Full Contact competing at the Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival, running from September 10th to 20th, has announced 12 films selected to be screened in the Platform programme – a new juried competition which presents global film productions. Among the selected is the Dutch-Croatian coproduction Full Contact, as well as films by Pablo Trapero, Joaquim Lafosse, He Ping and Fabienne Berthaud. 

The minority coproduction Full Contact by acclaimed Dutch director David Verbeek was produced by Lemming Film, and was shot in locations in Croatia that mirrored locations in Yemen, the Nevada Dessert, Brussels and a deserted ocean island. Ninety-five percent of professionals working on the film were Croatian; among them Costume Designer Zorana Meić, Make-Up Artist Ana Bulajić Črček, and Set Designer Mario Ivezić, while each was head of their own department. Tuna Film offered technical support throughout filming.

4 million HRK were spent on filming in Croatia of which a 20% return was enabled through funding provided by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. 

The lead roles are played by French film stars Gregoire Colin, Slimane Dazi and Lizzie Brocheré, while Jaako Dobra Productions, in cooperation with Nukleus Film was responsible for filming in Croatia. Producers are Siniša Juričić, Leontine Petit, Eva Eisenloeffel and Joost De Vries, while Frank Van Den Eeden is head of cinematography. Full Contact is a psychological thriller about a military operator who controls American drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan from his base in Nevada.

The competition in the Platform programme includes the world premiere of the long-awaited film High Rise by Ben Wheatley, a dystopic display of society who starts a class war inside an apartment in a highrise. Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss star in the film based on the book written by JG Ballard in 1975.

Fabienne Berthaud’s Sky will also have its world premiere in Toronto. The French-German coproduction stars Diane Kruger, Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead, and star of Girls, Lena Dunham. Diane Kruger plays Romy, a married woman on vacation in America who, after an argument, leaves her French husband (Gilles Lelouche) and wanders off into the desert on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

Other premieres include the teenage sex drama Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) by Eva Husson, David Verbeek’s Full Contact, Land of Mine by Martin Zandvliet where German prisoners of war are forced to dig out land mines; the Chinese drama The Promised Land by He Ping; and The White Knights by Joaquim Lafosse detailing the controversy at Zoe’s Ark, when members of the French charity mission tried to fly more than one hundred children from Chad to France.

Hurt, a documentary by Alan Zweig will have its world premiere this year in Toronto. Zweig won Best Canadian Feature Film at the TIFF in 2013 with his film When Jews Were Funny. In Hurt, Zweig presents one-legged Steve Fonyo, a cancer survivor who ran across Canada and generated 13 million dollars in donations in 1985, but his life takes a downhill turn when he succumbs to theft and drugs.

Members of the Toronto Platform jury, which will award 19 thousand dollars to the winner on September 20th, are Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland

Piers Handling, festival director, described the film directors as ‘a new generation of masters’ adding, ‘We created this new programme as a way to sharpen our focus on artistically ambitious cinema in our 40th year and we are thrilled to be able to put the spotlight on these 12 brilliant filmmakers’.

Details can be found at the official festival website.

Cover photos: scenes from Full Contact 

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