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TIFF announces more films, from Cannes-winning horror 'Titane' to Oscar Peterson doc


TORONTO — Cannes-winning horror sensation "Titane" and a documentary on the late Canadian jazz legend Oscar Peterson are among the titles added to the Toronto International Film Festival.

"Titane," winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or prize at last month's Cannes Film Festival, will open TIFF's horror-focused Midnight Madness program.

Julia Ducournau of France wrote and directed the French-language film, about a woman who is impregnated by a Cadillac car.

"Titane" caused a stir at Cannes with its shocking content and Palm d'Or win, which was prematurely announced by jury president Spike Lee and made Ducournau only the second woman director to ever earn the top prize. 

"Oscar Peterson: Black + White" by Canadian filmmaker Barry Avrich is billed as a "docu-concert" on the Montreal-raised piano great, who died in 2007 at the age of 82 in Mississauga, Ont.

The festival runs Sept. 9 to 18 with films screening inside several venues and online.

Titles announced Wednesday included selections for the TIFF Docs, Midnight Madness and avant-garde Wavelengths programs.

Other Canadian docs include "Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace" by Heather Hatch, about British Columbia's controversial Site C hydroelectric project.

Another renowned jazz musician will be featured in "Listening to Kenny G" by Penny Lane, which explores the saxophonist's story and the debate over what makes music good or bad.

In "Burning" by Eva Orner, the filmmaker behind the Oscar-winning doc "Taxi to the Dark Side" looks at the recent deadly bushfires in Australia "and the lack of political will to address climate change."

The climate crisis is also addressed in "Becoming Cousteau" by two-time Oscar nominee Liz Garbus, which profiles the late French undersea explorer.

Several docs also profile major historical events, including "The Rescue" by Oscar-winning directors E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, about a Thai soccer team trapped in a cave in summer 2018.

"Attica" by Emmy winner Stanley Nelson will open the TIFF Docs program with a look at the largest prison uprising in U.S. history, which unfolded over five days in 1971 in upstate New York.

And "Hold Your Fire" by Stefan Forbes looks at New York's longest hostage siege in 1973. 

Other Midnight Madness titles include "Dashcam" by British director Rob Savage, who made a splash last year by shooting his pandemic-set supernatural horror "Host" on the video conferencing platform Zoom. His new film also takes place in the online world, where a caustic streamer's "anarchic behaviour triggers a non-stop nightmare."

North Dublin is the setting for the Irish folk horror "You Are Not My Mother" by Kate Dolan, about a teenage girl investigating what happened when her mother went missing and returned home with strange behaviour.

The opening film for the Wavelengths showcase is "Neptune Frost" by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, described as "an Afro-sonic sci-fi musical ... in which a cosmic romance between an intersex hacker and a coltan miner seeds the revolution."

Williams, a poet-musician-actor based in the United States, got a Canadian Screen Award nomination earlier this year for his starring role in Toronto-raised director Charles Officer's crime noir "Akilla's Escape."

Canadian films in Wavelengths include "Ste. Anne," the debut feature by Manitoba's Rhayne Vermette, described as an "examination of home by way of places and people."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2021.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

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