A Canada’s Top Ten selection and four-time nominee at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis’s audacious White Lie focuses on Katie, a cancer-stricken undergraduate student. Her battle with the disease has made her a minor celebrity at her school, but, as we find out almost immediately, it’s an elaborate charade. She’s not ill and never has been. As Katie’s patchwork of lies slowly but surely frays, we watch in dismay as she doubles down repeatedly, unable to give up the fantasy world she’s constructed. The filmmakers stretch us morally and emotionally, daringly asking us to spend time — even empathize — with a character who does the unthinkable. In its sometimes sympathetic portrait of a morally conflicted, manipulative character, White Lie suggests films by Luis Buñuel or Atom Egoyan, though it also has much to say about contemporary culture and social media’s impact on it. White Lie is directed with uncommon assurance by Thomas and Lewis, who masterfully balance the complex and contradictory emotions Katie’s actions evokes. The stellar cast is led by 2019 TIFF Rising Star Kacey Rohl, who’s simply phenomenal as Katie.
We are delighted to present White Lie along with a collection of timely new Canadian cinema, made by some of the most exciting filmmaking teams in the country.
Senior Programmer, TIFF