14 films supported by CBC/Radio-Canada to premiere at TIFF 2019

Legend Martin Scorsese on the red carpet for Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2019) which premiered at TIFF. Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images.

Filmmakers include established and emerging creators Louise Archambault, Jeff Barnaby, Semi Chellas, Sophie Deraspe, François Girard, Kathleen Hepburn, Amy Jo Johnson, Chloé Robichaud, Albert Shin, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Myriam Verreault

Canada's public broadcaster shines a spotlight on its commitment to Canadian cinema as 14 films supported by CBC/Radio-Canada make their debut at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2019). In addition to investing in English and French-language films that reflect a range of perspectives at the heart of the Canadian experience, CBC/Radio-Canada showcases homegrown cinema to audiences across Canada on the public broadcaster's broadcast and streaming platforms. Additionally, CBC Arts is partnering with the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC) to film and produce TIFF 2019’s “Meet the Makers /Visionaries” panel series for CBC Gem.

"As a champion of Canadian culture, CBC/Radio-Canada is committed to bringing diverse voices and perspectives to audiences in Canada and around the world through our ongoing and significant investment in homegrown film," said Catherine Tait, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. "We congratulate all Canadian filmmakers showcasing their stories at TIFF this year."

14 TIFF 2019 film selections have received support from CBC/Radio-Canada:

Starring Hong Chau and Sarah Gadon

AMERICAN WOMAN (Gala Presentation, Canadian Premiere), written by Semi Chellas and Susan Choi, directed by Semi Chellas, distributed by Elevation – funded by CBC Films

A political activist (Hong Chau) helps take care of a group of America’s most wanted fugitives — including a well-known, recently radicalized heiress (Sarah Gadon) — in this fictionalized reimagining of the Patty Hearst affair.

Andrée Lachapelle , Gilbert Sicotte by © The Outsider Movies

(Contemporary World Cinema, World Premiere) written and directed by Louise Archambault, distributed by Mk2 | Mile End – Radio-Canada pre-license 

Acclaimed director Louise Archambault's elegiac and charming new film depicts three aging hermits in the Quebec countryside whose defiant need to live independently is increasingly endangered by nature, old age, and infirmity.

© Tournage du film "Antigone"

ANTIGONE (Contemporary World Cinema, World Premiere) written and directed by Sophie Deraspe, distributed by Maison 4:3 – Radio-Canada pre-license

Critically acclaimed Québécois filmmaker Sophie Deraspe’s provocative and timely adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy of the same name reimagines the story of a woman’s quest for justice as a commentary on the immigrant experience in contemporary Montreal.

Michael Greyeyes and Forrest Goodluck in Blood Quantum (2019)

BLOOD QUANTUM (Opening Night, Midnight Madness, World Premiere) written and directed by Jeff Barnaby, distributed by Elevation – CBC Films pre-buy

Jeff Barnaby’s astutely titled second feature is equal parts horror and pointed cultural critique. Zombies are devouring the world, yet an isolated Mi’gmaq community is immune to the plague. Do they offer refuge to the denizens outside their reserve or not?

Starring Hannah Gross

CLIFTON HILL (Opening Night, Special Presentation, World Premiere), written by Albert Shin and James Schultz, directed by Albert Shin, distributed by Elevation – funded by CBC Films

Tuppence Middleton stars in Albert Shin’s psychological thriller, which follows a troubled young woman returning to her hometown of Niagara Falls, where the memory of a long-ago kidnapping quickly ensnares her.


Albert Shin


James Schultz, Albert Shin


Tuppence Middleton, Hannah Gross, Marie-Josée Croze

DELPHINE (Short Cuts, North American Premiere) written by Nathalie Doummar, directed by 

Chloé Robichaud – CBC acquisition

In the latest by celebrated filmmaker Chloé Robichaud, two precisely rendered episodes in the adolescence of a Lebanese-Canadian girl highlight complicated matters of gender, identity, and power dynamics.

Emily Piggford in It's Nothing (2019). Photo by © Rachel Wallace

IT'S NOTHING (Short Cuts, World Premiere) written and directed by Anna Maguire – CBC acquisition 

A recent graduate is urged by an impossibly perfect woman to start digging a hole in a nearby park, setting in motion a chain of events that threatens her emotional balance and carefully maintained routines.


Anna Maguire


Julia Lederer


Cara Gee, Niamh Wilson, Emily Piggford

The Round Belly Girl © Tournage du film "Kuessipan",

KUESSIPAN (Discovery, World Premiere) written and directed by Myriam Verreault, distributed by Filmoption International – Radio-Canada pre-licence

Two childhood friends from the same Quebec Innu community begin to realize that they face very different futures, in Myriam Verreault’s bittersweet adaptation of Naomi Fontaine's acclaimed novel about the ties that bind people, places, and possibilities.

© (tiff, 2019) - Provided by Toronto International Film Festival

NO CRYING AT THE DINNER TABLE (Short Cuts, World Premiere) directed by Carol Nguyen – CBC acquisition 

Filmmaker Carol Nguyen interviews her own family to craft an emotionally complex and meticulously composed portrait of intergenerational trauma, grief, and secrets in this cathartic documentary about things left unsaid.

Dakota Fanning and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Sweetness in the Belly (2019)

SWEETNESS IN THE BELLY (Discovery, World Premiere) written by Camilla Gibb, directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, distributed by EOne – CBC Films pre-buy

Dakota Fanning stars in this vivid adaptation of Camilla Gibb’s bestseller, set in England and Ethiopia, about an altruistic and devout young woman with a nomadic past seeking to reconnect with the man she loves.

Felicity Huffman and Anastasia Phillips in Tammy's Always Dying (2019)

TAMMY'S ALWAYS DYING (Contemporary World Cinema, World Premiere) written by Joanne Sarazen, directed by Amy Jo Johnson – funded by CBC Films

Actor-turned-director Amy Jo Johnson's heart-wrenching second feature, starring Felicity Huffman and Anastasia Phillips, depicts a daughter's attempt to care for her ornery, ailing mother.

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Violet Nelson in The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019)

THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN (Contemporary World Cinema, North American Premiere) written and directed by Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, distributed by Level Films – funded by CBC Films

One woman’s decision to comfort a stranger she finds crying in the street leads to a revealing and powerful conversation between two Indigenous women from very different circumstances, in this poignant collaboration from Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn.

THE SONG OF NAMES (Gala Presentation, World Premiere) written by Norman Lebrecht, directed by François Girard, distributed by Elevation – CBC Films pre-buy

Tim Roth and Clive Owen star in François Girard’s (Hochelaga, Land of Souls) latest sweeping historical drama, about a man searching for his childhood best friend — a Polish violin prodigy orphaned in the Holocaust — who vanished decades before on the night of his first public performance.

THIS INK RUNS DEEP (Short Cuts, World Premiere) directed by Asia Youngman – funded by the CBC-Creative BC Digital Production Fund and CBC Arts

In this vivid and moving documentary by Asia Youngman, Indigenous artists from across Canada strive to reclaim their cultures and identities through a reawakening of tattoo practices, both traditional and contemporary.

Courtesy of CBC PR and TIFF

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