36th Toronto International Film Festival

36th Toronto International Film Festival, USA (September 8 - September 18, 2011)

The Toronto International Film Festival is in its 36th year this year, and its second with the lofty-ceilinged, glass-fronted TIFF Bell Lightbox as its main home. The building was filled with long, snaking lines for much of the ten days as demand for seats ran high. It's an event in thrall to stars, its Oscar-race clout drawing celebrities to the red carpet, and the rare decision to open with a documentary (Davis Guggenheim's From the Sky Down, on U2) seemed less about pushing format than angling for a rock-star glean for the evening through the attendance of Bono and The Edge. However, the calibre of films screening was no less for that, the festival's growing reputation as a rival for Venice proving its weight.

From two large sections full of gems, FIPRESCI focused on world and international premieres to award, singling out Gianni Amelio's First Man from the Special Presentations section and Axel Petersen's Avalon from the Discovery program, in what were both rather clear decisions.

The festival closing with a British film, David Hare's political thriller Page Eight, was fitting, given the strong year the Brits are having, films such as Steve McQueen's Shame and Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights having shown in Toronto amid a storm of critical anticipation which proved altogether justified. (Carmen Gray)

Toronto International Film Festival: www.tiff.net

FIPRESCI PRIZE

Avalon Avalon Avalon
(Sweden, 2011, 79 mins) Jury: Diego Batille (Argentina) , Carmen Gray (Great Britain) , Freddie Wong (Hong Kong) , Sam Adams (US) , Pascal Grenier (Canada) , John Semley (Canada)
International Sales: TrustNordisk

Filmbyen 28, 2650 Hvidovre
T: +45 3686 8788, Fax: +45 3686 8750
e-mail: info@trustnordisk.com 
web: www.trustnordisk.com 

The First Man Le premier homme The First Man
(France, Algeria, Italy, 2011, 101 mins)
International Sales: StudioCanal

1 place du Spectacle
92863 Issy-Les-Moulineaux Cedex 9
T: +33 1 71 35 35 35
Fax: +33 1 71 35 11 98
e-mail: laurence.lascary@canal-plus.com 
web: www.studiocanal.com 

The Last Days of Disco

by Carmen Gray

Set in a Swedish summer resort town, Avalon is the ass... read more

The Landscape of Canadian Cinema

by John Semley

As Canada's premiere annual film fete, TIFF (formerly,... read more

Unforgettable Experience

by Pascal Grenier

Japan's enfant terrible and cyberpunk precursor Shin'y... read more