canadian films TIFF

The top 10 Canadian films to see at TIFF 2016

We may get to see films from all over the world during TIFF, but that doesn't mean we should overlook the fact that the festival has plenty to offer when it comes to our own homegrown cinema. In fact, it's one of the best opportunities of the year to take stock of where our country's film culture is at.

Here are the top Canadian films to see at TIFF 2016.

All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and The Spirit of I.F. Stone
Newspapers and print may be struggling, but investigative journalism is still going strong. All Governments Lie looks at a few journalists -- like Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald and others -- who are keeping it alive in a very 21st Century way: outside the system. This doc is a welcome reminder that journalism still matters.

Anatomy of Violence
Deepa Mehta has never been one to shy away from difficult material, but Anatomy of Violence may be her most difficult to date: the gang rape of a young girl on a bus in New Delhi in 2012. Mehta's approach to the true-life story is surprising and what will make it so fascinating to see is that it's told through the lives of the rapists.

Who doesn't love a little Canadian exercise in genre? With ARQ, Tony Elliot (a screenwriter on Orphan Black) , offers one of the few we'll see this year at TIFF. Set in a near future dystopia, a couple -- Robbie Amell (The Flash) and Rachael Taylor (Jessica Jones) -- find themselves stuck in a Groundhog Day-like loop that somehow ties to a corrupt corporation that rules the earth's resources.

Below Her Mouth
Shot with an all-female crew, Below Her Mouth promises to be the rare lesbian love story told without the male gaze. That's something we need more of. Still, the unique production approach isn't all that makes April Mullen's film appealing. The story is of two women -- one engaged to a man -- who unexpectedly fall for each other and face the consequences.

A (fictional) small island in Eastern Canada has its natural resources sought after by a foreign corporation, and this film offers a satire of the endless negotiation that can arise when so many interests -- political, social, economic -- collide with each other. Considering how good we Canadians can be at satire, Boundaries should provide some good festival chuckles.

It's Only the End of the World
Another year, another movie from Quebec's wunderkind, Xavier Dolan. In his latest, a Cannes Jury Prize winner, a young playwright returns home to his deeply dysfunctional and eccentric family to tell them he's dying.

Mean Dreams
An age-old story -- two star-crossed teenagers fall in love -- gets a thriller-like twist in Mean Dreams. When the young lovers, Casey and Jonas, decide to run away, they steal drug money from Casey's father, an abusive corrupt (Bill Paxton), and make a run for it. It's the prospect of his subsequent hunting them down that adds the thriller element that helps sell Mean Dreams.

Mostly Sunny
Dilip Mehta (brother of Deepha) tackles the life and career of Sunny Leone. Leone grew up in a conservative Sikh family in Sarnia, eventually become an adult film star, and then transition into Bollywood stardom in India. There aren't many people who claim to lead a life with such scope, which will make Mostly Sunny fascinating viewing.

Two Lovers and a Bear
Set in a town of 200 people in the far north of Canada, Two Lovers and a Bear follows the love story of Lucy (Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany) and Roman (Chronicle's Dane DeHaan) who decide to escape their haunted pasts, and the dead-end town to seek a life down south by crossing the Arctic. Most Canadians don't often get to see stories set in this part of Canada, so that alone makes this an anticipated TIFF option.

Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)
Possessing possibly the best movie title at TIFF, Ann Marie Fleming's feature-length animated film sees a young Canadian poet travel to a poetry festival in Iran. Our country often produces excellent and quirky animation, so that makes this one highly anticipated, especially because it promises a story full of both literary and visual colours and epiphanies.

Which Canadian films are you most looking forward to seeing at TIFF 2016? Let us know in the comments.

Film still from Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)

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