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Bulgaria Culture

Directors Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”) and Patricia Rozema (“I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing”) and producer Cassian Elwes will serve as mentors at the Toronto International Film Festival’s 2019 TIFF Filmmaker Lab, TIFF organizers announced on Wednesday.

The festival also unveiled its lineup of Canadian films, which will include new work directed by Atom Egoyan, Louise Archambault, Ellen Page and Amy Jo Johnson, and starring Felicity Huffman, Imogen Poots and David Cronenberg, among others. And it announced participants in industry programs and the Canadian honorees in its annual TIFF Rising Stars showcase.

The films were spread across eight different sections of the Toronto Film Festival, some of which have yet to announce their non-Canadian programming.

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The Canadian galas, all previously announced, are the opening-night documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band,” Semi Chellas’ “American Woman” and Francois Girard’s “The Song of Names.” In the Special Presentations section, Albert Shin’s “Clifton Hill,” starring celebrated Canadian director David Cronenberg, joins Atom Egoyan’s previously announced “Guest of Honor.”

Canadian documentaries include Alan Zweig’s “Coppers,” Yung Chang’s “This Is Not a Movie” and Ellen Page and Ian Daniel’s “There’s Something in the Water.”

Other Canadian films in the lineup include “Gabrielle” director Louise Archambault’s “And the Birds Rained Down,” “Castle in the Ground,” a film by Joey Klein about the opioid crisis starring Imogen Poots; Amy Jo Johnson’s “Tammy’s Always Dying,” a black comedy starring Felicity Huffman; and four films by indigenous filmmakers: Alanis Obomsawin’s “Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger,” Jeff Barnaby’s “Blood Quantum,” Myriam Verreault’s “Kuessipan,” Elle-Maija Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s “The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open” and Zacharias Kunuk’s “One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk.”

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Governors of the 2019 TIFF Filmmaker Lab will be producer Elwes, writer-director Rozema, acting coach Miranda Harcourt and director Wang. Twenty directors, 10 from Canadian and 10 from around the world, will participate in the four-day program and will interact with a variety of artists and film professionals. The festival is also announcing the first TIFF Talent Accelerator, a year-long program for six Canadian female creators – two directors, two producers and two writers.

Canadian TIFF Rising Stars will be Kacey Rohl, Mikhaïl Ahooja, Nahéma Ricci and Shamier Anderson.

The festival also announced a slate of Canadian short films, as well as the finalists in Telefilm Canada’s annual Pitch This! Competition, in which six filmmaking teams have six minutes to present their ideas to a live audience and jury, with the winning team receiving $15,000.

The festival will run from Sept. 5 through Sept. 15.

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Additional information can be found at the TIFF website.

The Canadian films:

GALAS
“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” Daniel Roher *
“American Woman,” Semi Chellas *
“The Song of Names,” Francois Girard *

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
“Clifton Hill,” Albert Shin
“Guest of Honor,” Atom Egoyan *

SPECIAL EVENTS
“David Foster: Off the Record,” Barry Avrich *
“One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk,” Zacharias Kunuk

MASTERS
“Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger,” Alanis Obomsawin

TIFF DOCS
“Coppers,” Alan Zweig
“This Is Not a Movie,” Yung Chang
“There’s Something in the Water,” Ellen Page, Ian Daniel

DISCOVERY
“Black Conflux,” Nicole Dorsey
“Easy Land,” Sanja Zivkovic
“Kuessipan,” Myriam Verreault
“Murmur,” Heather Young
“Raf,” Harry Cepka
“The Rest of Us,” Aisling Chin-Yee

CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
“And the Birds Rained Down” (“Il pleuvait des oiseaux”), Louise Archambault
“Antigone,” Sophie Deraspe
“The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open,” Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn
“Castle in the Ground,” Joey Klein
“The Last Porno Show,” Kire Paputts
“Tammy’s Always Dying,” Amy Jo Johnson
“White Lie,” Calvin Thomas, Yonah Lewis

MIDNIGHT MADNESS
“Blood Quantum,” Jeff Barnaby
“The Twentieth Century,” Matthew Rankin

TIFF Filmmaker Lab participants:
Canada: Joseph Amenta, Sofia Bohdanowicz, Karen Chapman, Aisling Chin-Yee, Nicole Dorsey, Martin Edralin, Drew Lint, Samantha Pineda Sierra, Geoff Redknap, Charlie Tyrell
International: Abbesi Akhamie (USA), Cyril Aris (Lebanon), Andreas Bøggild Monies (Denmark), Chema García Ibarra (Spain), Beza Hailu Lemma (Ethiopia), Jennifer Peedom (Australia), Johanna Pyykkö (Norway), Silvina Schnicer (Argentina), Maya Vitkova-Kosev (Bulgaria), Charles Williams (Australia)

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A number of ancient civilizations, most notably the Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Slavs, and especially Bulgars, have left their mark on the culture, history and heritage of Bulgaria. Because of this Bulgarian nation has one of the richest folk heritage in the world. Thracian artifacts include numerous tombs and golden treasures, while ancient Bulgars have left traces of their heritage in music and early architecture. Thracian rituals such as the Zarezan, Kukeri and Martenitza are to this day kept alive in the modern Bulgarian culture. The oldest treasure of worked gold in the world, dating back to the 5th millennium BC, comes from the site of the Varna Necropolis. Bulgaria functioned as the hub of Slavic Europe during much of the Middle Ages, exerting considerable literary and cultural influence over the Eastern Orthodox Slavic world by means of the Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools. Bulgaria also gave the world the Cyrillic alphabet, the second most widely used alphabet in the world, which originated in these two schools in the tenth century AD. Bulgaria's contribution to humanity continued throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with individuals such as John Atanasoff — a United States citizen of Bulgarian descent, regarded as the father of the digital computer. A number of noted opera-singers, pianist Alexis Weissenberg, and successful artists popularized the culture of Bulgaria abroad.


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