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A British invasion of Toronto

  • High Rise

Tom Hiddleston in Ben Wheatley's High-Rise

September 2015

There’s never been a stronger British presence at the Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFF has programmed more than 40 great British films across its sections and also has a special London focus for this year’s City To City programme, which shows eight diverse styles and stories that London filmmakers are bringing to the big screen. The films in City to City: London are Tom Geens’ Couple In A Hole, George Amponsah’s The Hard Stop, Owen Harris’ Kill Your Friends starring Nicholas Hoult, Paul Katis’ Kilo Two Bravo (aka Kajaki), Rufus Norris’ London Road, Elaine Constantine’s Northern Soul, David Farr’s The Ones Below, and Michael Caton-Jones’ Urban Hymn.

Across the festival, the British productions and co-productions show a great wealth of talent: Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne; Ben Wheatley’s hotly anticipated dystopian JG Ballard adaptation High-Rise; Oscar nominee Hany Abu-Assad’s inspiring Arab Idol story The Idol; Nicholas Hytner’s Alan Bennett story The Lady In The Van starring Maggie Smith; jockey documentary Being AP; Ridley Scott’s sci-fi The Martian; Terence Davies’ intimate Scottish epic Sunset Song; and female friendship story Miss You Already starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette, among dozens more films.

To read more about the films in selection at Toronto, check out our new catalogue here.

British Council Film is proud to have played a role in making sure the year’s best British films were considering by Toronto, as we welcomed CEO Piers Handling, artistic director Cameron Bailey and director of programming Kerri Craddock to London for five days of private screenings in June. To learn more about our festival selector screenings, click here.

In the highly competitive shorts programmes, the UK selections are co-productions 7 Sheep by Wiktoria Szymanska and New Eyes by Hiwot Admasu Getaneh as well as Fyzal Boulifa’s Rate Me, which has already screened in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

British industry experts speaking at the TIFF Industry Conference will include Mike Goodridge of Protagonist Pictures, Deborah Sathe of Film London, Gareth Unwin of Bedlam Pictures, Robert Jones and Wayne Marc Godfrey of the Fyzz Facility. Filmmaker Stephen Frears will deliver a masterclass as well as presenting his Lance Armstrong biopic The Program.

In the European Film Promotion Producers Lab, Hanan Kattan of Enlightenment Productions represents the UK in the trans-Atlantic networking platform.

There’s a strong UK showing at the 10th edition of the OMDC’s influential International Financing Forum as well, with attendees including Enrico Tessarin and Mirko Pincleli with The Tears List, Jason Newmark with Darkness Visible, Christopher Sheppard with Molly, Ashley Horner with Hidden Folk and Christine Alderson and Matthew Thompson with Procession.

British Council is a partner in the umbrella organisation We Are UK Film, which has several initiatives at TIFF. We are also supporting the City to City launch party at Film London’s pop-up venue London House (at Maison Mercer).

British Council Head of Film Briony Hanson and Film Programme Manager Wendy Mitchell will both attend TIFF, alongside colleagues from British Council Canada. Wendy will also be moderating three panels, Britain To The World, How Well Do UK Films Sell Abroad? on Sept 11; the British Film Commission’s Filming In The UK panel on Sept 15; and one of the TIFF Upfront sessions, about financing female-led films, on Sept 12.