Sat. Sept 30th 10:30 AM Joan Baez I Am a Noise
ABOUT THE FILM: Neither a conventional biopic nor a traditional concert film, JOAN BAEZ I AM A NOISE is a raw and intimate portrait of the legendary folk singer and activist that shifts back and forth through time as it follows Joan on her final tour and delves into her extraordinary archive, including newly discovered home movies, diaries, artwork, therapy tapes, and audio recordings. Baez is remarkably revealing about her life on and off stage – from her lifelong emotional struggles to her civil rights work with MLK and a heartbreaking romance with a young Bob Dylan. A searingly honest look at a living legend, this film is a compelling and deeply personal exploration of an iconic artist who has never told the full truth of her life, as she experienced it, until now.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:
Karen O’Connor is an award-winning filmmaker. Her films—produced, written, and directed with Miri Navasky—include The Killer at Thurston High, an investigation of a school shooting that won a Banff Award; The Suicide Plan, an Emmy-nominated film that delves into the hidden world of assisted suicide; the Emmy-nominated The New Asylums, a portrait of mentally ill prisoners that won the Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize Journalism Award; the Emmy award-winning The Undertaking, an exploration of mortality and grief told through the perspective of renowned poet- undertaker Thomas Lynch; and the Emmy-nominated Growing Up Trans, a personal exploration of the struggles and choices facing transgender children, and their parents, which was nominated for an Emmy, shortlisted for a Peabody Award, and won a DuPont Columbia Award.
Miri Navasky is an award-winning filmmaker who co-founded Mead Street Films with Karen O’Connor more than two decades ago. Her films include The Killer at Thurston High, an investigation of a school shooting that won a Banff Award; the Emmy-nominated The New Asylums, a portrait of mentally ill prisoners that won the Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize Journalism Award; The Undertaking, an Emmy award-winning film that follows poet-undertaker Thomas Lynch as he explores mortality and grief in a small Michigan town; The Suicide Plan, an Emmy-nominated film that delves into the hidden world of assisted suicide; and Growing Up Trans, an intimate exploration of the struggles and choices facing transgender children and their parents that was nominated for an Emmy, shortlisted for a Peabody, and won a DuPont Columbia Award.
Maeve O’Boyle is an Emmy-award winning filmmaker. She edited The Education of Mohammad Hussein (HBO), which was shortlisted for an Academy Award and co-produced and edited Firestone and Warlord (PBS), winner of an Emmy and an IRE Award in 2014. Together with Karen O’Connor and Miri Navasky, Maeve also edited and co-produced Growing Up Trans (PBS) which won a DuPont Columbia Award. She also co-wrote and edited 112 Weddings for Doug Block, which premiered at Full Frame, Hot Docs, and Sheffield Doc/Fest and aired on HBO and BBC Storyville; and Do I Sound Gay? for David Thorpe, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and was the runner-up there for the People’s Choice Award. Maeve’s other work includes Left of the Dial (HBO), Heat (PBS), Carrier (PBS), and The Kids Grow Up (HBO), which premiered at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and Full Frame and won a special Jury prize at AFI Docs. In 2020, she directed, produced, and edited The 8th, which was critically acclaimed in the UK and Ireland and nominated for an IFTA for Best Documentary. She is currently editing the feature documentary The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks.
Sat. Sept 30th 1:30 PM Beyond Utopia
ABOUT THE FILM: “We were born in the wrong country.” So says Soyeon Lee in the thrilling and heartbreaking Beyond Utopia. The film has unprecedented access to defectors trying to escape North Korea and the anonymous brokers in several countries aiding their journeys. The horrors of living in this oppressive place are on full display, with footage of executions and torture, making it abundantly clear why citizens often risk their lives to defect. A South Korean pastor risks his life every day to save as many people as he can. Pastor Kim never seems anxious or stressed, just calm, brave and tenacious, fearlessly teaching methods for managing the dangers facing these people as they dream of a better life. Will these escapees be successful in their quest for freedom? This is the beautiful story of an oppressed people seeking peace, liberation, and family while struggling with depression and taking life-or-death risks. —Sabina Barach
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Madeleine Gavin has edited award-winning narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, Toronto, Berlinale, and Cannes, among others. Madeleine directed and edited the Netflix Original Documentary, City of Joy, centered around a revolutionary center in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She is in production on a film that follows a group of octogenarians in New York City who, while facing debilitating illnesses, are finding transcendence through their relationship with an irascible, larger-than-life music coach. Madeleine is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Sat. Sept 30th 4:45 Eileen
ABOUT THE FILM: Based on the book of the same name by literary powerhouse Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen follows a peculiar young woman whose dreary life stretches on toward unending misery. During the frigid Boston winter of 1964, Eileen (Thomasin McKenzie) shuffles between her father’s dingy, emotionally haunted home and the prison where she works alongside colleagues who have ostracized her. When an intoxicating woman (Anne Hathaway) joins the prison staff, Eileen is taken in. Just when the possibility of a salvational friendship (or maybe more) takes hold and forms a singular glimmer in Eileen’s darkness, her newfound confidante entangles her in a shocking crime that changes everything.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: William Oldroyd is best known for directing the critically acclaimed, TIFF 2016 breakout film LADY MACBETH starring Florence Pugh. After premiering in Toronto, the film went on to garner rave reviews at The London Film Festival, win the FIPRESCI Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival and earn William a DGA nomination. William is a revered UK theater director who held Residence at the Young Vic Theatre in London and has shepherded productions of Sartre in Tokyo, Beckett in Munich and Shakespeare in the UK.
Sept 30th 7:30 PM Irena’s Vow
ABOUT THE FILM:In 1939, when the Nazis invaded and occupied Poland, a 17-year-old Irish Catholic girl named Irena Gut witnessed a German soldier killing an infant. That moment transformed Irena’s life and set in motion the tale that is Irena’s Vow, the true story of how she came to harbor 12 Jews and attempted to keep them safe.
Shot in Poland and directed by Louise Archambault, with a uniformly strong cast led by Sophie Nélisse (Yellowjackets), Irena’s Vow lays out a truly chilling suspense story, as Irena becomes the housekeeper for a German army major, putting her survival at risk, along with that of the Jews she is protecting, hidden right there in his home. But the movie’s true grace comes from its beautifully measured portrayal of a world in which the banal routines of everyday life must continue, lending the pervasive life-and-death danger an arrestingly intimate feel. —Peter Wortmann
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Screenwriter and director Louise Archambault made her feature film debut in 2005 with Familia, which won Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF. In 2013, Louise created a world sensation with her second feature film, Gabrielle, Canada’s entry for the 2014 Oscars and Golden Globes. As prolific as she is talented, Louise is also a very sought-after director with several TV series for Radio-Canada and CBC to her credit. In 2019, she released two feature films: Il Pleuvait Des Oiseaux (And the Birds Rained Down), an intense drama which premiered at TIFF; and Merci Pour Tout (Thanks for Everything), a girls’ road movie. Louise’s recent film work includes Irena’s Vow (2022), a World War II drama shot in English in Poland; and the 2023 film Le Temps d’un été (For A Summer), set on the shores of the St. Lawrence River and already a bona fide success in Quebec.