Canadian indie filmmaker makes the cut in Toronto festival’s competitive sidebar

TORONTO — New films from actress-turned-writer/director Julie Delpy and Toronto indie filmmaker Kaz Radwanski are among the titles chosen for the Toronto International Film Festival’s competitive Platform section.

Radwanski’s feature, a Canada/USA production entitled “Anne at 13,000 ft,” is the sole Canadian entry in the category, which offers a $20,000 juried prize to the best film.

Delpy directs and stars in “My Zoe” as a divorcee forced into contact with her ex because they are co-parenting their daughter Zoe, played by Sophia Ally.

Festival organizers said the program’s opening film will be the U.K. production “Rocks” from Sarah Gavron, which centres on a teenager who suddenly finds herself struggling to take care of herself and her little brother.

And the closing film is the Italy/France production “Martin Eden,” directed by Pietro Marcello, an adaptation of the 1909 Jack London novel of the same title.

“Whether they are debuts or mid-career works, these films push the boundaries of narrative filmmaking in surprising and rigorous ways, some using documentary or experimental techniques in their approaches,” Platform co-curator Andrea Picard said Wednesday in a release.

Four of the 10 films chosen this year are directed by women. They include the France/Germany astronaut drama “Proxima,” directed by Alice Winocour and starring Eva Green as an astronaut and mother who signs up for a year-long space mission.

Also making the cut is “Wet Season” by Singapore-based director Anthony Chen, whose debut feature “Ilo Ilo” won the Camera d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Then there’s Darius Marder’s debut feature “Sound of Metal,” a U.S. production starring Riz Ahmed as a professional drummer “whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.”

Also in the program are: “The Moneychanger” (Asi Hablo El Cambista) by Federico Veiroj from Uruguay/Argentina/Germany “The Sleepwalkers” (Los Sonambulos) by Paula Hernandez from Argentina/Uruguay and “Workforce” (Mano De Obra) by David Zonana, from Mexico.

Each year, the Platform program features up to 12 works deemed to have high artistic merit and a strong directorial vision. The festival runs Sept. 5 to 15.

Toronto documentarian Alan Zweig won the inaugural Platform prize in 2015 with his biopic “Hurt,” a portrait of one-legged cancer survivor Steve Fonyo. Zweig is back at the festival this year with the documentary “Coppers,” about the careers of retired police officers.

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