A Place Called Chiapas

Director Nettie Wild
Year 1998
Run Time 89min
Genre Documentary

Filmmaker Nettie Wild notes that in Canada, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 1994, was a matter for lively discussion and political debate. In Chiapas, one of the poorest states in Mexico, it provoked an actual revolution.


In this remarkably clear-eyed and vivid documentary, Wild follows the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) as they fight and evade the Mexican army. Wild takes viewers on a journey through fear and hope, telling a complex story of Indigenous rights and corporate interests in the wake of NAFTA.


The film won the Genie for Best Documentary, among several other awards.

Director

Nettie Wild

Writers

Manfred Becker, Nettie Wild

Producers

Betsy Carson, Kirk Tougas, Nettie Wild

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Environment, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Zeitgeist Films

  • Own Voice

Eve and the Firehorse

Director Julia Kwan
Year 2005
Run Time 92min
Genre Drama
A precocious 9-year-old with a wild imagination grows up amid her traditional Chinese immigrant family in Vancouver.

Director

Julia Kwan

Writer

Julia Kwan

Genre

Drama

Interest

Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media

Kissed

Director Lynne Stopkewich
Year 1996
Run Time 88min
Genre Drama
Based on Barbara Gowdy’s short story "We So Seldom Look On Love", Kissed tells the offbeat and unlikely story of Sandra (Molly Parker, who won the Genie Award for best actress for the role), a young woman whose lifelong preoccupation with death leads her to study as an embalmer at a mortuary school, where her romantic feelings about death blossom into full-blown necrophilia.
 
A fellow student (Peter Outerbridge) develops feelings for Sandra, but struggles to cope with her unusual and disturbing sexual desires. Kissed is a rare film about sexual awakening that manages to be both profoundly subversive and extremely tender.
 
“Stopkewich has managed the unlikely feat of making a film about necrophilia that is neither a black comedy nor a horror outing. Rather, she has crafted a poetic, provocative love story about sex, romance and death that is surprisingly endearing.” – Brendan Kelly, Variety
 

Director

Lynne Stopkewich

Writers

Angus Fraser, Lynne Stopkewich

Cast

Molly Parker, Peter Outerbridge, Jay Brazeau

Genre

Drama

Interest

Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

Malofilm Distribution

  • Own Voice

Better Than Chocolate

Director Anne Wheeler
Year 1999
Run Time 101min
Genre Comedy

Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) is happy with her life in Vancouver. She works at an LGBTQ+ bookstore owned by Frances (Anne-Marie MacDonald) and has recently fallen head over heels with a young artist named (Christina Cox). When the couple decide to take their romance to the next level and move in together, everything seems perfect.

That is, until Maggie’s recently-divorced mom Lila (Wendy Crewson) and brother Paul turn up at her doorstep, looking to stay with her. The unlikely foursome end up sharing Maggie’s Vancouver loft, and Maggie must decide whether to keep her relationship – and her sexuality – a secret, or reveal who she really is to her well-meaning but naïve and conservative mother.

“Anne Wheeler's sexy, funny, poignant film, from a bright script by Peggy Thompson, is a real charmer, with considerable brains.” – David Noh, FilmJournal International

Director

Anne Wheeler

Writer

Peggy Thompson

Cast

Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox, Christina Cox, Karyn Dwyer

Producer

Sharon McGowan

Genre

Comedy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles, Other Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

TVA Films

The Grey Fox

Director Phillip Borsos
Year 1982
Run Time 92min
Genre Action/Adventure, Drama

After going in and out of prison for over 30 years after a career of stagecoach robbing, Bill Miner is released in 1901 to a completely new reality. Lost about what to do next, Miner finds his inspiration for his next great adventure from the film The Great Train Robbery. His plan to commit the first ever train robbery leads to a thrilling heist and an intriguing tale full of twists and turns. 

Based on the true story of William Miner (nicknamed the Gentleman Bandit), The Grey Fox won 4 Genie Awards including Best Picture and has been included on TIFF’s top 10 list of the Best Canadian Films of All Time.

Director

Phillip Borsos

Borsos was a four-time Canadian Film Award, Genie Award winner, and an Oscar nominee. He released his debut feature, The Grey Fox, to much acclaim in 1982, at age 27. He also directed The Mean Season, One Magic Christmas, Bethune: The Making of a Hero and Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog, before his tragic death from leukemia at age 41.

Writer

Jonathon M.B. Hunter

Cast

Richard Farnsworth, Jackie Burroughs, Ken Pogue

Producers

David Brady, Peter O'Brian

Genres

Action/Adventure, Drama

Interests

Biography, Classics, History

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

United Artists Classics

Defendor

Director Peter Stebbings
Year 2009
Run Time 101min
Genre Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama
By day, Arthur Poppington (Harrelson) works at a construction site; by night, he is the mighty Defendor, a costumed vigilante who keeps Hamilton safe from his arch nemesis, Captain Industry.

Outfitted in a homemade costume, Defendor may not have special powers, but he is nonetheless dedicated to protecting the streets and fighting crime. He battles a corrupt cop (Koteas), befriends the tough and streetwise Kat (Dennings) and schemes to bring down a local mob boss, all while a court-appointed psychiatrist (Oh) tries to get to the bottom of his conviction that he is, in fact, a superhero.

Turning the superhero genre on its head, Defendor is a bittersweet and emotionally affecting take on our comic book–obsessed culture.

Director

Peter Stebbings

Stebbings’ directorial debut was Defendor, and his second film, Empire of Dirt, was nominated for five CSAs. As an actor, his numerous credits include Citizen Duane, The Borgias, Bates Motel, Counting for Thunder and his newest film Percy Vs Goliath. He recently directed The Disappearance, which garnered four CSAs, and episodes of Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Sounds, and Killjoys. He is currently writing and directing the feature Running with Monsters.

Writer

Peter Stebbings

Cast

Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings, Sandra Oh, Elias Koteas

Producer

Nicholas Tabarrok

Genres

Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Interests

Arts and Culture, Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub

Canadian Distributor

eOne/Criterion

Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster

Director Nathan Morlando
Year 2011
Run Time 105min
Genre Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller
This real-life adventure story is based on an actual Canadian WWII veteran and family man turned bank robber. Disillusioned by his post-war life, Eddie Boyd (Speedman) is torn between his desire to provide for his wife (Reilly) and his dream to go to Hollywood and become a star. Eddie is charming, ambitious and hungry for success, and ultimately turns to crime in order to attain it.

Eddie gets his start by recruiting a gang of small-time crooks and slowly turns them into a crack team of professional thieves. He launches a series of spectacular bank robberies, gaining notoriety and quickly becoming both a beloved national celebrity and public enemy number one. Part action-packed crime caper, part romance, this vibrant film brings an incredible true story to life.

Director

Nathan Morlando

Morlando’s first film, Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster, won Best Canadian First Feature at TIFF. He also directed Mean Dreams, which debuted in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival. He recently produced Giant Little Ones and directed episodes of the show Cardinal.

Writer

Nathan Morlando

Cast

Scott Speedman, Kelly Reilly, Kevin Durand, Brian Cox, Charlotte Sullivan

Producer

Allison Black

Genres

Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Interests

Biography, History

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

eOne

Fido

Director Andrew Currie
Year 2006
Run Time 91min
Genre Comedy, Horror
Welcome to Willard, an idyllic town in a 1950s parallel universe where the sun shines every day, everybody knows their neighbour and zombies carry the mail.

Visually captivating, sly and clever, Fido follows the Robinson family, who have been hesitant to get a zombie of their own even though everyone on the block has one. All that changes when Mom (Moss) buys Fido (Connolly), and the loveable brute becomes young Timmy’s best friend. Fido is a funny, satirical and refreshing movie with an all-star cast and a standout performance by Billy Connolly as Fido.

“Currie’s zombie comedy is in a class by itself.”
— Lori Fireman, NOW Magazine

Director

Andrew Currie

Currie attended Simon Fraser University and the CFC. His feature films Mile Zero and Fido garnered international acclaim and awards. He recently directed The Steps and produced the feature Indian Road Trip and the short film Cloud Striker. He is currently writing and directing the feature The Invisibles.

Writers

Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie, Dennis Heaton

Cast

Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker, Henry Czerny

Producers

Blake Corbet, Mary Anne Waterhouse

Genres

Comedy, Horror

Interests

Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Dub

Canadian Distributor

TVA Films

Hurt

Director Alan Zweig
Year 2015
Run Time 84min
Genre Documentary
In this honest look at the mythmaking of heroes and what later becomes of them, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig profiles Steve Fonyo, a man who ran across Canada at the age of 19 after losing a leg to cancer, following in the footsteps of Terry Fox, and raising millions of dollars for cancer research while doing so.

Although his charity marathon in 1984 was a glorious success, his subsequent exploits — precarious jobs and petty crimes —find him in a state of financial ruin in one of Canada’s toughest neighbourhoods. The unbelievable run that became his life’s greatest achievement is now a crushing burden.

Zweig’s rare and sensitive portrait of a complex one-time hero won the inaugural Platform prize at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Director

Alan Zweig

Writer

Alan Zweig

Cast

Steve Fonyo

Producers

Peter Gentile, Mikey Lalonde

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Biography

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

greenHAT Digital

Into the Forest

Director Patricia Rozema
Year 2015
Run Time 101min
Genre Drama
Director Patricia Rozema has made a brilliant career telling stories about the lives of strong women, and Into the Forest is no exception. Based on Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest tells the terrifyingly plausible story of a not-too-distant future where the power goes out for good, and two sisters (Page and Wood) must stick together in their isolated, rural home without gas, water, electricity or any of the technological conveniences that we take for granted.

As with many science fiction stories, the scariest thing isn’t the loss of power, but the quick disintegration of human society. Without electricity or fuel, the threat of a lawless and terrifying existence looms near, even in the remote woods that the sisters call home. Page and Wood deliver fabulous performances, showcasing a range of emotions as the limits of their sanity, safety and family are tested.

Director

Patricia Rozema

Writer

Patricia Rozema

Cast

Elliot Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie

Producers

Niv Fichman, Aaron L. Gilbert, Elliot Page

Genre

Drama

Interest

Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Elevation Pictures

  • Own Voice

Mighty Jerome

Director Charles Officer
Year 2010
Run Time 84min
Genre Documentary
In 1959, at just 19 years of age, African-Canadian Harry Jerome was Canada’s most promising track and field star, on his way to the Olympics. By 1962, after a terrible leg injury, everyone feared his career was over. But Jerome was determined not to quit, starting what his coach called “the greatest comeback in track and field history.” A truly inspiring Canadian hero, Jerome kept running through years of personal, racial and political challenges, with a strength of character as impressive as his athletic ability. A deeply insightful documentary that tells the runner’s story from his early days through his sudden, tragic death, Mighty Jerome will electrify all those who appreciate stories of courage and passion.

Director

Charles Officer

Actor, writer and filmmaker Officer’s first feature, Nurse.Fighter.Boy, was nominated for 10 Genies, winning one. Officer also directed the docs Mighty Jerome, The Skin We're In, Unarmed Verses, and Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, as well as the feature Akilla's Escape, which won five CSAs. He has recently directed episodes of Coroner, and executive produced and co-directed The Porter. He’s also the executive producer of the upcoming docs The Art of Dance and Emmanuel.

Writer

Charles Officer

Cast

Nykeem Provo

Producers

Tracey Friesen, Selwyn Jacob

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Social Justice & Politics, Sports

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

NFB

My American Cousin

Director Sandy Wilson
Year 1985
Run Time 90min
Genre Comedy, Drama

Sandy (Margaret Langrick) is a bored 12-year-old preparing for another long and uneventful summer in rural 1950s British Columbia, when her older cousin, Butch (John Wildman), arrives unexpectedly from California in a shiny red convertible.

Of course, the impressionable Sandy is immediately dazzled by Butch’s cool, rock’n’roll swagger, whose appearance seems to promise all the excitement that Sandy has been longing for.

Based on writer-director Sandy Wilson’s own memories, My American Cousin won six Genie Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Wilson), Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor (Wildman), Best Actress (Langrick), and Best Film Editing. It remains one of Canada’s best loved coming-of-age films.

“The film works a gentle spell around its viewer, and ends up leaving an unexpected lasting impression.” – Dustin Putman, The Film File

Director

Sandy Wilson

Writer

Sandy Wilson

Cast

Margaret Langrick, John Wildman, Richard Donat

Producers

Sandy Wilson, Peter O'Brian

Genres

Comedy, Drama

Interests

Biography, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Park Circus

  • Own Voice

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Directors Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Kathleen Hepburn
Year 2019
Run Time 105min
Genre Drama

Two Indigenous women from vastly different backgrounds find their worlds colliding on an East Vancouver sidewalk when domestic violence forces one of them, a pregnant teen named Rosie (Violet Nelson), to flee her home.

Àila (Tailfeathers) swiftly offers her shelter, and as their intimate yet challenging encounter develops, the women weave a fragile bond, and must face their own unique struggles with the complexities of motherhood, class, race, and the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

Directors

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Kathleen Hepburn

Writers

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Kathleen Hepburn

Cast

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Violet Nelson (Kwakwakaʼwakw)

Producers

Alan Milligan, Tyler Hagan, Lori Lozinski

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

levelFILM

  • Own Voice

Shin Chi’s Canoe

Director Allan Hopkins (N’quatwua)
Year 2018
Run Time 13min
Genre Drama

Through his father’s gift of a secret and tiny hand-carved cedar canoe, an Indigenous child discovers the strength and resilience to endure his first year at a residential school.

Director

Allan Hopkins (N’quatwua)

Writers

Allan Hopkins (N’quatwua), Kate Kroll

Cast

Zayne Jasper

Producers

Kate Kroll, Allan Hopkins (N’quatwua)

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Family Relationships

Original Languages

English, Other Language

Language Version

EN Subtitles

  • Own Voice

Grandfather on the Prairies

Director Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)
Year 2018
Run Time 3min
Genre Animation, Experimental, Family

Jason meets his great-great-greatgrandfather and soon finds himself in a hilarious debate about what it means to be a hunter.

Director

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)

Writer

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)

Cast

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)

Producers

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway), Lisa Marie Genaille (Cree), Robert Genaille (Cree)

Genres

Animation, Experimental, Family

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Version

None

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

Directors Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky, Nicholas de Pencier
Year 2018
Run Time 87min
Genre Documentary

In 2016, scientists declared that the Earth has entered a new geological era, one that is entirely the consequence of humanity’s abuse of the planet. This documentary goes around the world illustrating the variety of ways that humanity has affected its environment.

In Kenya, authorities set fire to mounds of elephant tusks to protest the illegal ivory trade, resulting in a devastating display of the impact of poaching. In Russia and Germany, mining operations transform the land into an otherworldly wasteland. The unfathomable scale of the images created by these moments are equal parts beautiful and disturbing.

Following Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark, photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier conclude their award-winning trilogy with an urgent message to all the citizens of the world to see the consequences of our actions, before it’s too late.

Directors

Jennifer Baichwal

Baichwal and de Pencier are known for their CSA-winning docs, Manufactured Landscapes, Watermark and Anthropocene. They are frequent collaborators, with Baichwal directing and de Pencier as her cinematographer and producer. Their credits include The Holier it Gets, Act of God and Payback, and their newest film together, Into the Weeds.

Nicholas de Pencier

Baichwal and de Pencier are known for their CSA-winning docs, Manufactured Landscapes, Watermark and Anthropocene. They are frequent collaborators, with Baichwal directing and de Pencier as her cinematographer and producer. Their credits include The Holier it Gets, Act of God and Payback, and their newest film together, Into the Weeds.

Writer

Jennifer Baichwal

Cast

Alicia Vikander

Producer

Nicholas de Pencier

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Environment

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media/Criterion

SARS-CoV-2

Director Andrew Huculiak
Year 2021
Run Time 4min
Genre Documentary

We have been changed in innumerable ways by the historical event of SARS-CoV-2. Ways that we haven’t begun to comprehend. In this short, an individual reflects on the chaos and monotony of the past year.

Director

Andrew Huculiak

Writer

Andrew Huculiak

Cast

Emily Schoen

Producer

Josh Huculiak

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Global Experiences

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

  • Own Voice

Double Happiness

Director Mina Shum
Year 1995
Run Time 87min
Genre Drama
Jade Li (Oh), a vivacious Chinese Canadian, wants to become an actress without upsetting her extremely traditional parents. It’s a balancing act that Jade is finding difficult to achieve. Talking in English, wearing western clothes and going out with non-Asian guys, Jade leads a secret life when she leaves her stuffy-but-warm domestic scene each day. Things come to a head when Mark (Rennie), a white Canadian graduate student, insists on turning their casual fling into something more meaningful. It’s a relationship that Jade’s parents would hate. What should she do?

Sandra Oh won the Best Actress Genie for her performance. The film also won prizes in Vancouver, Berlin and Turin.

Director

Mina Shum

Vancouver-based Shum is best-known for her feature films Double Happiness and Meditation Park, both starring Sandra Oh. Her documentary Ninth Floor was on TIFF’s 2015 list of Canada’s top ten films. Other features include Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity; and Drive, She Said. Most recently, she has directed episodes of Frankie Drake Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries and October Faction. She is currently directing the feature One (Nine).

Writer

Mina Shum

Cast

Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie

Producers

Stephen Hegyes, Rose Lam Waddell

Genre

Drama

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, ESL, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Newcomer Stories, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media

  • Own Voice

Meditation Park

Director Mina Shum
Year 2017
Run Time 94min
Genre Drama

Meditation Park opens with Maria (Cheng Pei Pei), the matriarch of a Chinese-Canadian family, hosting a birthday celebration for her workaholic husband, Bing, (Tzi Ma), along with her similarly overworked daughter (Sandra Oh in a brilliant performance) and her own family.

Maria clearly reveres Bing and the sacrifices he has made for their family – so when she discovers another woman’s panties in his pocket, she's forced to confront the harsh reality that her world may not be what it seemed.

As Maria wrestles with what to do about her discovery, she befriends a group of local eccentrics and a grumpy neighbour (Don McKellar). Maria’s journey of self-discovery soon teaches her everyone’s lives are more complicated than she has been led to believe.

“Shum mines her favourite theme – immigrant experience in Canada – in what seems at first to be a gentle slice of life but eventually develops a powerful emotional force.” – Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine
 
 

Director

Mina Shum

Vancouver-based Shum is best-known for her feature films Double Happiness and Meditation Park, both starring Sandra Oh. Her documentary Ninth Floor was on TIFF’s 2015 list of Canada’s top ten films. Other features include Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity; and Drive, She Said. Most recently, she has directed episodes of Frankie Drake Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries and October Faction. She is currently directing the feature One (Nine).

Writer

Mina Shum

Cast

Tzi Ma, Pei-Pei Cheng, Sandra Oh

Producers

Raymond Massey II, Mina Shum, Stephen Hegyes

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, ESL, Female Filmmaker, Newcomer Stories, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media/Criterion

The Sweet Hereafter

Director Atom Egoyan
Year 1997
Run Time 111min
Genre Drama
A lawyer (Holm), pursued by concerns of losing a daughter to drugs, comes to a Canadian town where 20 children have died in a school bus accident. He wants the parents to sue to make those at fault pay. Told partly in flashbacks that dramatize the days leading up to the accident, this heart-wrenching story follows the lawyer from family to family as he coaxes each to join the lawsuit.

As momentum for the case builds, he finds himself squaring off against the lone survivor of the accident (Polley), battling against the power of long-held family secrets. Based on the bestselling novel by Russell Banks, this shattering film won eight Genie Awards and garnered two Oscar nominations for Egoyan.

“Cuts to the bone and stays there long after its end credits have finished rolling.” — Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com

Director

Atom Egoyan

Egoyan received the Governor General’s award in 2015 for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. He was the first-ever Canadian director to earn two Oscar nominations (for The Sweet Hereafter). His award-winning films include Exotica, Ararat and The Captive. His most recent film, Guest of Honour, premiered at TIFF 2019.

Writer

Atom Egoyan

Cast

Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Bruce Greenwood, Arsinée Khanjian, Tom McCamus

Producers

Atom Egoyan, Camelia Frieberg, Robert Lantos, Andras Hamori

Genre

Drama

Interests

Classics, Family Relationships, Literary Adaptation, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

eOne