Still From ‘Gaza, mon amour” by Palestinian filmmaking twins Tarzan and Arab Nasser
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is set to happen from September 10 to September 20 for its 45th edition and it is showcasing some incredible Arab films.
The list of titles will officially be released on 25th August, but, what we do know about the schedule is that it consists of some titles from the MENA region, including feature films and short films. With exceptional circumstances this year, the festival plans to offer up digital platforms to enjoy the films and catch up on film expert panels.
Still from Ash Ya Captain by Mayye Zayed
Cameron Bailey, the artistic director of TIFF said in a statement about the lineup, “we began this year planning for a festival much like our previous editions, but along the way, we had to rethink just about everything. This year’s line-up reflects that tumult. The names you already know are doing brand new things this year, and there’s a whole crop of exciting new names to discover.”
The film festival will open with a premiere screening of “David Byrne’s American Utopia,” a documentary by Spike Lee, and will be followed by a variety of new films that will debut at the event, including Halle Berry’s directorial debut, “Bruised.”
“A Suitable Boy,” by Indian director, Mira Nair will close the festival, and is not a film, but a 6 episode adaptation of the famed book by Vikram Seth. The Arab titles in the mix include so far: “180 Degree Rule,” by Iranian director Farnoosh Samadi, “Gaza Mon Amour,” a film inspired by true events by Palestinian filmmakers Tarzan and Arab Nasser, and “Ash Ya Captain” (Lift Like a Girl), a documentary by Mayye Zayed that documents a female weightlifter in Egypt.
TIFF is championing diversity – and is highlighting their approach to gender equality as there are a greater number of females directed submissions for this year’s event and 50% of them are by female filmmakers.