Toronto 2016 Vanguard Announcement Led by Amirpour, Du Welz, and Nacho Vigalondo
TIFF's Vanguard Program(me) always features some of the most innovative filmmakers on the international scene. Ana Lily Amirpour is just that and her debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night made everyone sit up and ask what else she had. Her answer is the "savage dystopian cannibal fairy tale" The Bad Batch with one of the most eclectic casts of the year.
Also premiering in Vanguard is Message From the King by Fabrice Du Welz about a missing girl in LA, and the big American cast debut from everyone's pal Nacho Vigalondo, Colossal. Here's the full Vanguard list:
The Bad Batch
Ana Lily Amirpour, USA, North American Premiere
A savage dystopian cannibal fairy tale set in a Texas wasteland where society's rejects are just trying to make ends meat. Starring Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi, Yolonda Ross, Jayda Fink, Cory Roberts, Louie Lopez, Keanu Reeves, and Jim Carrey.
Joyce A. Nashawati, France/Greece, North American Premiere
Greece, sometime in the near future. A seaside resort is struck by a heavy heat wave, water is rare and violence is mounting. Ashraf, a solitary immigrant, is looking after a villa while its owners are away. On a dusty road crushed by the sun, he is stopped by a police officer for an identity check.
Buster's Mal Heart
Sarah Adina Smith, USA, World Premiere
A mountain man on the run from authorities survives the winter by breaking into people's empty vacation homes. He has recurring dreams of being lost at sea — only to find that he is, in fact, the man lost at sea. He is one man in two bodies. This is the story of how he split in two.
Nacho Vigalondo, Canada, World Premiere
Gloria is an ordinary woman who, after losing her job and being kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, is forced to leave her life in New York and move back to her hometown. When news reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, South Korea, Gloria gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this far-off phenomenon. As events begin to spin out of control, Gloria must determine why her seemingly insignificant existence has such a colossal effect on the fate of the world. Starring Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, and Tim Blake Nelson.
Chung Mong-Hong, Taiwan, World Premiere
Critically acclaimed director Chung Mong-Hong's latest endeavour centres on a young man whose plan to reform himself takes a tumble when he, along with a seemingly carefree, innocent cab driver, is kidnapped over the heroin he is delivering. Starring Hong Kong veteran Michael Hui.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Osgood Perkins, Canada/USA, World Premiere
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a modern and minimalist ghost story, set in an 1800s farmhouse in rural Massachusetts. Lily, a hospice nurse, retells the story of how she moved into the house to care for an ailing horror writer in the last few months of her life...and never left.
Dain Iskandar Said, Malaysia/Indonesia, North American Premiere
A hard-nosed cop and a forensics photographer confront their darkest selves as a macabre murder investigation leads them to the realm of superstitions, shamans and the supernatural.
Message from the King
Fabrice Du Welz, United Kingdom/France/Belgium, World Premiere
After suddenly losing all contact with his younger sister, Jacob King arrives in Los Angeles determined to track her down. Piecing together her last known movements, King finds unsettling evidence of a life gone off the rails as he relentlessly pursues the truth about what happened to his sister. Stars Chadwick Boseman.
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
Dash Shaw, USA, World Premiere
High school can be brutal. Renowned comic book writer/artist Dash Shaw examines how the social structure within a high school changes when calamity strikes. Starring John Cameron Mitchell, Reggie Watts, Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Maya Rudolph, Susan Sarandon, and Alex Karpovsky.
Anne Émond, Canada, World Premiere
A film inspired by the life and work of Nelly Arcan. Nelly is a portrait of a fragmented woman, lost between irreconcilable identities: writer, lover, call girl, and star. Several women in one, navigating between great exaltation and great disenchantment. The film mirrors the violent life and radical work of its subject, paying tribute to a writer who insisted on taking risks. Starring TIFF Rising Star Mylène Mackay.
Alice Lowe, United Kingdom, North American Premiere
Written and directed by British comedian and actress Alice Lowe during her own pregnancy, Prevenge is a darkly comic drama about a pregnant woman out for revenge.
The Untamed (La región salvaje)
Amat Escalante, Mexico/Denmark/France/Germany/Norway/Switzerland, N. American Premiere
Young mother Alejandra is a working housewife, raising two boys with husband Angel in a small city. Her brother Fabian works as a nurse in a local hospital. Their provincial lives are upset with the arrival of the mysterious Veronica. Sex and love can be fragile in certain regions where strong family values, hypocrisy, homophobia and male chauvinism exist. Veronica convinces them that in the nearby woods, inside an isolated cabin, dwells something not of this world that could be the answer to all of their problems.
Lorcan Finnegan, Ireland, World Premiere
Land surveyor Eric, alienated from urban existence and those who love him, travels to a remote and unnamed Irish woodland to assess its suitability for a dubious development project. Intangible elements are at play in this ethereal environment. The place seems to be imbued by an intelligence of sorts. A silhouette flits between trees. The place fascinates the fragmenting Eric as much as it disturbs him. Following in the psychonautic footsteps of the mysterious Devoy, Eric attempts to communicate with his surroundings, but he becomes a prisoner of a place without a name.