakers and filmmakers of colour, emerging Canadian talent, and powerful storytellers who identify as women, and we are eager for Festival-goers to experience this lineup that showcases these unique perspectives.”

TIFF also announced its Rewind series, a free array of digital talks with filmmakers and casts of popular films. This year’s lineup includes Antoine Fuqua on “Training Day,” Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara on “Best in Show,” Patricia Cardoso and America Ferrera on HBO’s “Real Women Have Curves,” and Viggo Mortensen on “Eastern Promises.”

“Audiences may remember when TIFF partnered with Crave to introduce the organization’s first digital cinema experience, Stay-at-Home Cinema, back in March of 2020,” said Cameron Bailey, the artistic director and co-head of the Toronto International Film Festival. “Furthering the success of that watch-along format, and building a bridge between our physical venues and at-home experiences, TIFF Rewind brings nostalgia to film lovers and focuses on Festival moments I recall vividly.”

The Toronto International Film Festival is taking place from Sept. 9-18 after last year’s confab was held virtually due to the pandemic. The long-running festival is returning in 2021 with in-person screenings, as well as digital and outdoor premieres to accommodate the movie lovers who aren’t able to travel to Canada.

In a positive sign for the festival, the government of Canada intends to open its borders for non-essential travel from fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents on Aug. 9 and citizens of any country on Sept. 7 — provided the situation around COVID-19 doesn’t worsen before then. The loosened restrictions means it will be easier for stars, directors and press to travel to TIFF.

TIFF organizers said they will continue to work closely with public health officials on the safe execution of the festival, with its No. 1 priority being the health and well-being of festival-goers and residents of the community.

“The news on relaxed border restrictions was crucial in TIFF’s plan to safely welcome international press and industry back to that unique TIFF experience they know and love,” said Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head of TIFF. “While remaining diligent, TIFF continues working within the parameters and guidelines of the government and health officials for the health and safety of all our stakeholders. We’re ecstatic to bring a portion of the in-person experience back to the press and industry who’ve supported TIFF films throughout the years.”

See the newly added contemporary world cinema and discovery programs below:


Are You Lonesome Tonight? Wen Shipei | China
North American Premiere

The Box (La Caja) Lorenzo Vigas | USA/Mexico
North American Premiere

Costa Brava, Lebanon (Costa Brava) Mounia Akl | Lebanon/Norway/Sweden/France/Spain/Denmark/Qatar
North American Premiere

The Daughter (La Hija) Manuel Martín Cuenca | Spain
World Premiere

The Hill Where the Lionesses Roar (Luaneshat e kodrës) Luàna Bajrami | Kosovo/France
North American Premiere

Întregalde Radu Muntean | Romania
North American Premiere

Kicking Blood Blaine Thurier | Canada
World Premiere

La Soga 2 Manny Perez | USA
World Premiere

Maria Chapdelaine Sébastien Pilote | Canada
World Premiere

Medusa Anita Rocha da Silveira | Brazil
North American Premiere

Murina Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović | Croatia/Brazil/USA/Slovenia
North American Premiere

Nobody Has to Know Bouli Lanners | France/Belgium/United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Odd-Job Men (Sis dies corrents) Neus Ballús | Spain
North American Premiere

The Other Tom (El otro Tom) Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo | Mexico/USA
North American Premiere

OUT OF SYNC (Tres) Juanjo Giménez | Spain
North American Premiere

Terrorizers Ho Wi Ding | Taiwan
World Premiere

Unclenching The Fists Kira Kovalenko | Russia
North American Premiere

Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas) Edwin | Indonesia/Singapore/Germany
North American Premiere

The Wheel Steve Pink | USA
World Premiere

Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon) Carlo Francisco Manatad | Philippines/France/Singapore/Indonesia/Germany/Qatar
North American Premiere


Aloners Hong Sung-eun | South Korea
International Premiere

Anatolian Leopard (Anadolu Leoparı) Emre Kayış | Germany/Denmark/Turkey/Poland
World Premiere

As In Heaven (Du som er i himlen) Tea Lindeburg | Denmark
World Premiere

A Banquet Ruth Paxton | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Dug Dug Ritwik Pareek | India
World Premiere

Farha Darin J. Sallam | Jordan/Sweden/Saudi Arabia
World Premiere

The Game Ana Lazarevic | Serbia/USA
World Premiere

Learn To Swim Thyrone Tommy | Canada
World Premiere

Lo Invisible Javier Andrade | France/Ecuador
World Premiere

Paka (River of Blood) Nithin Lukose | India
World Premiere

Quickening Haya Waseem | Canada
World Premiere

Scarborough Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson | Canada
World Premiere

Snakehead Evan Jackson Leong | USA
International Premiere

To Kill The Beast Agustina San Martín | Argentina/Brazil/Chile
World Premiere

Tug of War (Vuta N’Kuvute) Amil Shivji | Tanzania/South/Africa/Germany/Qatar
World Premiere

Wildhood Bretten Hannam | Canada
World Premiere


The Good House Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky | USA
World Premiere

Silent Night Camille Griffin | United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Worst Person In The World (Verdens Verste Menneske) Joachim Trier | Norway/France/Sweden/Denmark
North American Premiere
(*Previously announced as a Special Presentation)


The Falls (Pu Bu) Chung Mong-Hong | Taiwan
North American Premiere

The Humans Stephen Karam | USA
World Premiere

Inu-Oh Masaaki Yuasa | Japan/China
North American Premiere

Lingui, The Sacred Bonds (Lingui) Mahamat-Saleh Haroun | Chad/France/Germany/Belgium
North American Premiere

Mothering Sunday Eva Husson | United Kingdom
North American Premiere

The Power of the Dog Jane Campion | Australia/New Zealand
Canadian Premiere

Sundown Michel Franco | Mexico
North American Premiere

Wolf Nathalie Biancheri | United Kingdom/Ireland/Poland
World Premiere

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