TIFF's Wavelengths program brings ground breaking movies to Toronto

Program brings the radical and the risky to TIFF.

Arabian Nights is showing at TIFF as part of the Wavelengths program after winning over viewers at Cannes.


Arabian Nights is showing at TIFF as part of the Wavelengths program after winning over viewers at Cannes.

While many associate the Toronto International Film Festival with glamour, it’s also about pushing the boundaries of filmmaking. TIFF’s Wavelengths program, featuring 54 works this year, is a unique buffet of experimental and category-defying works.

The 2015 edition features a mix of well-known filmmakers, award-winning artists and emerging new talent. Curated by Andréa Picard, with contributions from members of the fest’s international programming team, this year’s Wavelengths features a record number of Canadian contributions.

“Wavelengths is committed to radicalism and risk-taking,” says Picard. “Those terms can sound glib in today’s world, but within the context of a big festival, the films in Wavelengths provide a critical alternative to traditional cinema in their aesthetics, stylistic approaches and often in their subject matter.”

Highlights include the North American premiere of Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’ sprawling Arabian Nights, which was a huge hit at Cannes, as well as Eva Doesn’t Sleep, about the embalmed body of Argentinian First Lady Eva Perón, starring Gael Garcia Bernal.

“That TIFF can host Hollywood stars and continue to grow its avant-garde program each year is encouraging,” Picard says. “Where else could I find myself in a situation in which Uma Thurman stepped on my foot in killer heels just before I had to introduce a program of political, avant-garde short films to a full house in the next theatre?”

Picard says the Wavelengths series “hugely benefits” from its position inside the bustling annual festival, “where a range of film is showcased and the conversation can be both specialized and expansive.”

This year marks TIFF’s first collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario, which is presenting the work of celebrated Thai filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul, as well as new material by Corin Sworn and Tony Romano.

“There is increasing overlap between the film and art worlds, and Wavelengths actively engages in this dialogue.”

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