In part 3 of our series on TIFF ShortCuts Directors to Watch, we profile emerging filmmakers Cyril Aris, Juan Sebastian Quebrada, Ayce Kartal, Ifunanya Maduka.
The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run Sept. 7-17.
TIFF Short Cuts Directors to Watch, from left, Juan Sebastian Quebrada, Ifunanya Maduka, Cyril Aris, Ayce Kartal
Cyril Aris / The President’s Visit
Synopsis: When a small coastal town of fishermen learns about the secret visit of the President of the Republic to its local soap shop, they embark in an everlasting struggle at cleaning up and maintaining the perfect image of their town.
– Cyril Aris was born in 1987 in Beirut, Lebanon, and now lives between New York and Beirut
– He is a Lebanese director and screenwriter, with an MFA from Columbia University in the City of New York
– Currently he is in post-production for The Swing, his first feature documentary, which is a recipient of a post-production grant from AFAC, and is also in development for his first fiction feature The White Gloves
– The President’s Visit was a recipient of grants from the Doha Film Institute, the Katharina Otto-Bernstein Film Fund and the Ministry of Culture of Lebanon, and won the National Board of Review (NBR) student grant award of 2017
– His short drama Siham (2013) won the Student Award and Jury Award at Palm Springs International ShortFest in 2014; it also was nominated for Jury Prize at Raindance Film Festival and for the Jury Prize at Woodstock Film Festival in 2014
Juan Sebastián Quebrada / The Treehouse
Synopsis: A fiery young couple may be as hot for each other as they are ill-suited. An astute look at the stormy passions and knotty intensity that make some relationships alluring to the point of being unbearable.
– Juan Sebastian Quebrada was born in 1987 in Medellin, Colombia
– Graduate of the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires and Escuela Superior de Cine y Audiovisuales de Cataluña in Barcelona
– He participated in an exchange in FAMU, Prague, and later did a Post-graduate in editing in Barcelona ESCAC
– Juan Sebastián has been an internationally recognized director since his graduation project, Días Extraños, premiered in 2015 at BAFICI’s prestigious international competition, where Argentine critic Sergio Wolf described it as “the best Colombian film in decades”
– His feature Strange Days (2015) was nominated for Best Film at Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema in 2015
Follow Juan Sebastián on Facebook.
Ayce Kartal / Wicked Girl
Synopsis: S., 8 years old, is a little Turkish girl with an overflowing imagination. She is keen on nature and animals. While she is looking back on the good old days in her grand parents village from hospital room, dark and terrifying memories emerge and, little by little, begin to make sense.
– Ayce Kartal is Turkish filmmaker who specializes in animation, with a focus on directing
– In 2000, graduated from the Department of Animation of Fine Arts at Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Turkey, where he was also born. Ayce has also studied at the University of New South Wales and the New York Film Academy
– His short documentary, animation Tornistan: Bir Ayçe Kartal filmi (2013) was nominated for Glocal Courtship Best Film Award at Seoul International NewMedia Festival (NeMaf) in 2015
See Ayce’s portfolio on Vimeo.
Ifunanya Maduka / Waiting for Hassana
Synopsis: In 2014, 276 teenage girls came together for exams in Chibok, Nigeria — by dawn, nearly all had disappeared and their school was burnt. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram.
– Funa Maduka is a Nigerian-American filmmaker and professional cinephile, with a focus on world cinema
– She holds degrees from Harvard and Cornell University
– Waiting for Hassana is her first film