The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its picks for Canada’s Top 10 films of 2020, with a mix of movies from newcomers and seasoned legends.
“In the wake of one of the most challenging years our industry has ever seen, TIFF is glad to celebrate these phenomenal Canadian filmmakers,” Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head of TIFF, said in a statement. “The films selected to the TIFF Canada’s Top 10 list are of the moment and embody the rich storytelling and perspectives we need right now.”
“Beans”, by Quebec/Ontario filmmaker Tracey Deer, topped the features list at number one, while Nicolás Pereda’s “Fauna” of Ontario followed at number two.
It’s no surprise that Deepa Mehta’s “Funny Boy” made the Toronto International Film Festival’s Top 10 list of Canadian films in 2020, in the third spot. The movie is Canada’s selection to represent the country at the 2021 Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category. It is currently available to watch on demand on CBC Gem.
During a Q&A with the film’s cast and crew to celebrate the film’s Oscar submission in late October, Mehta said: “Now more than ever, we need each other, we need love and compassion and togetherness. ‘Funny Boy’ to me is about humanity and hope. It’s about holding up a flag of inclusion, in a world tethering towards an abyss of the great divide.”
Mehta’s 2005 film “Water” was nominated for an Oscar in the Best International Feature Film category. The 2021 Academy Awards will announce the nominations on Feb. 3, while the ceremony takes place on April 25, 2021.
In the fourth spot for TIFF’s 10 picks is Indigenous filmmaker Michelle Latimer’s “Inconvenient Indian”, which has received raves the world over. Latimer told ET Canada’s Carlos Bustamante that she hopes the documentary will be shown in schools across North America.
Coming in fifth in TIFF’s year’s best picks is Mike Hoolboom’s “Judy Versus Capitalism”, with Evan Morgan’s “The Kid Detective” in sixth, Pascal Plante’s “Nadia, Butterfly” seventh, “The Nest” by Sean Durkin eighth, “No Ordinary Man” by Aisling Chin-Yee ninth, with Brandon Cronenberg’s “Possessor” rounding out the 2020 list of feature films.
The top 10 short films include “Aniksha” at number one, by Quebec filmmaker Vincent Toi. In the second spot is “The Archivists” by Igor Drljača, starring Noah Reid.
ET Canada’s Sangita Patel spoke with “The Archivists” star Noah Reid about the short film during TIFF and about his prediction that “Schitt’s Creek” would sweep the 2020 Emmy Awards – he was right! The actor also opened up about his emotional wedding to Clare Stone in the summer:
Meanwhile, “Benjamin, Benny, Ben” by Paul Shkordoff is third on the list of Canada’s best short films of 2020, with “Black Bodies” by Kelly Fyffe-Marshall sitting at fourth, “êmîcêtôcêt: Many Bloodlines” by Manitoba’s Theola Ross in the fifth spot, “Foam (Écume)” by Quebec’s Omar Elhamy in sixth, “How To Be At Home” by Nova Scotia’s Andrea Dorfman in seventh, “Scars” by Quebec’s Alex Anna in eighth, “Sing Me A Lullaby” by Ontario’s Tiffany Hsiung is ninth and “Stump The Guesser” by Manitoba’s Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson finishes off the list.
The 2020 TIFF lists include seven new filmmakers, six filmmakers of colour and three Indigenous filmmakers. While, 40 per cent of the feature films named the year’s best are directed or co-directed by women and 50 per cent of the shorts were directed or co-directed by women.
“Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world, and it is thanks to this diversity that we’re able to see such a range of voices and stories featured on this year’s list,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “We’re so proud to announce these films which truly reflect the spirit of the people in Canada, and it is our hope that they and others around the world seek them out and allow themselves to be enriched by their stories.”