5 TO WATCH
The Toronto Film Fes
tival has its Rising Stars program to promote emerging Canadian talent, but we like to cast a wider net. Of all filmmakers and performers in all the world, here are five TIFF attendees from whom we expect
Director, The Selfish Giant Barnard defined herself as a major talent out of the gate with her fascinating experimental documentary The Arbor, which explored the short life of English playwright Andrea Dunbar by having actors lipsync audio interviews with the subject’s real family and friends. Now she’s coming to TIFF with a contemporary reworking of Oscar Wilde’s 1888 fable, which wowed the Directors’ Fortnight audiences at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Actor, Sarah Prefers To Run and
The Dismantling She’s been knocking around the Quebec film circuit for years – appearing in Denis Villeneuve’s Polytechnique, Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats and Denis Côté’s Curling – but Desmarais is poised to break out in two TIFF films this year. In The Dismantling, she brings layers of history and compassion to a small role as the daughter of an aging sheep
farmer (Gabriel Arcand), and in Sarah Prefers To Run she plays the title role, a driven young track star who marries a friend so they can get scholarships to McGill. You don’t know her yet, but you will; she’s going to be around for a while.
Actor, Oculus After two seasons opposite Matt Smith on Doctor Who, Scots actor Gillan left the beloved cult show – and the fan-favourite role of Amy Pond – to
pursue a career in movies. This year’s Midnight Madness entry Oculus, which casts her as a young woman convinced that her family’s misery is the result of
a supernatural curse, is the first to reach our shores… but don’t worry, it ain’t the last. She’s playing Nebula, the bald-pated villain of next summer’s Marvel team-up, Guardians Of The Galaxy. So, y’know, pay attention.
Actor, The Animal Project A fixture on Canadian screens for a few years, Poole – who should have broken out opposite Kristin Booth in This Beautiful City – has had a great year, starring in the summer thriller The Conspiracy and getting some exposure in a recurring role on the historical procedural Copper. Next year
you’ll see him in Atom Egoyan’s Queen Of The Night and opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany in Cas & Dylan, but right now you can catch him as an acting teacher trying to get his students to make radical choices in Ingrid Veninger’s The Ani
Actor, Young & Beautiful You’d never know that the star of François Ozon’s film about a high
school-age prostitute had never played a major film role. You can’t take your eyes off her – though you sorta have no choice, since she’s in almost every frame. But she carries the load, sometimes silently, sometimes explosively conveying a teen’s growing sense of her own sexual power. It’s not only because of the subject matter (remember Belle De Jour?) that she’s been called the new Catherine