Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival was established by TIFF to honour excellence in short and feature-length contemporary Canadian cinema and to raise awareness of Canadian achievements in film. In order to be eligible for Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival, the film must be directed by a Canadian citizen or resident, Canada must be an official country of production on the film, and the film must have been released commercially or played at a major film festival in Canada. The feature and short-film selections are each chosen by a panel of filmmakers and industry professionals from across Canada.
Special Top Ten Pass: $55 (includes admission to all screenings)
Fri & Sat, Jan 15 & 16 / 7 pm
Master Canadian documentary director Alan Zweig introduces his stunning new documentary about Steve Fonyo. Fonyo was 18 years old when he lost a leg to cancer and became both a national hero before falling on hard times with substance abuse, jail time, and the government’s decision to strip him of his Order of Canada.
Fri & Sat, Jan 22 & 23 / 9 pm
A superb feature debut about three teenagers, Nate, Adam and Riley who while away the idle summer hours playing video games and getting wasted and how their decisions lead to a dangerous imbalance.
Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr
Sat, Jan 23 / 7 pm
In July of 2002, Toronto-born 15-year-old Omar Khadr was wounded and captured in Afghanistan by US forces and sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Considered by some to be child soldier and accused by many others of terrorism, Khadr would find his next 13 years a long, torturous battle for freedom.
Sat, Jan 30 / 3 pm
Over four decades after the infamous Sir George Williams Riot of February 1969, when a protest against institutional racism snowballed into a 14-day student occupation at the Montreal University, the film reopens the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations.
Into the Forest
Wed, Feb 10 / 7 pm
Fri – Sun, Feb 12 – 14 / 7 pm
Acclaimed filmmaker Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park, I Heard The Mermaids Singing) returns to the big screen with this gripping apocalyptic thriller about two sisters (Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood) who must fend for themselves after a massive power outage throws North America into chaos.
My Internship in Canada
Thu, Feb 11 / 9:15 pm
An idealistic young Haitian travels to rural Quebec to intern for an independent Member of Parliament when a national debate erupts that finds the MP holding the tie-breaking vote.
The Demons (Les démons)
Fri, Feb 12 / 9 pm
The Best Feature award winner at Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, this narrative-feature debut is an atmospheric thriller about the heightened anxieties of a young boy in 1980s suburban Montreal, inspired by the director’s own childhood.
Our Loved Ones (Les êtres chers)
Sat, Feb 13 / 9 pm
A film of ambitious scope and penetrating insight and based partly on a personal story of tragedy by director Anne Émond, this film follows a Quebecois family over three decades focusing on a relationship between a father and his teenage daughter.
Thu – Sat, Feb 18 – 20 / 9 pm
This ceaselessly inventive feature chronicles a teen’s struggle to find his own way of life. High-school student and aspiring special-effects makeup artist Oscar Madly needs out: out of the town that is stifling his budding creativity, and out of the closet.
The Forbidden Room
Thu, Feb 25 / 7 pm
Fri, Feb 26 / 9:30 pm
Sat, Feb 27 / 3 pm
Sun, Feb 28 / 7 pm
Winnipeg director Guy Maddin’s new collaborative feature with Evan Johnson is like nothing you have ever seen before – a grand ode to lost cinema. Honouring classic cinema while electrocuting it with energy, this Russian nesting doll of a film follows a submarine that’s been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the corridors of the doomed vessel, they find themselves on a voyage into the origins of their darkest fears.
Canada’s Top Ten Shorts
Part One: Thu, Feb 4 / 7 pm
Part Two: Sat, Feb 6 / 3 pm
Student Shorts: Sat, Feb 20 / 3 pm
Canada’s Top Ten Short Films and Top Ten Student Films annually showcases the finest work made in the short film form in this country and features everything from heartfelt and powerful dramas to affecting, often very personal documentaries. Galen Johnson, the genius behind the sound effects montage on The Forbidden Room will introduce this program which includes the short film Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton co-directed with Guy Maddin and Galen’s brother Evan.
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival is generously sponsored by IATSE 856 and Radio Canada Manitoba.