TIFF ’15: Doc trailer round-up, part one

Ahead of their premieres at TIFF, realscreen presents the first installment of its two-part doc trailer round-up, featuring docs from Davis Guggenheim, Alan Zweig, Louise Osmond, Sydney Pollack and Frederick Wiseman (Pictured: He Named Me Malala)
August 27, 2015

The documentary slate at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival will be one of the biggest in the festival’s history, with 31 feature films (12 of which are world premieres). Ahead of the September event, realscreen has rounded up available trailers and clips for many of the docs, presented below in the first of two parts running this week.

Today’s installment features trailers for Sydney Pollack’s long-delayed Aretha Franklin concert film, the latest from Davis Guggenheim, Frederick Wiseman and Patricio Guzman, and the lone documentary screening in TIFF’s new juried Platform section, Alan Zweig’s Hurt.

The trailers follow below, with synopses provided by TIFF:

Al Purdy Was Here
Brian D. Johnson, Canada, World Premiere

By turns elegiac and celebratory, this documentary tribute to the late, great Canadian poet Al Purdy features readings, reminiscences and performances from some of the greatest names in Canadian letters and music.

Amazing Grace
Sydney Pollack, USA, International Premiere

The late director Sydney Pollack’s behind-the-scenes documentary about the recording of Aretha Franklin’s best-selling album Amazing Grace finally sees the light of day more than four decades after the original footage was shot.

Being AP
Anthony Wonke, United Kingdom/Ireland, World Premiere

An intimate documentary portrait of legendary British horse-racing jockey A.P. McCoy, who risks life and limb in his determination to place his winning record out of reach of future challengers before he retires.

A Flickering Truth
Pietra Brettkelly, New Zealand/Afghanistan, North American Premiere

Director Pietra Brettkelly (The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins) follows a group of dedicated Afghan cinephiles who are literally excavating their country’s cinematic past, as they seek to retrieve over 8,000 hours of film footage that they risked their lives to conceal during the Taliban era.

Dark Horse
Louise Osmond, United Kingdom, Canadian Premiere

Filmmaker Louise Osmond follows the story of a group of friends and neighbors in a small Welsh town who pool their modest resources to invest in a racehorse they dub Dream Alliance, and soon find themselves breaking social barriers by competing against some of the wealthiest horse owners in the UK.

Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr
Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard, Canada, World Premiere

Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen who was captured by American forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and spent a decade imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, tells his own story in his own words, in this documentary portrait.

He Named Me Malala (pictured)
Davis Guggenheim, USA, International Premiere

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) profiles Malala Yousafzai, the Afghan teenager who survived a Taliban assassination attempt to become an outspoken, globally recognized advocate for girls’ rights.

Kent Jones, USA/France, Canadian Premiere

Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, James Gray, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and others discuss the importance of the epochal book that transcribed the week-long 1962 interview between Alfred Hitchcock and French New Wave luminary Francois Truffaut.

Bergur Bernburg and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Iceland/Denmark, World Premiere

Oscar-nominated director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson and co-director Bergur Bernburg helm this lovely documentary portrait of influential Icelandic landscape painter Georg Gudni.

Alan Zweig, Canada, World Premiere

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny) profiles one-time Canadian national hero Steve Fonyo, who raised millions of dollars for cancer research with his 1984-85 coast-to-coast marathon and was subsequently disgraced by numerous troubles with the law.

In Jackson Heights
Frederick Wiseman, USA, North American Premiere

Legendary documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (At Berkeley, National Gallery) explores the culture, politics and daily life of the Queens, New York district of Jackson Heights, which lays claim to being the most diverse neighborhood in the world.

It All Started At The End
Luis Ospina, Colombia, World Premiere

Filmmaker Luis Ospina recounts the history of “El Grupo Cali,” the prolific bohemian artistic collective that revolutionized Colombian film and literature in the 1970s and ’80s.

The Memory of Justice
Marcel Ophüls, United Kingdom/USA/Germany, North American Premiere

This epic documentary by Marcel Ophüls (The Sorrow and the Pity) meditates on Western society’s concepts of justice through comparisons of war crimes in Vietnam, Algeria, and Nazi Germany.

The Pearl Button
Patricio Guzman, Chile/France/Spain, North American Premiere

Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile, Nostalgia for the Light) chronicles the history of the indigenous peoples of Chilean Patagonia, whose decimation by colonial conquest prefigured the brutality of the Pinochet regime.

The Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 10 to 20. Stay tuned for part two of realscreen’s trailers round-up tomorrow.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.