Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Platform competition names 10 films for Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival today unveiled the 10 features that comprise the Platform competition for 2019, a year rich in perspectives, genres, and exceptional performances by newcomers as well as established actors.

Ranging from first-time feature directors to veterans at turning points in their careers, this year’s Platform filmmakers offer a panoramic view of the diverse range of talent and distinct directorial voices that are emerging around the globe. Of the 10 features in this year’s Platform selection, 40 percent are directed by women.

The films hail from a wide range of regions, including Europe, Latin America, East Asia, and the U.S. Kazik Radwanski’s “Anne at 13,000 ft” is the standout Canadian title in the programme’s lineup this year, reportedly grounded in a performance by Deragh Campbell (a TIFF 2015 Rising Star). “With a dynamic, international slate that assembles some of brightest cinematic voices of today and tomorrow, this year’s lineup distills the essence of the Festival,” said Cameron Bailey, Platform Co-Curator and TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head.

Eva Green juggles motherhood with her career as an astronaut in "Proxima."
“Competitions should celebrate the range of what great cinema is and what it can accomplish. Platform is alive to those possibilities,” added Platform Co-Curator Andréa Picard. “Whether they are debuts or mid-career works, these films push the boundaries of narrative filmmaking in surprising and rigorous ways, some using documentary or experimental techniques in their approaches.”

Highlights include the world premieres of “Wet Season,” by Singapore-based director and producer Anthony Chen, the anticipated follow-up to his breakout debut “Ilo Ilo” (TIFF 2013); Julie Delpy’s “My Zoe,” a genre-bending tale of a mother’s navigation of grief that stars Delpy alongside Richard Armitage and Daniel Brühl; and Alice Winocour’s “Proxima,” an incisive drama following an astronaut and mother as she faces an impossible decision, featuring performances by Eva Green, Lars Eidinger, Matt Dillon, and Sandra Hüller.

In addition to new films by established directors, this year’s lineup boasts a number of feature debuts, including Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal,” starring Riz Ahmed, (alongside Olivia Cooke and Mathieu Amalric) as a professional drummer whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. Also of note is “Workforce,” the debut feature by Mexican filmmaker David Zonana. Produced by Michel Franco, the class-conscious drama follows a group of construction workers who seek justice after a workplace accident.

Now in its fifth year, Platform is the Toronto International Film Festival’s competitive programme that champions bold directorial visions. All 10 films in the programme are eligible for the Toronto Platform Prize, an award of $20,000 given to the best film in the programme, selected by a three-person jury. Berlinale Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian, film critic Jessica Kiang, and filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari make up this year’s jury.

Named after Jia Zhang-ke’s trailblazing second feature, Platform is curated by Bailey and Picard, who is also Lead Curator for the Wavelengths programme. Previous Platform selections have included Alex Ross Perry’s “Her Smell” (2018); Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” (2018), Clio Barnard’s “Dark River” (2017), Kamila Andini’s “The Seen and Unseen” (2017), Bertrand Bonello’s “Nocturama” (2016), Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning “Moonlight” (2016), and Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull” (2015).

The 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 5–15.

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