TIFF ’14: “Monsoon,” “Wanted 18″ among Canadian docs

Sturla Gunnarsson's Monsoon (pictured), Alanis Obomsawin's Trick or Treaty? and Harold Crooks' The Price We Pay are among the Canadian docs set to play at next month's Toronto International Film Festival.
August 6, 2014

Sturla Gunnarsson’s Monsoon (pictured), Alanis Obomsawin’s Trick or Treaty? and Harold Crooks’ The Price We Pay are among the Canadian docs set to play at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Gunnarsson, whose credits include David Suzuki doc Force of Nature and collaborative doc The National Parks Project, will look at “the incomparably vast weather system that permeates and unifies the varied culture of India” in his latest effort; while Crooks – whose docs include The Corporation and Surviving Progress – will examine the world of tax evasion, offshore banking and corporate malfeasance.

Also heading to TIFF is Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan’s The Wanted 18, which promises to tell the absurdist tale of how 18 cows became both a military target and a symbol of hope for two sides in caught in a Middle Eastern conflict.

The festival will also host the latest film from 81-year-old documentarian Alanis Obomsawin, who chronicles native Canadians in their quest for justice.

Elsewhere, TIFF veteran Barry Avrich is also bringing new work to the festival, via his nine-minute doc short Red Alert, which promises a comedic look at the concerns of a young auburn-haired girl.

The news comes after the festival last week unveiled its main TIFF Docs line-up, featuring new titles from filmmakers such as Joshua Oppenheimer, Nick Broomfield and Fred Wiseman.

TIFF runs from September 4-14. Check out the docs added today, with descriptions provided by the festival:


Sturla Gunnarsson (Canada)
World Premiere

Part road movie, part spectacle, part drama, Monsoon is Sturla Gunnarsson’s meditation on chaos, creation and faith, set in the land of believers. The subject is the monsoon, the incomparably vast weather system that permeates and unifies the varied culture of India, shaping the conditions of existence for its billion inhabitants.

The Price We Pay (La Face cachée de l’impôt)
Harold Crooks (Canada)
World Premiere

Director Harold Crooks (The Corporation, Surviving Progress) 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.

The Wanted 18
Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan (Canada/Palestine/France)
World Premiere

The Wanted 18 reveals how 18 cows in the village of Beit Sahour became an inspiration and symbol of resistance during the first Palestinian Intifada. As the Israeli army searches for the illegal bovines, the story veers from comedy to drama to tragedy – with a large dose of the absurd. Featuring Alison Darcy, Heidi Foss, Holly Uloth O’Brien and Rosann Nerenberg.


Trick or Treaty?
Alanis Obomsawin (Canada)
World Premiere

The new documentary from Alanis Obomsawin follows the journey of Indigenous people in their quest for justice as they seek to establish dialogue with the Canadian government. By tracing the history of their ancestors since the signing of Treaty No. 9, they are raising people’s awareness about the issues that concern them and finally putting an end to inertia.

Canadian Shorts

Red Alert
Barry Avrich (Canada)
World Premiere

A young auburn-haired girl panics when she finds out that redheads may become extinct in just a century, in this charming comic short documentary from veteran filmmaker Barry Avrich. This short film will screen preceding the Canadian feature Wet Bum.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.