Mon. Aug 3rd, 2020

2017 TIFF: Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water, Breathe, mother! and more hit Toronto International Film Festival

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Sony Pictures Classics)

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When it comes to kicking off an awards season, no festival mounts a bigger campaign to do, or does it with more films, than the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). This year is no different with a massive first slate of Galas and Special Presentations, many of them World Premieres, that will be hitting the Canadian film fest in September.

Films that began their year at Sundance feature big at TIFF this year with Call Me By Your Name, Novitiate and, most surprisingly, Mudbound heading there. While Netflix has crashed television and the Emmys quite easily it has yet to break into the Oscar game successfully with its non-traditional day-and-date release strategy. They could be making a play this year with Mudbound, which so far has not received a release date.

Cannes Film Festival winners also found a place in Canada’s premiere festival including the Palme d’Or winner The Square and Grand Prize winner 120 Beats Per Minute.

Lots of high profile directors and films will also be seen including George Clooney’s Suburbicon starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing starring Matt Damon (again). Andy Serkis’s directing debut Breathe starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy will have its world premiere, as will The Current War with Michael Shannon and I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney. Darren Aronofsky’s highly anticipated and very secretive film mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Michelle Pfeiffer will have its North American premiere here.

What I’m always keeping a close eye on are films that have yet to be picked up for distribution. After all, this is where Julianne Moore debuted Still Alice and started her awards run all the way up to her Best Actress win at the Oscars. This year we have a handful of awards hopefuls that have been in and out of predictions including Disobedience starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool starring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell and Woman Walks Ahead starring Jessica Chastain.

The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7th – 17th in Toronto, Canada. Here is the first batch of titles, stay tuned for more to come.

BREATHE (Bleecker Street)

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Opening Film

“Borg/McEnroe,” Janus Metz, Sweden/Denmark/Finland, world premiere

“Breathe,” Andy Serkis, United Kingdom, world premiere
“The Catcher Was A Spy,” Ben Lewin, USA, world premiere
“C’est la vie!,” Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano, France, world premiere
“Darkest Hour,” Joe Wright, United Kingdom, Canadian premiere
“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” Paul McGuigan, United Kingdom, Canadian premiere
“Kings,” Deniz Gamze Ergüven, France/Belgium, world premiere
“Long Time Running,” Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Canada, world premiere
“Mary Shelley,” Haifaa Al Mansour, Ireland/United Kingdom/Luxembourg/USA, world premiere
“The Mountain Between Us,” Hany Abu-Assad, USA, world premiere
“Mudbound,” Dee Rees, USA, international premiere
“Stronger,” David Gordon Green, USA, world premiere
Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film, Neil Burger, USA, world premiere
“The Wife,” Björn Runge, United Kingdom/Sweden, world premiere
“Woman Walks Ahead,” Susanna White, USA, world premiere

THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight)

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Special Presentations
“Battle of the Sexes,” Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, USA, international premiere
“BPM (Beats Per Minute),” Robin Campillo, France, North American premiere
“The Brawler,” Anurag Kashyap, India, world premiere
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, world premiere
“Call Me By Your Name,” Luca Guadagnino, Italy/France, Canadian premiere
“Catch the Wind,” Gaël Morel, France, international premiere
“The Children Act,” Richard Eyre, United Kingdom, world premiere
“The Current War,” Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, USA, world premiere
“Disobedience,” Sebastián Lelio, United Kingdom, world premiere
“Downsizing,” Alexander Payne, USA, Canadian premiere
“A Fantastic Woman,” Sebastián Lelio, Chile, Canadian premiere
“First They Killed My Father,” Angelina Jolie, Cambodia, Canadian premiere
“The Guardians,” Xavier Beauvois, France, world premiere
“Hostiles,” Scott Cooper, USA, international premiere
“The Hungry,” Bornila Chatterjee, India, world premiere
“I, Tonya,” Craig Gillespie, USA, world premiere
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig, USA, international premiere

MOTHER! (Paramount Pictures)

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“mother!,” Darren Aronofsky, USA, North American premiere
“Novitiate,” Maggie Betts, USA, international premiere
“Omerta,” Hansal Mehta, India, world premiere
“Plonger,” Mélanie Laurent, France, world premiere
“The Price of Success,” Teddy Lussi-Modeste, France, international premiere
“Professor Marston & the Wonder Women,” Angela Robinson, USA, world premiere
“The Rider,” Chloé Zhao, USA, Canadian premiere
“A Season in France,” Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France, world premiere
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, USA, Canadian premiere
“Sheikh Jackson,” Amr Salama, Egypt, world premiere
“The Square,” Ruben Östlund, Sweden, North American premiere
“Submergence,” Wim Wenders, France/Germany/Spain, world premiere
“Suburbicon,” George Clooney, USA, North American premiere
“Thelma,” Joachim Trier, Norway/Sweden/France/Denmark, international premiere
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh, USA, North American premiere
“Victoria and Abdul,” Stephen Frears, United Kingdom, North American premiere


“Azmaish: A Journey through the Subcontinent,” Sabiha Sumar, Pakistan North American Premiere
“BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Sara Driver, USA World Premiere
“The China Hustle,” Jed Rothstein, USA World Premiere Cocaine Prison Violeta Ayala, Australia/Bolivia/France/USA World Premiere
“Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars,” Lili Fini Zanuck, United Kingdom World Premiere
“Ex Libris – The New York Public Library,” Frederick Wiseman, USA North American Premiere
“The Final Year,” Greg Barker, USA World Premiere The Gospel According to André Kate Novack, USA World Premiere .Documentary Programme Opening Film.
“Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami,” Sophie Fiennes, United Kingdom/Ireland World Premiere, Opening Film
“JIM & ANDY: the Great Beyond – the story of Jim Carrey & Andy Kaufman” featuring a very special, contractually obligated mention of Tony Clifton, Chris Smith, USA/Canada North American Premiere
“Jane,” Brett Morgen, USA World Premiere
“The Judge,” Erika Cohn, Palestine/USA World Premiere
“The Legend of the Ugly King,” Hüseyin Tabak, Germany/Austria World Premiere Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle Gustavo Salmerón, Spain North American Premiere
“Love Means Zero,” Jason Kohn, USA World Premiere .Documentary Programme Closing Film. Makala Emmanuel Gras, France North American Premiere
“OF SHEEP AND MEN,” Karim Sayad, Switzerland/Qatar World Premiere
“One of Us, Heidi Ewing,” Rachel Grady, USA World Premiere
“The Other Side of Everything Mila Turajlić,” Serbia/France/Qatar World Premiere Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me Sam Pollard, USA World Premiere
“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood,” Matt Tyrnauer, USA World Premiere
“Silas,” Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman, Canada/South Africa/Kenya World Premiere
“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!,” Morgan Spurlock, USA World Premiere

Midnight Madness

“Bodied,” Joseph Kahn, USA, World Premiere, Opening Film
“Brawl in Cell Block 99,” S. Craig Zahler, USA North American Premiere
“The Crescent,” Seth A. Smith, Canada World Premiere
“The Disaster Artist,” James Franco, USA World Premiere Downrange Ryuhei Kitamura, USA World Premiere
“Great Choice Robin Comisar, USA Canadian Premiere
“Let the Corpses Tan,” Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, Belgium/France North American Premiere
“Mom and Dad Brian Taylor,” USA World Premiere
“Revenge,” Coralie Fargeat, France World Premiere
“The Ritual David Bruckner,” UK World Premiere
“Vampire Clay,” Sôichi Umezawa, Japan World Premiere, Closing Film


Beast Michael Pearce, United Kingdom
World Premiere

Brad’s Status Mike White, USA
World Premiere

Custody Xavier Legrand, France
North American Premiere

Dark River Clio Barnard, United Kingdom
World Premiere

Platform Opening Film
The Death of Stalin Armando Iannucci, France/United Kingdom/Belgium
World Premiere

Euphoria Lisa Langseth, Sweden/Germany
World Premiere

If You Saw His Heart Joan Chemla, France
World Premiere

Mademoiselle Paradis Barbara Albert, Austria/Germany
World Premiere

Razzia Nabil Ayouch, France
World Premiere

The Seen and Unseen Kamila Andini, Indonesia
World Premiere

Platform Closing Film
Sweet Country Warwick Thornton, Australia
North American Premiere

What Will People Say (Hva vil folk si) Iram Haq, Norway/Germany/Sweden
World Premiere


Chen Kaige
Chen Kaige was born in Beijing. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982, he made his feature film debut with Yellow Earth (84). In 1993, he won the first Palme D’Or for a Chinese language film at Cannes for his epic Farewell, My Concubine (93). His numerous features include Together (02) and To Each His Own (07), both of which have screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to Temptress Moon (96), Killing Me Softly (02), The Promise (05), Forever Enthralled (08), Sacrifice (10), and Caught in the Web (12), which also screened with the Festival. In 2015, Chen directed Monk Comes Down the Mountain, a martial arts drama that was a box office powerhouse in China. Legend of the Demon Cat, currently in post-production, marks the most ambitious project by Chen to date. The film tells the famous Japanese tale of Kukai the monk.

Malgorzata Szumowska
Małgorzata Szumowska is a Polish filmmaker from Kraków. Her films include the Silver Leopard–winning 33 Scenes from Life (08); In the Name Of (13), which received the Berlinale Teddy Award; Elles (11); and Body (15), which was the recipient of the Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlinale and a European Film Award. She has been nominated twice for the European Film Award for European Discovery of the Year, and has won many other prestigious awards around the world.

Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders was born in Düsseldorf, and studied filmmaking at the Academy of Film and Television in Munich. Seven of his films, including Alice in the Cities (74) and Kings of the Road (76), screened at the inaugural Festival in 1976, and he returned to TIFF with the features Paris, Texas (84), which won the Palme D’Or and the British Film Academy Award; Lisbon Story (94); Land of Plenty (04); Pina (11), which was nominated for an Oscar; Every Thing Will Be Fine (15); and Les Beaux Jours d’Aranjuez (16). His other films include The State of Things (82), which won a Golden Lion; Wings of Desire (87), which won the Director’s Prize at Cannes; Buena Vista Social Club (99), which was also nominated for an Oscar; and Don’t Come Knocking (05). In 2015, Wenders won the Honorary Golden Bear for his lifetime achievements. Submergence (17) is his latest feature.

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