TIFF 2015 Dispatch: Toronto Turns 402 min read

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TIFF Dispatch #1

Forty is life’s dreaded midpoint for some, but in film festival years 40 can feel like the throes of young adulthood. Forced to adapt to a competitive festival scene over the past years, Toronto’s 40th edition is a humble attempt to rejuvenate. 399 feature and short films from 71 countries will screen across 16 programs from 10-20 September 2015, while a new competitive section of feature films will mark TIFF’s foray into the game of celeb-juried laurels.

This year’s skinny parade of over two dozen Asian films leans toward Sinophone content, with about half from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Japan follows with six, while South Korea, normally better represented, has just three. A handful of workhorse directors are returning with new films: it’s the second consecutive year for Takashi Miike, third for Johnnie To, fourth for Hong Sang-soo and Tsai Ming-liang, and an astonishing sixth for Sono Sion.

Many of this year’s major titles first made waves in Cannes in May, namely: Hou Hsiao-hsien’s wuxia The Assassin, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Our Little Sister and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendor. Elsewhere, new films from director Joko Anwar, actress-director Sylvia Chang, director-producer Mabel Cheung, cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and crime-kineticist Ryoo Seung-wan round up a reliably diverse list of films.

This year’s feature films from (or about) Asia are:

Beast (Tom McKeith and Sam McKeith, Australia/Philippines 2015) – Discovery

River (Jamie M. Dagg, Canada/Laos 2015) – Discovery

China/Hong Kong/Taiwan
Afternoon (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan 2015) – Wavelengths
The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan 2015) – Masters
Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous (Christopher Doyle, Hong Kong 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema
Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke, China/France/Japan 2015) – Special Presentations
Mr. Six (Guan Hu, China 2015) – Special Presentations
Murmur of the Hearts (Sylvia Chang, Hong Kong/Taiwan 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema
Office (Johnnie To, China/Hong Kong 2015) – Special Presentations
Paths of the Soul (Zhang Yang, China 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema
The Promised Land (He Ping, China 2015) – Platform
SPL 2 – A Time for Consequences (Soi Cheang, Hong Kong 2015) – Midnight Madness
A Tale of Three Cities (Mabel Cheung, China 2015) – Special Presentations
A Young Patriot (Du Haibin, China/France/USA 2015) – TIFF Docs

A Copy of My Mind (Joko Anwar, Indonesia/South Korea 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema

An (Kawase Naomi, France/Germany/Japan 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema
The Boy and the Beast (Hosoda Mamoru, Japan 2015) – TIFF Kids
Journey to the Shore (Kurosawa Kiyoshi, France/Japan 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema
Our Little Sister (Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan 2015) – Masters
The Whispering Star (Sono Sion, Japan 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema
Yakuza Apocalypse (Miike Takashi, Japan 2015) – Midnight Madness

Honor Thy Father (Erik Matti, Philippines 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema
Imbisibol (Lawrence Fajardo, Japan/Philippines 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema

In The Room (Eric Khoo, Hong Kong/Singapore 2015) – Contemporary World Cinema

South Korea
Collective Invention (Kwon Oh-kwang, South Korea 2015) – Vanguard
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 2015) – Masters
Veteran (Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korea 2015) – Vanguard

Cemetery of Splendor (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Germany/Malaysia/Thailand/United Kingdom 2015) – Masters

Brandon Wee

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