The selected films go beyond the Official Selection, and will be available for global acquisition at the TIFF 2023 Industry Conference set to take place September 8–12.
By Helena Olori
Two more African films join the lineup for the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as part of the Industry Selects category, announced the TIFF organisers on Monday.
Orah, written and directed by Canada-based Nigerian filmmaker, Lonzo Nzekwe, (renowned for the 2010 movie, Anchor Baby), and Umbrella Men II: Escape from Robben Island by South Africa’s John Barker, are among the 12 films to be screened exclusively for accredited buyers during the festival.
Nzekwe’s Orah follows the story of a Toronto cab driver who, upon receiving the devastating news of her teenage son’s death, embarks on a relentless mission to bring about the downfall of the international money laundering syndicate responsible for his death.
The film boasts a blend of Nollywood and Hollywood talents including Star Trek: Discovery actress, Oyin Oladejo, O.C. Ukeje, Emeka Nwagbaraocha, Lucky Ejim, Morgan Bedard, Tina Mba, William C Cole, and actress and model, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, amongst others.
The South African production Umbrella Men II: Escape from Robben Island, which is centred on African entertainment in America, is a sequel to John Barker’s 2022 crime comedy, The Umbrella Men. After pulling off the perfect heist and ending up in prison, the women of the Umbrella gang must orchestrate their escape from Robben Island Prison.
Speaking on the curated films for the Industry Selects, TIFF Chief Programming Officer, Anita Lee said, “We will continue to expand our successful Industry Selects initiative, a TIFF curated selection of films for the marketplace, to find global audiences and are very excited to present a very high-level calibre showcase.” The aim is to “foster creative innovation in both the development and business of storytelling.”
See all films curated for the 2023 Industry Selects here.