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TIFF backs Dark Horse

James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse is announced for Toronto’s 56-title Contemporary World Cinema programme. The film had its world premiere as the opening film for the NZIFF in July.

The Dark Horse

Cliff Curtis and James Rolleston in James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse

Following great reviews, it’s now on general release, and has racked up some $750,000 in less than two weeks.

Three Australian titles are announced alongside The Dark Horsein the Contemporary World Cinema programme: Cut Snake, from Matchbox Pictures’ Tony Ayres; Rolf de Heer’s Cannes-awarded Charlie’s Country; and Kriv Stenders’ black comedy Kill Me Three Times.

Cut Snake

Tony Ayres’ Cut Snake

Also named in the programme strand are titles from other Cannes nominees: Japanese director Naomi Kawase’s Still the Water, which played in Cannes’ main competition this year; and Partners In Crime from Taiwan’s Chang Jung-chi. Chang directed a segment of omnibus title Taipei Factory which played Cannes last year on the back of his much-awarded Touch of the Light.

Partners in Crime

Partners in Crime

From South Africa is Jyoti Mistry’s thriller Impunity, one of a number of African films travelling well recently. Zee Ntuli’s Hard to Get picked up good reviews after opening the Durban IFF, while Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu and Biyi Bandele’s Half of a Yellow Sun have both played well internationally this year.



The announcement of The Dark Horse brings the total of NZ films to three: with Toa Fraser’s The Dead Lands among the special presentations and What We Do in the Shadows playing in the Midnight Madness programme.

“We are excited to have these three excellent films selected for Toronto. This selection of strong features shows how New Zealand film can truly compete on the world stage,” said the NZFC’s Dave Gibson.

Ex-pat director Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill also plays as a special presentation.

TIFF runs 4 – 14 September.

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