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Toronto Film Festival Dailies

TIFF 2022: September 8–18

The 476th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8–18, 2021. in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, it has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar.

Showcasing more than 300 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.

Past Coverage 2014 2015 - Coverage 2016 in French   English


TIFF Interview with Mani Haghighi, director od Substraction



TIFF 2022


With Director: Mani Haghighi


By Eammanuel Itier

Who am I? This is the key question raised this beautiful and impactful movie by prolific Iranian actor and director: Manni Haghighi. With an incredible textured and multi-level of understanding, maestro Haghighi explore the notion of duality, of identity, and what it takes to achieve “oneness” within. This film is a high octane and suspenseful drama thriller that will put oneself on the edge of their mind, of their seat. Fasten your spirit belt and let yourself drive into this quest to find yourself, to find you inner humanity. Maybe, one day, we will achieve harmony with each other and discover we have to win more about learning from the others as they are a key about learning about ourselves. Bravo to Mani Haghighi and his “Subtraction” endeavor which can only being seen at an “Addition” to who we truly are: a humanity in search of resolution.


Q: How did this film come together, is it some sort of personal experience?


Mani: Is it based on a true story? Haha! I have always wanted to make a movie a about a state of mind that we have in Iran. And you should know this, Emmanuel, because you are married to an Iranian woman, where you have a very private life, and you have a very different public life. When you are in public you always have a mask. Sometimes you must behave in ways that are very different from your normal behavior. You end up feeling, sometimes, that you are two people and that there are two ways of functioning. Sometimes they are so different from each other. Sometimes you feel there is a schism, you feel you are two people. That’s what I was trying to express with this film. Now, when you look at this film it's clear is a “doppelganger” plot, but it took be sometimes to figure out what I was doing with this picture. When I realized what it was, I thought it was some sort of science-fiction device.  It had done before so I was trying to make it different and fresh. But what has not being done before was dealing a couple dealing with another couple. And this became the possibility for a love story. This emerged organically and this became very interesting to explore.


Q: Tell me how challenging it was to make this film in Iran, especially with the censorship you might have faced?


Mani: Yes, it was challenging to film in Iran because of the censorship you must be aware of. But in a story like this because it is so far-fetched and because it seems like a fantasy, the censorship wasn’t so hard to face. Even so it looks like a social realist film, at his heart it’s a fantasy. So the censorship doesn’t treat you the same way because they think it’s a fantasy. It becomes easier making a film like this one. The challenge was more technical because you must have people acting with themselves. Also, the rain made it difficult to shoot but that was beautiful. The rain makes you feel that it’s not just people looking at each other but the whole world is changing. Very strange things are happening everywhere and there is the notion that there is a bigger crisis than this personal crisis.


Q: What is the movie truly about for you?


Mani: Primarily it’s about issues of identity and marriage. It’s a film about a person who remembers how their partner used to be when they first met. There is a distinction between who the partner is now and after a long relationship, after ten years ago, after when they first met. It is as if you are meeting the person, you met ten years ago, again, for the first time. And you must choose between the two version of them. It is challenging and it is your choice to see what you want to see in the other. So, it’s about relationship, it’s about marriage, it's about identity. It’s also about depression and the trauma, the sadness of that relationship.


Q: Tiff, what are your hopes?


Mani: It’s a very difficult time for film, as you know, so it’s all about exposure and acceptance. Especially after covid and financial difficulties, it’s about showing the movie and hoping it finds its path, that its voice if heard and understood. It’s so difficult to get people to go to the theatre again. This is a very unusual Iranian film with its structure and storyline so it’s a great challenge and I hope the audience will embrace our film, as such.

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About Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The Dailies from Toronto

Contributing editors: Bruno Chatelin 

Laurie Gordon Animaze International Film Festival Le Miaff!
Leopoldo Soto Huatulco Food and Film Festival Director
Gary Lucas Guitar hero Performing artist live score to classic and horror film
Mike Rabehl Programmer and Buyer Cinequest Film Festival San Jose Tiwtter: @cqmike
Vanessa McMahon  




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