13 movies with a Toronto connection you’ll want to watch at TIFF 2022

For decades, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has been the face of the Canadian film industry, bringing local filmmakers and productions to thousands of people from abroad as well as closer to home.

Each year, a large portion of the list is dedicated to Canadian content, and this year seems to have an even stronger commitment to showcasing our stories to the world.

Beyond our national cinema, there are stories that unfold even closer to home, works that are not only made by people who can live here, but who choose to stage parts of their films around our community.

Selected with the advice of several TIFF programmers, I curated a list of titles of local and global interest.

Here are some Toronto-specific movies set to premiere at TIFF 2022.


It’s fair to say that Clement Virgo competing at Cannes in 1995 Rude is one of the most important in the history of our city, the return of the director with his most recent saga scarberian is therefore welcome.

Based on David Chariandy’s novel about two Trinidadians in the 1990s, this tale of brotherhood, kindness and violence is one of the first showcases on this year’s slate.


Joseph Amenta’s debut promises no harm with this coming-of-age film set in the Greater Toronto Area. A story of young LGBTQ+ classmates who find strength in each other as they seek to help a friend, this seems like a raw but remarkable debut feature from a filmmaker worth watching.

black ice

Executive produced by LeBron James, Drake and Maverick Carter, Hubert Davis’ in-depth look at the experience of black players in what is being promoted as our national pastime, providing historical context for the evolution of hockey and how the racist toxicity remains a disturbing part of the modern game.

752 is not a number

Babak Payami’s harrowing documentary about one man’s quest for justice resonates deeply with many in the GTA community.

The story of a dentist who becomes a crusader for the truth about a Ukrainian airline that was shot down by Iran, this story of tenacity seems to be quite formidable.

Always Deadly

Music documentaries have long found their way to TIFF, and this celebration of sensational Tanya Tagaq promises a fair share of some local elements as she brings her music to her enthusiastic fans.

Of course, this singer uses her voice for more than performance, and her calls for justice resonate in this sympathetic portrayal as well.

Something you said last night

Another thrilling debut focused on an LGBTQ+ story, Luis De Filippis’ tale of Ren (Carmen Madonia) and his sister (Paige Evans) is set just outside of town, bringing a very different take on the Italian community. community that has long been part of the fabric of our city.

When the morning comes

Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s feature debut after her award-winning short Black Bodies promises to explore complex emotions and painful themes. Set primarily in Jamaica, the film nonetheless has a direct local narrative connection, telling the story that resonates directly with so many in this city.

So much tenderness

For years many of us knew Lina Rodríguez from her work at TIFF, but for years she has firmly established herself as a filmmaker who is unafraid to be experimental while still giving audiences something what to cling to.

Her latest film about a Colombian-Canadian who can’t move past her past feels both bittersweet and overwhelmingly compelling.

This place

VT Nayani’s debut stars Priya Guns and the ever-extraordinary Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs in a love story between an Iranian-Canadian and a Kanien’kehá:kan woman, offering a deep, polyglot look at the complexity of love and the city that the two characters have found themselves living in.

TIFF shorts

A lot of selected short films for the festival take place in Toronto and are directed by local filmmakers. For example, Rita Ferrando Pleasure garden is the story of a woman ending a pregnancy that appears to be tender and thoughtful.

Tyler Mckenzie Evans directs Diaspora, described as a satirical thriller about gentrification. by Karen Chapman Silent calm minds Streets looks at the effect of gun violence on the streets of this city.

Karimah Zakia Issa’s Scaring Women At Night is a drama about a late-night walk home. Finally, there is Untold hoursDaniel Warth’s documentary on the meticulous work of an artist with a singular yet disturbing gaze.

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