Toronto eagerly awaits the launch of #TIFF13

The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival is hitting the city starting Thursday, September 5th until the 15th and critics, film lovers, and celebrity gurus couldn’t be more excited.  This year the festival is showcasing 288 feature films and 78 shorts, bringing a total of 366 film works to our eyes. How many will you see?

UPDATE: Read our review of Salinger – Shane Salerno’s doc that premiered Sept. 5th at #TIFF13!

UPDATE: Read our review of You Are Here – Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s feature film debut at #TIFF13!

While artists, fans, friends, and business folk attend screenings, parties, conferences, and meetings, TSR will be out and about getting a glimpse of whomever and whatever we can.

Here is a list of a few films we’re looking forward to:

Giraffada | A film by Rani Massalha | France/Germany/Italy/Palestine
Ten year old Ziad is able to communicate with two giraffes at the Qalqilya Zoo, a place himself and other children find to be a safe haven from the harsh realities of Palestine.  Ziad’s father is trying actively to protect the zoo against authorities which is located in the occupied West Bank, but when an Israeli airstrike kills one of the giraffes, Ziad must travel to Tel Aviv to secure a partner for the surviving giraffe who refuses to eat after the loss of her partner.

The F Word | A film by Michael Dowse | Canada
As straightforward and funny as Fubar and Goon are, Michael Dowse is delving into the romantic comedy genre and word on the street is that it was a good choice. Harry Potter… I mean, Daniel Radcliffe plays hopeless romantic, Wallace, down and out on his luck until he meets Chantry, played by Zoe Kazan (remember the awkward daughter in It’s Complicated?). The “funny” part is that Chantry is living with her boyfriend (Is this funny? I guess we’ll have to see it to find out…!) so Wallace opts for best friend status.

Palo Alto | A film by Gia Coppola | USA
I can’t help but be interested in the abilities (or non-abilities, depending on your taste profile) of the Coppola family. The grand-daughter of Francis Ford makes her directorial debut with an adaptation of short stories written by James Franco who also stars in the film. The stories are based on the lives of adolescents living in California – a place I could use a fantasy or two about as the weather here gets cooler and cooler (and I get older and older).

Around the Block | A film by Sarah Spillane | Australia
A non-American feature with Christina Ricci (forget Pan Am… I believe she’s still got it in her). Another directorial debut but this time by Sarah Spillane. Also written by Spillane, Around the Block is about a first-time teacher – Ricci – who mentors a rebellious teen from Redfern, a Sydney suburb. Dealing with their individual hurdles of societal pressures, race, and identity, the film explores the student-teacher relationship in a – hopefully – dramatic and emotional journey.

Ida | A film by Pawel Pawlikowski | Poland
Set in 1960s Poland, Pawlikowski explores the historical and cultural issues that faced Poland as he depicts the life of a young nun about to take her vows within the Catholic Church. Before she is able to, she meets her aunt, Wanda, who reveals family secrets to Anna that she is unable to ignore. Shot in black and white, I’m hoping Pawlikowski is able to beautify these deep cultural and historical roots through story in a similar manner of Haneke’s The White Ribbon (2009).

Gravity | A film by Alfonso Cuarón | USA/UK
If you haven’t seen Y Tu Mama Tambien, watch that. Then watch all the in-betweens (Children of Men and the 3rd Harry Potter to name a couple.. heck.. even A Little Princess. Watch that.), and eventually you will arrive at Gravity. Gravity is pegged as a game-changer when it comes to films set in space. It’s essentially about two astronauts played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock who run into troubles while completing their tasks outside the station.  Buzz is that the opening scene is incredible.

Brought to you by Andrea Wrobel

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