Local Release

(Variety) Picture Tree Intl. Boards Toronto Entry ‘This Place,’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

By Leo Barraclough

Berlin-based Picture Tree Intl. has added “This Place,” by Canadian debut director V.T. Nayani, to its lineup. The film is to have its world premiere at Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 9 as part of the Discovery and Next Wave Selects sections.

The film stars Devery Jacobs, who was the lead actor in “Reservation Dogs” and the upcoming Marvel Studio production “Echo,” and newcomer Priya Guns. The screenplay was co-written by V.T. Nayani, Devery Jacobs and Golshan Abdmoulaie.

It tells the story of two young women falling in love for the first time and being jointly challenged by their own family histories, which bear the legacies of loss, migration and displacement.

Kawenniióhstha (Devery Jacobs) is half-Iranian, half-Mohawk and has just moved to Toronto from Kahnawà:ke Mohawk territory, where she was raised by her single mother. Malai (Priya Guns) is of Tamil origin and lives with her elder brother following their estrangement from their widowed father. Through both young women and their unlikely love story, “This Place” intimately explores the liminal space between cultures, displaced both at home and abroad.

“This Place” was produced by Stephanie Sonny Hooker for Hometeam Films and Mutuals Pictures, with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada, CBC Films, CFC/Netflix Calling Card Accelerator, Inside Out, station 369 and Aspeth Inc.

The deal was brokered by Brigitte Hubmann and Jennifer Price of Film Associates Intl. on behalf of the production.

V. T. Nayani is an alumna of the CFC Directors’ Lab, CBC’s Workshop for Diverse Creators, Hot Docs’ Doc Accelerator Lab, and Reelworld Film Festival’s Emerging 20 Program. She participated in the 2021/22 Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women. “This Place” is her debut as a feature film director.

Also on PTI’s Toronto slate are contemporary Iranian noir thriller “Without Her” (Bi Roya) by Arian Vazirdaftari, which will premiere in Venice in Horizons Extra, and is also selected for the Toronto Industry Selects, and the best-selling novel adaptation “A Whole Life” (Ein Ganzes Leben), which is published in 40-plus countries and directed by Hans Steinbichler (“The Diary of Anne Frank,” 2016), which is currently in early post-production and planned for a local release by co-producer/distributor Tobis Film in summer/autumn 2023.

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