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TIFF Announces Top Ten Canadian Features and Shorts of 2019

The year’s best films, from Sophie Deraspe, Xavier Dolan, Kazik Radwanski, and more


 TIFF revealed its Canada’s Top Ten list of features and short films of 2019. Compiled by TIFF’s team of programmers in collaboration with film experts, the list showcases a richness of voices, perspectives, and insights from some of Canada’s finest established filmmakers, as well as emerging directorial talent from coast to coast to coast.

“TIFF is thrilled to present this uniquely Canadian list that represents the very best in homegrown storytelling,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “With representation spanning across all regions of Canada, these films expertly examine key themes facing society right now — including the power of social media, the importance of independence, mental health, the impact of colonization, domestic abuse, and loneliness.”

This year’s Top Ten list features three directorial debuts and four Indigenous filmmakers. The shorts and features lineups showcase works by 12 of Canada’s most talented female filmmakers. Four directors are alumni from TIFF’s Talent Development programmes: Filmmaker Lab, Writers’ Studio, and Telefilm Canada’s PITCH THIS!

“This year’s list also reflects the voices of women with half of the films selected directed or co-directed by female directors,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “Cinema should reflect us all, and we are so inspired and proud to present this snapshot of the exciting work happening in this country.”

In partnership with Samsung Electronics Canada, TIFF will host a celebratory cocktail for the filmmakers this evening at the Samsung Experience Store, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, followed by a panel with Top Ten filmmakers Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis (White Lie) and Sophie Deraspe (Antigone), moderated by Cameron Bailey. The panel will consider the Canadian film landscape and, more specifically, the use of social media in film and how storytelling has evolved with technology.

TIFF’s Top Ten Canadian films of 2019 are:


And the Birds Rained Down (Il pleuvait des oiseaux) Louise Archambault | Quebec

Anne at 13,000 ft Kazik Radwanski | Ontario

Antigone Sophie Deraspe | Quebec | Film opens at TIFF Bell Lightbox December 6

Black Conflux Nicole Dorsey | Newfoundland/Quebec

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn | British Columbia | Film opens at TIFF Bell Lightbox December 13

Matthias & Maxime Xavier Dolan | Quebec

Murmur Heather Young | Nova Scotia

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk Zacharias Kunuk | Nunavut

The Twentieth Century Matthew Rankin | Quebec

White Lie Calvin Thomas, Yonah Lewis | Ontario



Acadiana Guillaume Fournier, Samuel Matteau, Yannick Nolin | Quebec

Cityscape Michael Snow | Ontario

Delphine Chloé Robichaud | Quebec

Docking Trevor Anderson | Alberta

I Am in the World as Free and Slender as a Deer on a Plain Sofia Banzhaf | Ontario

Jarvik Emilie Mannering | Quebec

No Crying At The Dinner Table Carol Nguyen | Ontario

The Physics of Sorrow (Physique de la tristesse) Theodore Ushev | Quebec

Please Speak Continuously And Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You Brandon Cronenberg | Ontario

Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (Katatjatuuk Kangirsumi) Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland | Quebec


The Canada’s Top Ten shorts will be screened at TIFF Bell Lightbox in a programme format, on January 26, 2020.

The Canada’s Top Ten features list was selected by TIFF’s internal programming team (Cameron Bailey, Diana Sanchez, and Steve Gravestock in consultation with Ravi Srinivasan) in collaboration with the Vancouver Film Critics Circle and the Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma. The shorts list was curated by TIFF’s Short Cuts programming team (Jason Anderson and Robyn Citizen) in collaboration with the following shorts programmers from across Canada: Jason Beaudry, Alex Brundige, and Emily Orr (FIN Atlantic International Film Festival); Dan Karo and Emilie Poirier (Festival du nouveau cinéma); Alex Rogalski (Hot Docs); Brennan Tilley (Calgary International Film Festival); and Curtis Woloschuk (Vancouver International Film Festival).

About TIFF

TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit

TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L’Oréal Paris, and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto.

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