|International Diaspora Film Festival -Toronto, 4 to 7 November 2016|
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Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St., Toronto (Subway College)
The 16th edition of IDFF once again offers a selection of award winning films from around the world with Cannes, Berlin, and Sundance sensations, as well as entries to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film.
The main theme of the festival this year is Coming of Age with stories told by children and young adults. In Sonita and Junction 48 the protagonists express themselves through music to deal with their harsh realities. Enclave is the tale of a 10-year old boy who does not understand the animosity that the adults have created. A young Mexican illegal immigrant in Soy Nero joins the US army in exchange for citizenship.
The Music of Diaspora can also be heard in Around the World in 50 Concerts, where music becomes the common element to gather together people from around the globe. Narcissus tells the story of a young Tunisian gay through music and dance. Two comedies reveal a clash of cultures: Marry Me! is the battle between “back home” and “over here”, and in Highway to Hellas, German precision goes head to head with Greek take-it-easy-ness.
Our made-in-Canada slot includes two features and three shorts. Shahin Parhami, the Montreal-based Iranian Canadian filmmaker comes back to the festival with Shahrzad’s Tale, the story of the Iranian actress-poet-writer turned homeless. All Yours is a comedy drama about a love triangle involving a Belgian gay, an Argentine hustler, and a Canadian girl. Roj Means Sun, Forsaken, and Seeds of the Past are three shorts by young Toronto-based filmmakers.
Under the Shadow is the struggle of a young mother and daughter at the peak of the Iran-Iraq war coping not only with the horror of war, but also with a bad spirit (jin) haunting them.
The festival ends with the screening of Our Lives in Transit about Haitian illegals in the Dominican Republic. This will be followed by a discussion panel on Migration, Diaspora, and Language.
With many North American, Canadian, and Toronto premieres, the IDFF offers a unique opportunity for audiences to see films that would not otherwise be available in Toronto.
For detailed information on films and schedule please visit our website and join our Facebook.
Around the World in 50 Concerts
Heddy Honigmann, The Netherlands, 2015, 95 min, in Dutch and English with English Subtitles
Opening film, International Diaspora Film Festival 2016
To celebrate its 125th anniversary Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra tours the whole world: 50 concerts spread over 6 continents
Goran Radovanovic, Germany/Serbia, 2015, 92min, in Serbian, and Albanian with English Subtitles
Winner, Moscow FF 2016: Audience Award; Int’l Independent Film Award 2016: Best Feature; Official Serbian entry to the Oscars 2017
Ten years after the war in Kosovo: 10-year-old Nenad lives in a small Serbian enclave. Every day, he is driven by a military vehicle from his father’s farm to school, where he is now the only student. His great desire to play with other children seems unattainable.
All Yours (Je Suis ŕ Toi)
David Lambert, Belgium/Canada, 102 min, 2014, in English, French, and Spanish with English subtitles
Winner, Karlovy Vary FF 2014, Best Actor; Milan Lesbian and Gay FF 2015: Best Film; Queer Lisbon FF 2015: Best Actor
Young Argentine Lucas arrives in a small Belgian town to visit gay bakery owner Henry who buys him a plane ticket to Europe, expecting that, in return, Lucas will not only share his bed but also help out at the bakery. Lucas gets to know a Canadian woman named Audrey and her son Jeff.
Shahin Parhami, Canada/Iran/South Korea, 2015, 129 min, In Farsi with English Subtitles
Official Selection, Busan FF 2015; Fribourg FF 2016; Jihlava Doc FF 2015; Montreal FF 2016; San Francisco Iranian FF 2016; In Competition: Asia Pacific Screen Award.
Shahrzad is the pseudonym of early 60s popular Iranian actor, also a published writer/poet and Iran's first woman filmmaker. She saw her fortunes plummet dramatically after the Revolution of 1979. Today, in her late sixties, she is homeless.
Neelesha Barthel, Germany, 2015, 94 min, in German, English, Hindi, Turkish with English Subtitles
A culture clash comedy
Kissy, a young German-Indian woman happily living with her daughter and oversees a building of rented apartments in Berlin. Everything is just tickety-boo, if it were not for her mega traditional grandmother, who has come from India to make sure Kissy gets married or the building will be sold!
Rokhsareh Ghaem-Maghami, Iran/Germany, 90 min, 2015, in Farsi and English with English subtitles
Winner, Sundance FF 2016: Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award; Sarasota FF 2016: Audience Award; Portland FF 2016: Audience Award; Montclair FF 2016: Special Jury Prize, Audience Award; East End FF 2016: Best Documentary; Amsterdam FF: Doc U! Award, Audience Award.
Sonita, and 18-year old Afghan refugee in Iran, captures her dream of being a famous rapper in her scrapbook. However, her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she's worth $9,000.
Rafi Pitts, USA, 2016, 120 min, in English and Spanish with English Subtitles
Winner, Bucharest FF 2016: Festival Prize; Nominated, Berlin FF 2016: Golden Bear, Amnesty International
Nero is a 19-year-old deported Mexican manages to return to Los Angeles, to enlist in the US Army as a “Green Card Soldier”, a short cut to citizenship.
Highway to Hellas
Aron Lehmann, Germany, 2015, 89 min, in German and Greek with English Subtitles
North American Premiere
Winner, Pusan FF 2015: Busan Bank Award.
Germans are coming! Joerg an employee of the AVA bank, arrives on the Greek island Paladiki to check whether the hospital and power station built under a loan exist at all. But he is constantly accompanied by Panos who ensures he won't be too fast with his investigations
Aziz Rouhou (Narcissus)
Sonia Chamkhi, Tunisia, 2016, 90 min, in Arabic and French with English Subtitles
North American Premiere
Hind, a young actress, plays in a play based on the tragic real-life experience of her and her younger brother, a famous gay singer. While Mehdi is torn between his secret love affair and the perspective of getting married, Hind decides to reveal the secrets of her own past.
Under the Shadow
Babak Anvari, UK/Iran, 84 min, 2016, in Farsi with English Subtitles
Winner, Athens FF: Best Screenplay; Sundance FF: World Premiere; Official British entry for the Oscars.
Tehran, 1988: the Iran-Iraq war rumbles into its eighth year. The bombing campaigns focused on the city, coupled with the country’s bloody revolution, slowly tear a mother and daughter apart. As they struggle to stay together in the midst of these modern terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment.
Udi Aloni, Israel/Germany, 95 min, 2016, in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles
Winner, Berlin FF 2016: Audience Award; Tribeca FF 2016: Jury Award; Israeli Film Academy: Best Music, Best Sound, Best Actor; Art Film Slovakia: Best Film, Best Actor
Palestinian rapper Kareem (played by real-life rapper Tamer Nafar) and his singer girlfriend Manar struggle, love and make music in their crime-ridden ghetto and Tel Aviv's hip-hop club scene.
Tickets and Festival Passes on sale starting Saturday, 22 October 2016
Students and Seniors: $12
Festival Pass: $75
15% discount for online purchase until 31 October 2016
Venues: all screenings at Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St., Toronto (Subway College). Discussion Panel (free admission) at Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto
For complete film information, schedule, and ticket purchase please visit our website www.diasporafilmfest.com and join our Facebook: International Diaspora Film Festival
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Sandra P. 10/19/2016