Still from Thirsty, directed by alumna Nicole Delaney '14 and co-written & produced by Delaney, alongside alumna Sonya Goddy '15
Image courtesy of Toronto Film Festival

Four Columbia Films Screened at the Toronto Film Festival This Week

BY Gina Hackett, September 18, 2019

Several Columbia filmmakers screened work at the prestigious 2019 Toronto International Film Festival this month.

 

In addition to those screening at the festival, alumnus Cyril Aris '17 was selected to participate in the festival’s Filmmaker Lab. A Lebanese writer-director, Aris premiered his short film, The President’s Visit, at the Toronto Film Festival in 2017 and is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

 

Woman dancing in Bollywood scene
Darling, co-written & directed by current student Saim Sadiq, co-written by current student Rodney Llaverias, produced by alumna Mahak Jiwani '18, and co-produced by current student Jasmin Tenucci
Image courtesy of Toronto Film Festival

 

Darling, co-written & directed by current student Saim Sadiq, co-written by current student Rodney Llaverias, produced by alumna Mahak Jiwani '18, and co-produced by current student Jasmin Tenucci, screened as part of Toronto Film Festival’s Short Cuts program. The film also enjoyed its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last week, where it won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film.

 

Darling marked the first Pakistani film to screen at Venice Film Festival, the oldest continually running film festival in the world. The film tells the story of a naive young man named Shani who embarks on a mission to help his transgender friend and crush audition for the lead in an erotic dance show.

 

Thirsty, directed by alumna Nicole Delaney '14 and co-written & produced by Delaney, alongside alumna Sonya Goddy '15, also screened at Toronto this year as part of the Short Cuts program.

 

Thirsty gives voice to a mosquito (voiced by Maya Rudolph) who drinks the blood of a newly single man suffering from a breakup (played by Jay Ellis), then promptly falls in love with him. 

 

An episode of the Facebook Watch series Limetown, written by alumna Rebecca Thomas '13, also screened at Toronto this year as part of its Primetime program, which unveiled episodes from six new series this year.

 

Starring and executive produced by Jessica Biel, Limetown is an adaptation of a popular podcast by the same name created by Zack Akers & Skip Bronkie. The series tells the fictional story of journalist Lia Haddock (played by Biel), who embarks on an investigation to uncover what happened to hundreds of scientists who’ve gone missing from a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee. 

 

Thomas’s previous work as a director includes an episode of the popular Netflix series Stranger Things, as well as her feature film Electrik Children, which Thomas also wrote. Thomas is currently in talks to direct Universal and Working Title’s new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

 

Dating back to 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival is world-renowned as one of the largest festivals in the world and for its support of promising new work. This year, the festival runs Thursday, September 5 through Sunday, September 15.