These Are the Canadian Films We’re Looking Forward to at TIFF 2020

Image courtesy of TIFF

Shiva Baby, an inconvenient Indian, beans and more.

TIFF 2020 kicks off on September 10, and although this year’s lineup is drastically reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is still a lot to look forward to. Read on to discover the projects from Canadian filmmakers we can’t wait to watch this year.

Based on the true story of the Oka Crisis, this film by first director Tracey Deer tells the story of the three-month standoff between two Mohawk communities and government forces in Quebec in 1990. Told through the perspective of a youngster 12-year-old Mohawk girl named Beans, the coming-of-age drama tackles important topics like Indigenous identity, activism and protest.

No ordinary man
From Canadian filmmakers Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt, this documentary traces the life and career of Billy Tipton, 20th-century American jazz musician and trans icon. Tipton rose to fame in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, but her trans identity was not revealed publicly until after her death in 1989. The film serves to honor her legacy through a diverse group of contemporary trans performers. , while also examining the intense media scrutiny by members of the trans community.

Baby Shiva
This first feature film by Canadian filmmaker Emma Seligman is based on a short film she directed as part of her thesis at NYU Film School. Set during a shiva she attends with her parents, the film follows the protagonist as she deals with curious family members, embittered exes and more.

Indian inconvenient
Based on an award-winning book, this documentary examines the ongoing colonization of Indigenous peoples in North America, specifically the colonization of history, culture, and traditions. Directed by Indigenous actress / filmmaker Michelle Latimer, the documentary features archival footage, interviews, dance, visual arts and traditional customs like tattooing and hunting.

Enemies of the state
This disturbing documentary tells the story of an American family seeking political asylum in Canada after their “hacktivist” son was targeted by the US government for his alleged links to WikiLeaks.

The new company
Canadian filmmaker Jennifer Abbott and University of British Columbia law professor Joel Bakan are teaming up again for the sequel to their award-winning 2003 documentary, The society. Their latest film exposes the current trend of corporations to rebrand themselves as socially responsible and stars thinkers and leaders like Anand Giridharadas, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Katie Porter.

The water walker
This short documentary follows 15-year-old Anishinaabe water activist Autumn Peltier as she travels to the United Nations to defend clean water – a basic human right – in indigenous communities around the world.

Based on the bestselling Eden Robinson novel, this CBC supernatural series is directed by Michelle Latimer and follows an Indigenous teenager who struggles to support his dysfunctional family amid myth, magic and monsters.

Canadian filmmaking duo Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli, whose previous shorts won several awards, return to the festival with their first feature film. Following a pair of estranged sisters who reunite for a weekend getaway, the psychological thriller explores themes of violence, betrayal, and revenge.

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