It’s that time of year again! The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is gearing up for another round of great films. I’ve been attending the festival since 2012 (except 2016 but that was mostly due to strep), and I’ve been tweaking the types of films I plan to see with my limited time and funds. It began with a mix of international indie films (Watchtower from Turkey) and films that would appear in theatres weeks later (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Then I realized I wanted to watch more women behind the camera, especially women of colour.
This year that’s gotten much easier, because TIFF has made a commitment to screening more films by women.
TIFF has made a five-year commitment to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera. Join the movement by donating today to Share Her Journey and help TIFF empower female voices.
“By supporting female filmmakers, you can make sure the stories women are longing to hear are told truthfully,” says Share Her Journey ambassador Omoni Oboli. “Not only does it empower the filmmakers, but it also helps an audience to see the possibilities of women, instead of our limitations.”
33.6% of the films at this year’s festival are directed by women with female directors making up 42% of the short films and Platform (a direct-driven program) has achieved gender parity. I can’t help but think of Justin Trudeau’s famous “because it’s 2015” comment — but progress isn’t just about the physical passage of time but the time we put into the progress we want to see in our world and in our entertainment.
So I will do my share by offering you a list of women of colour who have directed films that will appear at this year’s festival. This is important because women of colour tend to be left out of the gender conversation when executives and others want to check the woman box on their diversity card. You can check out the entire list of female directors on the TIFF post that I’ve quoted from above. I hope you’ll enjoy the list below and maybe even check out these films if you happen to be at the festival.
- (100ft) – Directed by Minjung Kim
- Angels Wear White (Jia Nian Hua) – Directed by Vivian Qu
- AVA – Directed by Sadaf Foroughi
- Azmaish: A Journey through the Subcontinent – Directed by Sabiha Sumar
- Cocaine Prison (Los Burritos) – Directed by Violeta Ayala
- Creatura Dada – Directed by Caroline Monnet
- Drop By Drop – Directed by Xá, Laura Gonçalves
- I am not a Witch – Directed by Rungano Nyoni
- Killing Jesus (Matar a Jesús) – Directed by Laura Mora
- Kings – Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
- Looking for Oum Kulthum – Directed by Shirin Neshat
- Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts – Directed by Mouly Surya
- Mary Shelley – Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour
- Meditation Park – Directed by Mina Shum
- Mudbound – Directed by Dee Rees
- Novitiate – Directed by Maggie Betts
- Nuuca – Directed by Michelle Latimer
- Oh Lucy! – Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi
- Our People Will Be Healed – Directed by Alanis Obomsawin
- Professor Marston & the Wonder Women – Directed by Angela Robinson
- Radiance – Directed by Naomi Kawase
- Rupture – Directed by Yassmina Karajah
- Silas – Directed by Anjali Nayar, Hawa Essuman
- Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart – Directed by Tracy Heather Strain
- Still Water Runs Deep – Directed by Abbesi Akhamie
- The Drop In – Directed by Naledi Jackson
- The Hungry – Directed by Bornila Chatterjee
- The Poet and the Boy (Si-e-nui Sa-rang) – Directed by Kim Yang-hee
- The Rider – Directed by Chloé Zhao
- The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala) – Directed by Kamila Andini
- Turtles Are Always Home (Sokun Al Sulhufat) – Directed by Rawane Nassif
- Under Pressure – Directed by Andrucha Waddington and Mini Kerti
- Village Rockstars – Directed by Rima Das
- Waiting – Directed by Amberley Jo Aumua
- Waiting For Hassana – Directed by Ifunanya Maduka
- Waru – Directed by Briar Grace-Smith, Ainsley Gardiner, Renae Maihi, Casey Kaa, Awanui Simich-Pene, Chelsea Cohen, Katie Wolfe, Paula Jones
- We Love Moses – Directed by Dionne Edwards
- What Will People Say (Hva vil folk si) – Directed by Iram Haq
Enjoy TIFF and expect to see some coverage from the WWAC team!