Films & Events tagged with drama

All the Wrong Reasons

Making one of his final screen performances, the late Cory Monteith leads a superb Canadian ensemble in this sharply nuanced comic drama from debut Canadian director Gia Milani.

The Amazing Catfish

A lonely young woman becomes a live-in caregiver for an ailing but indomitable matriarch and her brood of kids, in this joyful and wonderfully naturalistic comedy-drama.

The Animal Project

A Toronto theatre director endures a series of creative and personal travails in this affecting and typically inventive new film from Festival favourite Ingrid Veninger (MODRA, i am a good person/i am a bad person).

August: Osage County

An astounding ensemble cast — Meryl Streep, Sam Shepard, Julia Roberts and Juliette Lewis — star in this adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

An Autumn Afternoon

The sublime final film from Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu is as great in its way as his earlier masterpieces Tokyo Story and Early Summer.


Larger-than-life characters populate director Nejib Belkadhi’s spellbinding combination of film noir and magic realism, which follows a downtrodden orphan — now grown but still saddled with a cruel nickname — who has a reversal of fortune and takes on the thugs who control his ghetto.

Berea (African Metropolis)

South African Vincent Moloi’s Berea is a compelling drama about the anxiety of an elderly gentleman disoriented by the radical urbanization of his neighbourhood.

The Bit Player

Vilma Santos, the enduring Grand Dame of the Philippine film industry, delivers a performance of grace, courage, and peerless comic timing as a single mother toiling as a lowly TV extra in the latest film from veteran director Jeffrey Jeturian (Trespassers).

Blind Dates

Levan Koguashvili’s film — about a lonely 40-year-old schoolteacher who takes up with the wife of a soon-to-be-released convict — is a compassionate tragicomedy commenting on relationships and the profound emotional responsibilities they trigger.

Blue Ruin

A classic American revenge story, Blue Ruin follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.

Brazilian Western

Loosely based on legendary Brasilia rock band Legiao Urbana’s seminal folk song, René Sampaio’s lyrical, fable-like debut feature follows a young man from the provinces who decides to try his luck in the capital, where he falls in with a rough crowd — and falls for a senator’s daughter.

Can a Song Save Your Life?

Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Catherine Keener star in this soul-stirring music industry drama about an undiscovered young singer and a washed-up producer. These lost souls meet, see something special in the other and ultimately make beautiful music together in this latest film from Once writer-director John Carney.

Child's Pose

Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for this sardonic tale about a wealthy, aging Bucharest matriarch who greases more palms than she can shake as she tries to buy her son’s way out of a hit-and-run conviction.


The estranged daughter of a famous, recently deceased Québécois filmmaker undertakes a mission to mount a retrospective of her father’s work, in this slyly funny family drama from director Terry Miles.

Closed Curtain

Politically persecuted Iranian master Jafar Panahi — still under house arrest and banned from filmmaking for twenty years for engaging in "propaganda" against the Islamic Republic — follows his magnificent This Is Not a Film with another brilliant and moving hybrid of video diary, essay film, and impassioned political protest.

The Dinner

Adapting a Dutch bestseller inspired by a shocking real-life crime, Menno Meyjes (screenwriter of The Color Purple and Lionheart) directs this excoriating assessment of Europe’s contemporary social ills.

The Double

Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in writer-director Richard Ayoade’s updating of the famous Dostoevsky novella about a man who finds his life being usurped by his doppelganger.

El Mudo

Someone is out to get Constantino Zegarra, a judge with an impressive conviction rate — and any number of enemies. So why is it so hard for others to believe he’s the victim of a conspiracy? This black comedy and offbeat crime procedural combines elements of a paranoid thriller and with social commentary.

Empire of Dirt

Three generations of First Nations women struggle to deal with the demons of their past, in this powerful and affecting drama from actor-turned-director Peter Stebbings (Defendor).


Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) star in the new film by Academy Award-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), a brilliant adaptation of the Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s novel The Double.

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker

Acclaimed director Danis Tanovic won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival for this unflinching exposé of the prejudices faced by Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Roma minority, starring the real-life couple whose harrowing ordeal became a national scandal.

Le Grand Cahier

János Szász’s gripping adaptation of Agota Kristof’s award-winning novel, about two boys sent to live with their wicked, estranged grandmother during World War II, is a grim, atmospheric drama about fraternal bonds and survival. Szász remodels his wartime coming-of-age story into a Brothers Grimm-like fairy tale, colouring the twins’ environment through the golden and earthy cinematography of Christian Berger (The White Ribbon, Festival 2009).

Gun Crazy

This stylistically audacious, seminal "rural noir" from director Joseph H. Lewis placed American reverence for firearms in its crosshairs, unloading a sociopathic/erotic crime spree — and setting the template for subsequent lovers-on-the-run thrillers like Bonnie and Clyde.

Half of a Yellow Sun

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave, Children of Men) and Thandie Newton (Crash, The Pursuit of Happyness) star in this epic chronicle of family ties and war from celebrated Nigerian playwright Biyi Bandele.

Heart of a Lion

The leader of a gang of racist skinheads finds his prejudices and misplaced loyalties pitted against his desire for love and family when he falls for a waitress whose son is of African descent.


The arrival of an uninvited guest casts a shadow over an idyllic wedding celebration in this wonderfully fraught meditation on guilt and forgiveness, directed by prolific Czech filmmaker Jan Hrebejk (The The Holy Quaternity).


Blamed for the brutal murder of his longtime girlfriend (Juno Temple), a small-town guy (Daniel Radcliffe) awakens one morning to find a pair of horns growing from his head, in this offbeat supernatural thriller from horror ace Alexandre Aja (Haute tension, Piranha 3D).

The Husband

Saddled with an infant son, and a wife doing jail time for sleeping with a 14-year-old, a disgruntled Toronto ad-agency copywriter struggles to deal with his impotent rage, in this gutsy black comedy from beloved Canadian maverick Bruce McDonald.

J.A.C.E. - Just Another Confused Elephant

The abduction of an Albanian-Greek orphan is the catalyst for an epic picaresque misadventure through Athens’ seedy underbelly, in this dazzling sophomore feature from director Menelaos Karamaghiolis.

Like Father, Like Son

In the poignant new drama from Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Still Walking, Nobody Knows, After Life), two families — one rich, one poor — discover that their sons were switched at birth.

The Major

This gripping drama by writer-director Yuri Bykov is an indictment of police corruption and the collateral damage it leaves behind.

Manila in the Claws of Light

A brilliant fusion of florid melodrama and gritty realism, Lino Brocka’s story of a country boy traversing the myriad pitfalls of Manila’s urban jungle — presented here in a dazzling 4K restoration — is widely considered to be the greatest Philippine film of all time.

Manuscripts Don't Burn

Director Mohammad Rasoulof’s latest tackles head-on the machinations of censorship in Iran, detailing the true story of a failed 1995 assassination plot by the Iranian regime against twenty-one writers and journalists.


This highly suspenseful drama from actor-director Gregory Smith depicts an interrogator’s efforts to extract a confession under the intense scrutiny of his superior.


Filmmaker Juraj Lehotský returns to the Festival following his 2008 documentary Blind Loves with his riveting, narrative feature debut about a 15-year-old named Ela (newcomer Michaela Bendulová) sent to live in a correctional facility.

Miss Violence

Greek director Alexandros Avranas’ chilling and incisive drama recounts an 11-year-old girl’s inexplicable suicide — and the family secrets that surround the tragedy.


South Korea’s celebrated perennial provocateur Kim Ki-duk (Pieta) returns with this twisted family chronicle perched somewhere between psychological thriller, grotesque comedy, and perverse ode to the pleasures of sadomasochism.

Nous avions

A young aviation enthusiast’s obsession with the majestic Concorde is the basis for this poetic exploration of family, culture, and love, propelled by entrancing readings from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet.

Numbers & Friends

This first-person essay film puts viewers in the headspace of a young European as he attempts to immerse himself in North American culture via an obsessive devotion to baseball statistics.

October November

Director Gotz Spielmann follows his acclaimed thriller Revanche with this visually captivating character study, in which a family reunion at a mountainside inn lays bare old wounds and reveals long-held secrets.

One Chance

This hugely inspiring biopic chronicles British tenor Paul Potts’ meteoric rise to stardom via the television program Britain’s Got Talent. One Chance is an endlessly charming, against-the-odds success story from director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada).

Palestine Stereo

Palestinian director Rashid Mashawari follows his widely acclaimed dark comedy Laila’s Birthday with this compelling and ironic drama about two brothers on the West Bank who, rendered homeless by an Israeli air strike, hustle odd jobs to raise enough money to emigrate to Canada.

Paradise Falls

Wes Anderson meets the Brothers Grimm in this ambitious and fantastical take on the coming-of-age tale from director Fantavious Fritz.

The Past

Travelling to Paris from Tehran to finalize his divorce, an Iranian man (Ali Mosaffa) finds himself suddenly and tragically drawn back into the lives of his ex (Bérénice Bejo, The Artist) and her daughter, in the exquisitely written and magnificently acted new film from Academy Award-winning director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation).


Erik Skjoldbjærg (Insomnia) directs this gritty drama about the risky experiments and shady dealings that led to the birth of the Norwegian oil-drilling industry in the early 1980s.


Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman star in this gripping thriller from Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), which follows an investigation into the shocking disappearance of two young girls — and the act of vigilantism that could either accelerate or derail the wheels of justice.


Seeking consolation in a support group after a vicious attack, a young woman gradually comes to realize that nothing in her life is as it appears, in this shocking and challenging thriller from director Zack Parker (Scalene).

Rags and Tatters

Escaping from prison amid the turbulence of the 2011 Tahrir Square demonstrations, a nameless fugitive desperately seeks warmth and shelter in the outer regions of Cairo, in director Ahmad Abdalla’s vivid and captivating portrait of the fallout from the Arab Spring.

A Random Desi Romance

From the writer of Chak De! India and the director of Band Baaja Baaraat comes a modern desi love story.

The Realist

A dizzying stereoscopic mannequin melodrama, this entrancing romp conjures retail worlds both familiar and strange, in which chiselled mannequins may in fact be communing with each other amid an overwhelming array of apparel. Consumerist critique, spellbinding operatic fantasy, or both?

Salvation Army

The rapturous debut feature from Moroccan writer Abdellah Taïa offers a charged, semi-autobiographical tale about a young graduate who must navigate the sexual, racial, and political intrigue surrounding his arrival in Geneva.

The Sea

Mourning the recent death of his wife and wrestling with the demons of his past, a retired art historian (Ciaran Hinds; Munich) takes lodging at a seaside cottage under the eye of a watchful housekeeper (Charlotte Rampling), in this adaptation of revered Irish author John Banville’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel.


After a 10-year hiatus from filmmaking, director Penny Panayotopoulou makes her highly anticipated return to the Festival with this poignant study of a solitary woman who develops an increasingly peculiar attachment to a neighbouring family following the death of her dog.

Short Cuts Canada Programme 3

Performance is at the centre of this daring programme of boundary-pushing shorts that explore questions of history, politics, and identity.

Short Cuts Canada Programme 4

From restless teens occupying an abandoned mansion to a family waiting for planes to land, the seemingly innocuous — but finally decisive — things people do with their hours supply the raw material for this observant, bright collection of shorts.

Short Cuts Canada Programme 5

Friends and criminals — and their chance encounters — link this programme to make keen observations that, from coast to coast, we’re not always as easygoing and apologetic as we might claim.

Something Necessary

Judy Kibinge’s daring yet elegant film is an uplifting parable about atonement, set against the deadly violence that followed the 2007 elections in Kenya.


Taylor Schilling (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) stars as a newly-single pregnant woman who confronts an uncertain future in the long-awaited sophomore drama from Wiebke von Carolsfeld (Marion Bridge).

This Is Sanlitun

A pair of hapless ex-pats discover that Beijing isn’t the hotbed of entrepreneurial opportunity they had anticipated in this hilarious and timely look at the West’s obsession with the East, directed by Róbert I. Douglas (Eleven Men Out).

Thou Gild'st the Even

Turkish writer-director Onur Ünlü’s fantastical, scatological fable follows a barber who survives a suicide attempt and finds himself falling in love, succumbing to murderous jealousy, and trying to make sense of life in a village where his neighbours are invisible, immortal, or possess the ability to stop time.

To Repel Ghosts (African Metropolis)

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s voyage of spiritual atonement to the Ivory Coast shortly before his death is the inspiration for Ivoirian Philippe Lacôte’s To Repel Ghosts, a captivating re-enactment of the artist’s experience.

To Repel Ghosts: Urban Tales from the African Continent

This programme of shorts showcases remarkable and fiercely contemporary stories, from an ambiguous, Nairobi-set science fiction story to a Cape Town recreation of the myth of Noah’s ark.

A Touch of Sin

Internationally acclaimed Chinese master Jia Zhangke (The World) won the Best Screenplay prize at Cannes for this startling — and startlingly violent — modern wuxia tale of four outcasts on the margins of a rapidly changing China who channel their underclass rage into a bloody and murderous rampage.


A Quebec City bookseller with psychiatric issues, a German brain surgeon with a hand tremor, a jazz singer struggling to remember the timbre of her father’s voice: the lives of these three characters intersect in the sublime narrative geometry of this haunting adaptation of Robert Lepage’s celebrated theatre work Lipsynch.

Under the Starry Sky

A transcontinental drama that delves into the shadowy world of undocumented travel, the debut feature from Senegalese filmmaker Dyana Gaye charts the interconnected destinies of three far-flung sojourners.

Wavelengths 1: Variations On...

The Academy Film Archive's restoration of David Rimmer's Canadian avant-garde classic Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper anchors the first programme of Wavelengths 2013, which also features new works by Luther Price, Kenneth Anger, Andrew Lampert and Scott Stark.

We Gotta Get Out of This Place

First-time feature directors Simon and Zeke Hawkins tip their hat to pulp crime master Jim Thompson in this tight, twisty, Texas-set nouveau noir about three teenage friends who get in way over their head when they cross a down-home crime syndicate.

When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism

A director (Bogdan Dumitrache) with two weeks left on his latest film fakes an ulcer in order to delay production and pursue a romance with his lead actress and muse (Diana Avramut). In the hands of Romanian fimmaker Corneliu Porumboiu, this seemingly simple love story becomes a force of cinematic deconstruction similar to his meta police procedural, Police, Adjective.

Wild Duck

Subtly echoing the 2005 episode dubbed "the Greek Watergate," a pair of telecom engineers set out to investigate hacker activity — make a scandalous discovery— in this timely and politically charged debut from director Yannis Sakaridis.


Filmmaker Kevan Funk chronicles the lonely days and sleepless nights of a middle-aged safety inspector, whose malaise mirrors the decline of the industrial landscape around him.

Young & Beautiful

Festival favourite François Ozon (In the House, 8 Women, Under the Sand) directs this coming-of-age chronicle of a young French girl that takes place over four seasons and four songs.