Canada's Top Ten + Canadiana Cool: Director's Take

Posted by Drake, January 23, 2017
TIFF Chesterfield Lounge

Canada's Top Ten Film Festival is all about highlighting Canadian talent in film. Through this selection, we get to see how different Canadian stories manifest on the big screen. As purveyors and revelers of Canadiana cool, we loved putting together the Chesterfield Lounge and filling it with maple syrup pillows, wild life and other things that scream "Oh Canada," but we also know that the definition of "Canadian" isn't always a tangible concept so we talked to some of the directors to get their take on what Canadian identity means to them.

Johnny Ma, OLD STONE
For me the most exciting thing about being a Canadian is that our identity as a nation is forever shifting as the world around us changes. There isn't any particular concrete thing that one must be or have to be a Canadian. We are all accepted as Canadians despite our different cultural backgrounds and it is these differences that are then celebrated. That to me is what it makes me proud to be a Canadian.

Ann Marie Fleming, WINDOW HORSES
I’m a mixed-race immigrant with globe hopping families and multiple identities but only one citizenship and my history is short here, so you have to take that in to consideration when I say that for me, canada is a great work-in-progress-BIG IDEA-social experiment that can only work if tolerance and caring are our hallmarks. I didn’t choose to come here, but i chose to stay. I do my best to participate. I vote. I advocate. I’m not just Canadian, I’m an urban, West Coast Canadian. I’m a professional canadian. When I travel all over the world with my films we are introduced as Canadian. I am not a flag-waver but I have a flag-waving avatar as my new logo. I love this country.

Thyrone Tommy, MARINER
Canadian Identity I feel is a constant conversation. It's such a young country and so much of its population hasn't even been here a generation. I think that's what makes things both difficult and uniquely incredible as well. The best part, is we are willing to have those conversations. Especially in a time like this, we have the chance yet again to set the bar for everyone. I also love that Toronto has accepted itself as Toronto, and is thriving in that. We don't need to be anywhere else!

Lee Filipovski, FLUFFY
Canadian identity is as vast and diverse as the country's geography itself - so difficult to define, but there's a thing that unifies everything and that is respect...respect for our individual backgrounds, beliefs, orientations. If anyone doubts it, they should just take their passport and travel somewhere...and find out that the rest of the world also thinks that we're the most polite nation around.

Anne Émond, NELLY
Canadian identity enables me to work as a filmmaker without fear of censorship. I feel privileged to be able to freely express myself through art.


The 16th Annual Canada's Top Ten Film Festival screens a selection of some of the best Canadian films from the past year and runs from January 13th to January 26th at the TIFF Lightbox. Check it out!

Posted in: Canada 150

Tags: Canada 150  TIFF