IFFI 2017 - Country Of Focus: Canada

By: Amit Agarwal

The 48th International Film Festival of India, has Canada as its ‘Country of Focus’. Interestingly, 2017 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with indigenous people, environment and youth are the major themes of the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation; well reflected in the film package from Canada, curated by the Toronto International Film Festival in collaboration with Telefilm Canada.

The list of Canadian films include Stephen Dunn’s ‘Closet Monster’ which tells the story of an imaginative teenager, his struggle through a rough childhood onto the brink of ‘adulthood’, Pat Mill’s ‘Don’t Talk to Irene’ which portrays how the central character Irene who is bullied at school for her fatness and who gets suspended at the school as a result of a cruel prank, utilizes her community service punishment to prove that you don’t need to be physically ‘perfect’ to be perfectly awesome, Kim Nguyen’s ‘Eye on Juliet’ which is a love story captured through the eye of a spider drone, Mina Shum’s ‘Meditation Park’, which gives us an insight on the experiences of first-generation immigrant women and focuses on the tale of a women’s journey of liberation which unexpectedly starts when she discovers the infidelity of her husband.

Johnny Ma’s film ‘Old Stone’ that was the opening film of the ‘Country of Focus’ screenings is a psychological thriller takes us on a journey with a local small town taxi driver in China who bears the brunt of bureaucracy and legal manipulation after he gets involved in an accident.

Canadian co-productions are also participating in the festival, notable among these are 'Still Night, Still Light’ (Canada, China and Mexico production) competing in the International Competition. Two films are being screened under the Cinema of the World Category; ‘The Bread Winner’ (Canada, Ireland Luxembourg) and ‘Union Leader’ (Canada, India). Another film ‘The Solitude’ (Canada, Venezuela, Italy) was part of the “Biennale College 1017 Venezia” package.

In an interview, The High Commissioner of Canada to India, H.E. Nadir Patel said, “Today, Canada is driving not just the story telling in films, but the technology that allows those stories to be conveyed to audiences around the world. We are delighted that in addition to screening some wonderful films during the 48th IFFI, Telefilm Canada has brought prominent Canadian film personalities, film makers and Canadian companies who are ready to explore opportunities with their Indian counterparts”.