This stylish and slyly comic chronicle of a young woman’s sexual awakening is the highly anticipated feature debut of Quebec filmmaker Chloé Robichaud.

Discovery

Sarah Prefers to Run

Chloé Robichaud

Introverted and singularly focused, Sarah lives to run. When she is accepted as a middle-distance runner into the athletic training program at Montreal's McGill University, one of the best in the province, she is determined to leave Quebec City and go, in spite of her mother's surprising lack of support, both emotional and financial. A solution comes from an unexpected source, her friend Antoine (Jean-Sébastien Courchesne), who offers to move in with her to help her save money — he even proposes they wed to access funding for married university students.

Setting itself apart from typical stories of big dreams and athletic triumph, Sarah préfère la course is a subtle and stylish exploration of sacrifice and the consequences of chasing one's desires. With a balance of drama and levity, writerdirector Chloé Robichaud unfolds Sarah's personal life to reveal a refreshingly unusual protagonist, delightfully played by Sophie Desmarais. Sarah prefers to be in control, but two things nearly upend her single-minded world: an unexpected sexual attraction to fellow runner Zoey (Geneviève Boivin-Roussy) and the emergence of a medical condition that could affect her running career.

In one of the best directorial debuts to come out of Quebec in recent years, Robichaud has created a carefully composed world, coolly photographed, with a quirky musical synchronicity, and filled with quickwitted dialogue. Charming and energetic, this intriguing journey of understanding is just as much ours as it is Sarah's.

AGATA SMOLUCH DEL SORBO

Screenings

Tue Sep 10

Scotiabank 11

Industry
8:30am
Thu Sep 12

Scotiabank 4

Regular
9:15pm
Fri Sep 13

TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Regular
11:45am