TIFF Adds More Docs including Agnès Varda, Wang Bing

Faces Places
Courtesy of TIFF

By Pat Mullen

The total number of docs at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival increases by four and change today with the festival’s announcement of additional films slated for the programme. The wave of line-ups for the Masters, Contemporary World Cinema, Wavelengths, Primetime, and additional Galas and Special Presentations programmes includes four feature documentaries. Among them are new works by master filmmakers Agnès Varda, who returns to TIFF with Faces Places, which won the Golden Eye for documentary at Cannes this year, and Wang Bing’s Mrs. Fang, which comes to TIFF hot off its win of the Golden Leopard at Locarno.

The festival also adds one doc to its red carpet Gala slots with the retrospective screening of Jerry Kramer’s 1983 straight to video behind the scenes work The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which will play with a new 3D version of the popular music video.

Newly announced documentary features are:


Faces Places (Visages Villages)
Dir. Agnès Varda, JR | France | Canadian Premiere

French master Agnès Varda collaborates with mysterious street artist JR in this wondrous travelogue, in which the duo travel through small villages in the French countryside and immortalize the faces of those they meet in immense public murals.


Dir. Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor | France | North American Premiere

Filmmaking-anthropologist duo Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Leviathan) return to Wavelengths with this complex and deeply disturbing interview-portrait of Issei Sagawa, the notorious Japanese cannibal now living a reclusive life as a paralytic and seeking atonement for his gruesome crimes.

Good Luck
Dir. Ben Russell | France/Germany | North American Premiere
Ben Russell continues his explorations in speculative ethnography with this bifurcated study of two mines: a subterranean, state-owned and-operated copper mine in Serbia, and a small-scale, collective-run open-air gold mine in Suriname, restoring visibility to an often unseen labour force.

Mrs. Fang
Dir. Wang Bing | France/China/Germany | North American Premiere

Celebrated documentarian Wang Bing (West of the Tracks, Three Sisters) returns with this deeply affecting visual document of a dying elderly woman in a little village in southern China.

TIFF runs Sept. 7-17.