Visionary works headline TIFF '17's Platform slate
Directors' cinema now
TIFF's three-year-old Platform programme returns for 2017 with more original voices and visionary films.
"The films unveiled today embody our bold vision for the programme, and our ongoing commitment to showcase artistic and inventive directors that fearlessly push boundaries," said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “The twelve titles exemplify bravery, dynamism and a unique voice in storytelling that we look for when curating the Platform programme."
Last year, Platform included celebrated works such as William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth — currently playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox — Pablo Larraín's Jackie, and Barry Jenkins' Academy Award Best Picture winner, Moonlight. The 12 films in this year's programme are another showcase for the artistry of a group of bold, dynamic voices in contemporary cinema.
This year's lineup presents 12 films from eight countries on five continents. All selected films will compete for the Platform Prize, to be awarded by a jury made up of award-winning filmmakers Chen Kaige, Małgorzata Szumowska, and Wim Wenders.
The programme will open with the world premiere of The Death of Stalin, from award-winning director-writer Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, Veep). The historical epic follows the final days leading up to the Soviet dictator’s death. Sweet Country, a period western from acclaimed Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton (The Sapphires), will close the Platform section.
Platform titles are eligible for the Toronto Platform Prize ($25,000 CAD) made possible by Air France.
Chen, Szumowska, and Wenders will select the prize winner, who will be announced at the TIFF Awards Ceremony on September 17, 2017.
Films screening as part of the Platform programme include:
Beast | Michael Pearce, United Kingdom
Brad's Status | Mike White, USA
Custody | Xavier Legrand, France
North American Premiere
Dark River | Clio Barnard, United Kingdom
Platform Opening Film
The Death of Stalin | Armando Iannucci, France/United Kingdom/Belgium
Euphoria | Lisa Langseth, Sweden/Germany
If You Saw His Heart | Joan Chemla, France
Mademoiselle Paradis | Barbara Albert, Austria/Germany
Razzia | Nabil Ayouch, France
The Seen and Unseen | Kamila Andini, Indonesia
Platform Closing Film
Sweet Country | Warwick Thornton, Australia
North American Premiere
What Will People Say (Hva vil folk si) | Iram Haq, Norway/Germany/Sweden
Chen Kaige was born in Beijing. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982, he made his feature film debut with Yellow Earth (84). In 1993, he won the first Palme D’Or for a Chinese language film at Cannes for his epic Farewell, My Concubine (93). His numerous features include Together (02), To Each His Own (07), and Caught in the Web (12), all of which have screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to Temptress Moon (96), Killing Me Softly (02), The Promise (05), Forever Enthralled (08), and Sacrifice (10). In 2015, Chen directed Monk Comes Down the Mountain, a martial arts drama that was a box office powerhouse in China. Legend of the Demon Cat, about the famous Japanese tale of Kukai the monk, is currently in post-production and marks the most ambitious project by Chen to date.
Małgorzata Szumowska is a Polish filmmaker from Kraków. Her films include the Silver Leopard–winning 33 Scenes from Life (08); In the Name Of (13), which received the Berlinale Teddy Award; Elles (11); and Body (15), which was the recipient of the Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlinale and a European Film Award. She has been nominated twice for the European Film Award for European Discovery of the Year, and has won many other prestigious awards around the world.
Wim Wenders was born in Düsseldorf. Seven of his films, including Alice in the Cities (74) and Kings of the Road (76), screened at the inaugural Festival in 1976. His features Hammett (82), Paris, Texas (84), Lisbon Story (94), Land of Plenty (04), Pina (11), and Every Thing Will Be Fine (15) also played TIFF. Among his many other films are The American Friend (77), The State of Things (82), Wings of Desire (87), Until the End of the World (91), Faraway, So Close! (93), The End of Violence (97), The Buena Vista Social Club (99), Don't Come Knocking (05), and Les Beaux Jours d'Aranjuez (16).