OPENING NIGHT GALA
THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 8PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
written and directed by Semi Chellas
American Woman tells the story of two very different women thrown together on the run from the law in 1974. Jenny (HONG CHAU) is a fugitive, living in hiding after a turn as a bomber in protest of the Vietnam war. Pauline (SARAH GADON) is an heiress-turned-radical after an unimaginably violent break with her past. Adapted from the Pulitzer-shortlisted novel by Susan Choi, inspired by the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst, the film re-imagines one of the most famous "lost years" of the twentieth century.
Semi Chellas is best known for Mad Men, where she was a writer and Co-Executive Producer, was nominated for six primetime Emmys, won two Writers Guild Awards (with creator Matthew Weiner) and ran the writers’ room in the final two seasons. She was a writer/Executive Producer on Amazon’s The Romanoffs and (long ago!) CTV’s The Eleventh Hour. She wrote last year’s feature film Ophelia, which premiered at Sundance, and starred Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts and Clive Owen. She adapted American Woman from Susan Choi’s novel; it is her directorial debut.
Audience Q&A with director and special guests