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An art lover’s guide to TIFF

August 31st, 2018

Still from a film, of a man adding tape to paper

Still from Walking on Water, film with sound, courtesy Kotva Films and Ring Film.

It’s that time of year again – when the city buzzes with excitement for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

We’ve rounded up some films at the festival that explore art, culture and creativity. From documentaries that look at the creative mind and the lives of artists to films about seeing new perspectives through art, we’ve found something for every art-lover.

Walking on Water
In this illuminating documentary, director Andrey Paounov follows internationally renowned artist Christo on his quest to create the massive and logistically complex art installation, The Floating Piers. The film follows Christo to Italy’s Lake Iseo, where the piece is eventually mounted. Don’t miss this rare and intimate look at the process of bringing an ambitious large-scale artwork to life.

Ulysses & Mona
In this comedic film from French director Sébastien Betbeder, jaded artist Ulysses hits rock bottom after his wife leaves him and his professional reputation falls to an all-time low. Retreating to the countryside, he meets a young art student. A fan of his work, she offers him a new perspective on his life and work.

Legendary avant-garde filmmaker and visual artist James Benning has created a fascinating work. Named in honour of one of Canada’s most beloved artists, Leonard Cohen, the film was shot in a barren Oregon field and shows how the extraordinary can be found in ordinary scenes of nature.

When Arabs Danced
Writer, director and journalist Jawad Rhalib presents a documentary that explores what it means to be Muslim through artistic expression. Using archival footage, interviews and performances from a Belgian theatre company, an Egyptian contemporary dance troupe and a Palestinian actor, When Arabs Danced reminds viewers of the Arab world’s long history of dance and music and the power of art to change people.

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Did you know an international group of scientists believe that we’re in a new geological epoch, called Anthropocene, due to the impact humans have had on the planet? That’s the subject of a multi-disciplinary project by renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, and award-winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. From concrete seawalls off the coast of China to potash mines in Russia, lithium evaporation ponds in Chile’s Atacama Desert and logging in British Columbia’s old growth forest, this epic project captures moving evidence of how humans are changing the planet. We can’t wait for the AGO’s Anthropocene exhibition, which opens September 28th. The project’s documentary will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

We’re thrilled once again to partner with TIFF and host some of the best filmmakers from around the world to screen their films in our very own Jackman Hall. Visit the TIFF website for the full schedule.

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