For the fourth year running, TIFF has found ways to include an international range of television into its lineup via the Primetime program, which will spotlight five new series as part of this year’s festival.
Notably, “Homecoming” star Julia Roberts now has two reasons to go to Toronto, as the upcoming Amazon Studios drama, based on the hit podcast and directed by “Mr. Robot” Emmy winner Sam Esmail, will be making its world premiere in Toronto. (Roberts also stars in the previously announced film selection “Ben is Back,” directed by Peter Hedges.)
The other selections include:
- The French sci-fi series “Ad Vitam,” directed by Thomas Cailley and described in the official TIFF release as “about a collective suicide masterminded by seven teenagers that occurs after the world’s longest-living human being turns 169 years old. Threatened by humanity’s efforts to extinguish death and aging, a rebellion rises against regeneration technology, leaving many to question the meaning of life and immortality.” Two episodes will screen for the show’s international premiere.
- “Sorry For Your Loss,” a new series set to premiere on Facebook Watch Tuesday, September 18, is said to explore “the life of a young widow as she grieves the loss of her husband while being forced to deal with the truth of her past.” The cast includes Elizabeth Olsen, “The Last Jedi” star Kelly Marie Tran, Jovan Adepo, Mamoudou Athie, and Janet McTeer. The series was created by Kit Steinkellner and directed by James Ponsoldt.
- Six Asian directors, including Joko Anwar and Pen-ek Ratanaruang, have come together for “Folklore: A Mother’s Love & Pob,” which hails from the Indonesia/Thailand/Singapore region. Showrun by Eric Khoo, the official TIFF description describes it as a series “rooted in superstitions and mythologies from each director’s respective country and will be presented in the local language of the country the episode is based in.”
- “Stockholm” hails from Israel, and four episodes of the comedy written by Noa Yedlin and directed by Daniel Syrkin will make their international premiere in Toronto. The series tracks what “brings four friends together as they cover up the death of their friend, who was nominated for a Nobel Prize.”
Previous installments of the Primetime lineup have shown an admirable commitment to celebrating international television, including France’s “The Returned,” Kenya’s “Tuko Macho,” and Germany’s “Dark.” In addition, the fest has premiered acclaimed series like “Alias Grace,” “Black Mirror,” “Casual,” and “The Girlfriend Experience.”
The 43rd annual Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018. Check out IndieWire’s full coverage here.