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Les Affamés  

Directed by Robin Aubert

In a small, remote village in upstate Quebec, things have changed. Locals are not the same anymore – their bodies are breaking down and they have turned against their loved ones. A handful of survivors goes hiding into the woods, looking for others like them.


Allure (Was A Worthy Companion)  

Directed by Jason Sanchez and Carlos Sanchez

TIFF Spark page - Allure

A 30-year-old woman (Evan Rachel Wood) embarks on an intimate yet ultimately manipulative relationship with a 16-year-old runaway (former TIFF rising star Julia Sarah Stone) in the highly anticipated feature debut from Montreal-based photographers Carlos and Jason Sanchez.



Directed by Sadaf Foroughi

Coming of age among the strict traditions of Iran, Ava's life is dictated by rules. As she struggles to find her place within a culture of authority, Ava is pushed deeper into isolation as she challenges duty, family, and the hypocrisy of her surroundings.


The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches  

Directed by Simon Lavoie

TIFF Spark page - Little Girl

Raised alone by their authoritarian father in a state of religious obscurantism, two siblings without names grow up largely ignorant of the world outside their father’s estate. One morning, they find him dead - hanging from a rafter - and must confront their surroundings in order to unravel the mystery of their strange existence.



Directed by Wayne Wapeemukwa

TIFF Spark page - Luk Luk I

Nationalism gets a reality check in Wayne Wapeemukwa's uncompromising debut feature, an expansion of his 2014 short of the same name, following the lives of five Vancouverites living on society's fringes during the 2010 Olympics. The film takes us into uncharted territory, perched somewhere between fiction we must see and documentary we wish didn't exist. As with Wapeemukwa's short films, many of the actors play characters based on their own experiences: a mother and part-time sex worker; a father juggling parenting and his landscaping job with a heroin addiction; a larger-than-life street celebrity who roller-skates around town; an addict who, consistently failed by the system, has recurring visions of being taken away to another world; and a man with a physical impairment who is just trying to make it on his own and get to the hockey finals. These vulnerable five form a community that stands in stark contrast to the glittering backdrop of the Olympics. Highly impactful in demonstrating what a country chooses to believe in and how it acts in reality, Luk'Luk'I is a cinematic punch in the gut and one of the most interestingly constructed films of the year.


RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World  

Directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana

TIFF Spark page - Rumble

Rapturously received at Hot Docs and everywhere it has played since, Catherine Bainbridge's RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World explores the oft-neglected history of musicians of First Nations descent whose work and ancestry has yet to be adequately acknowledged and honoured. Stretching back a century to the work of groundbreaking blues musician Charlie Patton, whose Indigenous ancestry was often glossed over in favour of other narratives, the documentary covers an extraordinary amount of ground. It reminds us of the contributions made by guitar greats Link Wray and Jesse Ed Davis, folk singer Peter La Farge (who wrote "The Ballad of Ira Hayes"), drummer Randy Castillo, influential US artist Rhiannon Giddens, and, of course, legendary figures like Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and poet/musician/activist John Trudell. Along the way there are some startling revelations (see: the FBI trying to derail Sainte-Marie's career), and some seriously kick-ass tunes.


Our People Will Be Healed  

Directed by Alanis Obomsawin

TIFF Spark page - Our People

Our People Will Be Healed, Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, north of Winnipeg, receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy. Its teachers help their students to develop their abilities and their sense of pride. In addition to teaching academic subjects, the school reconnects students with their ancestral culture.


Never Steady, Never Still  

Directed by Kathleen Hepburn

TIFF Spark page - Never Steady

A tender and heartbreaking story of a physically disabled mother and discontent son - each alienated from their world and struggling to manage in the face of grief, guilt and chronic disease. The film is set in the rugged and unforgiving rural north of British Columbia, Canada and the story spans an entire year in the lives of the characters. Having lived with Parkinson’s disease for almost two decades, JUDY (Shirley Henderson) is faced with the heightened challenges of daily life when her husband and caregiver dies of a sudden heart attack on their isolated property on the shores of Stuart Lake. Meanwhile, her teenage son JAMIE (TheĢodore Pellerin), pushed by his father to get a job on the oil fields, is terrified by the idea of filling his shoes at too young an age, and grappling with the daunting task of becoming a man in world that has no apparent room for weakness.


Unarmed Verses  

Directed by Charles Officer

TIFF Spark page - Unarmed

This feature documentary presents a thoughtful and vivid portrait of a community facing imposed relocation. At the centre of the story is a remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old black girl whose poignant observations about life, the soul, and the power of art give voice to those rarely heard in society. Unarmed Verses is a cinematic rendering of our universal need for self-expression and belonging.