5 Females to Watch For: TIFF 2017
- Lina El Arabi
Lina was chosen to be a 2017 TIFF Rising Star, where she is gearing up for international success. She was in the film Noces (A Wedding), where she played the role of Zahira, a teenage girl trying to navigate through her parents’ traditional expectations, while living in Belgium. You can also catch her in Kim Nguyen’s Eye on Juliet, and the TV series Kabul Kitchen.
- Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse is a Brooklyn born actress who received two academy nominations for Atonement and Brooklyn. Ronan grew up in Ireland, and brings a unique style of acting to the big screen. She recently starred in the film Lady Bird at TIFF, which starts with Ronan jumping out of her mother’s car, and builds on the relationship between a headstrong teenager and her evenly strong-willed mother. You can catch Saoirse later this year in The Seagull.
- Maria Mozhdah
Mozhdah had her first role in What Will People Say, which premiered at TIFF this year. The film follows Nisha living a double life: first as a Norwegian teenager, and secondly, as a girl interacting with her Pakistani family. What will People Say focuses on female oppression, and Mozhdah is spot-on with her portrayal of Nisha. Keep a look out for more international films including Mozhdah.
- Paakhi Tyrewala
Tyrewala is the writer and director behind the film Pahuna: The Little Visitors, which premiered at this year’s TIFF. Priyanka Chopra took notice of this special film, and produced it under her banner, Purple Pebble Pictures. The film focuses on Sikkimese children who have been separated from their parents amidst political conflict, and use their creative skills to survive in the forest. Tyrewala has a soft spot for Sikkim, where she was an Art of Living teacher 14 years ago. She considers herself a storyteller first, and hopes to bring more of Sikkim to the screen.
- Srey Moch Sareum
Srey Moch Sareum plays the lead character in Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father. Sareum is a 9-year-old first time actress who was discovered in a local charity school in Cambodia. She plays the role of Loung from age 5-9 in the film. Sareum’s facial expressions tell the horrifying story of the Cambodian Civil War both as a witness, and as a participant. One can only wonder what is next for this young star.