With the full schedule for the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) now released, movie lovers will be scouring the list to figure out what to watch.
While many are often tempted to look at the films that include some of Hollywood's biggest stars, the Wavelengths programme, named after Canadian Michael Snow's 1967 film Wavelength, is one part of the festival to look out for. Wavelengths spotlights experimental short, feature and documentary films.
"One of TIFF’s great strengths is that it showcases a wide range of cinema from all over the world," TIFF senior curator, Andréa Picard, said in a statement to Yahoo Canada. "Hollywood stars tend to grab the media’s attention, but this also leads to a warped perception of what the festival offers."
"[Wavelengths] tends to be the most formally adventurous section at TIFF, with works pushing the boundaries and language of cinema. ... It’s also a mix of acclaimed international auteurs and emerging talent, so it’s great for discoveries, as much as keeping up with the latest best in international cinema at its cutting edge."
A highlight in the 2023 TIFF Wavelengths programming, identified by Picard, is a film by Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge 3.
"[It] uses images recorded with a 360-degree camera made for virtual reality but here retrofitted for the cinema screen, to connect disparate groups of people from Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Peru," Picard highlighted.
"It’s a psychedelic trip that proposes a utopian rejoinder to our contemporary woes of climate catastrophe, wealth disparity and nefarious borders, poised somewhere between dreams, video games and the disorientation of our waking life. I’m never seen anything quite like it!"
While the impact of TIFF in the entertainment industry has grown over the years, Picard stressed the importance of festivals, like TIFF, supporting different artistic expressions and experimental filmmaking.
"As the field of experimental film continues to evolve, and is in dialogue with international art house cinema — even commercial cinema or advertisements which often adopt experimental techniques —, and the art world, so too does the audience seeking work that distinguishes itself from our overwhelmingly visual world," Picard stated.
"There are more and more outlets for experimental or artist-driven films, including online streaming services, ciné-clubs, museums and cinematheques so it is wise for TIFF to build on that momentum and to use its international platform to champion artist-made film."