[A scene from Davis Guggenheim's new U2 documentary FROM THE SKY DOWN, which was previously announced as this year's TIFF Opening Night film.]
[Editor's Note: Charlotte Cook checks in from London with her thoughts on this year's Toronto International Film Festival documentary line-up. We'll have more on this in the coming days.]
The majority of documentaries playing at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival were announced Wednesday. We had already learned that this year’s festival would be special for documentaries when Davis Guggenheim’s U2 doc, FROM THE SKY DOWN was announces as the first documentary ever to open TIFF. Also previously announced was Cameron Crowe’s 20-year history of another popular rock band, PEARL JAM TWENTY.
As we have come to expect, TIFF pulls no punches with a programme full of big name directors such as Werner Herzog, Jonathan Demme, Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney and Fred Wiseman.
Gary Hustwit brings the final part of his design trilogy (which began with HELVETICA and OBJECTIFIED) with URBANIZED, which ventures into how the design of our cities and buildings affects our lives. Another Part Three joining the line-up is PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky which is already building anticipated buzz.
Mark Cousins’ THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY clocks in at 900mins (15 hours), but is likely to be a joy for the completist documentary nerds among us.
It’s great to see the excellent THIS IS NOT A FILM (IN FILM NIST) by Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi, which premiered at this year’s Cannes after being smuggled into the country on a USB stick buried inside a cake due to Jafar Panahi’s incarceration and current working ban.
Other eagerly anticipated films are Jessica Yu’s LAST CALL AT THE OASIS, which looks at the current water crisis and Ron Fricke's sequel to Baraka, SAMSARA. One of the most talked about before premiering, and likely after, is SARAH PALIN - YOU BETCHA! by Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill.
The line-up is also notably drawn from a multitude of different countries, with Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile and Austria to name a few.
Talking to CP24, Toronto's Documentary Film Programmer Thom Powers said of this year's line-up "It's kind of an insane embarrassment of riches."
The full documentary line-up so far is below, with more to be added:
THE BOY WHO WAS KING by Andrey Paounov (Bulgaria)
CAPRICHOSOS DE SAN TELMO by Alison Murray (Argentina/Canada)
ARIRANGA by Kim Ki-Duk (South Korea)
COMIC-CON: EPISODE IV - A FAN'S HOPE by Morgan Spurlock (USA)
CRAZY HORSE by Frederick Wiseman (France/USA)
DARK GIRLS by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry (USA)
DUCH, MASTER OF THE FORGES OF HELL by Rithy Panh (France/Cambodia)
FATHERLAND (TIERRA DE LOS PADRES) by Nicolás Prividera (Argentina)
FIRST POSITION by Bess Kargman (USA)
FROM THE SKY DOWN by Davis Guggenheim (USA)
GERHARD RICHTER PAINTING by Corinna Belz (Germany)
GIRL MODEL by Ashley Sabin and David Redmon (USA)
I'M CAROLYN PARKER: THE GOOD, THE MAD, AND THE BEAUTIFUL by Jonathan Demme (USA)
IN MY MOTHER'S ARMS by Atia Al Daradji Mohamed Al Daradji (Iraq/Netherlands/UK)
INTO THE ABYSS by Werner Herzog (USA)
LAST CALL AT THE OASIS by Jessica Yu (USA)
THE LAST DOGS OF WINTER by Costa Botes (New Zealand)
THE LAST GLADIATORS by Alex Gibney (USA)
PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (USA)
PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE by Stephen Kessler (USA)
PEARL JAM TWENTY by Cameron Crowe (USA)
PINA by Wim Wenders (Germany/France)
SAMASARA (Originally from Sanskrit) by Ron Fricke (USA)
SARAH PALIN - YOU BETCHA! by Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill (UK)
THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY by Mark Cousins (UK)
THE TALL MAN Tony Krawitz, (Australia)
THIS IS NOT A FILM (IN FILM NIST) by Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi (Iran)
UNDEFEATED by Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (USA)
URBANIZED by Gary Hustwit (USA and UK)
WHORES' GLORY by Michael Glawogger (Austria/Germany)
THE YEAR OF THE TIGER (EL AÑO DEL TIGRE) by Sebastián Lelio (Chile)