The full line-up of world and international premieres in Toronto’s Platform and Midnight Madness programmes, with details on each title including sales contacts. Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7-17.

'Not A Word'

Source: Beta Cinema

‘Not A Word’


Dear Jassi (India)
Dir. Tarsem Singh Dhandwar
India’s Singh Dhandwar returns to Toronto for the first time since The Fall in 2006. Set in 1996, the true story follows Canada-­born Jassi (Pavia Sidhu) who falls for Mithu (Yugam Sood), a rickshaw driver beneath her social status, and their fight against dictates imposed by Punjabi society. Written by Amit Rai (OMG 2), it is produced by Indian studio T-Series, Wakaoo Films and Creative Strokes Group.
Contact: Linda Lichter, Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark, Inc 

Dream Scenario (US)
Dir. Kristoffer Borgli
Norwegian writer/director Borgli follows his 2022 Cannes Un Certain Regard entry Sick Of Myself with this dark comedy. Nicolas Cage plays an academic thrust into the limelight when he starts appearing in people’s dreams. Michael Cera and Julianne Nicholson are also in the cast. Ari Aster and Lars Knudsen’s Square Peg produced along with A24, which distributes in North America and handles international sales.
Contact: Ilana Mass, A24

Great Absence (Jap)
Dir. Kei Chika-ura
After premiering his debut feature Complicity at TIFF in 2018, Chika-­ura returns with the story of a long-estranged father with dementia who reunites with his son. The two central roles are taken by acclaimed veteran actor Tatsuya Fuji, who also starred in Complicity, and Mirai Moriyama. Co-written by Chika-ura and Keita Kumano, it was shot on 35mm and is produced by Chika-­ura’s Tokyo-based Creatps.
Contact: Kei Chika-ura, Creatps

I Told You So (It)
Dir. Ginevra Elkann
I Told You So is the second feature by Italian filmmaker Elkann after If Only (Magari) opened Locarno Film Festival in 2019. It is the story of a sudden January heatwave in Rome disrupting the peace and causing people and animals to start losing control. The film’s ensemble cast includes Valeria Golino, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Alba Rohrwacher, Greta Scacchi and Riccardo Scamarcio. It is produced by Fre­mantle-owned The Apartment Pictures with Italy’s Rai Cinema.
Contact: The Match Factory

The King Tide (Can)
Dir. Christian Sparkes
Newfoundland-born filmmaker Sparkes delivers a dramatic thriller with a cast that includes Frances Fisher and Lara Jean Chorostecki. William Woods and Albert Shin wrote the screenplay about an idyllic island village where the arrival of a child with mysterious powers disrupts a once peaceful community. Woods and Allison White produced for Toronto-based Woods Entertainment, Sara Fost Pictures and Tip‑Top Productions.
Contact: Altitude Film Sales

Not A Word (Ger-Slovenia-Fr)
Dir. Hanna Slak
Not A Word is the fourth feature from writer/director Slak, whose most recent pic The Miner was Slovenia’s entry for best international feature in the 2018 Oscar race. Maren Eggert plays an ambitious artist whose relationship with her teenage son is pushed to the edge while on a break from city life. It was shot by Claire Mathon, the acclaimed DoP of Portrait Of A Lady On Fire and Saint Omer.
Contact: Beta Cinema

The Rye Horn (Sp-Belg-Port)
Dir. Jaione Camborda
The Rye Horn is the second feature from writer/director Camborda, whose 2019 debut Arima was selected for San Sebastian’s Made in Spain showcase. Filmed in the Galician language, it is set in 1971 and is the story of Maria, who helps women during childbirth. After a terrible event, she is forced to flee from the island where she lives and becomes a fugitive. Having taken part in two of Spain’s leading development labs, Ikusmira Berriak and Madrid’s ECAM Incubator, The Rye Horn will compete at San Sebastian after its Toronto premiere. It is produced through Esnatu Zinema, Miramemira and Elastica Films.
Contact: Films Boutique 

Shame On Dry Land (Swe-Malta)
Dir. Axel Petersen
This drama tells of online gamblers who have fled Sweden for Malta. An exiled conman (Joel Spira) goes to a lavish wedding seeking redemption but is caught up in a web of lies, deceit and murder. Petersen is making a Toronto return after Avalon played there in 2011. Sigrid Helleday produces for Fedra, and TriArt has Swedish rights.
Contact: Debra Liang, LevelK

Sisterhood (Fr)
Dir. Nora El Hourch
El Hourch’s debut feature Sisterhood (HLM Pussy) follows three teenage best friends who find themselves in hot water when they post a video on social media identifying an assailant who attacked one of the three, sparking a public outcry. The girls are forced to choose between continuing their fight or ceding to pressure. Bérénice Bejo also stars in El Hourch’s follow-up to short film Quelques Secondes, which made waves on the festival circuit (Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Toronto, SXSW, New Horizons). France’s Manny Films produces with Morocco’s La Prod as co-producers.
Contact: Alexandre Moreau, Memento International 

Spirit Of Ecstasy (Fr)
Dir. Héléna Klotz
Klotz premiered her debut narrative feature Atomic Age in the Berlinale’s Panorama section in 2012, where it won the Fipresci prize. Her second fiction feature stars French singer Pomme, in her debut acting role, alongside a cast that includes Niels Schneider, Grégoire Colin, Sofiane Zermani, Mathieu Amalric and Anna Mouglalis. The story follows a woman living in police barracks who tries to break free from her past and make a living in the world of finance. Prolific French production house Les Films du Bélier, also behind Bertrand Bonello’s Venice competitor The Beast and Katell Quillévéré’s Cannes title Along Came Love, produces.
Contact: Agathe Mauruc, Pyramide Distribution 

Midnight Madness

Boy Kills World

Source: Capstone Global

‘Boy Kills World’

Boy Kills World (Ger-S Afr-US)
Dir. Moritz Mohr
Boy Kills World stars Bill Skarsgard, Michelle Dockery and Famke Janssen and marks the feature debut of Mohr, who is known for the TV series Viva Berlin!. The film has high-profile producers, including Sam Raimi and Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee. The story follows a deaf mute boy with a vibrant imagination. When his family is murdered, he is trained by a shaman to repress his childish imagination and become an instrument of death. Los Angeles-based Capstone Global handles international sales, with both Capstone and CAA co-­representing US rights.
Contact: Capstone Global

Dicks: The Musical (US)
Dir. Larry Charles
Known for his work on TV sitcoms and features ranging from Masked And Anonymous to Borat, Charles takes another left turn with this raunchy comedy musical based on off-Broadway show Fucking Identical Twins. Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson adapted their stage show for the film and star as a pair of identical twin business rivals who swap places to trick their divorced parents into reuniting. With a cast that includes Megan Mullally, Nathan Lane and Megan Thee Stallion, the film was produced by Chernin Entertainment and co‑financed by Chernin and A24.
Contact: Ilana Mass, A24

Hell Of A Summer (US-Can)
Dirs. Finn Wolfhard, Billy Bryk
Stranger Things star Wolfhard has shared the screen with Bryk in films including last year’s Sundance and Cannes entry When You Finish Saving The World and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Now the two actors make their directing debuts together on a horror comedy, which they also wrote, about a masked killer terrorising a group of summer camp counsellors. The duo also produce, with Jason Bateman and others, for Bateman’s Aggregate Films and 30West.
Contact: Altitude Film Sales 

Kill (India)
Dir. Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
The fourth feature of Indian writer/director Nagesh Bhat is an action thriller set on a passenger train bound for New Delhi, which becomes a moving battleground when two commandos take on 40 invading bandits. Producers include hitmaker Karan Johar for Dharma Productions, who scored a massive box-office hit as director of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, and Oscar winner Guneet Monga (The Elephant Whisperers) for Sikhya Entertainment.
Contact: Abe Bengio, WME Independent 

Naga (Saudi)
Dir. Meshal Aljaser
Saudi filmmaker Aljaser’s feature debut is a thriller that centres on a woman who becomes stranded in the Arabian desert. She must race home before curfew or face extreme punishment from her strict father. Aljaser is known for tackling issues around Saudi culture. His previous film was short Arabian Alien, which played at Sundance in 2020 and won the jury award at Atlanta Film Festival.
Contact: Monasb Studios 

When Evil Lurks (Arg)
Dir. Demian Rugna
Set in a rural community, this Argentinian horror caused a stir at last December’s Ventana Sur event in Buenos Aires, where it took the Blood Window screenings award before being showcased in this year’s Cannes market. Rugna, director of 2018 Austin Fantastic Fest winner Terrified, depicts two siblings racing to prevent an epidemic of demonic possession. When Evil Lurks is produced by Aramos Cine (The Silent Party), while Shudder handles international distribution. The film is Shudder’s first Spanish-­language original.
Contact: Emily Gotto, Shudder

Working Class Goes To Hell (Ser-Gre-Bul-Monte-Cro-Rom)
Dir. Mladen Djordjevic
Working Class Goes To Hell sees a group of workers turn to the supernatural after their factory burns down due to corrupt forces in their community. Serbian writer/director Djordjevic’s credits include 2009’s The Life And Death Of A Porno Gang, which played at more than 50 festivals, and 2020 docudrama Vienna Hallways. He also produces alongside Milan Stojanovic of Sense Production, which is behind Radivoje Andric’s recent Serbian children’s film How I Learned To Fly and Ivan Ikic’s 2020 Giornate degli Autori feature Oasis.
Contact: Milan Stojanovic, Sense Production 

TIFF / Venice crossover titles

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Toronto profiles by Ellie Calnan, Tim Dams, Patricia Dobson, Sandy George, John Hazelton, Jeremy Kay, Rebecca Leffler, Emilio Mayorga, Wendy Mitchell, Michael Rosser, Mona Tabbara, Silvia Wong