Cronenberg, Polley, Mehta make TIFF Top 10
TORONTO - David Cronenberg's cerebral thriller "Cosmopolis," Sarah Polley's deeply personal documentary "Stories We Tell" and Deepa Mehta's sweeping adaptation of the Salman Rushdie novel "Midnight's Children" are among the movies that made the Toronto International Film Festival's annual list of best homegrown films.
Canada's top 10 feature and short films were recognized at a gala event in Toronto hosted by "Cosmopolis" actress Sarah Gadon and director Don McKellar.
TIFF's artistic director Cameron Bailey says organizers "couldn't be more impressed by the calibre of films" this year.
They include Michael Dowse's hockey comedy "Goon," Xavier Dolan's gender-bending "Laurence Anyways" and Kim Nguyen's searing child-soldier drama "Rebelle," which is Canada's submission for Oscar consideration in the best foreign-language film category.
The top 10 short film list includes Mike Clattenburg's comedy "Crackin' Down Hard," Chloé Robichaud's dramedy "Chef de meute (Herd Leader)," Deco Dawson's surreal "Ne crâne pas sois modeste (Keep a Modest Head)" and Diane Obomsawin's animated "Kaspar."
The films were chosen by a national panel of seven filmmakers, journalists and industry professionals.
"This is a very nice and frankly really smart list because it represents a variety of different genres and different streams of filmmaking that not every list does," senior programmer Steve Gravestock said Tuesday.
"There's a lot of documentaries on this list — three. I think (that's) more than we've had in a while, which I think acknowledges the fact that it was a pretty intense and quite exceptional year for our documentary filmmakers."
Rounding out the feature film list is Peter Mettler's "The End of Time," Sean Garrity's "My Awkward Sexual Adventure," Michael McGowan's "Still" and Nisha Pahuja's "The World Before Her."
Gravestock noted it's not an overly serious collection.
"It's nice to have some comedies on the list — 'Goon' and 'My Awkward Sexual Adventure.' I mean, in the past these lists have not necessarily acknowledged how good some of the comic work coming out of Canada was and is."
He heaped praise on actor Jay Baruchel for starring, co-writing and producing "Goon," and said he's looking forward to his evolving career.
"I thought Jay Baruchel hit a new comic high — I just relished every time I saw him in that film because I think it was a kind of layered profanity that I recognized from my youth, I suppose," he says.
"I've heard that he was looking at a baseball-related project, which as a baseball fan I'm quite looking forward to."
Canada's top 10 films are chosen from features, shorts, documentaries, animation and experimental films.
Each film must have premiered at a major film festival or obtained a commercial theatrical release in Canada in 2012.
All of the top films and shorts will screen in Toronto from Jan. 4 to 13 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, with a selection touring cities including Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal.
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