The Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 5 to 15, 2019.
TIFF 2019 Features
Hustlers is a real gem. The film is star-studded, earnest and heartfelt, and it's also a crime-drama about a group of women hustling Wall Street scumbags.
This year's Toronto International Film Festival has been filled with a lot more opportunities to participate in interesting events that I don't normally get the time to enjoy. There have been screenings and interviews, but I've also been out to a number of unique sessions that have been impressive, especially the OLG Dream Deck at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
If TIFF is at all consistent in any way, it's the fact that I almost always start my festival experience with a Canadian film interview, and this year it was for the bloody, intelligent, and culturally significant Midnight Madness opening film, Blood Quantum.
Not much more than another standard tale of a young person learning to get over a tragic loss and believe in themselves through the help of a magical creature, Abominable doesn’t break any new ground in animated storytelling whatsoever, but at least it’s cute, enjoyable, and has a lot of heart.
Swerving around many of the cliched potholes modern day biopics about famous performers all too frequently and gleefully drive over at full speed, Judy smartly profiles its larger-than-life subject and talent at a couple of fixed, well chosen points in time rather than mounting a standard riches to rags tale.
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band - which recently became the first ever Canadian documentary to open the Toronto International Film Festival - is a one-sided, boilerplate, but somewhat personable look at one of rock and roll’s most divisive figures.
Adapting something as sprawling, highly detailed, strange, and twisty as Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning 2014 novel The Goldfinch for the big screen might’ve been an impossible task for anyone to attempt, but director John Crowley and screenwriter Peter Straughan certainly give their all with this uneven, sometimes bizarre, but never boring literary epic.
Walk, drive, bus, or bicycle down any road in North America long enough, and you’re likely to stumble upon a church. In some cases, there will be more than one. But few roads compare to No. 5 Road in Richmond, British Columbia, the subject of filmmaker Sandra Ignagni’s short documentary, Highway to Heaven: A Mosaic in One Mile
Let's talk about TIFF, shall we? This is my 19th year covering the Toronto International Film Festival, and while it feels slightly different every single time, it's a great feeling to come back again. Like a friend said to me recently, there's really nothing like having a press pass to one of the world's best film festivals.
If you’re ever in the mood to seek out an independent film written or directed by some of the best filmmakers of this new generation, be sure to look for Canadian actress Deragh Campbell’s name in the credits.
Canadian writer, actor, and producer Aaron Poole has finally found the time to think big, and it will be surprising to many that have followed his career that the short film Oracle is the first thing he's ever directed.
Writer and director Nicole Delaney’s latest short film, Thirsty, is a classical sort of romance with a modern twist and told from a perspective you’ve never seen and will likely never see again.
Stunning, rigorous, and heart rending, Heimat is a Space in Time, the latest from veteran German filmmaker Thomas Heise, examines the director’s family across four generations, and uses that shared past as context for various themes and images that can best describe his homeland’s fraught and violent history.
For her latest short film, I Am in the World as Free and Slender as a Deer on a Plain (which makes its premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival as part of Short Cuts Programme 3), writer and director Sofia Banzhaf wanted to look at dating, love, desire, and the pitfalls of being a young woman in the modern era from a perspective she hadn’t seen on screen before, and with it, she has yet another visually stunning and emotionally moving credit to add to her increasingly fascinating and well rounded young resume.
For her fifty-third film overall and the seventh entry in a series about the rights and struggles of indigenous children and young adults, veteran documentarian Alanis Obomsawin turns her critical eye to the Canadian health care system with Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, a film that’s both incendiary and somewhat hopeful for the future.
An eerie, gross, and frequently hilarious tale of madness and misery, Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse - the follow-up to his break-out indie horror success The Witch - is too weird for words but highly entertaining for anyone willing to get on side with its nasty, misanthropic wavelength.
If esteemed French filmmaker Éric Rohmer were still alive today, and he decided to make a movie about modern dude-bros, the result might look something like The Climb, which is the most European feeling American comedy in quite some time.
The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão, which won Un Certain Regard at Cannes earlier this year, is a vibrant, socially relevant, and richly told story of sisterhood ripped apart by men who see women as nothing more than baby making objects.
It's the best time of year in Toronto if you love film. The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival is just days away, and the full list of expected stars, talent, creators, and filmmakers has been announced.
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