Canada’s public broadcaster highlights its ongoing commitment to diverse storytelling and the Canadian filmmaking industry with the following seven CBC titles selected for the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2020), including five World Premieres. In addition to investing in series and films that reflect a range of perspectives at the heart of the Canadian experience, CBC offers an extensive library of homegrown cinema year-round to audiences across the country on the free CBC Gem streaming service.
AKILLA’S ESCAPE (Special Events – Planet Africa 25, World Premiere), written by Charles Officer and Wendy “Motion” Brathwaite, directed by Charles Officer – funded by CBC Films
When a routine deal goes bad, a drug trader (Saul Williams) tries to set things right while unexpected circumstances force him to confront his traumatic origins.
BEANS (Discovery Programme – TIFF New Wave, World Premiere), written by Tracey Deer and Meredith Vuchnich, directed by Tracey Deer, distributed by Mongrel Media – CBC Films pre-buy and winner of the 2019 TIFF-CBC Films Screenwriter Award
Based on true events, Tracey Deer’s debut feature chronicles the 78-day standoff between two Mohawk communities and government forces in 1990 in Quebec.
MONKEY BEACH (TIFF Industry Selects), written and directed by Loretta Todd – CBC Films pre-buy
Based on the Giller Prize-nominated novel by Eden Robinson, MONKEY BEACH is a supernatural mystery, layering tragedy, humour and redemption, to tell the story of Lisa (Grace Dove), a young woman who must accept her true heroic nature in order to save her brother who is lost at sea. Haisla cultural stories are woven into the contemporary lives of Lisa and her family, along with a cast of otherworldly characters including Sasquatches – the ‘monkeys’ of Monkey Beach.
NO ORDINARY MAN (TIFF Docs Programme, World Premiere), directed by Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt, distributed by Les Films du 3 Mars – documentary Channel original title
The legacy of Billy Tipton, a 20th-century American jazz musician and trans icon, is brought to life by a diverse group of contemporary trans artists.
SAINT-NARCISSE (TIFF Industry Selects), written by Martin Girard and Bruce LaBruce, directed by Bruce LaBruce, distributed by Raven Banner & AZ Films – funded by CBC Films
Canada, 1972. Twenty-two-year-old Dominic (Félix-Antoine Duval) has a fetish… for himself. Nothing turns him on more than his own reflection and he spends much of his time taking Polaroid selfies. When his loving grandmother dies, he discovers a deep family secret: his lesbian mother didn’t die in childbirth, like he had been told, and he has a twin brother (also played by Duval) who was raised by a depraved priest in a remote monastery. The power of destiny brings the two handsome, identical brothers back together. After being reunited with their mother, they are soon entangled in a strange web of sex, revenge and redemption.
SING ME A LULLABY (Short Cuts Programme, World Premiere) directed by Tiffany Hsiung – CBC Short Docs, available to stream on CBC Gem beginning Sunday, September 20
A daughter’s search for her mother’s birth parents unravels the complex tensions between love and sacrifice. Captured over 14 years and across two continents, SING ME A LULLABY is Hsiung’s personal story about recovering familial history, healing inherited pain, and understanding that love comes in many forms.
TRICKSTER (Primetime Programme – TIFF New Wave, World Premiere), written by Michelle Latimer and Tony Elliott, directed by Michelle Latimer – CBC original series, premiering on CBC and CBC Gem Wednesday, October 7 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT)
Based on Eden Robinson’s bestselling novel, this series follows an Indigenous teen (Joel Oulette) struggling to support his dysfunctional family as myth, magic, and monsters slowly infiltrate his life.
Radio-Canada is also a leading partner in the Canadian film production industry. In 2017–18 and 2018–19, it pre-licensed no fewer than 47 French-language feature film projects. In addition, Radio-Canada invests in more than 20 film events across the country, including its live broadcast of the Gala Québec Cinéma and special pre-gala programming. Radio-Canada also features one Canadian film a week on three platforms – ICI TÉLÉ, ICI ARTV and ICI TOU.TV EXTRA.
CBC Films funds high-quality features that reflect, represent, and reframe a range of perspectives through character-driven stories that are at the centre of the Canadian experience, spanning 24 features to date led by female, LGBTQ2+, Indigenous and diverse filmmakers. With a new Canadian film added to the CBC Gem streaming library each week, CBC strives to create an unparalleled destination for Canadians to discover homegrown film.
CBC Films premiering on CBC Gem this fall include THE DISAPPEARANCE AT CLIFTON HILL (October 2, directed by Albert Shin – a TIFF 2019 World Premiere); AMERICAN WOMAN (October 16, directed by Semi Chellas – a TIFF 2019 Canadian Premiere), and RED SNOW (October 23, directed by Marie Clements – a VIFF 2019 World Premiere).
CBC Short Docs is CBC’s award-winning series of original short documentaries, offering emerging documentary filmmakers a platform to reach Canadian and international audiences on CBC Gem and the CBC Docs YouTube channel. From festival favourites such as Frame 394, Fast Horse and Take Me to Prom to viral successes such as Finding Fukue, CBC Short Docs deliver big stories in a short time.
documentary Channel is Canada’s home for original feature-length documentaries, devoted to showing the best in homegrown and international titles. This premium digital channel, which is majority owned by CBC, commissions Canadian feature-length documentary films each year that play around the world at festivals and on international broadcasters.