2010 Toronto Film Festival Documentaries Announced

A couple weeks ago, the Toronto International Film Festival announced the Galas and Special Presentations line-up. A lot of major films, as expected, were on the list, including Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Ben Affleck’s The Town, and Mike Leigh’s Another Year.

Today, TIFF announced their documentaries line-up and it is full of a lot of heavy hitters.  These films include Werner Herzog’s 3D cave documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job, and Error Morris’ Tabloid. I have to say all of these films sound quite interesting, especially Herzog’s film. I am anxious to see what a filmmaker like Herzog will do with 3D, as he seems like the last person you would think of to use 3D in one of his documentaries. Hit the jump for the full press release courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival.

“I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to program a documentary line-up with so many acclaimed filmmakers this year,” said Thom Powers, TIFF programmer. “From Oscar winners and nominees to Emmy award-winners, these talented filmmakers have created works that will be debated and discussed for months to come. They reinvigorate our thinking about subjects like the war in Afghanistan, the banking crisis, and the future of energy.”

These are a few of the high-profile world premieres among the documentaries screening at this year’s Festival.


The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town

Directed by Thom Zimny, USA

World Premiere
The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town takes us into the studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the recording of their fourth album. Grammy and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny has collaborated with Springsteen on this documentary, gaining access to never before seen footage shot between 1976-1978, capturing home rehearsals and recording sessions that allow us to see Springsteen’s creative process at work.


Erotic Man

Directed by Jørgen Leth, Denmark

(World Premiere)
Danish master Jørgen Leth travels the globe in this sensual, provocative and sometimes autobiographical essay film about a man searching … searching the world for the nature of the erotic.

Nostalgia for the Light

Directed by Patricio Guzmán, France/Germany/Chile

(North American Premiere)
In Chile’s Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life. Nearby, a group of women sift through the sand searching for body parts of loved ones, dumped unceremoniously by Pinochet’s regime. Master filmmaker Patricio Guzmán contemplates the paradox of their quests.

Real to Reel:


Directed by Linda Hoaglund, Japan/USA

(World Premiere)
ANPO depicts resistance to U.S. military bases in Japan through an electrifying collage of paintings and photographs, as well as animated, narrative and documentary films by Japan’s foremost contemporary artists.


Directed by Janus Metz, Denmark

(North American Premiere)
Winner of Cannes Critics Week, Armadillo is a harrowing portrayal of the current conflict in Afghanistan. The film follows a contingent of Danish troops into the chaos of combat in a way that stirs debate over the rules of engagement.

Boxing Gym

Directed by Frederick Wiseman, USA

(North American Premiere)
Documentary master Frederick Wiseman explores the world of a boxing gym in Austin, Texas, dwelling on the discipline of training as people from all walks of life aspire to reach their personal best.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Directed by Werner Herzog, USA

(World Premiere)
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting. He puts 3-D technology to a profound use, taking us back in time over 30,000 years.

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Directed by Alex Gibney, USA

(World Premiere)
Investigating the sex scandal that forced New York’s Governor to resign, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney gains revelatory interviews from Spitzer, his most frequent escort and his Wall Street enemies that bring new perspective on his downfall.

Cool It

Directed by Ondi Timoner, USA

(World Premiere)
Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner trains her camera on Bjorn Lomborg, the controversial author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” who takes on the issue of climate change, challenging the status quo, and pointing toward new science and technology that might hold the solutions for our future.

The Game of Death

Directed by Christophe Nick & Thomas Bornot, France

(North American Premiere)

This documentary examines the idea of the limits of obedience and punishment. Based on an experiment conducted in the sixties, the setting is a modern television game show where we see how far people will go to inflict pain on a contestant who stands to win one million dollars.


Directed by Naomi Kawase, Japan

(World Premiere)

A serene observation of women giving birth at the clinic of Dr. Tadashi Yoshimura who has spent 40 years on the path of natural childbirth, Genpin is Naomi Kawase’s special meditation on life and on the unshakable bond between mother and child.

Directed by Jose Luis Guerin, Spain

(North American Premiere)
Filmmaker Jose Luis Guerin documents his experience during a year of travelling as a guest of film festivals to present his previous film. What emerges is a wonderfully humane and sincere portrayal of the people that he meets when he goes off the beaten track in some of the world’s major cities.

Inside Job

Directed by Charles Ferguson, USA

(North American Premiere)
An in-depth exploration of what caused the financial crisis from the Oscar-nominated director of No End in Sight, highlighting failures in business, government and academia.

Machete Maidens Unleashed!

Directed by Mark Hartley, Australia

(International Premiere)
From cult cinema documentary director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood) comes this account of the wild and unruly world of genre filmmaking in the Philippines when the country was a back-lot for a bevy of B-movie mavericks and cinema visionaries.

Mother of Rock

Directed by Lillian Roxon Paul Clarke, Australia

(International Premiere)
Witness to New York’s infamous punk scene, Lillian Roxon chronicled the movement during the 1960s and 70s. Roxon mingled with the likes of John and Yoko, the Velvet Underground and Janis Joplin and was one of the first on the scene to champion the work of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors.

Pink Saris

Directed by Kim Longinotto, UK

(World Premiere)
Acclaimed director Kim Longinotto is often drawn to tough women. Now she follows Sampat Pal Devi, the leader of the “Pink Gang,” who brings her own brand of justice to the streets of Uttar Pradesh, India, combating violence against women.

The Pipe

Directed by Risteard Ó Domhnaill, Ireland

(International Premiere)
Irish farmers and fisherman rise up in protest when Shell tries to build a pipeline for natural gas through their county. The local confrontation reflects an international concern for how energy companies affect the environment and communities.

Precious Life

Directed by Shlomi Eldar, Israel

(International Premiere)
With the help of a prominent Israeli journalist, Precious Life chronicles the struggle of an Israeli pediatrician and a Palestinian mother to get treatment for her baby, who suffers from an incurable genetic disease. Each must face their most profound biases as they inch towards a possible friendship in an impossible reality.

The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical

Directed by Sarah McCarthy, United Kingdom

(North American Premiere)
For one emotional night, a group of children living in a slum in Mumbai, India, get a chance to experience a different world as they perform The Sound of Music with a classical orchestra, fostering hopes that it could change their lives.


Directed by Errol Morris, USA

(World Premiere)
The director of The Thin Blue Line and the Academy Award®-winning The Fog of War tells the story of a former Miss Wyoming whose quest for one true love led her across the globe and onto the pages of tabloid newspapers.

Tears of Gaza

Directed by Vibeke Løkkegerg, Norway

(World Premiere)
A powerful and emotionally devastating record of the impact the 2008-2009 bombings of Gaza had on the civilian population.

When My Child is Born

Directed by Guo Jing & Ke Dingding, China

(World Premiere)
When a child is born, nothing is ever going to be the same. A journey into the everyday life of young university teachers and researchers up against an unexpected pregnancy, as well as a brilliant document on the challenges of being an academic suspended between modernization and tradition, love, career and family ties in ever-mutating contemporary China.


Directed by Laura Israel, USA

(International Premiere)
After wind turbines are proposed for installation in upstate New York, the community’s excitement turns to suspicion over what the project entails. This eye-opening story exposes the dark side of wind energy development and the potential for financial scams.

!Women Art Revolution – A Secret History

Directed by Lynn Hershman Leeson, USA

(World Premiere)
Filmed over four decades, this inspiring cultural history tracks the struggles and breakthroughs of women artists from Judy Chicago to Guerilla Girls to Miranda July and more, packed with rare archival footage and overflowing with bold art.

Sprockets Family Zone
Directed by Make Believe J. Clay Tweel, USA

(International Premiere)
Join a group of dedicated teen magicians as they amaze audiences by performing seemingly impossible feats while they pursue their dream of becoming the Teen World Champion Magician.

** Note that L’Amour Fou, directed by Pierre Thoretton, was previously announced on July 27 and will be screened as a Special Presentation. Additional documentaries, including Canadian films, will be announced in the coming weeks.**

Ticket packages for the Festival are now available for purchase by cash, debit or Visa†. Purchase online at tiff.net/thefestival, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.,) or in person at the TIFF Box Office at 2 Carlton Street, West Mezzanine (Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The 35th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9 to 19, 2010.

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