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8/19/2008| Varda, Davies, Dupont And Mehta In Dialogues: Talking With Pictures

Toronto - The Toronto International Film Festival announces four presentations in Dialogues: Talking with Pictures. Agnès Varda, Terence Davies, International Herald Tribune film journalist Joan Dupont and Deepa Mehta will showcase films that have inspired them or have marked a significant period in their careers. Purchase online at, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877- 968-FILM or in person at the Festival Box Office at Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West (main floor, north entrance). Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

La Pointe courte (1956) introduced the world to Agnès Varda, one of the most unique directors of French cinema. She will be at TIFF08 to present her first film, as well as her most recent work, Les Plages d'Agnès. Hailed as an early film in France's New Wave movement, Varda's impressive debut feature shows how her background as a photojournalist shaped her distinct voice. La Pointe courte alternates between two storylines, which Varda weaves together masterfully. In one, a young Parisian couple on vacation in a Mediterranean village discusses their rocky marriage, while in the other, the village residents struggle to maintain their livelihood in the face of authorities. Each storyline is presented differently, with the couple's conversations emphasized in a highly stylized manner, while the villager's story is shown in a documentary-like realist style. This formidable work introduced the international film world to an artist who still dazzles with every new work.

On the 10th anniversary of his death, the Toronto International Film Festival wishes to remember former programmer David Overbey's contribution to cinema, the City of Toronto, and the Festival through the presentation of three of the films in the Dialogues programme. Overbey was a programmer from the organization's second year until his final Festival in 1998. He is credited with discovering some of the major talent on the international festival scene, including John Woo, Wong Kar-Wai, Gaspar Noé, Tsui Hark, Charles Burnett and Deepa Mehta, and as an American installed in Paris, he brought international glamour to the city of Toronto. Many acclaimed contemporary journalists found their voices through reading David's prose and sharing his passion for film.

David Overbey admired the work of director Terence Davies for its honesty, consummate craftsmanship and ability to convey deep emotion through the moving image. In memory of Overbey, Davies comes to Toronto for the first time in eight years to present The Terence Davies Trilogy (1984). Originally three medium-length films (Children, Madonna and Child, Death and Transfiguration), all of which had the same protagonist, the feature-length trilogy follows Robert Tucker from childhood to death, illustrating a lifetime struggle between Robert's sexuality and his Catholic family background. Acclaimed for the unique cinematic language of his work from The Terence Davies Trilogy to Of Time and the City, receiving its North American Premiere at TIFF08, Davies is recognizable as one of the world's most passionate and original filmmakers.

In 1981, Joan Dupont did an exclusive interview for Le Monde with director Lino Brocka in Manila, the Philippines, thanks to assistance from his best friend, David Overbey. In memory of Overbey, Dupont presents My Own Country (Bayan Ko) (1984) an uncompromising look at contemporary Filipino society. The film was considered so controversial that the Philippine government attempted to ban the film upon its completion. It tells the story of young printer Turing, whose life is a series of rapidly diminishing options. With a sick pregnant wife and a strike at his factory, Turing is eventually lured into a life of crime. Never afraid to criticize the ruling power in the Philippines, Brocka helped bring international attention to the struggles of the poor and marginalized in his home country through his acclaimed body of work.

Among the major talent that Overbey is credited with discovering is Deepa Mehta, who presents a screening of her 1991 film, Sam and Me. In addition to her new film Heaven on Earth, receiving its World Premiere at TIFF08, Mehta will discuss the film that helped to launch her career in the early 1990s. Made with passion and warmth, Sam and Me shares the story of Sam Cohen, a cranky older Jewish man and Nikhil, the Indian man who is hired to take care of him. Probing beyond the clichés of cross-cultural encounters, Mehta and writer Ranjit Chowdhry (who also plays Nikhil) bring to the screen a warm and complex relationship that bridges the ethnic communities from which each man comes.

Bell Lightbox
Currently under construction in downtown Toronto, Bell Lightbox is soon to be the world's leading destination for film lovers. This major new cultural institution on the Canadian and international landscape will be structured around five state-of-the-art cinemas celebrating film from around the world. Bell Lightbox programming will give context to films through innovative cross-media exhibitions, lectures, and film-related learning opportunities for all ages. Designed by innovative architecture firm KPMB, Bell Lightbox's fluid design encourages exploration, movement and play within its soaring atriums.

The campaign to build Bell Lightbox is generously supported by founding sponsor Bell. The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario each have contributed $25 million to realize Bell Lightbox. A gift of more than $22 million has been confirmed from the Reitman family - acclaimed filmmaker Ivan Reitman and his sisters Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels - and The Daniels Corporation, who together form the King and John Festival Corporation. The project is also supported by RBC as Major Sponsor and Official Bank, Visa†, Copyright Collective of Canada, NBC Universal Canada, The Allan Slaight Family, The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, CIBC, and many other individuals and corporations. The Board of Directors, staff and many generous individuals have also contributed to the campaign. The total amount raised to date is $147 million, three quarters of the total campaign of $196 million. For more information on the Bell Lightbox campaign, visit

We are a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. Our vision is to lead the world in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image.


For information, contact the Communications Department at 416-934-3200 or email [email protected]

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