Monday, August 13, 2007


Thirteen titles have been added to the Toronto International Film Festival lineup under the Discovery program, a showcase for new and emerging filmmakers. Past years have brought us the fine film THE MAGDALENE SISTERS as well as one of my personal favorites, WHALE RIDER. It should also be noted that these films are eligible for the DIESEL Discovery Award. The winning filmmaker will walk away with a cash prize of $10,000 as determined by 1000 members from the international media. At first glance, this looks to be a promising year for the program with some very intriqing films. Of personal interest are FROZEN, THE PASSAGE, and WITH YOUR PERMISSION. Who knows what gems will be found...
Below is a complete list of the newly added titles from the TIFF press release:

Sixteen-year-old Shirley (Katherine Waterston) turns her babysitting service into a call girl ring for married men after she begins an affair with a customer. Writer David Ross' (THE WOODS) directorial debut stars John Leguizamo, Cynthia Nixon, Denis O'Hare and Andy Comeau.

BLIND Tamar van den Dop, Netherlands/Belgium/Bulgaria
Marie (Halina Reijn) a young albino woman struggling with her looks finds love with a blind man named Ruben (Joren Seldenslachts). Marie becomes disheartened when she discovers that surgery may repair Ruben's eyesight. A period piece, BLIND is a touching portrait of how blind love can be.

COCHOCHI Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán, Mexico/UK/Canada
After returning home from elementary boarding school, two brothers Tony (Luis Antonio Lerma Batista) and Evaristo (Evaristo Lerma Batista) are sent to deliver a package to a far community in La Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico, by their grandfather. Without permission, the brothers take the family horse but lose the horse and one another after making a wrong turn. They each then embark on a separate adventure, leading them to discover a new world.

CORROBOREE Ben Hackworth, Australia
A dying theatre director hires a young man named Conor (Conor O'Hanlon) to visit him in a meditation retreat and perform scenes from the director's life. Following a tape of instructions, the young man must visit different rooms over the weekend and in these rooms, encounters five actresses who portray key women in the director's life. As the final scenes unfold, Conor must decide whether the performance has gone too far.

FROZEN Shivajee Chandrabhushan, India
Lasya (Gauri), a girl in her late teens, lives with her father Karma (Danny Denzongpa) and younger brother Chomo (Angchuk) in a remote village, somewhere in the mountains of the northern Himalayas. The family's quiet life is disturbed when the army moves into the village in search of the enemy but instead they find a frozen body. Director Shivajee Chandrabhushan strips away excess to reveal a simple succession of telling moments that build to a remarkable final image.

I AM FROM TITOV VELES Teona Strugar Mitevska, Macedonia
A social drama, I AM FROM TITOV VELES is the story of three sisters living in Veles, a small industrial town in Macedonia, searching for a better life. With painful honesty, writer/director Teona Strugar Mitevska follows the sisters as they struggle with themselves, their dissolving family and difficult relationships.

KING OF THE HILL Gonzalo LGpez-Gallego, Spain
While travelling through an isolated area in Spain, Quim (Leonardo Sbaraglia) meets Bea, a young woman (María Valverde), at a stop at a gas station. After a brief encounter, Bea steals his wallet, and takes off. Quim pursues her on an unmarked road, but during the chase, he is suddenly shot and wounded by a sniper. As he searches for safe cover, he eventually finds Bea, who has also been mysteriously shot at. With a small cast and few locations, director Gonzalo LGpez-Gallego (OVER THE RAINBOW, NOMADS) keeps the tension high throughout this thrilling and surprising film.

LA ZONA Rodrigo Plà, Spain/Mexico
Three youths from the slums break into one of the houses of The Zone, an exclusive residential neighbourhood in Mexico City. Miguel (Alan Chávez), one of the intruders, survives the botched burglary and escapes deeper into The Zone. Alejandro (Daniel Tovar), a young boy celebrating his birthday, discovers Miguel but makes a difficult decision to protect him from The Zone residents who want to carry out justice themselves.

During a trip to Morocco, Luke (Stephen Dorff) meets and falls in love with Zahra (Sarai Givaty) a beautiful local. After discovering that their forbidden romance could cost them their lives, the couple leaves the confines of the city for the Atlas Mountains. However, they soon discover that being miles away from anywhere leaves them unprotected and without a place to hide.

ROMING Jirí Vejdelek, Czech Republic/Romania/Slovakia
A slapstick road-movie, ROMING traces the misadventures of Romany community members, Jura (Vítezslav Holub), his father Roman (Marián Labuda), and an old family friend Stano (Bolek Polívka) as they journey in a broken truck from northern Bohemia in the Czech Republic to Slovakia. More than just a comedy, this film is a portrait of a nomadic culture searching for identity and acceptance.

SEPTEMBER Peter Carstairs, Australia
A coming-of-age story set in the Australian wheat-belt in 1968, SEPTEMBER tells the story of two 16-year-old boys, Ed (Xavier Samuel) and Paddy (Clarence John Ryan) - one white and one Aboriginal - as the social and political climate of the time threatens to fracture their close friendship, especially with the arrival of a new girl in town.

WITH YOUR PERMISSION Paprika Steen, Denmark/Sweden
Paprika Steen's (AFTERMATH) second feature film, WITH YOUR PERMISSION, is a dark and twisted comedy on marital discord. Jan (Lars Brygmann) and Bente (Sidse Babett Knudsen) are in an unhappy marriage. Upon insistence of his boss, Jan goes into therapy where he meets two mechanics willing to get rid of Bente. Everyone's lives take an unexpected turn when the two hitmen meet Bente and take a liking to her.

THE WORLD UNSEEN Shamim Sarif, UK/South Africa
Free-spirited Amina (Sheetal Sheth) and the married Miriam (Lisa Ray) fall in love in the 1950's apartheid South Africa and set in motion a chain of events that changes both women forever. THE WORLD UNSEEN, is a captivating drama, based on a highly acclaimed awarding-winning novel of the same title by director Shamim Sarif.

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