This year’s Toronto International Film Festival still is over a month from kicking off, but the starry annual event is pulling out zero stops when it comes to its first official slate announcement. The festival will close out with Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledo’s “C’est la vie!,” and the Special Presentations section will open with Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, “Lady Bird,” and close with Amr Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson.”
Today’s first glimpse of this year’s programing include a slew of 2017’s most anticipated features, including Guillermo del Toro’s adult fairy tale “The Shape of Water,” Alexander Payne’s Matt Damon-starring comedy “Downsizing,” Darren Aronofsky’s secretive “mother!,” George Clooney’s reportedly uber-violent “Suburbicon,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
And that is just the tip of a very big iceberg, one that today includes the announcement of both Gala and Special Presentations titles.
The Galas section includes a number of highly anticipated new offerings, from Andy Serkis’ directorial debut “Breathe” to Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s “Mustang” followup, “Kings.” Haifaa Al Mansour’s long-gestating “Mary Shelley” will also screen, bolstered by a starry cast that include Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, and Bel Powley.
Other titles of note include David Gordon Green’s “Stronger,” about the Boston Marathon bombing, and Hany Abu-Assad’s “The Mountain Between Us,” which may be gunning for some “Revenant” style recognition for stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, who endured days of subzero filming.
The biggest surprise, however, might be the Galas inclusion of Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” which debuted back in January at Sundance. The question of how Netflix will handle the awards contender and which additional festivals it might play at has been buzzed about for months, but the TIFF berth makes it clear — this is an awards title to watch, and a TIFF one to boot.
Similarly, Luca Guadagnino’s own lauded Sundance premiere, “Call Me By Your Name,” will screen as part of Special Presentations. That title has been in the mix for awards attention — particularly for stars Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and Michael Stuhlbarg — and a TIFF screening will only further those aims.
Another Sundance debut to keep an eye out for? Maggie Betts’ “Novitiate,” which was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics at the festival and could emerge as a major contender if it gives the kind of love at TIFF that it deserved back in January.
Special Presentations also has room for a slew of other films that debuted at other festivals to major acclaim, including Cannes entries like Robin Campillo’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” and Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning “The Square,” along with Chloé Zhao’s Directors’ Fortnight favorite “The Rider.”
Other titles to watch out for include Angelina Jolie’s Cambodian drama “First They Killed My Father,” Melanie Laurent’s “Breathe” followup “Plonger,” Angela Robinson’s fact-based “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women,” and Craig Gillepsie’s sure-to-be-wild “I, Tonya.”
One more piece of TIFF trivia: Chilean director Sebastián Lelio will screen two films in Special Presentations, including his new feature “Disobedience” and his award-winning “A Fantastic Woman.” Just last year, his countryman Pablo Larraín pulled off a similar two-fer, when his “Jackie” and “Neruda” both played at TIFF.
Below are the first additions to the TIFF 2017 lineup, including both Galas and Special Presentations. Stay tuned for more programming announcements in the days to come.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7 – 17 in Toronto, Canada.
“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
“Battle of the Sexes,” Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, USA, international premiere
“BPM (Beats Per Minute),” Robin Campillo, France, North American premiere
Cannes Film Festival
“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!,” 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