A number of documentary films, including new titles from Alanis Obomsawin and Alan Zweig, are set to premiere as part of the Canadian Features program at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival.
Obomsawin’s (pictured) Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger will be presented as part of the Masters program, holding its world premiere at TIFF ’19. The film tells the story of Jordan River Anderson, whose healthcare struggles were exacerbated by mismanagement relating to his Indian status, leading to “Jordan’s Principle,” a law ensuring access to care for indigenous peoples, despite continued systemic challenges.
Meanwhile, the TIFF Docs program will include the world premieres of Canadian docs Coppers (Alan Zweig), about the highs and lows of policing; This Is Not a Movie (Yung Chang), about the work of veteran journalist Robert Fisk; and There’s Something in the Water (Ellen Page, Ian Daniel), about environmental racism in indigenous and black communities.
All 26 Canadian feature films at the festival are eligible for the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. All seven Canadian feature directorial debuts are eligible for the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film.
Elsewhere, TIFF will again host Telefilm Canada’s Pitch This! competition, now in its 20th year, which will feature two documentary films.
The pitching competition allows six teams of emerging filmmakers to spend six minutes each pitching their feature film idea to a live audience and a jury of film professionals. The winning team will receive CA$15,000 for project development.
The two documentary finalists include Lauren Grant, Lisa Rideout and Ashley Cooper’s What Night Taught Her, about Canada’s first sex workers’ rights organization and the people who run it, and Kathleen Jayme, Michael Grand and James Brown’s Worst Team Ever, about Canada’s erstwhile other NBA team, the Vancouver Grizzlies.
The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival runs from Sept. 5 to 15. Pitch This! takes place at the Glenn Gould Studio on Sept. 8.
(Photo courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada)