Keen to catch a doc or 10 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), but unsure of what to watch? Realscreen has you covered with trailers for 16 docs premiering at this year’s fest, including Red Army, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, Do I Sound Gay?, The Wanted 18 (pictured) and The 50 Year Argument.
For insider info on which docs to look out for, check out our interview with TIFF’s head documentary programmer Thom Powers.
The trailers follow below, with synopses provided by TIFF:
Beats of the Antonov
Beats of the Antonov follows refugees from the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Sudan as they survive displacement and the trauma of civil war. Music, a cornerstone of their traditions and identity, becomes itself a vehicle for survival.
Do I Sound Gay?
In his feature-length documentary debut Do I Sound Gay?, journalist David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, confronting his anxiety about “sounding gay.” Enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers and celebrities, he quickly learns that many people – both gay and straight – often wish for a different voice.
I Am Here
During the summer of 2013, 12 young boys battle each other for the number one spot in Super Boys, a decade-old American Idol-style TV talent show in China. They discover who they are and learn to love each other in the process. From the director of Last Train Home.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
This engrossing documentary takes us inside Studio Ghibli, the renowned Japanese animation studio that created such classics as Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.
Sturla Gunnarsson (director of the Festival People’s Choice Award-winning documentary Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie) journeyed to India to create this stunningly shot meditation on the phenomenon that some call “the soul of India.”
A group of young Congolese high-school students who are about to write the exam for their National Diploma in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo, gather in a maquis (communal house) to help each other prepare. It is common practice to be ejected from classes during the school year for failing to pay “teachers’ fees”, but the students are determined, and resort to all means at their disposal to earn a diploma, a stepping stone out of a life of poverty.
Master documentarian Frederick Wiseman (Crazy Horse, At Berkeley) takes the audience behind the scenes of this London institution, which is inhabited by masterpieces of Western art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. In a perpetual and dizzying game of mirrors, the film presents a portrait of a place, its inner workings, and its relationship with the world, its staff, its public and its paintings.
A group of Italian vineyard proprietors live a life many can only dream of. In their converted 11th-century monastery and winery in Tuscany, Giovanna Tiezzi and Stefano Borsa find a way to grow grains, fruit and wine that create a link to their ancient Etruscan heritage. Ten years after Mondovino, the wine world has changed just like the world itself. The enemy is now far greater than the threat of globalization. But against the new world economy, these natural wine rebels offer a model of charmed and joyous resistance.
The Price We Pay
Director Harold Crooks (Surviving Progress) once again blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance with this incendiary documentary about the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, which has seen multinationals depriving governments of trillions of dollars in tax revenues by harboring profits in offshore havens.
Red Army follows the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Soviet Union’s Red Army hockey team of the 1980s. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements, and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union. An inspiring story about the Cold War played out on the ice rink, and the man who stood up to a powerful system and paved the way for change for generations of Russians.
Silvered Water, Syria Self Portrait
The collaboration between exiled Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed and young Kurdish activist Wiam Simav Bedirxan distills footage from thousands of clandestine videos to create a shattering, on-the-ground documentary chronicle of the ordeal being undergone by ordinary Syrians in the ongoing civil war.
Tales of the Grim Sleeper
Nick Broomfield investigates the 2010 arrest of Lonnie Franklin following a 25-year killing spree in South Central Los Angeles, in which it is thought he could have killed over 100 victims, potentially making him the most prolific serial killer in history.
This is My Land
This film follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers over one academic year, observing their exchanges and confrontations with students, their debates with their respective ministries’ curriculum and its restrictions, and offering an intimate glimpse into the profound and long-lasting effect that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict transmits onto the next generation.
The 50 Year Argument
Martin Scorsese co-directs this documentary tribute to the New York Review of Books, whose six-decade history saw it frequently on the frontlines of cultural and political debate.
The Wanted 18
Through stop-motion animation, drawings and interviews, directors Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan recreate an astonishing true story from the First Palestinian Intifada: the Israeli army’s pursuit of 18 cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared “a threat to the national security of the state of Israel.”
The Years of Fierro
An empathetic and powerful documentary portrait of César Fierro, a Mexican convict who has spent 30 years in a Texas prison awaiting his sentence of execution by lethal injection.