The POV Guide to TIFF 2015

The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival is hosting its largest slate of documentaries since 2007, with 31 selections in the TIFF Docs section and several more programmed in Cinematheque, Platform and Primetime. Wondering where to start? Read on as we highlight some of the filmmakers with new work at this year’s fest, with accompanying POV interviews, features and profiles.

Inspired by Naomi Klein’s best-selling This Changes Everything, Avi Lewis’ companion film will have its world premiere at the 2015 fest. We’re thrilled to have interviewed them both about the documentary for our Fall 2015 issue, available September 3 (subscribe today to get it as your first issue!).

You can read about Lewis and Klein’s previous collaboration, The Take, in this 2004 article. Our Fall 2015 issue will also look at Davis Guggenheim’s He Named Me Malala and Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor.

Frederick Wiseman’s 40th film In Jackson Heights will make its North American premiere at the 40th annual festival, unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign be damned. As an added bonus, you can also see a newly restored 35mm print of Titicut Follies as part of the Cinematheque program. Our full 18-minute interview with the master filmmaker can be seen here.

Also screening in Cinematheque is Marcel Ophüls’ rarely-seen The Memory of Justice. This 4+ hour documentary “meditates on Western society’s concepts of justice through comparisons of war crimes in Vietnam, Algeria, and Nazi Germany.” Read about the octogenarian’s career in this POV profile.

TIFF’s new Platform section is “12 films from filmmakers with strong voices and distinct styles,” and we’re thrilled to see Alan Zweig’s latest documentary Hurt selected for the competition. A heavy-hitter jury comprised of Claire Denis, Agnieszka Holland and Jia Zhang-ke will award a $25,000 prize to the best film. Zweig was last at TIFF with 2013’s When Jews Were Funny.

The other new section this year, Primetime, acknowledges the increasing overlap between television and film in both directors and narrative quality. Keith Richards: Under the Influence, from the prolific Morgan Neville, is one of six titles to choose from in this section. Neville has one other music doc at the festival, about a much less disreputable artist: The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Check out POV’s reviews of his two most recent features, Best of Enemies and the Oscar-winning 20 Feet From Stardom.

Finally, TIFF will be screening new films from two directors who toggle between fiction and non-fiction features. Guy Maddin (The Forbidden Room, co-directed with Evan Johnson) wrote for POV about his experiences making his first documentary, My Winnipeg, and we interviewed Wim Wenders (Every Thing Will Be Fine) around the release of Pina.

See you at the festival!