Toronto Announces Docs to Screen at Festival

by Melissa Silverstein on August 4, 2010

in Documentary,Festivals,Women Directors

The Toronto Film Festival has announced 25 documentaries that will screen at this year’s festival.

While I won’t pretend that this site or any other has influence on the decisions that are made on what films to screen, I couldn’t help but smile when I read the following quote from Thom Powers who programs the docs for the festival:

But there’s a few different streams that are notable.  For one, there’s a very strong representation of women, both films by and about them.

They know we are watching.

Women have 9 films directed by women out of 25.  That’s 36%.

A big improvement from last week.  But we all know that women direct more docs.  It’s interesting to note that the women have mostly picked men as their topics of exploration.  There are several very interesting women centric films directed by men.  They are noted below.

Here are the women directed docs (descriptions from IndieWIRE via TIFF):

ANPO
Linda Hoaglund, Japan/USA World Premiere
ANPO depicts resistance to U.S. military bases in Japan through an electrifying collage of paintings and photographs, as well as animated, narrative and documentary films by Japan’s foremost contemporary artists.

Cool It
Ondi Timoner, USA World Premiere
Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner trains her camera on Bjorn Lomborg, the controversial author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” who takes on the issue of climate change, challenging the status quo, and pointing toward new science and technology that might hold the solutions for our future.

Genpin
Naomi Kawase, Japan World Premiere
A serene observation of women giving birth at the clinic of Dr. Tadashi Yoshimura who has spent 40 years on the path of natural childbirth, Genpin is Naomi Kawase’s special meditation on life and on the unshakable bond between mother and child.

Pink Saris
Kim Longinotto, UK World Premiere
Acclaimed director Kim Longinotto is often drawn to tough women. Now she follows Sampat Pal Devi, the leader of the “Pink Gang,” who brings her own brand of justice to the streets of Uttar Pradesh, India, combating violence against women.

The Pipe
Risteard Ó Domhnaill, Ireland International Premiere
Irish farmers and fisherman rise up in protest when Shell tries to build a pipeline for natural gas through their county. The local confrontation reflects an international concern for how energy companies affect the environment and communities.

The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical
Sarah McCarthy, United Kingdom North American Premiere
For one emotional night, a group of children living in a slum in Mumbai, India, get a chance to experience a different world as they perform The Sound of Music with a classical orchestra, fostering hopes that it could change their lives.

Windfall
Laura Israel, USA International Premiere
After wind turbines are proposed for installation in upstate New York, the community’s excitement turns to suspicion over what the project entails. This eye-opening story exposes the dark side of wind energy development and the potential for financial scams.

!Women Art Revolution – A Secret History
Lynn Hershman Leeson, USA World Premiere
Filmed over four decades, this inspiring cultural history tracks the struggles and breakthroughs of women artists from Judy Chicago to Guerilla Girls to Miranda July and more, packed with rare archival footage and overflowing with bold art.

When My Child is Born
Guo Jing & Ke Dingding, China World Premiere
When a child is born, nothing is ever going to be the same. A journey into the everyday life of young university teachers and researchers up against an unexpected pregnancy, as well as a brilliant document on the challenges of being an academic suspended between modernization and tradition, love, career and family ties in ever-mutating contemporary China.

Women Centric Films

Mother of Rock: Lillian Roxon
Paul Clarke, Australia International Premiere
Witness to New York’s infamous punk scene, Lillian Roxon chronicled the movement during the 1960s and 70s. Roxon mingled with the likes of John and Yoko, the Velvet Underground and Janis Joplin and was one of the first on the scene to champion the work of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors.

Precious Life
Shlomi Eldar, Israel International Premiere
With the help of a prominent Israeli journalist, Precious Life chronicles the struggle of an Israeli pediatrician and a Palestinian mother to get treatment for her baby, who suffers from an incurable genetic disease. Each must face their most profound biases as they inch towards a possible friendship in an impossible reality.

Tabloid
Errol Morris, USA World Premiere
The director of The Thin Blue Line and the Academy Award®-winning The Fog of War tells the story of a former Miss Wyoming whose quest for one true love led her across the globe and onto the pages of tabloid newspapers.

Springsteen, Morris, Timoner and 3-D Herzog Lead Toronto’s Impressive Doc Slate
(IndieWIRE)

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