Canadian filmmaker Clement Virgo’s adaptation of David Chariandy’s award-winning novel Brother will make its world premiere at this September’s Toronto International Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday.
In a break from tradition, TIFF seems to so far be revealing its 2022 lineup one world premiere at a time, having last week confirmed that the Netflix whodunit Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will also have its world premiere at the 47th annual festival.
Brother is one of the most hotly anticipated Canadian films of the year, with acclaimed director Virgo (The Book of Negroes) adapting Chariandy’s 2017 novel about two brothers making their way through the Toronto neighbourhood of Scarborough in the early 1990s. Rising Toronto-born star Lamar Johnson (The Hate U Give) and British actor Aaron Pierre (Prime Video’s The Underground Railroad, the forthcoming Blade reboot) star as the central siblings Michael and Francis, with Kiana Madeira (Netflix’s Fear Street) and Marsha Stephanie Blake (Netflix’s When They See Us) rounding out the cast.
The film, which was first announced on the opening day of TIFF’s 2018 edition, started shooting this past fall in Toronto. It will be distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures.
“I feel a deeply personal connection to David Chariandy’s novel … and the characters who populate that world,” Virgo said in a statement at the time. “Lamar Johnson, Aaron Pierre, Marsha Stephanie Blake and Kiana Madeira are the ideal cast to convey the essence of each of these characters and bring out their internal lives to share with audiences.”
Like last week’s Knives Out announcement, TIFF once again did not indicate on Wednesday where in its programming slate Brother would appear, including whether or not the film would open or close the festival. Still, the announcement heralds a hometown celebration for Virgo, whose debut feature, the crime drama Rude – the first Canadian dramatic feature film to be written, directed and produced by an all-Black team – made its Canadian premiere at TIFF back in 1995.
This past April, TIFF announced that this year’s edition will be a “fully in-person” affair, with 11 days of full-capacity screenings at familiar venues including the Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Scotiabank multiplex, and, for the first time, the Royal Alexandra Theatres.
The 47th edition of TIFF runs Sept. 8–18 (tiff.net).
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