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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Sep 06, 2014
Headline for Culture at TIFF: 10 Fascinating Films at the Toronto International Film Festival
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Culture at TIFF: 10 Fascinating Films at the Toronto International Film Festival

First impressions through reviews and trailers are important as they lead us to the box office and into theatre seats. These 10 picks are based on those very things. Here are some films that stand out after the first glance.

1

Stories of Our Lives-Kenya-A Collective Called "The Nest"

Stories of Our Lives-Kenya-A Collective Called "The Nest"

Based on the lives of the LGBTI community in Kenya, this film explores a group of people searching for identity in a country that refuses to accept their existence. It highlights what happens when people are pushed to the point of hostile invisibility, and access to a cultural identity through acceptance is denied.

2

The 50 Year Argument-USA-Martin Scorsese

The 50 Year Argument-USA-Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi turn the cameras on the world of the written word when they highlight the history of the New York Review of Books. It's a fascinating look into the criticism and the battle over culture that only a book can inspire.

3

Against Landscape-US- Joshua Gen Solondz

Against Landscape-US- Joshua Gen Solondz

Art in four minutes is what this performance artist offers when he challenges our ideas of beautiful scenery. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes of art and politics to change our perspective.

4

Aissa-France-Clement Trehin-Lalanne

Aissa-France-Clement Trehin-Lalanne

Aissa is a young woman from the Congo who hopes to remain in French Territory. While she claims to be a minor, she must undergo a doctors examination to prove so. This film takes on humanity to test our ideas of borders, and what it all really means when it comes down to the territory of land and bodies.

5

Backcountry-Canada-Adam Macdonald

Backcountry-Canada-Adam Macdonald

Backcountry sets a couple up against nature in its real and unromantic version. Jen and her partner Alex find themselves lost after changing route because of a stranger. The fears of the uncanny but beautifully vast Canadian landscape are mixed with the fear of the other in this survival film.

6

Beep-South Korea-Kim Kyung-Man

Beep-South Korea-Kim Kyung-Man

Using his multi-media skills, Kim Kyung-Man pulls apart his countries complicated and institutionally constructed fears of North Korea by educational films and discourses.

7

Behavior-Cuba-Ernesto Daranas

Behavior-Cuba-Ernesto Daranas

An older school teacher, Carmela, becomes close with one of her students, an eleven year old boy named Chala who is searching for something to hold on to. The young boy is sent to a "re-education facility" and Carmela sets out to release him. When she does this, she becomes the target of a which hunt.

8

Canopy-Ken Jacobs-USA

Canopy-Ken Jacobs-USA

Ken Jacobs uses his camera to change perspective on the scaffolding that covers New York streets. It seems haunting while at the same time being as playful as a blanket fort. Tunnel after tunnel of what was once mundane will leave you in awe.

9

A Ceremony for a Friend- Iran-Kaveh Ebrahimpour

A Ceremony for a Friend- Iran-Kaveh Ebrahimpour

In what seems like an interesting dark-comedy take on group justice and thought, A Ceremony for a Friend has a group of people who decide their friend should be hung based on his behaviour. They take serious consideration and thought, even letting him have input, as if to make this choice on his fate reasonable rather than rash.

10

Chop My Money-Congo-Theo Anthony

Chop My Money-Congo-Theo Anthony

Street kids in the Congo have their voices heard as they talk about life and what to make of it. Anthony threads the music of Dirty Beaches throughout the film.