Docs

TIFF ’17: Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” sequel gets world premiere

The latest docs from Morgan Spurlock, Rachel Grady and Sophie Fiennes are headed to the Toronto International Film Festival. The projects were among the 23 docs announced on Tuesday (Aug. 1) as part ...
August 1, 2017

The latest docs from Morgan Spurlock, Rachel Grady and Sophie Fiennes are headed to the Toronto International Film Festival.

The projects were among the 23 docs announced on Tuesday (Aug. 1) as part of this year’s TIFF Docs program, 18 of which are world premieres.

The TIFF Docs section will open with Fiennes’ Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami. Filmed over the course of a decade, the new doc offers a stylish and unconventional look at the Jamaican-born model, singer, and New Wave icon. Fiennes’ previous TIFF screenings include The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, which screened in 2006, and its follow up, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, which saw its world premiere at TIFF in 2012.

Another high-profile world premiere is Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, where Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry as he opens his own fast food restaurant.

Also included in the program are Sam Pollard’s Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, which follows the complex career of the multi-talented Rat Pack performer; Kate Novack’s The Gospel According to André, on trend-setting fashion writer André Leon Talley; and Frederick Wiseman’s  Ex Libris, which will take viewers behind the scenes of a New York institution.

The TIFF Docs closing film is Emmanuel Gras’ Makala, which won the Grand Jury prize at Cannes’ Critics Week . It portrays the heroic struggles of a subsistence laborer in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Thom Powers, TIFF Docs programmer, “resistance” is a key theme in this year’s  program.

“We pay witness to rebels challenging the status quo in art, politics, sexuality, religion, fashion, sports and entertainment,” he said, in a statement. “They speak powerfully to our times as audiences seek inspirations for battling powerful and corrupt systems.”

This theme plays out in several films, including Jed Rothstein’s The China Hustle, executive produced by Alex Gibney and Frank Marshall, which confronts a new era of Wall Street fraud; Matt Tyrnauer’s Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, which profiles the sexual taboo breaker Scotty Bowers; Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman’s Silas, which portrays Liberian activist Silas Siakor; and Erika Cohn’s The Judge, which follows the first female Shari’a judge, Kholoud Al-Faqih, practicing law in the West Bank.

Earlier this week, the festival announced its opening night film, Borg/McEnroe, and last week announced a number of gala premieres and special presentations, including the world premiere of Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier’s Tragically Hip doc Long Time Running.

 

Films screening as part of the TIFF Docs program include:

Azmaish: A Journey through the Subcontinent Sabiha Sumar, Pakistan
North American Premiere

BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat Sara Driver, USA
World Premiere

The China Hustle Jed Rothstein, USA
World Premiere

Cocaine Prison Violeta Ayala, Australia/Bolivia/France/USA
World Premiere

Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars Lili Fini Zanuck, United Kingdom
World Premiere

Ex Libris – The New York Public Library Frederick Wiseman, USA
North American Premiere

The Final Year Greg Barker, USA
World Premiere

The Gospel According to André Kate Novack, USA
World Premiere

Documentary program opening film
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami
Sophie Fiennes, United Kingdom/Ireland
World Premiere

JIM & ANDY: the Great Beyond – the story of Jim Carrey & Andy Kaufman featuring a very special, contractually obligated mention of Tony Clifton Chris Smith, USA/Canada
North American Premiere

Jane Brett Morgen, USA
World Premiere

The Judge Erika Cohn, Palestine/USA
World Premiere

The Legend of the Ugly King Hüseyin Tabak, Germany/Austria
World Premiere

Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle Gustavo Salmerón, Spain
North American Premiere

Love Means Zero Jason Kohn, USA
World Premiere

Documentary Program Closing Film
Makala
Emmanuel Gras, France
North American Premiere

Of Sheep and Men Karim Sayad, Switzerland/Qatar
World Premiere

One of Us Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, USA
World Premiere

The Other Side of Everything Mila Turajlić, Serbia/France/Qatar
World Premiere

Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me Sam Pollard, USA
World Premiere

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood Matt Tyrnauer, USA
World Premiere

Silas Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman, Canada/South Africa/Kenya
World Premiere

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! Morgan Spurlock, USA
World Premiere

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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