Stories We Tell

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Stories We Tell
Directed bySarah Polley
Produced byAnita Lee
Silva Basmajian
Written bySarah Polley
StarringRebecca Jenkins
Music byJonathan Goldsmith
CinematographyIris Ng
Editing byMike Munn
StudioNational Film Board of Canada
Distributed byMongrel Media (Canada)
Roadside Attractions (U.S.)
Release date(s)
Running time108 minutes
CountryCanada
LanguageEnglish
 
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Stories We Tell
Directed bySarah Polley
Produced byAnita Lee
Silva Basmajian
Written bySarah Polley
StarringRebecca Jenkins
Music byJonathan Goldsmith
CinematographyIris Ng
Editing byMike Munn
StudioNational Film Board of Canada
Distributed byMongrel Media (Canada)
Roadside Attractions (U.S.)
Release date(s)
Running time108 minutes
CountryCanada
LanguageEnglish

Stories We Tell is a 2012 documentary film by Sarah Polley that chronicles the story of her family, including the revelation that the filmmaker was the product of an extramarital affair. The film was produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)[1] and premiered August 29, 2012 at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.[2][3] Following the Venice premiere, the film played at the 39th Telluride Film Festival and the 37th 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[4][5]

The film looks at the relationship between Polley's parents and incorporates Super-8 footage shot to look like home movies, interviews with Polley's siblings and other relatives, and Michael Polley's narration of his memoir.[6] The cast includes Rebecca Jenkins, who plays Polley's mother Diane in the Super-8 re-creations.[7]

In her blog post on the NFB.ca website, Polley reveals that several journalists including Brian D. Johnson and Matthew Hays had known about the story of her biological father for years, but respected Polley's wish to keep the matter private until she was ready to tell her story in her own words.[8]

Contents

Critical response

In his August 29 Maclean's blog post, Johnson, one of the film critics who'd kept Polley's secret, wrote:

Now that I’ve seen her documentary, which premieres in Venice next Wednesday, I’m glad I didn’t spill the beans. It’s a brilliant film: an enthralling, exquisitely layered masterpiece of memoir that unravels an extraordinary world of family secrets through a maze of interviews, home movies, and faux home movies cast with actors.[9]

On October 20, Stories We Tell received the Grand Prix Focus for best feature film in the Festival du nouveau cinéma's Focus category.[10] In December, the film was included in the Toronto International Film Festival's list of "Canada's Top Ten" feature films of 2012.[11][12]

On January 8, 2013, it received the $100,000 prize for best Canadian film at the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards,[13] after having been named best documentary by the association the previous month. On January 15, it was nominated for best feature length documentary at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards.[14]

Theatrical release

Stories We Tell was released theatrically in Canada starting October 12, 2012. Roadside Attractions acquired all U.S. rights to the film, with the company planning a theatrical release in the United States in early 2013. Roadside has decided to withhold submitting the film for Academy Award consideration until the 86th Academy Awards, in 2014.[15][16]

References

  1. ^ Adam Benzine (23 July 2012). "Exclusive: TIFF to host Polley's "Stories," Kastner's "Disco"". Realscreen. http://realscreen.com/2012/07/23/exclusive-tiff-to-host-polleys-stories-kastners-disco. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  2. ^ Leong, Melissa (29 August 2012). "Sarah Polley’s new film, Stories We Tell, reveals family secret". National Post. http://arts.nationalpost.com/2012/08/29/sarah-polleys-new-film-stories-we-tell-reveals-family-secret/. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Sarah Polley reveals secrets behind Stories We Tell". CBC News. 29 August 2012. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/08/29/stories-we-tell-venice.html. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  4. ^ Couch, Aaron (29 August 2012). "Toronto 2012: Sarah Polley’s 'Stories We Tell' Trailer Teases Poignant Personal Tale". Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sarah-polley-stories-we-tell-trailer-toronto-366012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  5. ^ Fernandez, Jay A. (30 August 2012). "Michael Winterbottom, Noah Baumbach, Sally Potter, Sarah Polley & Ramin Bahrani Lead 39th Telluride Film Festival Program". Indiewire. http://www.indiewire.com/article/winterbottom-baumbach-potter-polley-bahrani-lead-39th-telluride-film-festival-program. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Stories We Tell press kit". Mongrel Media. http://www.mongrelmedia.com/data/ftp/Stories%20We%20Tell/STORIES%20WE%20TELL_mongrelizedpresskit.pdf. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  7. ^ Lodge, Guy (30 August 2012). "Stories We Tell". Variety (Reed Business Information). http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117948130/. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  8. ^ Polley, Sarah. "Stories We Tell: A post by Sarah Polley". NFB.ca blog. National Film Board of Canada. http://blog.nfb.ca/2012/08/29/stories-we-tell-a-post-by-sarah-polley/. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  9. ^ Johnson, Brian D. (29 August 2012). "Protecting Sarah Polley’s secret". Maclean's blog. http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/08/29/protecting-sarah-polleys-secret/. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  10. ^ "La Louve d'or au film Ici et là-bas" (in French). Canoe.ca (Montreal). 20 October 2012. http://fr.canoe.ca/divertissement/cinema/nouvelles/2012/10/20/20297156-qmi.html. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Polley, Cronenberg, Mehta films named to Canada's Top Ten". CBC. 2012-12-04. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/12/04/canadas-top-ten-films-tiff.html. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  12. ^ "Canada's Top Ten Toasts the Nation's Best Films of 2012: Cronenberg, Polley, Nguyen and Mehta Among Filmmakers Recognized" (Press release). TIFF. 2012-12-04. http://s3.amazonaws.com/tiff-prod/press_releases/159/Canada%27s%20Top%20Ten%202012%20Announcement_original.pdf?1354658839. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  13. ^ "Sarah Polley doc wins Toronto critics' $100K prize". CBC News. 8 January 2013. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2013/01/08/tfca-best-canadian-film.html. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  14. ^ Anderson, Kelly (15 January 2013). "“Indie Game,” “Stories We Tell” up for Canadian Screen Awards". Realscreen (Toronto: Brunico Communications). http://realscreen.com/2013/01/15/indie-game-stories-we-tell-up-for-canadian-screen-awards/. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Sarah Polley doc gets U.S. distribution deal". 11 Sept 2012. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/09/11/sarah-polley-roadside.html. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  16. ^ Howell, Peter (27 September 2012). "Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell pushed to 2014 Oscar consideration". Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/article/1262787--sarah-polley-s-stories-we-tell-pushed-to-2014-oscar-consideration. Retrieved 22 October 2012.

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