TIFF Rising Stars is part of our ongoing commitment to promoting Canadian cinema and talent on the world stage. Devised in collaboration with the CSA, this programme showcases new talent, putting the emphasis on the next generation of actors poised for international success.
Mamoudou Athie is an actor living in New York. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. In 2015, Athie made his New York stage debut in The Mystery of Love and Sex, for which he received critical praise. He starred as Grandmaster Flash in The Get Down (16–17) for Netflix, and he can be seen alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in The Circle (17). Athie will also appear in Brie Larson’s directorial debut, Unicorn Store, which will receive its world premiere at TIFF ’17.
Vinnie Bennett is an emerging actor from New Zealand who has appeared in both television and film. His television credits include Power Rangers Dino Charge (16), The Shannara Chronicles (16), and Filthy Rich (16). His film credits include Fantail (13), Ghost in the Shell (17), Beyond the Known World (17), and Human Traces (17).
Jessie Buckley is an actor from Killarney, Ireland. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, her stage credits include the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music (08–09), The Tempest (13), and Henry V (13). Buckley recently appeared in BBC’s 2016 adaptation of War and Peace and in Taboo (17–), starring Tom Hardy. She will also star in the upcoming TV series The Woman in White and The Last Post. This year, Buckley will appear in Beast, which is receiving its world premiere at TIFF.
Lina El Arabi is a Paris-based actor who has appeared in Ne m’abandonne pas (16) and A Wedding (16), which received the award for Best Actress at the Angouleme Francophone Film Festival. El Arabi will appear on stage this autumn in a one-character play called Mon Ange. Her solo performance has already received rave reviews. This year she will also star in Eye on Juliet, which will make its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
Mary Galloway is a Canadian writer, producer, director, and actor currently living in LA. Her production company Bright Shadow Productions Inc.’s first short, Ariel Unraveling (16), was awarded BravoFACT and CreativeBC funding. In September 2016 Galloway made her directorial debut with the upcoming Unintentional Mother, the only Canadian film to be awarded the Kevin Spacey Foundation’s Artists of Choice Award. Recently, Women In Film + Television Vancouver honored Galloway with the Newcomer Award, and the Whistler Film Festival presented her with the Talent to Watch Award.
Théodore Pellerin is an actor from Montreal. After being directed by André Turpin (Endorphine, 15), Philippe Lesage (Les Demons, 15), and Xavier Dolan (Juste la fin du monde, 16), the young actor appeared on stage for the first time in in LAB87’s production of Yen (15), written by Anna Jordan. In 2016, Théodore starred in five feature films in both French and English, including Sophie Dupuis’s Chien de garde (16), Jason Stone’s First Light (17), and Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady Never Still, which will premiere at TIFF this year.
Ellen Wong was born and raised in Toronto to Chinese-Cambodian refugee parents. After a global casting search, she landed her breakout role as Knives Chau in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (10). Since then, Wong has been cast in numerous films and TV shows, including her starring role as Jill Chen in CW’s The Carrie Diaries (13–14), a prequel to Sex and the City (98–04). She recently recurred on Syfy’s Dark Matter (15–) and will appear in the upcoming series Condor. Currently, Wong is starring as Jenny Chey (aka Fortune Cookie) on Netflix’s hit show GLOW (17–).