Written & Directed by Sophie Jarvis
World Premiere – Sept. 10, 2022 – 8:00pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2
2nd Public Screening – Sept. 12, 2022 – 8:30 pm – Scotiabank 10
Arriving at a moment when humanity’s relationship to the natural world has never seemed more fraught, and with invasions troublingly common, the hotly anticipated feature-length debut Until Branches Bend, from writer-director Sophie Jarvis, is set to receive its World Premiere at the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Filmed in British Columbia’s bountiful Okanagan region, the taut psychological drama observes Robin (Grace Glowicki), a distraught cannery worker who discovers an invasive insect in a peach that could threaten the livelihood of her entire town where she lives with her younger sister Laney (Alexandra Roberts in a breakthrough performance).
Yet sounding the alarm also brings distress: the canning factory shuts down, farms are placed under quarantine, and most of the people in Montague find themselves unemployed, with Robin to blame. Meanwhile, Robin has been struggling to get an abortion. Unable to take control of her own body, she devotes herself to finding proof that the bug she found was real. The parallel between these two invasions becomes clear as Robin loses herself in her obsession.
Until Branches Bend marks Jarvis’ triumphant return to TIFF, where her short film The Worst Day Ever had its premiere in 2012. Since then, Jarvis has directed multiple, acclaimed short films, with her extensive background as a production designer informing her already keen eye as a filmmaker.
Cinematographer Jeremy Cox, who worked on Jarvis’ award-winning 2018 short, Medical Drama, captured the ethereal beauty of the film’s west coast setting on 16mm film. The score was composed by Kieran Jarvis, and is distinct in its evocative, raw vocals and flutes.
“The sensory experience of summers spent in my grandparents’ wholesome orchard town of Summerland spawned the idea for Until Branches Bend,” Jarvis says, adding that she is delighted to have her feature screen as part of TIFF’s renowned Discovery Programme.
“The film examines the underlying tensions beneath idyllic appearances, and how a community can turn on one of its members when they step out of line.”
Jarvis confirms that, despite its tense themes, making Until Branches Bend was an exhilarating experience for its cast, crew, and especially, its writer-director.
“Every single day, I woke up excited for work. I can’t wait to share Until Branches Bend with the people who made it happen, and for their talent to be shared and celebrated with the rest of the world.”
A terrific cast that includes Grace Glowicki, actor, writer, director (Best feature film Tito (2019); Nominee for Canadian Screen Award 2021; “TIFF Rising Star” 2016, Sundance Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance, SXSW Adam Yauch Award, Oldenburg Audacity Award and B3 Biennial of the Moving Image Inspiration Award.)