Tanya Tagaq doc, Indigenous romance among Canadian titles added to TIFF slate

TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival is rounding out its Canadian slate with titles including a film by Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, an Indigenous romance and a documentary about the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in Iran.

Homegrown talent is also behind TIFF’s closing night film by Ontario-raised director Mary Harron, “Daliland,” which stars Ben Kingsley as Salvador Dali, with embattled actor Ezra Miller portraying the surrealist artist in his younger years.

TIFF revealed the latest additions to its Canadian lineup at an industry event in Toronto on Wednesday.

Highlights include Tagaq’s “Ever Deadly,” co-directed by Chelsea McMullan, which shows how the singer’s improvisational performances connect to the land where she grew up in Nunavut.

Anishinaabe filmmaker Darlene Naponse, who won TIFF’s Air Canada Audience Choice Award in 2018 for “Falls Around Her,” is vying for another hit at this year’s festival with “Stellar.” The film stars Elle-Ma?ija? Tailfeathers and Braeden Clarke as star-crossed lovers who share a cosmic encounter at a bar in northern Ontario.

Among the documentaries on deck are Babak Payami’s “752 Is Not A Number” about the 2020 shoot-down of a Ukrainian plane in Tehran that killed 176 passengers, and “Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On” about the life of the legendary Cree artist and activist.

Other Canadian titles on offer include:

– Canadians Patrick J. Adams of “Suits” and Douglas Smith of “Big Love” star in the Ontario-shot musical romance, “The Swearing Jar,” alongside Adelaide Clemens of “Rectify” and acclaimed stage and screen actor Kathleen Turner.

– Katherine Jerkovic, who won the Best Canadian First Feature Award at TIFF in 2018 for her debut feature, “Roads in February,” is back at the festival with “Coyote,” about a cook-turned-cleaner in Montreal whose hopes of returning to the kitchen are dashed when he’s asked to look after his grandson.

– Colombian-Canadian musician and artist Lido Pimienta is turning her talents to the small screen with “Lido TV,” which CBC bills as a “variety show with a mission: to help people cope with life in a world that sometimes feels like it’s falling apart.”

– Toronto-raised director Nisha Pahuja’s documentary, “To Kill a Tiger,” follows a farmer in Jharkhand, India, as he fights for justice in the gang rape of his 13-year-old daughter.

– Edmonton-born, Toronto-based filmmaker Graham Foy continues to make waves on the festival circuit with “The Maiden,” about a trio of teenagers whose summer fun takes a turn for the surreal.

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