September 30, 2023

By Diana Cheng
AAP film and arts writer

A scene from Naomi Kawase’s newest feature, “Vision,” a Japan/France collaboration starring Juliette Binoche that will have its international premiere at TIFF. (Courtesy of TIFF)

CALGARY (Aug. 14, 2018) — The Toronto International Film Festival on Aug. 14 unveiled its second batch of gala premiere titles, special presentations and other programs for the annual festival in September.

This second announcement increases the total galas and special presentations to 44 world premieres, nine international premieres, 12 North American premieres and 11 Canadian premieres. Newly added Asian representation in the special presentations include the world premieres of “Baby” (“Bao Bei Er”) directed by Liu Jie, China; “Legend of the Demon Cat” (director’s cut) by Chen Kaige, China/Japan, and the international premiere of Naomi Kawase’s newest feature, “Vision,” a Japan/France collaboration starring Juliette Binoche.

In the Masters program, TIFF has unveiled the lineup of 11 daring new films by acclaimed, established auteurs with remarkable bodies of work. With projects that reflect on history, a focus on personal introspection and take a critical look at society, this year’s program proves that innovation in storytelling is not exclusive to newer generations of filmmakers.

“We are delighted to present incisive new works from master filmmakers from virtually every continent in the world,” said Piers Handling, TIFF director and CEO. “While each of these filmmakers has undeniably already established a reputation, it is inspiring to witness that none of them have lost their commitment to bold and meaningful cinema — one that is alive with ideas.”

Asian film features include:

“3 Faces” directed by Jafar Panahi, Iran, North American Premiere

“Ash Is Purest White” (“Jiang Hu Er Nü) directed by Jia Zhang-ke, China/France, North American Premiere

“Hotel by the River” (“Gangbyun Hotel) directed by Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, North American Premiere

“Killing” (“Zan”) directed by Shinya Tsukamoto, Japan, North American Premiere

In the Contemporary World Cinema program:

“Asako I & II” (“Netemo Sametemo”) directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan/France, North American Premiere

“Jinpa” (“Zhuang Si Le Yi Zhi Yang”) directed by Pema Tseden, China, North American Premiere

“The Sweet Requiem” (“Kyoyang Ngarmo”) directed by Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam, India/USA World Premiere

The Wavelengths program offers trenchant reflections on home, memory, and a world in flux through artistic narratives produced by a mix of emerging talent and contemporary masters and working across a variety of inventive styles.

“While the term ‘avant-garde’ may hold less meaning today or ring suspicious, it is nevertheless clear that filmmakers and artists continue to expand cinema’s aesthetic and expressive possibilities and are willing to take great risks, ensuring vibrancy in the art form,” said Andréa Picard, curator. “In today’s cultural and political landscapes, these risks are essential and cannot be underestimated.”

Asian features in the Wavelengths program include:

“Dead Souls” (“Si Ling Hun”) directed by Wang Bing, France/Switzerland, North American Premiere

“Wang Bing reconstructs a tragic chapter of Chinese history with this haunting eight-hour documentary on the labour “re-education” camps in the Gobi Desert, where untold numbers died of starvation under the Communist Party’s Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957,” according to TIFF.

“Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (“Di qiu zui hou de ye wan”) directed by Bi Gan, China/France North American Premiere

“A dreamy neo-noir about memories, passion, and the malleability of time that received critical acclaim at Cannes,” according to TIFF.

TIFF runs from Sept. 6-16. Check details at

Contact Diana Cheng at [email protected] or visit at Twitter @Arti_Ripples or her blog Ripple Effects,