An impressive slate of thought-provoking films has been announced for the Toronto International Film Festival’s Platform, a juried program that highlights and champions the work of directors from around the world.
Now in its second year, the lineup includes will put the spotlight on complex and bold narratives that explore the thematic elements of revolution, revenge, coming-of-age and everything in between. Director Pablo Larrain will premiere Jackie starring Natalie Portman which centers on First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy coping with the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Also making its premiere will be Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, a heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.
The films are eligible for the $25,000 CAD Toronto Platform Prize, which goes to the best film selected by a three-person international jury.
The Platform program will run during TIFF from September 8-15. The complete lineup is listed below.
DAGUERROTYPE (LE SECRET DE LA CHAMBRE NOIRE), Kiyoshi Kurosawa, France/Japan/Belgium (World Premiere)
Kiyoshi Kurosawa makes his first film outside Japan with this French-language ghost romance fantasy, about an aging photographer whose obsession with an archaic technique draws his young assistant and beautiful daughter into a dark and mysterious world. Starring Tahar Rahim, Constance Rousseau, Olivier Gourmet, and Mathieu Amalric.
GOLDSTONE, Ivan Sen, Australia (International Premiere)
Indigenous detective Jay Swan arrives in the Australian outback town of Goldstone investigating a missing persons enquiry. What seems like a simple light duties case opens into a web of crime and corruption. Jay must pull his life together and bury his personal differences with young local cop Josh, so together they can bring justice to Goldstone. Starring Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Pei Pei Cheng, David Gulpilil, David Wenham, and Jacki Weaver.
HEAL THE LIVING (REPARER LES VIVANTS), Katell Quillévéré, France/Belgium (North American Premiere)
It all starts at daybreak, three young surfers on the raging seas. A few hours later, on the way home, an accident occurs. Now entirely dependent upon life-support in a hospital in Le Havre, France, Simon’s existence is little more than an illusion. Meanwhile, in Paris, a woman awaits the organ transplant that will give her a new lease on life. Starring Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval, Bouli Lanners, Kool Shen, Monia Chokri, Alice Taglioni, Karim Leklou, Alice de Lencquesaing, Finnegan Oldfield, Théo Cholbi, Gabin Verdet, and Dominique Blanc.
HEMA HEMA: SING ME A SONG WHILE I WAIT (he-mà he-mà), Khyentse Norbu, Bhutan/Hong Kong (North American Premiere)
The new film from Bhutanese lama and filmmaker Khyentse Norbu chronicles a sacred jungle ritual where masked, anonymous participants seek complete self-knowledge — or descend into thievery, violation, and murder. Starring Tshering Dorji, Sadon Lhamo, Thinley Dorji, and Xun Zhou.
HOME. Fien Troch, Belgium (North American Premiere)
Home portrays the struggle between two generations: teenagers who explore a thin line between trust, friendship, and loyalty, and adults who seem alienated from their past younger selves. Both find it difficult to communicate and understand each other’s closed-off world. The clash can be more brutal than expected. Starring Sebastian Van Dun, Mistral Guidotti, Loïc Batog, Lena Suijkerbuijk, Karlijn Sileghem, Els Deceukelier, Robby Cleiren, Yavuz Saçikara, and Els Dottermans.
JACKIE, Pablo Larraín, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
After US President John F. Kennedy is murdered, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy. Starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt.
LADY MACBETH William Oldroyd, United Kingdom (World Premiere)
Rural England, 1865. Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age and his cold, unforgiving family. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Starring Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, and Christopher Fairbank.
LAYLA M., Mijke de Jong, Netherlands/Belgium/Germany/Jordan (World Premiere)
Eighteen-year-old Layla, a Dutch girl with Moroccan roots, joins a group of radical Muslims. She encounters a world that nurtures her ideas initially, but finally confronts her with an impossible choice. Starring Nora El Koussour and Ilias Addab.
MALIGLUTIT (SEARCHERS), Zacharias Kunuk, Canada (World Premiere)
Nunavut, Canada circa 1913. Kuanana returns from a caribou hunt to discover his wife and daughter kidnapped, and the rest of his family slaughtered. His father’s spirit helper, the loon Kallulik, sets him on course to overturn fate and reunite his family. Starring Benjamin Kunuk, Karen Ivalu, and Jonah Qunaq.
MOONLIGHT, Barry Jenkins, USA (International Premiere)
Moonlight is the tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality. Anchored by the singular vision of filmmaker Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is an exploration of male masculinity — a sensual, intoxicating piece of cinema that uncovers deep truths about the moments that define us, the people who shape us most, and the ache of love that can last a lifetime. Starring Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Alex Hibbert, and Jaden Piner.
NOCTURAMA, Bertrand Bonello, France/Germany/Belgium (International Premiere)
Bertrand Bonello directs this provocative account of a group of young, multiracial radicals whose terrorist attacks on Paris lead to a massive manhunt. Starring Finnegan Oldfield, Vincent Rottiers, Hamza Meziani, Manal Issa, Martin Guyot, Jamil McCraven, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laure Valentinelli, Ilias Le Doré, Robin Goldbronn, Luis Rego, Hermine Karagheuz, and Adèle Haenel.
THOSE WHO MAKE REVOLUTION HALFWAY ONLY DIG THEIR OWN GRAVE (CEUX QUI FONT LES REVOLUTIONS A MOITIE N’ONT FAIT QUE SE CREUSER UN TOMBEAU), Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie (Canada World Premiere)
Klas Batalo, Giutizia, Tumulto, and Ordine Nuovo, four twenty-somethings from Québec, reject the world in which they live. Three years after the collapse of the Maple Spring protest movement, they resort to a form of vandalism that gradually leads them closer to terrorism. But their revolutionary avant-garde is far from society’s prevailing aspirations and threatens to blow up in their faces. Starring Charlotte Aubin, Laurent Bélanger, Emmanuelle Lussier-Martinez, and Gabrielle Tremblay.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer