TIFF announces March-April programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox

February 23, 2022

TIFF announces March–April programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox

A month-long International Women’s Day Celebration showcasing Nordic Women Filmmakers, a retrospective on director Joan Micklin Silver, and a spotlight on Natalie Wood;

In Conversation With… Canadian filmmaker & author Sarah Polley; Jean-Marc Vallée tribute screening; the return of Books on Film and Canada’s Top Ten shorts and features showcase

TORONTO — Toronto film lovers are in for a treat this March and April at TIFF Bell Lightbox. With awards season in full swing and TIFF cinemas back to operating at 100 percent capacity, audiences will have a chance to experience a lineup of Oscar New Releases, exciting TIFF Cinematheque series, including a tribute to Jonas Mekas, an artist who has been called “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema”; REVOLUTION! In Cinema, a timely programme by TIFF Festival programmer Dorota Lech on the meteoric rise of socialist revolt during the 20th century; the return of Midnight Madness; See the North; MDFF Selects; and Boosie Fade Film Club. Plus, the works of Nordic Women Filmmakers, as part of a year-long initiative devoted to the best of Nordic cinema.

This year, International Women’s Day will be celebrated all month long at TIFF as part of its commitment to Share Her Journey, generously supported by the RBC Women Creators’ Initiative. Throughout March, programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox will spotlight women creators in film, both historical and contemporary, and focus on films with a coming-of-age theme. Highlights include An Education from Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig and Sami Blood from Swedish filmmaker Amanda Kernell, featured as part of the Nordic Women Filmmakers series; and a retrospective on the late American filmmaker Joan Micklin Silver, which uncovers the hidden gems of the American New Wave and reveals Micklin Silver herself as one of the movement’s under-acknowledged mavericks. On March 23, TIFF audiences are invited to attend an In Conversation With… event with Canadian filmmaker and author Sarah Polley for the launch of her new collection of essays, Run Towards the Danger.

Also screening in March is Canada’s Top Ten Features and Shorts programme, a showcase of the best Canadian shorts and feature films of 2021, several of which have been nominated for Canadian Screen Awards. On March 9, TIFF will honour the late French-Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée on his birthday with a tribute screening of his 2005 award-winning film C.R.A.Z.Y.

Oscar-nominated films screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox include Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers, Joachim Trier's The Worst Person In The World, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, and the Oscar Shorts programme opening on February 25th. Stay tuned for more announcements on TIFF’s showing of Oscar-nominated films.

Books on Film returns to TIFF Bell Lightbox on April 12 with six screenings followed by in-depth conversations with renowned authors, filmmakers, and screenwriters about the challenging but rewarding process of adaptation.

Supported by the RBC Women Creators’ Initiative

Throughout March, TIFF’s diverse programme of films spotlights the achievements and impact of women in the film industry in support of Share Her Journey. Introduced in 2017 and recently made a permanent campaign at TIFF, Share Her Journey is a global initiative developed to broaden parity, equality, and inclusion in the film industry, and to increase opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera as part of TIFF’s broader Every Story fund. TIFF is supporting International Women’s Day with a campaign that honours women creators and features a personality quiz on groundbreaking filmmakers, along with a limited-edition e-greeting card. All proceeds from the campaign will support Share Her Journey. To date, TIFF has raised more than $3 million to provide direct support to women along their creative journeys, from inspiration to a finished product showcased on TIFF platforms.


A Home of One’s Own: Nordic Women Filmmakers
March 10 to April 16

This selection of 14 titles looks at key filmmakers who emerged around the turn of the century — Lone Scherfig (Denmark), Amanda Kernell (Sweden), and Iram Haq (Norway) — as well as veterans like Pirjo Honkasalo (Finland) and Mai Zetterling (Sweden). Many of these filmmakers premiered their films at the Festival. In addition, the series includes Svala Hannesdóttir’s Greed (1952), the first Icelandic narrative film directed by a woman, and The Man Who Was Allowed to Leave (1995), the fractured folktale by the Faroe Islands’ Katrin Ottarsdóttir, who has almost single-handedly established Faroese cinema.

TIFF Cinematheque is presenting three retrospectives in a year-long series celebrating the best of Nordic cinema and filmmakers, made possible as part of NORDIC BRIDGES 2022 in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre, Toronto.

Both Sides, Now: The Roles of Natalie Wood
March 4 to 24

Natalie Wood’s career spanned four decades, beginning in early childhood and including three Academy Award nominations by the time she was 25. This series explores Wood’s most familiar role as a woman between two worlds, navigating shifting romantic expectations and social mores with a modern combination of fragility and assertiveness. Featuring Gypsy, Splendor in the Grass, This Property is Condemned, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

Joan Micklin Silver: One More Problem
March 5 to April 2

When contemplating a move from screenwriting to directing, Joan Micklin Silver sought advice from an influential Hollywood producer, only to be told that “women directors are one more problem we don’t need.” With the studio gates closed to her, she launched a career in independent filmmaking that defied tradition, self-releasing her Yiddish masterpiece Hester Street in 1975. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Micklin Silver’s name was a bankable art-house favourite, with her films earning millions at the box office, garnering Academy Award and WGA nominations, and, in showcasing then-unknowns in their first lead roles, launching the careers of icons such as Carol Kane and Jeff Goldblum. Following her death at the end of 2020, Micklin Silver’s legacy demands celebration. TIFF is proud to present this selection of her works, some of which have been newly restored. This series is programmed by Alicia Fletcher.

In Conversation With... Sarah Polley
March 23

Director, actor, Academy Award–nominated screenwriter, and author Sarah Polley joins us in-person for the Canadian launch event of her debut collection of essays, Run Towards the Danger. Polley will discuss the complex process of exploring these personal stories from her life, the strategy in overcoming past trauma that helped her find a path forward, and the fallibility of our own memories.


TIFF Members get free access to all regular priced Cinematheque screenings.

New and Restored
March 5 (monthly series)

A selection of recent restorations of films that have been painstakingly brought back to life in revived cinematic presentations. This month, audiences can screen Lynne Ramsay’s first feature, Ratcatcher, one of the most astonishing debuts of the 1990s. In the opening sequence, some good-natured roughhousing between two young boys next to a canal ends with a shocking death. The film is a grim, grungy, yet wondrously lyrical evocation of lower-class life in 1970s Glasgow. The new 4K digital restoration was undertaken by The Criterion Collection and supervised by director Lynne Ramsay and cinematographer Alwin Küchler.

Early American Underground: A Century of Jonas Mekas
March 19 and April 2

Experimental filmmakers everywhere are indebted to Jonas Mekas and the legacy he left behind. Mekas co-founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative and the Filmmakers’ Cinematheque — now known as Anthology Film Archives — which today represents one of the largest collections of avant-garde cinema in the world. The Lithuanian American director, poet, and artist’s boundary-pushing works propelled the New American Cinema movement of the 1960s and ’70s to bold new heights. He became best known for his diaristic film style, which was both impressionistic and poetic as it brought everyday events to life. Programmed in celebration of Mekas’s centenary, this spotlight presents two of his most acclaimed works: Walden and Lost, Lost, Lost.

Midnight Madness
March 26 and April 23 (monthly series)

Since 1988, TIFF’s annual Midnight Madness programme has presented the wildest and strangest cinematic provocations from around the world while cultivating an infectiously raucous audience experience. The madness now extends to a monthly series at TIFF Bell Lightbox — commemorating past selections and inducting older midnight classics into our ever-evolving canon. On March 26, whet your appetite for blood, gore, and Satanic lore with Kenneth Anger’s hypnotic short film Invocation of My Demon Brother before diving into Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Tony Randel’s continuation of Clive Barker’s legendary 1987 supernatural horror. On April 23, Jan Švankmajer’s 1968 surrealist short film The Flat screens before Evil Dead II, Sam Raimi's neo-remake of his breakout first feature. Both events will feature introductions from co-programmers Peter Kuplowsky and Liane Cunje.

MDFF Selects
March 27 and April 21 (monthly series)

MDFF Selects features a showcase of the world’s best, most challenging, and most provocative new international cinema. The dreamlike documentary Faya Dayi from Ethiopian-Mexican writer-director-producer Jessica Beshir explores Ethiopia’s most sought-after cash crop, khat. The film was an official selection at Sundance and was shortlisted for Best Documentary by the Academy Awards; this screening will mark its Toronto premiere. Alexandre Koberidze’s second feature, What Do We See We When Look at the Sky?, is a contemporary fairy tale about two lovers who meet through a chance encounter but are separated when they are magically transformed by an evil curse. Narrated by the director, it announces Koberidze as a new visionary voice. This will be the Toronto premiere of the film, which won the FIPRESCI Prize at Berlin and was an official selection at both Venice and the NYFF. MDFF co-founder Kazik Radwanski will host a Q&A with directors following their screenings.

April 9 to 17

REVOLUTION! In Cinema is a curated programme on the meteoric rise of socialist revolt. Told through four films, Part 1 opens with communism’s violent birth in the USSR as documented in Dziga Vertov’s History of the Civil War (1921). We move westward in Phil Jutzi’s Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness (1929), a staggering depiction of the left’s short-lived foothold in Weimar Germany. After that we cross the ocean with Mikail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba (1964), focused on a former colony on the verge of insurrection against a right-wing military dictatorship, and then, south to Argentina for Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas’ powerful opus The Hour of Furnaces (1968), a brutal exploration of ideological battles for the souls of countries ravaged by neoliberalism. This series is programmed by Dorota Lech.

See the North
April 3 (monthly series)

The latest instalment of TIFF’s free series of Canadian cinematic treasures is a 22-film programme comprising some of the best titles from The 48 Film Festival. Organized by Winnipeg-based programmer Ben Williams, The 48 began as a primarily local event, giving filmmakers the chance to write, direct, and complete a film within 48 hours. This collection was culled from over 200 titles to offer one of the most compelling slates produced to date. Highlights include Ryleigh Hatch’s Life Sentence, Taylor Brown’s Phenomena, Kristen Anderson-Sauvé’s How to Spell Dad, Cud Eastbound’s Stop Looking And Listen, Travis Grant’s Rock Paper Soul, and Brianne Nord-Stewart’s Shit Sponge. Sure to be one of the most adventurous programmes to screen in Toronto this year, The 48 provides a glimpse today of tomorrow’s movers and shakers. In addition to many of the filmmakers, Williams and festival jurors Guy Maddin and Terril Calder will be on hand to present the films.

Boosie Fade Film Club
April 7 (quarterly series)

Jordan Sowunmi and James Rathbone of Boosie Fade fame return with their pick of TIFF’s ongoing cult classics. Charles Stone III’s Drumline, a 2002 box-office and critical success, is the series’ April selection. Devon Miles (Nick Cannon) attends a historically Black college, Atlanta A&T, where he has been given a full scholarship to play drums in the school’s prestigious marching band. Despite his promising performance, Devon’s cocky attitude puts him in conflict with band leader Dr. Lee (Orlando Jones) and percussion leader Sean (Leonard Roberts). Featuring Zoe Saldana, Blu Cantrell, and Petey Pablo, coming-of-age cinema.


March 9

This screening event is presented as an homage to Jean-Marc Vallée, one of Quebec and Canada’s most celebrated filmmakers, who passed on Christmas Day 2021. C.R.A.Z.Y. won the Best Canadian Feature Film prize at TIFF when it played the Festival in 2005, but was unavailable for many years. This screening is a 4K presentation of the film, supported by Telefilm.

Canada’s Top Ten 2021 Shorts
March 19

The shorts programme includes new films by two of the most revered directors in Canada, Zacharias Kunuk and Alanis Obomsawin. Several of the filmmakers will be in attendance for the shorts screenings.

Programme 1

  • Angakusajaujuq - The Shaman’s Apprentice, dir. Zacharias Kunuk, Nunavut/Ontario
  • Boobs, dir. Marie Valade, Quebec
       Nominee, Canadian Screen Awards, Best Animated Short
  • Fanmi, dirs. Sandrine Brodeur-Desrosiers and Carmine Pierre-Dufour, Quebec
       Nominee, Canadian Screen Awards, Best Live Action Short Drama
  • Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair, dir. Alanis Obomsawin, Quebec
  • The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night, dir. Fawzia Mirza, Ontario
Programme 2
  • Ain’t No Time for Women, dir. Sarra El Abed, Quebec
  • DEFUND, dirs. Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah and Araya Mengesha, Ontario
  • Les grandes claques, dir. Annie St-Pierre, Quebec
       Nominee, Canadian Screen Awards, Best Live Action Short Drama
  • Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics, dir. Terril Calder, Quebec
  • Together, dir. Albert Shin, Ontario

Canada’s Top Ten 2021 Features
March 9 to 31

The 2021 features list boasts one of the most varied lineups yet, with new film talent and many appearances from first-time directors whose films made their world premieres during the Festival. Audiences can screen these films at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March, and for audiences at home, a selection of films will be available to rent on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.
  • All My Puny Sorrows, dir. Michael McGowan, Ontario
       Nominee, 8 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Cinematography
  • Charlotte, dirs. Eric Warin & Tahir Rana, Ontario
       Nominee, Canadian Screen Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Drunken Birds, dir. Ivan Grbovic, Quebec
       Nominee, 6 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Picture
  • Learn To Swim, dir. Thyrone Tommy, Ontario
       Nominee, 2 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Actor
  • Night Raiders, dir. Danis Goulet, Ontario
       Nominee, 11 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Feature
  • Maria Chapdelaine, dir. Sébastien Pilote, Quebec
       Nominee, 4 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Art Direction
  • Scarborough, dirs. Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, Ontario
       Nominee, 11 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Feature
  • Ste. Anne, dir. Rhayne Vermette, Manitoba
  • Subjects of Desire, dir. Jennifer Holness, Ontario
  • The White Fortress, dir. Igor Drljača, Ontario
       Nominee, 2 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Original Screenplay

Deep Focus Workshop Series
March 22, April 9, May 4, June 14

TIFF’s Deep Focus is a free workshop series that invites film lovers and emerging creators from equity-deserving communities to explore the many facets of film as a medium for creative self-expression, skills development, and social connection in supportive spaces online and at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Deep Focus returns on March 22 with a workshop about virtual film production featuring Debbie Deer Productions (DDP) hosted live on Zoom. Learn more and register at tiff.net on March 9.


Books on Film
April 12 to July 5

TIFF’s Books on Film returns for its 12th year to reunite book and film lovers. Hosted by the CBC’s Eleanor Wachtel, the series explores the intersections of cinema and literature. Film screenings are accompanied by thoughtful onstage discussions with renowned authors, filmmakers, screenwriters, and experts about the art of adaptation and the sometimes challenging passage from page to screen. Running from April 12 to July 5, this popular subscription series presents six events on select Tuesdays at 7pm.


TIFF Next Wave Film Festival
April 22 to 24

Engaging the next generation of film lovers and creators, TIFF Next Wave is a dynamic film festival that celebrates new voices in cinema. The Festival showcases the best international feature films for young audiences with stories of self-discovery, community, and finding one’s place in the world. Curated by the TIFF Next Wave Committee — a group of 12 socially-engaged high-school students from across Toronto — the festival highlights the power in young people seeing themselves and their communities represented on screen.

Tickets for TIFF Next Wave Official Selection films are available for free to anyone under 25. Complete festival details will be announced on March 30, 2022.

The TIFF Next Wave Film Festival is supported by The Shawn Mendes Foundation and the Government of Ontario.


Opens February 25
2022 Oscar-Nominated Short Films, Magnolia Films

For the 17th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films, a perennial hit with audiences around the country and the world. Don’t miss this year’s selection of shorts.

2022 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live Action
Ala Kachuu - Take and Run, dir. Maria Brendle, Kyrgyzstan/Switzerland
The Dress, dir. Tadeusz Łysiak, Poland
The Long Goodbye, dir. Aneil Karia, UK/Netherlands
On My Mind, dir. Martin Strange-Hansen, Denmark
Please Hold, dir. K.D. Dávila, USA

2022 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animated
Ala Kachuu - Take and Run, dir. Maria Brendle, Kyrgyzstan/Switzerland
The Dress, dir. Tadeusz Łysiak, Poland
The Long Goodbye, dir. Aneil Karia, UK/Netherlands
On My Mind, dir. Martin Strange-Hansen, Denmark
Please Hold, dir. K.D. Dávila, USA

2022 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Documentary
Audible, dir. Matt Ogens, USA
Lead Me Home, dirs. Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk, USA
The Queen of Basketball, dir. Ben Proudfoot, USA
Three Songs for Benazir, dirs. Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei, Afghanistan
When We Were Bullies, dir. Jay Rosenblatt, USA/Germany

Now Playing
Licorice Pizza in 70mm, NBCUniversal
   Nominated for 3 Oscars, including Best Picture
The Worst Person In The World, mk2 Mile End
   Nominated for 2 Oscars, including Best International Feature
Parallel Mothers, Mongrel Media [CC]
   Nominated for 2 Oscars, including Best Actress (Penélope Cruz)


Now Available
Flee, Elevation Pictures
   Nominated for 3 Oscars, including Best Animated Feature, Best International Feature and Best Documentary Feature
Spencer, Elevation Pictures [CC]
   Nominee, Best Actress (Kristen Stewart)
Writing With Fire, Sherry Media Group
   Nominee, Best Documentary Feature


Playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Opens March 4
Jockey, Mongrel Media
Clint Bentley | USA | 2021 | 94 mins.
Clifton Collins Jr. stars as a middle-aged jockey whose last shot at glory is complicated by the arrival of a rookie claiming to be his son

TIFF’s digital offerings will continue to be available for film enthusiasts across the country from the comfort of their homes via digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.

TIFF Members receive free access to over 250+ Cinematheque screenings as an addition to their annual Member benefits. This benefit includes up to two complimentary tickets per TIFF Membership for each regular-price Cinematheque screening, excluding 70mm and 3D presentations.

As of February 17, in response to the updated timeline on removing capacity restrictions by the Province of Ontario, TIFF’s cinemas are operating at 100% capacity. Concessions are available, and the Bell Blue Room Members’ Lounge has also reopened. Masks are mandatory for all staff, visitors, and guests at TIFF Bell Lightbox unless you are seated in the cinema and actively eating or drinking. Proof of vaccination is required to enter the building. Please check tiff.net/covid-19 for more details.

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About TIFF
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, Visa and BVLGARI, and Major Supporters the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario and City of Toronto.