According to Cameron Bailey, the festival's Artistic Director, this selection "attests to the vitality of French cinema. We are also inspired by the quality and number of French women directors in the selection this year. While the world film industry continues to debate the slowness with which women are granted a place, France has taken the lead by simply offering strong films by women." Piers Handling, the festival's CEO, adds that French cinema is "anchored in reality and is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects, with a distinct feeling for narrative. As always, we are stimulated by the unique sensibility that the French bring to their films."
A major event of the post-summer cinema season, the Toronto International Film Festival will hence be the place where 10 world premieres will be presented, accompanied by the films' artistic teams. Unifrance is delighted to accompany this exceptional selection bringing together renowned artists and rising talents, and to ensure their presence alongside French exporters.
The USA and English-speaking Canada represent the number one export territory for French films internationally. Box office income for French films in the zone tallied more than €120 million in 2014, being more than 20 million admissions. 63 French films were released in the territory last year. 2015 has been very encouraging for French films, with 5 majority French productions registering more than $1 million in box office income: Taken 3, Clouds of Sils Maria, The Salt of the Earth, Timbuktu, and Dior and I.
This year is notable for the presence at TIFF of artists confirmed as the rising generation of French actors and filmmakers, along with French women filmmakers (Julie Delpy, Alice Winocour, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Catherine Corsini…) who will be accompanying their films, features or shorts, presented in the festival's main selections. The diversity of French cinema is also reaffirmed with many works by foreign filmmakers, produced or coproduced by France.
When it comes to short films, French cinema has not been left behind because no less than 9 short films will be presented at TIFF this year, 7 of which are in Official Competition.
Unifrance will bring together film industry professionals for several events:
A French Night gala will be organized on September 12, an event produced thanks to the support from Unifrance' partners: Renault, Lacoste, Piper Heidsieck, Nuxe and M0851.
New this year: Unifrance will be creating a "lounge space," with support from Chanel, on September 11, 13, 14 and 15 (by invitation only). The new space is intended to offer fine networking opportunities in the presence of film directors and their stars, and industry players attending TIFF. On September 12, the lounge will be organized in collaboration with Telefilm Canada to celebrate forty years of French and Canadian presence at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), and with Canal+ to celebrate the selection of the second season of Les Revenants in Primetime, the new section dedicated to television series.
Alongside the market and the festival's selection, four other events will be receiving UniFrance films' support:
- Actrices, a photographic exhibition by Kate Barry, produced and exhibited by the Institut Français and which features 25 French actresses, from the great stars of French cinema to the promising newcomers of tomorrow.
- A master class given by Claude Lelouch, organized in collaboration with the Alliance Française.
- The TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Talent Lab, a professional workshop for young international directors. Hiwot Admasu Getaneh (New Eyes) is the young filmmaker participating in the TIFF Talent Lab 2015.
- Presented for the first time at Toronto, the Shoot the Book! project, initiated by the Société Civile des Editeurs de Langue Française, with support from the Consulat Général in Toronto, Institut Français, and BIEF. Its purpose is to allow several French literary works to be presented to a jury of professionals during the festival with the aim of attracting enough attention to be transformed into film adaptations.
Unifrance at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)
Jean-Paul Salomé and Isabelle Giordano, respectively President and Executive Director of UniFrance films, will be in attendance, accompanied by their teams. UniFrance films supervises a stand on the first floor of the Hyatt Hotel, which is available to its members and to French film exporters in order to facilitate their interaction with international distributors. The following exportors have confirmed their presence this year:
Bac Films, Celluloid Dreams, Coproduction Office, Doc & Film International, Elle Driver, EuropaCorp., Playtime, Funny Balloons, Gaumont, Indie Sales, Kinology, Le Pacte, Les Films du Losange, Memento International, Other Angle Pictures, Pathé International, Pyramide International, SND, StudioCanal, Newen Connect a TF1 Group Company, The Bureau Sales, Urban Sales, Versatile, Wide Management, Wide House, Goodfellas (ex-Wild Bunch International).
The French films, or majority/minority French coproductions, selected for the TIFF 2015
- Families by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, in his presence, accompanied by Mathieu Amalric, Gilles Lellouche and Colonia
- Colonia by Florian Gallenberger
- Desierto by Jonás Cuarón
- Dheepan by Jacques Audiard, in his presence, accompanied by Antonythasan Jesuthasan
- Summertime by Catherine Corsini, in her presence
- Ma Ma by Julio Medem
- My Mother by Nanni Moretti
- Mountains May Depart by Jia Zhang-Ke
- Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, in her presence, accompanied by İlayda Akdoğan, Doğa Zeynep Doğuşlu, Elit Iscan, Tugba Sunguroglu, and Gunes Sensoy
- Louder Than Bombs bye Joachim Trier
- The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos
- Un plus une by Claude Lelouch, in his presence, accompanied by Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein
- Youth by Paolo Sorrentino
CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
PLATFORM (competitive section)
CITY TO CITY
TIFF TALENT LAB