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An art enthusiast’s guide to TIFF 2017

September 5th, 2017

BOOM FOR REAL. Image Courtesy of TIFF.

It’s that time of year again: it seems like everyone in Toronto is gearing up for the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). We are thrilled once again to partner with TIFF and host some of the best filmmakers from around the world in our very own Jackman Hall.

To help you navigate an impressively large lineup of film choices, we’ve done some research and rounded up the films that explore themes of art, culture and creativity. From documentaries that explore the creative mind and the lives of great artists to films about finding inspiration and escaping reality through art, we have found something for every art-lover.

BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Sara Driver explores the pre-fame years of the celebrated American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and how New York City, its people and tectonically shifting arts culture of the late 1970s and ’80s shaped his vision.

The Gospel According to Andre. Image Courtesy of TIFF.

The Gospel According to André

From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, operatic fashion editor André Leon Talley’s life and career are on full display in a poignant portrait that includes appearances by Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Bethann Hardison, Valentino and Manolo Blahnik.

The Seen and Unseen. Image Courtesy of TIFF.

The Seen and Unseen

A 10-year-old girl retreats to a fantastical, evocative dream-space to deal with the tragic impending loss of her twin brother, in this imaginative film from Indonesian director Kamila Andini.

The Motive. Image Courtesy of TIFF.

The Motive

Searching for literary inspiration, an aspiring novelist in Seville insinuates himself into the lives of his apartment-dwelling neighbours and attempts to instigate drama in this hilarious, thought-provoking, and self-aware meditation on art and authorial intent.

Redoubtable. Image Courtesy of TIFF.


Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) returns to the Festival with this fictionalized glimpse into the life of iconoclastic filmmaking legend Jean-Luc Godard and his search for inspiration in late 1960s Paris.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bambi. Image Courtesy of TIFF.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bambi

Filmed over the course of a decade, the new documentary from director Sophie Fiennes (The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology) offers a stylish and unconventional look at the Jamaican-born model, singer and New Wave icon.

Fire. Image Courtesy of TIFF.

Wavelengths 2: Fluid Frontiers

Wavelengths brings together some of the most daring and exciting filmmakers from around the world in one of its legendary short programmes. Including the latest from renowned artists Kevin Jerome Everson and Rosa Barba, among others, this programme also features Lucy Parker’s Fire, a response to the performative work of British artist Annabel Nicolson.

Occidental. Image Courtesy of TIFF.


Acclaimed artist-filmmaker Neïl Beloufa’s Occidental tells the story of a retro-’70s Parisian hotel which functions as a geopolitical microcosm while a mass demonstration rages in the streets of Paris. Willfully claustrophobic with its boxy aspect ratio, and coloured in high Godardian artifice, Occidental is hyper-stylized, clever and comical, parsing the complexity of present-day morality using the likes of Coca-Cola  and a hidden love story in order to reflect upon French life, politics and pervasive xenophobia.

See you at the movies!

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