TIFF inches closer to gender parity

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will take place September 5-15, presenting more than 330 films: 36 percent are directed, co-directed, and/or created by women; a slight increase from last year’s representation of 35 percent.

TIFF will showcase world premieres and festival favorites alike at this year’s event comprising 84 feature films directed by women. You’ll have a chance to see Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, Louise Archambault’s “And the Birds Rained Down” depicting three aging hermits in defiance to live their lives their way, the harrowingly emotional death row tale “Clemency” by Chinonye Chukwu, starring Alfre Woodard and Aldis Hodge, Haifaa Al-Mansour’s political thriller “The Perfect Candidate,” and Kasi Lemmons inspiring biopic “Harriet” starring Cynthia Erivo, and many more.

Documentaries, comedies, and short films are a part of TIFF. Bryce Dallas Howard’s “Dads” and Barbara Kopple’s “Desert One” give insight to their worlds;  Casey Wilson’s “Daddio,” Thea Hollatz’ “Hot Flash,” and the bizarre fantasy “Thirsty” by Nicole Delaney promise entertainingly new perspectives in short form storytelling; and Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy tell their comedic tale of two sisters in Maine covering up a violent crime in “Blow the Man Down.”  

In addition, female filmmakers from around the world are represented at TIFF including Bulgaria with “The Father,” co-directed by Kristina Grozeva and Belgian’s “The Barefoot Emperor” co-directed by Jessica Woodworth.  In total, 84 countries and regions are represented at TIFF and women’s voices are being heard in an array of languages.

TIFF is holding true to its endeavor to create gender parity at the annual festival, bringing a needed change to the film industry as it finds itself in the second year of a five-year plan called “Share Her Journey.”  Raising money to fund this initiative, TIFF has instituted the Micki Moore 10-week mentorship residency program, the RBC Female Creator Initiative program to foster artistic skills, and a speaker series. Benefiting more than 200 women by the end of 2019, opportunities for women continue to increase in the hopes of true gender parity at TIFF. 

For more information about TIFF, visit https://tiff.net/films

© Pamela Powell (8/20/19) FF2 Media

Featured photo: Directors Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard, Dads

Bottom photo: Director Haifaa Al Mansour, The Perfect Candidate (Credit: AFP)

Photo credits: Toronto International Film Festival

Tags: TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival

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New York native film critic and film critic Pamela Powell now resides near Chicago, interviewing screenwriters and directors of big blockbusters and independent gems as an Associate for FF2 Media. With a graduate degree from Northwestern in Speech-Language Pathology, she has tailored her writing, observational, and evaluative skills to encompass all aspects of film. With a focus on women in film, Pamela also gravitates toward films that are eye-opening, educational, and entertaining with the hopes of making this world a better place. 
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