Films & Schedules

  • Toronto Stories

  • Sook-Yin Lee

  • Sudz Sutherland, David Weaver, Aaron Woodley

89 minutes

Production Company:
New Real Films
Jennifer Jonas, David Weaver
Sook-Yin Lee, Sudz Sutherland, David Weaver, Aaron Woodley
Production Designer:
Mark Gabriel
Samy Inayeh
Kathy Weinkauf
Matt Herrald
Eric Woodley
Principal Cast: Sook-Yin Lee, Tygh Runyan, Gil Bellows, KC Collins, Carly Pope

Canadian Distributor:
Seville Pictures

Followed by:

The Workout

Sami Khan
Canada/USA, 2008/English
11 minutes

Tuesday September 0906:00PM AMC 6 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Thursday September 1103:30PM AMC 2 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

An omnibus film featuring some of Toronto's finest, the segments in Toronto Stories are linked by the character of a silent young boy who gets off a plane at Pearson, slips away from customs officers and wanders the city streets. En route, he provides us with a tour of Toronto the Good – and the not so good. What emerges is a portrait of a city still coming to terms with itself.

In part, the city is a playground and a proving ground for children and adults alike, with both real and imagined dangers. In Aaron Woodley's poetic Shoelaces, two kids narrowly escape a potentially nasty encounter with a local bully – an event that only emboldens them to embark on a spooky midnight tour of the Don Valley. For the lost bohemian couple in Sook-Yin Lee's wryly comic anti-romance The Brazilian, the city is a cold place where connections are tough to make and tougher to sustain.

Sudz Sutherland's insightful Windows and David Weaver's brooding Lost Boys take us down grittier, more perilous avenues, where doing the right thing is much harder than it ought to be. In Windows, the city is anonymous yet small. After a misspent youth, Elton finally has his life on track, with a steady job and a baby on the way. But his past is not ready to let him go. The episode touches on issues and assumptions surrounding race and class. In Lost Boys, an unbalanced vagrant watches as the young boy from the prologue is hauled off by a suspicious character. He wants to help, but who is going to listen to a man who is both unstable and drug-addled?

Toronto Stories is an intelligent look at where we reside, how we define it through the spaces we choose to call (or are forced to call) our own and, most importantly, our potentially dangerous assumptions about the other people who live there. Hopeful and tough-minded, it draws on Toronto's history while engaging in some mythmaking of its own.

Steve Gravestock

Sook-Yin Lee was born in Vancouver and is an actor, musician, radio host and filmmaker. She recently starred in John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus (06).

Sudz Sutherland is based in Toronto and works in film and television. His first feature, Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (03), won the CityTV award for Best Canadian First Feature Film at the Festival.

David Weaver studied film at Columbia University and the University of Toronto. His features Century Hotel (01) and Siblings (04) both screened at the Festival.

Aaron Woodley is a Toronto-based director, writer, editor and animator. His feature-directing debut Rhinoceros Eyes (03) won the Festival's Discovery Award in 2003. His other films include the feature Tennessee (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award