TIFF19 Preview: Midnight Madness

A mix of old and new permeates the Midnight Madness line-up for the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The line-up will be opening with the World Premiere of the indigenous zombie film Blood Quantum from Canadian director Jeff Barnaby (Rhymes for Young Ghouls). The line-up also sees the return of Midnight Madness veterans, with the World Premiere of Richard Stanley’s H.P. Lovecraft adaptation Color Out of Space and the North American premiere of First Love, the latest from prolific Japanese auteur Takashi Miike. Then from Indonesia, Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves) gives his take on a Superhero action film with Gundala.

However, in addition to the veteran filmmakers, there are many feature film debuts in this year’s Midnight Madness line-up. This includes Spanish director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s dystopian sci-fi film The Platform, Rose Glass’s unnerving psychological thriller Saint Maud, Andrew Patterson’s Slamdance award-winning paranormal period piece The Vast of Night, and Keith Thomas’s supernatural horror film The Vigil, which is promised to be this year’s super-scary selection.

There is a major treat in store for those who come to the closing Midnight Madness film, as Uganda’s IGG Nabwana brings Wakaliwood to TIFF with the World Premiere of Crazy World. This who’ve seen Nabwana’s previous films Who Killed Captain Alex? and Bad Black know that Wakaliwood’s DIY Ugandan action films are a very unique cinematic experience and I only hope that the screening includes the “Video Joker” commentary that adds an extra layer to the films.

Here is the full 2019 Midnight Madness Line-up:

*Midnight Madness Opening Film*
Blood Quantum – Jeff Barnaby | Canada – World Premiere

Color Out of Space – Richard Stanley | USA – World Premiere

*Midnight Madness Closing Film*
Crazy World – Isaac Nabwana | Uganda – World Premiere

First Love (Hatsukoi) – Takashi Miike | Japan/United Kingdom – North American Premiere

Gundala – Joko Anwar | Indonesia – International Premiere

The Platform (El Hoyo) – Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia | Spain – World Premiere

Saint Maud – Rose Glass | United Kingdom – World Premiere

The Twentieth Century – Matthew Rankin | Canada – World Premiere

The Vast of Night – Andrew Patterson | USA – Canadian Premiere

The Vigil – Keith Thomas | USA – World Premiere

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).