The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is quickly approaching, and we’re shining our #ACTRAspotlight brightly on the amazing Canadian films and performers coming to the globally-renowned festival. ACTRA Toronto accounts for 15 features and one short film at this year’s TIFF, with over 100 ACTRA Toronto performers displaying their wonderful talents on screen.
#TIFF22 runs from September 8-18, 2022, and ACTRA Toronto will be there showcasing the diversity of Canadian stories and performance on screen. Follow along with us on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter for all the latest live from the festival. And if you’re on Letterboxd, here’s a handy list of the ACTRA Toronto films at TIFF.
Let’s get ready for TIFF (be sure to get your tickets!) and look at the ACTRA Toronto films screening and the performers we can’t wait to see!
Anna Kendrick captures the anxious psychology of a woman in an abusive relationship as her friends try to reconnect with her while on a cottage getaway. Alice (Anna Kendrick) is an anxious person and no one is sure why. When she’s invited on a cottage trip to celebrate her friend’s birthday, she feels like she has to lie to her charming and successful boyfriend, Simon, telling him that it’s a very important business trip.
With: Toni Ellwand, Farah Merani, Megan Fahlenbock, Maddy Foley, Rob Greenway, Deborah Grover, Lindsay K. Leese, Lindsay Owen Pierre
Clement Virgo’s staggering adaptation of David Chariandy’s novel, the story of two Jamaican Canadian brothers whose dreams are dashed by violent reality in 1990s Scarborough, is sure to be received as one of the most powerful films of the year.
With: Lovell Adams-Gray, Dwain Murphy, Joseph Pierre, Devante Goulbourne, Jacob Williams, Sebastian Singh, Maurice Dean Wint, Ordena Stephens-Thompson, Alsseny Camara, Angelica Lisk-Hann (Stunt Coordinator)
In this sly satirical thriller by Toronto’s Tyler Mckenzie Evans, a woman begins to wonder whether the disappearance of the Black families who have long occupied her suburban neighbourhood may be caused by something more sinister than gentrification.
With: Cara Ricketts, Rainbow Sun Francks, Jennifer Gibson, Neil Whitely
In Mercedes Bryce Morgan’s stylish feature debut, Maddie Hasson (Malignant) plays a young woman committed to an unorthodox institution by a pair of enigmatic doctors (Genesis Rodriguez and Stephen McHattie).
With: Stephen McHattie, Gita Miller, Atticus Mitchell, Randy Butcher, Davide Fair, Ariella Cannon
The feature debut from Toronto’s Chandler Levack is a funny, touching, and empathetic look at a film- and self-obsessed teenaged curmudgeon pursuing his dreams and testing personal connections in early-2000s suburban Ontario.
With: Romina D’Ugo, Percy White, Krista Bridges, Andy McQueen, Eden Cupid, Alex Ateah
Created and hosted by music superstar Lido Pimienta, LIDO TV is a fantastically funny and insightful variety show that dexterously explores themes of colonialism, beauty, and feminism.
With: Ali Eisner
Based on Cea Sunrise Person’s memoir, Carly Stone’s accomplished North of Normal recounts the author’s tumultuous, unconventional childhood. In the 1970s, Cea’s hippie grandparents, Grandpa Dick and Grandma Jeanne, flee the repressive climes of the United States for the untrammelled wilds of Alberta and British Columbia with Cea and her teenage mother, Michelle (Sarah Gadon), in tow. Surrounded by perma-stoned adults acting with little regard for any conventions (especially sexual ones), Cea lives a blissfully ignorant, near idyllic life. But when Michelle tires of her father’s criticisms, mother and daughter find themselves living nomadically on the margins of society.
With: Sarah Gadon, River Price-Maenpaa, Gerry Dee, Riley O’Donnell, Janet Porter, Michela Cannon, Laurel Cass, Kelly Penner
The feature-film debut of Métis writer-director-actor Gail Maurice brings us to the fringes of 1980s Montreal as seen through the eyes of a sweet and suddenly orphaned Indigenous girl. Rosie (Keris Hope Hill) is a visibly Indigenous, English-speaking, sweet, and headstrong little girl and her mother has just died. A children’s services agent brings her to her only living relative, her Francophone aunt Frédèrique (Mélanie Bray).
With: Mélanie Bray, Constant Bernard, Keris Hope Hill, Josée Young, Arlene Aguayo Stewart, Jocelyne Zucco, Brandon Oakes, Tony De Santis, Lara Biname
In Luis De Filippis’ resonant debut, twentysomething aspiring writer Ren (Carmen Madonia) and her younger sister Siena (Paige Evans) reluctantly accompany their parents on a family vacation. They aren’t exactly excited, and it doesn’t help that their wildly nostalgic mother Mona (Ramona Milano) cranks up Italian pop tunes, old family favourites, and demands everyone sing along. Once there, Siena drinks and carouses all night long. The more reserved Ren, who is trans, is left to her own devices. Just fired and woefully short of cash, she is forced to spend time with her deliriously happy parents, hang around the apartment vaping and utilizing the free activities the resort offers — all targeted towards children or seniors.
With: Carmen Madonia, Paige Evans, Ramona Milano, Joey Parro, Augustus Oicle, Carmelo Nelson, Mi’de Woon-A-Tai, Atticus Deiseach, Lorcan Dasilva Deiseach, Anna Starnino
The experimental film Stellar is the fourth feature from Anishinaabe director and producer Darlene Naponse, based on her short story of the same name. Veering away from her past work (including Falls Around Her, a TIFF ’18 selection starring Tantoo Cardinal), here Naponse intersperses the flirtation between She and He with a meteorite dropping down outside the bar, creating multiple extreme environmental crises seen only through the giant front window.
With: Rossif Sutherland, RH Thomson, Tina Keeper
In this comedy, husband Josh (played by the film’s writer, Jonas Chernick) and his wife Emma (Schitt’s Creek’s Emily Hampshire) have an empty house for one week. With their daughters off at a winter-break sleepaway camp, they attempt to recapture the magic of their now-comfortable marriage with increasingly wild developments, kicking off with a less-than-satisfactory marital romp and a run-in with a couple they know who are separating.
With: Emily Hampshire, Jonas Chernick, Melanie Scrofano, Lily Gao, Gray Powell, Colin Mochrie, Emily Watt
TIFF presents the first two episodes of season five of the acclaimed Margaret Atwood adaptation, which has become progressively more eerie as the battle for reproductive rights wages across North America.
With: Amanda Brugel, Jonathan Watton, Paula Boudreau, Angela Vint, Edie Inksetter-Lardy, Victoria Marie, Vanessa Burns, Natasha Mumba, Jessica Greco
A film about love, forgiveness, and self-recrimination, Lindsay MacKay’s beguiling The Swearing Jar follows would-be singer-songwriter Carey, who is reluctantly falling for Owen (Douglas Smith), a clerk at the local bookstore. The rub is that she’s still deeply in love with her husband, Simon (Patrick J. Adams). Employing a daring narrative strategy, The Swearing Jar argues that real love lingers — sometimes painfully, sometimes exhilaratingly — no matter how we or our situations change.
With: Douglas Smith, Patrick J. Adams, Athena Park, Nadine Whiteman Roden, Jade Ma, Randy Singh, David Ian Hewlett
Set in 1980s rural Canada, director and visual artist Sheila Pye’s haunting feature debut follows a group of teenage girls — each suffering some form of family trauma — whose relationships with one another are both strengthened and tested over the course of a summer.
With: Jenna Warren, Sadie Rose, Madison Baines, Aaron Poole, Lorcan DaSilva-Déiseach, Measha Brueggergosman
Canadian director V.T. Nayani’s feature debut, starring Devery Jacobs and Priya Guns, is a queer love story about two young women — one Iranian and Kanienʼkehá꞉ka, the other Tamil — living in Toronto and dealing with difficult family legacies.
With: Devery Jacobs, Priya Guns, Janisa Weekes
Oscar-nominated writer-director Sarah Polley’s fearless adaptation of Miriam Toews’ acclaimed novel grants us access to a tight-knit, cloistered religious colony in which women struggle to recover from an epidemic of abuse. Featuring riveting, emotionally complex performances from a stunning ensemble that includes Oscar nominees Rooney Mara and Jessie Buckley and Oscar winner Frances McDormand, Women Talking is a drama of harrowing revelations, fraught alliances, and the search for grace.
With: Liv McNeil, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, Kira Guloien, Shayla Brown, Angela Kosteski, Susan Perreault-Parker, Nathaniel McParland, BJ Prince, David Fox, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, Brian John Roworth, Aidan Devine, Bracken Camilleri, Mary Ann Stevens, Jennifer Murray, Patrick Mark, Gabrielle-Anne Desy, Remington Schneider, Richard Parker, J. Mark Schneider, Curtis Parker, Melissa Kelly, Luke McCoag
(Film descriptions and images courtesy of TIFF.)