The UHF of the film world.
Latest news

quietearth [Film Festival 08.14.08] movie news

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced a whole load of films, including many world premiers, to be added as part of their lineups. Some of the more interesting looking ones are Lance Daly's Kisses about two Irish brothers who run away from home and deal with the dark underside of Dublin. Another film I'm definitely interested in is Scott McGehee and David Siegel's Uncertainty which stars one of my personal favorites, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It's about a couple in love who find out she's pregnant and they flip a coin from where it apparently follows both possible storylines, but with the same disastrous consequences. Also screening will be Fabrice du Welz's Vinyan (trailer here) which is about a couple who lost their son in a Tsunami and won't give up looking for him. In the Discovery program, the stop-motion animation $9.99 which is about a man seeking the meaning to life.


Afterwards Gilles Bourdos, France/Canada/Germany
World Premiere
Years after a near-death experience shook his childhood, Nathan, now a successful corporate lawyer, has buried himself in his work to escape the reality of a painful divorce. Then a mysterious doctor enters his life, and suddenly Nathan must cope with the shocking news that soon he will die. Afterwards stars Romain Duris, John Malkovich, Evangeline Lilly and Reece Thompson.

Sauna Antti-Jussi Annila, Finland
World Premiere
In the year 1595, following the brutal war between Finland and Russia, brothers Knut and Erik are part of the commission marking the border between the two countries. In doing so, they commit a terrible sin and must survive the consequences. They can only find solace in a sauna where all sins are washed away. The film marks director Antti-Jussi Annila's follow-up to the TIFF06 film, Jade Warrior.

Tears for Sale Uro Stojanovic, Serbia/Croatia
World Premiere
In the mountains of battle-scarred Serbia lies the village of Pokrp, whose men have been eradicated by generations of war. When sisters Little Boginja and Ognjenka inadvertently kill Pokrp's sole surviving male in a futile attempt to lose their virginity, they must find a living, virile man in order to avoid a death sentence.

Universalove Thomas Woschitz, Austria/Luxembourg
World Premiere
Love stories from Brooklyn, Belgrade, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Marseille and Luxembourg play against a backdrop of music by Austrian indie band Naked Lunch, whose haunting songs serve to elaborate upon the stirring narratives.

PA-RA-DA Marco Pontecorvo, Italy/France/Romania
International Premiere
This true story of a street clown, Miloud Oukili, charts his arrival in Romania in 1992, three years after the end of Ceausescu's dictatorship, and his encounter with the children who live on the streets, the so-called "boskettari." Oukili teaches them circus and clown skills in order to give them hope for a better future and a dignified life.

Kisses Lance Daly, Ireland/Sweden
North American Premiere
On the fringes of Dublin, Kylie and Dylan live in a suburban housing estate devoid of life, colour and prospects of escape. Following a violent altercation with his father, Dylan decides to run away from home with Kylie. Together, they embark to the magical nighttime lights of inner-city Dublin to search for Dylan's brother, and the possibility of a new life. As the night wears on, however, the two kids must somehow survive the darker side of Dublin.


Uncertainty Scott McGehee and David Siegel, USA
World Premiere
Starring up and comers Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, The Lookout), Olivia Thirlby (The Wackness, Juno) and Lynn Collins (The Merchant of Venice), this film offers two stories about the same young couple in love who find out that they are pregnant and are not sure what to do. The man flips a coin and there follows two versions of what happens next - but both stories end up with the same consequences.

Unspoken Fien Troch, Belgium
World Premiere
Five years ago, 14-year-old Lisa disappeared from the lives of her parents Lukas and Grace, with no clear reason, no goodbye. Her parents have managed to get their lives back to some semblance of normality, until Benjamin, a former friend of Lisa's, pays them a visit and a series of strange occurrences ensue. Gradually, Lisa's presence begins to seep back into her parents' lives, whether they like it or not. This film marks the second feature for director Fien Troch, whose previous film, Someone Else's Happiness, was at TIFF05.

Je veux voir Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Lebanon
North American Premiere
Their first film since the 2005 critically acclaimed A Perfect Day, filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige ask the question "what can cinema do?" and translate that into a version of reality in Je veux voir (I Want to See). Catherine Deneuve and Rabih Mroué star as themselves, traveling to Beirut and driving through the regions devastated by the 2006 war in Lebanon. This unpredictable adventure aims to reveal the beauty in an area ravaged by war.
Preceded by the short film Expectations
Expectations Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, South Korea/France
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's follow-up to the 2006 award-winning Daratt (Dry Season) charts the journey of a man fleeing his debts by attempting an arduous desert crossing.

Süt Semih Kaplanoglu, Turkey/France/Germany
North American Premiere
Young Yusuf is upset when he learns that his mother Fatma is having a secret affair with the town's railroad stationmaster. He must decide whether to behave in accordance with the traditional male-dominated culture of the town, or to develop a newly open perspective that is more modern.

Vinyan Fabrice du Welz, France/United Kingdom/Belgium
North American Premiere
Eastern spiritual themes of despair are paired with maternal concerns in du Welz's second film after his 2004 Midnight Madness debut, Calvaire. Starring Emmanuelle Béart and Rufus Sewell, Vinyan concerns a couple who are torn after the loss of their son Joshua. Glimpsing a boy who resembles Joshua in video footage from a village of orphaned children on the Thai-Burmese border, Jeanne (Béart) becomes consumed by the belief her son was kidnapped by traffickers in the chaos that followed the 2004 tsunami.


$9.99 Tatia Rosenthal, Israel/Australia
World Premiere
Unemployed and still living at home at 28 years old, Dave Peck discovers a booklet claiming to answer the meaning of life for the low price of only $9.99. In his struggle to share his amazing find with the world, Dave's surreal path crosses with those of his unusual neighbours, including an old man and his disgruntled guardian angel, a magician in debt and a bewitching woman who likes her men extra smooth. A stop-motion animated film, $9.99 features the voices of Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia.

Gigantic Matt Aselton, USA
World Premiere
Smart and well-educated, Brian (Paul Dano) feels adrift in his life and his job at an upscale mattress store. The one thing he knows is that he wants to adopt a Chinese baby, and is on a wait list to do so. When he meets Happy (Zooey Deschanel), an odd and feisty rich girl sent to pick up a mattress for her father (John Goodman), he falls head over heels. But Happy has deep reservations about dating a guy who could become a dad at any time. As they negotiate their increasing intimacy, Brian awaits the call from the adoption agency.

Lovely, Still Nik Fackler, USA
World Premiere
With the approach of Christmas causing him to feel lonely in life and love, Robert Malone (Martin Landau) returns home from his job at a grocery store to find a stranger (Ellen Burstyn) in his house. What begins as an odd encounter quickly blossoms into a full-blown love affair, leaving the two struggling with the baggage attached to their late-in-life romance. Also starring Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri Make a Porno) and Adam Scott, Lovely, Still features original music by Conor Oberst and a score by members of Bright Eyes.

Lymelife Derick Martini, USA
World Premiere
From the filmmaking team behind Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire (TIFF 1999) comes an examination of first love, family dynamics and the American Dream in late 1970s Long Island, as seen through the innocent eyes of a 15-year-old. Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) is a gentle boy - a direct contrast to his blustery father, Mickey (Alec Baldwin). After an outbreak of Lyme disease hits their suburban community, the lives of the Bartletts and their neighbours begin to crumble in the wake of illness, confrontation and paranoia. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Lymelife co-stars Jill Hennessy, Timothy Hutton, Kieran Culkin, Emma Roberts and Cynthia Nixon.

Rain Maria Govan, Bahamas
World Premiere
In hopes of reconciling with the mother who abandoned her, Rain leaves her simple, sheltered life on rural Ragged Island for the big city of Nassau. But her dream of a loving reunion is quickly shattered when she meets Glory, a scarred, angry woman who bears no resemblance to the mother she had hoped for. Driven by a passion for running and the support of a caring track coach, Rain must find the inner strength to build a new life.

The Stoning of Soraya M. Cyrus Nowrasteh, USA
World Premiere
In a remote Iranian village, a woman stands falsely accused of adultery - a moral crime for which the punishment is death by stoning. Voiceless women, armed with only their innocence and dignity, are no match for the overwhelming primal forces that overrun their town. Based on the book by Freidoune Sahebjam, The Stoning of Soraya M. stars Academy Awardâ„¢ nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo.

What Doesn't Kill You Brian Goodman, USA
World Premiere
Childhood friends Paulie (Ethan Hawke) and Brian (Mark Ruffalo) grew up looking out for each other in their Irish-Catholic neighbourhood in South Boston. Trapped in a cycle of gangs, gangsters and shady crime, they are constantly dodging local turf wars and the watchful eye of an encroaching police detective (Donnie Wahlberg). But with Brian's wife (Amanda Peet) growing increasingly distraught by her husband's lifestyle, will the tried and tested friendship between these two Southies crumble once and for all?

Cold Lunch Eva Sørhaug, Norway
International Premiere
The paths of five people intersect in the Oslo district of Majorstua. After Christer disconnects a main fuse in his building in an attempt to save the rent money he mistakenly placed into the laundry, he sets off a chain reaction of consequential events that will change the lives of a caretaker and his daughter, and a new mother and her child.

Vacation Hajime Kadoi, Japan
International Premiere
A middle-aged prison guard, Hirai follows an alienated work routine of strict rules and arduous duties, attending to death row's model inmate, Kaneda. When Kaneda's execution order is signed by the minister of justice, Hirai has the unexpected opportunity for a week of vacation. But there is a price to pay for this well-deserved break, as Hirai must assist Kaneda during his final moments.

Apron Strings Sima Urale, New Zealand
North American Premiere
Food and love are intertwined in this tale of two mothers who must find the courage to confront the secrets and misunderstandings of the past, in order to set their sons free. Apron Strings is a parallel story of two families and two cultures set in suburban Otahuhu in South Auckland, New Zealand.

Better Things Duane Hopkins, United Kingdom
North American Premiere
Deeply inflected by the UK's visual arts scene, Duane Hopkins's feature debut focuses on three groups of characters: Gail, who must overcome agoraphobia and an addiction to romance novels; Rob, coming to terms with the loss of his girlfriend; and the Gladwins, who, following years of unspoken truths that have built a barrier between them, are going through a shift in their 60-year relationship.

Daytime Drinking Young-seok Noh, South Korea
North American Premiere
In a drunken attempt to mend his broken heart, Hyuk-jin and his friends decide to take a trip to the small town of Jeongseon in the Gangwon province. But as the only one to actually make it on the bus, Hyuk-jin embarks on a strange journey that finds him in the middle of a snowy highway without his mobile phone, wallet or pants.

Hooked Adrian Sitaru, Romania/France
North American Premiere
A Sunday picnic seemed like the best way for Mihai and Sweetie to spend some quality time together and take their relationship to a new level. But a series of odd and unexpected events quickly turn this idyllic weekend getaway into the strangest day of their lives.

Kabuli Kid Barmak Akram, France/Afghanistan
North American Premiere
Kabul taxi driver Khaled picks up a woman and, after settling on a price, takes her to her destination. The woman gets out and a new passenger climbs in, only to find a baby in the backseat. Khaled leaps out after the woman, whose face had been obscured by her burqa, but she has vanished. He's left holding the baby - a six-month-old boy. Who was this woman and how will Khaled find her?

Parc Arnaud des Pallières, France
North American Premiere
Georges Nail (Sergi López) lives in a new suburb. He's married, loves his wife, son and dog. Paul Hammer (Jean-Marc Barr) is goodlooking, rich and intelligent, but torn between his severe judgment of the world and his desire to be part of it. When their paths cross, Nail sees an opportunity for new friendship. But Hammer sees a new reason for living - to crucify the perfect image of the happy western man and his incarnation in the person of Georges Nail.

Snow Aida Begic, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Germany/France/Iran
North American Premiere
Eastern Bosnia, 1997. Headed by the young and stubborn Alma, the residents of the war-ravaged and isolated village of Slavno face a dilemma. Should they accept an offer from two visiting businessmen willing to pay them to pick up and leave their homes for good, or do they stay, following their hearts but risking life-threatening poverty? Winner of the 2008 Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prize.

Tale 52 Alexis Alexiou, Greece (our review)
North American Premiere
After Iasonas and Penelope meet at a dinner party, the flirtatiousness between them quickly blossoms into a relationship. But awaking one morning to find that Penelope has mysteriously disappeared, Iasonas is unable to reconstruct what happened. The disappearance of his new girlfriend drives the rather shy Iasonas to despair, prompting confusing delusions on top of his already fragile mental state.

Winds of September Tom Shu-Yu Lin, Taiwan
North American Premiere
Yen, Tang and their gang of baseball-loving friends are in their last year of high school when a scandal involving their beloved sport takes the nation by storm. With one fatal misstep, they will learn how fragile life can be, how delicate their friendship really is and how much courage they'll need to face the adult world.

Zift Javor Gardev, Bulgaria
North American Premiere
The Moth is freed on parole after spending time in prison on wrongful conviction of murder. Jailed shortly before the Bulgarian communist coup of 1944, he now finds himself in a new and alien world - the totalitarian Sofia of the 60s. His first night of freedom draws the map of a diabolical city full of decaying neighbourhoods, gloomy streets and a bizarre parade of characters.

You might also like


San Joaquin Film Society (13 years ago) Reply

UNIVERSALOVE is the Centerpiece film of the 2nd San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF2), Stockton, California, USA (May 14-23, 2009)

Official Site:

Screening Information:

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 3:30PM
Stockton Empire Theatre
West Coast USA Premiere

All details:


Leave a comment