Searchlight at TIFF 2017
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The Toronto International Film Festival unveils first slate of films for 2017
Film Twitter was awake early this morning as Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey unveiled the first wave of titles premiering in the Gala and Special Presentations programmes at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Of the 14 Galas and 33 Special Presentations, this first announcement includes 25 World Premieres, eight International Premieres, six North American Premieres, and eight Canadian Premieres, including works from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, India, Egypt, and Cambodia.
This year, TIFF offers a refreshed, more tightly curated Festival, with a renewed commitment to bold, director-driven programming, continued support of female filmmakers, and enough star power to fuel 400,000 festival-goers.
Today’s announcement cements that the future is female (and so is TIFF’s programming), with Gala films from emerging and established filmmakers that include Kings by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, whose 2015 Festival feature Mustang earned an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Film; Mary Shelley by Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female Saudi director; Dee Rees’ Mudbound, an adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel about racial tensions in the Jim Crow South; Susanna White’s Woman Walks Ahead, starring forever-favourite Jessica Chastain; and a big must-watch for every Canadian: Long Time Running, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier’s documentary on The Tragically Hip’s emotional and powerful 2016 final tour.
The sporting life also takes centre stage at TIFF this year, as Steve Carell meets his match with (honourary Canadian) Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes; Margot Robbie chases Olympic gold in I, Tonya; Paul Rudd goes from MLB to OSS in The Catcher was a Spy; and Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany navigate the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in David Gordon Green’s Stronger.
All of your favourite filmmakers' new films are playing at TIFF this year, including Darren Aronofsky’s mother!; Alexander Payne’s Downsizing; Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird; Mahamat Saleh-Haroun's A Season in France; George Clooney’s Surburbicon; Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father; Anurag Kashyap's The Brawler; Andy Serkis’ Breathe; Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour; Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Wim Wenders’ Submergence; and — yes, don’t worry, we got it — Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.