Frances O’Connor’s “Emily” to Open TIFF’s Platform Section, Women Directed Half of Overall Lineup


Now this is more like it. Nearly a week after unveiling its Gala and Special Presentation slates — which fell well short of director gender parity — the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival has announced a 50-50 gender-balanced Platform lineup. Five of the 10 selected features are from women directors, and Frances O’Connor’s buzzy Emily Brontë biopic, “Emily,” is set to open the section.

The Platform program spotlights “first-time feature filmmakers and vets whose voices are emerging in the cinematic landscape,” per Deadline. Its films will compete for the Platform Prize, which comes with $20,000 CAD (about $15,550 USD).

Joining “Emily” in the Platform section are Carolina Markowicz’s “Charcoal” (“Carvão”), Maïmouna Doucouré’s “Hawa,” Carmen Jaquier’s “Thunder” (“Foudre”), and Rima Das’ “Tora’s Husband.” The former centers on a Brazilian family considering a Faustian bargain, while “Hawa” is the portrait of a soon-to-be-orphaned adolescent determined to speak with Michelle Obama. “Thunder” follows a teen novitiate who, following her sister’s death, decides to follow her bliss in 1900 Switzerland. Finally, “Tora’s Husband” is about father struggling to maintain his small business in the face of pandemic lockdowns and personal tragedy.

“Eclectic in vision, this year’s selection not only represents all World Premieres of exciting, on-the-rise voices from around the world, but it also reflects the very timely and unique perspectives of racialized filmmakers from diasporic communities broadening the canvas,” said TIFF Chief Programming Officer Anita Lee.

The Platform section also reached gender parity last year, with four of its eight titles directed by women. They were Lucile Hadžihalilović’s “Earwig,” Jenna Cato Bass’ “Good Madam,” Aga Woszczyńska’s “Silent Land,” and Kamila Andini’s “Yuni.”

TIFF 2022 will kick off September 8 with Sally El Hosaini’s “The Swimmers,” and run through September 18. Check out the full Platform lineup over at Deadline.

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