The Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) are partnering for a seventh year to present the TIFF Speaker Series. This series offers audiences the opportunity to interact with filmmakers and scholars in extended discussions following each film’s second public screening.

After a screening of The Public on September 10, Joseph Wong will take the stage alongside filmmaker Emilio Estevez and some members of the film’s cast. The Public focuses on the leader of a group of homeless Cincinnati residents who occupy a public library during a frigid Midwestern cold front, and his attempts to negotiate with the municipal crisis negotiator and district attorney. As the nonviolent sit-in spirals out of control, Estevez uses the confrontation to explore the dehumanization of homeless populations and the militarization of America’s police.

Also on September 10, the Munk School’s founding director Janice Stein will join Israeli director Avi Nesher to discuss his most recent film, The Other Story. The film centres around an unexpected interaction between two rebellious young women – one a former socialite who has renounced pork and promiscuity and discovered God, the other a formerly ultra-orthodox Jew desperate to transcend her religious upbringing – whose individual identity struggles mirror that Nesher sees taking place within Israeli society as a whole.

Teresa Kramarz will join filmmakers Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra on September 11 following the screening of their latest film, Birds of Passage. Gallego and Guerra’s epic movie weaves together five separate chapters to tell the story of a Wayuu man’s downward spiral – and its effects on his community – as he becomes increasingly involved in northern Colombia’s drug trade.

After the success of his 2013 film Bastardo, director Nejib Belkadhi joins Randall Hansen to discuss his latest film, Look at Me, on September 12. The story follows Lotfi, a young Tunisian torn between his home country and his new life in France. The owner of an appliance store who settled in Marseille, now expecting a child with the love of his life, Lotfi struggles to find his place and is brought back to Tunisia after receiving a call from his brother.

Also on September 12, Robert Austin will speak with director Sergey Loznitsa about his latest film, Donbass. Awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize for Best Director at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Donbass is an absurdist and surreal journey through eastern Ukraine, a region which has experienced significant unrest and violence since the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018. Follow @munkschool on Twitter for live updates from the September 10 screening of The Public and the September 12 screening of Look at Me.

 September 6, 2018