Bell Media Supports Some of the Biggest Buzz Canadian Films Selected for the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival®

— August 1st, 2018

On the heels of TIFF’s announcement earlier today, Bell Media is proud to have supported some of the most highly anticipated Canadian films chosen for this year’s Festival. Projects supported through various funding, development, and pre-licensing initiatives include: Xavier Dolan’s English-language debut The Death and Life of John F. Donovan; The Fall Of the American Empire from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Denys Arcand; Bell Media Original Documentaries Sharkwater Extinction (the final work by the late filmmaker and conservationist Rob Stewart), Anthropocene (from Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky), and Carmine Street Guitars (from Ron Mann); and The Grizzlies, Miranda de Pencier’s feature directorial debut. These projects join previously announced Bell Media-backed titles including: Keith Behrman’s Giant Little Ones; Kim Nguyen’s The Hummingbird Project, starring Salma Hayek, Alexander Skarsgård, and Jesse Eisenberg; and Don McKellar’s Through Black Spruce. Below is the full list of projects selected for the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival that have been supported by Bell Media through story optioning support, script development, pre-licensing, funding, and/or equity investment: Anthropocene (World Premiere) The highly anticipated documentary from Long Time Running filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky explores potash mines, expansive concrete seawalls, mammoth industrial machines, and other examples of humanity’s massive, destructive reengineering of the planet. Carmine Street Guitars (North American Premiere) Ron Mann’s documentary follows Greenwich Village guitar-maker Rick Kelly who builds his custom-made instruments from repurposed wood scavenged from historic New York City buildings. Clara (World Premiere) Akash Sherman’s sci-fi drama Clara follows an obsessive astronomer and his unconventional research assistant probe their difficult pasts as they seek out the existence of extraterrestrial life. Firecrackers (World Premiere) From Jasmin Mozaffari, the drama tells the story of two young women desperate to escape their repressive small town, whose friendship is challenged after a night of debauchery threatens to undo their grand plans for freedom. Giant Little Ones (World Premiere) Kyle MacLachlan and Maria Bello star in Keith Behrman’s drama about divorced parents whose teenage son (Josh Wiggins) faces seismic personal upheaval after an unexpected incident at a party. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (World Premiere) Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Thandie Newton, Jacob Tremblay, and Ben Schnetzer star in Xavier Dolan’s highly anticipated drama about a young man’s calculated reassessment of his infamous, and ultimately disastrous, childhood correspondence with an American television star. The Fall of the American Empire (World Premiere) Denys Arcand's successor to The Decline of the American Empire and The Barbarian Invasions centres on a young man whose life is changed when he finds two bags of cash after an armed robbery. The Fireflies Are Gone (North American Premiere) Karelle Tremblay stars as an angst-ridden teenager teetering between malaise and wanderlust in a small industrial town, in the latest from Québécois filmmaker Sébastien Pilote. The Great Darkened Days (World Premiere) From Maxime Giroux, the drama follows a Québécois would-be actor stuck in a wildly disordered society dominated by an unseen fascistic leader eerily. The Grizzlies (World Premiere) Miranda de Pencier’s feature directorial debut follows a group of Inuit youth as they gain a powerful sense of pride and purpose through the sport of lacrosse. The Hummingbird Project (World Premiere) In the hopes of striking it rich, two scheming cousins (Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård) try to build a thousand-mile-long, four-inch-wide tunnel from Kansas to New Jersey that will give them a 14-millisecond edge on transactions at the NSDAQ stock exchange, in the latest from Kim Nguyen. Sharkwater Extinction (World Premiere) Investigating the corrupt pirate fishing trade and illegal shark fin industry, Sharkwater Extinction is the final work by late filmmaker and conservationist Rob Stewart and D Films. The film was commissioned by Bell Media’s premium Pay TV services The Movie Network (TMN) and Super Écran, and opens in theatres on October 5, followed by a world television premiere in 2019 on TMN and Super Écran. Through Black Spruce (World Premiere) Don McKellar’s feature explores the agony of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women through the story of one family, whose chilling loss forces the survivors to venture into strange and uncomfortable worlds.   The full line-up of Canadian films was announced by the Toronto International Film Festival earlier today. For further information on these and other Festival films, please visit  
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