The 40th Toronto International Film Festival begins

Two Croatian co-productions will have their world premieres at one of the most influential film festivals in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival. Sparrows, written and directed by Rúnar Rúnarsson will be showing in the Contemporary World Cinema programme while Full Contact, directed by David Verbeek, will be showing in the new juried programme named Platform. The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10th to 20th. 

Sparrows was coproduced by MP Film Production (Croatia) and will screen on September 11th. The film is about a 16 year-old boy named Ari, living with his mother but then forced to move in with his father Gunnar in the remote Westfjords. There he has to face his relationship with his father as well as with those of his childhood friends who have significantly changed.  In such dire and hopeless surroundings Ari has to prove himself and find his path.

The film stars Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, Kristbjörg Kjeld, Atli Óskar Fjalarsson, Björk Björnsdóttir and Rade Šerbedžija. The team behind the scenes includes editor Jacob Secher Schulsinger and cinematographer Sophia Olsson. The producers are Mikkel Jersin (Nimbus Film and Nimbus Iceland), Brynhildur Birgisdottir, Igor A. Nola and Lilja Osk Snorradottir. Along with Nimbus Film and Nimbus Island who head production, coproduction was handled by Pegasus Pictures (Iceland) and MP Film Production (Croatia), whose producer is Igor A. Nola. Financial support was received from The Icelandic Film Centre and the Danish Film Institute, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Nordisk Film and TV Fund, the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation, Sena, RUV, TV2 and SF.

Viewers will have the opportunity to see a total of 60 carefully selected films in the Contemporary World Cinema programme, including Ivan Ostrochovský’s Koza, The Waiting Room by Igor Drljača from Sarajevo, living in Canada, An directed by Naomi Kawase, One Floor Below by Radu Muntean, and many others. 

The minority co-production, Full Contact, produced by Lemming Film, and filmed in Croatia with locations playing Yemen, the Nevada Desert, Brussels, and a deserted island. 95 percent of the crew were local film professionals and the film will have its debut in Toronto on September 15th. 

Full Contact stars French actors Gregoire Colin, Slimane Dazi and Lizzie Brocheré, and production in Croatia was handled by Jaako Dobra Productions in cooperation with Nukleus Film. The producers are Siniša Juričić, Leontine Petit, Eva Eisenloeffel and Joost De Vries, and the cinematographer is Frank Van Den Eeden. Full Contact is a psychological thriller about a military operator who controls American drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan from his base in Nevada.

The Platform competition includes the world premiere of the long-anticipated High-Rise by Ben Wheatley, a dystopic illustration of a society that starts a class war in an apartment in a high-rise building. The film, based on JG Ballard’s 1975 book, stars Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss

Since its inception in 1976, the TIFF has become, in the last few years, one of the most influential film festivals in the world, as well as the most important showcase for films looking to get an Oscar nomination.  The Festival will open with Demolition by Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée (known for his biopic Dallas Buyers Club), and stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, and will close with Mr. Right directed by the Spaniard Paco Cabezas.

All details can be found at the 40th TIFF’s official website

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