TIFF announces lineup for Canada's Top 10 Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival group has announced the lineup for the 2016 Canada's Top Ten Film Festival, an annual event aimed at celebrating and promoting homegrown filmmaking talent.

'Canada continues to deliver superb film talent to the world,' says TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey

Benjamin Kunuk plays Kuanana in Zacharias Kunuk’s latest film, Maliglutit (Searchers), which will open TIFF's 2016 Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival in January. (Kingulliit Productions Inc.)

Youth in revolt, family drama and people grappling with unexpected consequences — these are the themes running through TIFF's annual Canada's Top Ten, the cinema group's pick of the best Canadian movies of the year.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) organization announced on Wednesday morning the lineup for its 2016 Canada's Top Ten Film Festival, an annual event aimed at celebrating and promoting homegrown filmmaking talent.

Maliglutit (Searchers), directed by Zacharias Kunuk, will open the festival, which runs at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto from Jan. 13 to 26.

The festival will also tour to cities across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Regina, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Halifax and Ottawa.

"Canada continues to deliver superb film talent to the world," TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey said in a release.

"This year's Canada's Top Ten lineup ranges from British Columbia to Nunavut to Nova Scotia, telling stories that show Canadians who we are."

​The festival will also feature panel discussions with filmmakers, critics and industry professionals, as well as free events for the public.

Viewers will also be able to vote for their favourite to win the People's Choice Award. Last year's winner was the political satire My Internship in Canada, directed by Philippe Falardeau.

The 2016 lineup is split into three Top 10 lists: feature films, short films and student films. It features the work of both internationally known directors like Xavier Dolan and relative newcomers such as Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf) and Johnny Ma (Old Stone).

TIFF's top 10 Canadian feature films of 2016 are:

Maliglutit (Searchers), directed by Zacharias Kunuk
In Nunavut circa 1913, a man returns from hunting to discover his wife and daughter kidnapped; the rest of his family slaughtered. His father's spirit helper, the loon Kallulik, sets him on course to overturn fate and reunite his family.

Marion Cotillard and Vincent Cassel play a married couple in Xavier Dolan's It's Only The End of the World. (eOne)

It's Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde), directed by Xavier Dolan

The drama, about a terminally ill man returning home to his estranged family, is based on a play of the same name by the late French writer Jean-Luc Lagarce. The movie was chosen as Canada's official submission to the group behind the Academy Awards for consideration in the best foreign-language film category in 2017.

Angry Inuk, directed by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
A young, social-media savvy generation of Inuit try to set the record straight about seal hunting, address the powerful anti-sealing movement and the destructive effect seal bans have had on Inuit economy and culture.

Hello Destroyer, directed by Kevan Funk

One of TIFF's 2016 Rising Stars, Jared Abrahamson stars as a hockey enforcer who must deal with the consequences of an in-game altercation that turns more violent than intended.

Mean Dreams, directed by Nathan Morlando

Josh Wiggins and TIFF Rising Star Sophie Nélisse star in a coming-of-age thriller about a teen boy who runs away from home and his abusive father, with the girl he loves in one hand and a bag of stolen drug money in the other.

Nelly, directed by Anne Émond

TIFF Rising Star Mylène Mackay stars in a film inspired by the life and work of Nelly Arcan, a controversial and brilliant Quebecois novelist who took her own life in 2009 at the age of 36.

Werewolf, directed by Ashley McKenzie, tells the story of two young methadone addicts in a small town. (grassfire films)

Werewolf, directed by Ashley McKenzie

Cape Breton filmmaker Ashley McKenzie features non-professional actors in her debut movie about Blaise and Nessa, two young homeless methadone addicts in a small town. The story is inspired by an actual couple in Cape Breton and the issue of opiate addiction on the island.

Old Stone (Lao shi), directed by Johnny Ma

Chinese-Canadian director Johnny Ma's debut won the People's Choice Award for best Canadian first feature at the Toronto film festival in September. In Old Stone, a man becomes embroiled in China's callous bureaucracy when he takes the victim of an auto collision to the hospital and finds himself liable for the medical bills.

Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves, directed by Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie

Inspired by the 2012 student protests sometimes known as the "Maple Spring," four disaffected Quebecois youths with far-left political leanings declare war on the world they live in, in the form of reckless vandalism and terrorism. 

Window Horses, featuring the voices of Sandra Oh, Ellen Page and Don McKellar, is the only animated film on TIFF's Top 10 feature films list. (TIFF/Canadian Press)

Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming), Ann Marie Fleming

The only animated film in the Top 10 feature films list, Japanese-Canadian filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming tells the story of a young Canadian poet who confronts her past, history, and the nature of poetry. It features the voices of Sandra Oh, Ellen Page and Don McKellar.

Tickets for the TIFF Canada's Top Ten Film Festival go on sale for TIFF members today and to members of the public on Dec. 14. More information about the festival, including event details and the Top 10 short films and Top 10 student films, can be found on the page's website here.