The Toronto International Film Festival® adds 2 Galas and 14 Special Presentations to its highly anticipated Galas and Special Presentations lineups. From thought-provoking stories to passionate tales, and filled with international talent and global stars, these films will thrill, inspire, and resonate with audiences. The Special Presentations programme is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Canada Goose.
Toronto audiences will be among the first to see new films by directors Gerard Barrett, Emmanuelle Bercot, Terry George, Walter Hill, Sang-il Lee, David Leveaux, Alexey Mizgirev, Miwa Nishikawa, and Jordan Roberts, as well as compelling new films by Antonio Campos, Joseph Cedar, Philippe Falardeau, James Franco, Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, and Robin Swicord.
The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer Joseph Cedar, USA/Israel International Premiere
Norman lives a lonely life in the shadow of power and money. Determined to make an impression, he uses any angle to make a connection. He finally bets on the right horse, buying a pair of expensive shoes for Micha Eshel. When Micha becomes Israel’s Prime Minister, Norman finds himself in the center of a geopolitical drama beyond anything he could have imagined and the fallout could destroy the reputation he spent his life building. Starring Richard Gere, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Michael Sheen.
The Promise Terry George, USA/Spain World Premiere
Michael, a humble Armenian apothecary, leaves his village to study medicine in cosmopolitan Constantinople. Chris, an American photojournalist who has come to the country to partly cover the geopolitics, is in a relationship with the talented Ana, a Paris-educated, Armenian artist. When Michael meets Ana, their shared heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between the two men. After the Turks join the war on the German side, the Ottoman Empire turns violently against its own ethnic minorities. Despite their conflicts, everyone must find a way to survive — even as monumental events envelope their lives. Starring Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, and Christian Bale.
(Re)Assignment Walter Hill, Canada World Premiere
A revenge tale about an ace assassin who is double-crossed by gangsters and a rogue plastic surgeon operating on the fringes of society. The story becomes a trail of self-discovery and redemption against a criminal mastermind opponent. Starring Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, and Tony Shalhoub.
150 Milligrams (La Fille de Brest) Emmanuelle Bercot, France World Premiere
Based on the real life story of Irène Frachon, a pulmonologist who discovered a direct link between the drug ‘Mediator’ — that had been marketed for over 30 years — and a number of suspicious deaths in France. Starring Sidse Babett Knudsen and Benoît Magimel.
The Bleeder Philippe Falardeau, USA North American Premiere
The true story of Chuck Wepner, the man who inspired the billion-dollar film series Rocky — a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. In his 10 years in the ring, Wepner endured two knockouts, eight broken noses, and 313 stitches. But his toughest fights were outside the ring: an epic life of drugs, booze, wild women, incredible highs, and extraordinary lows. Starring Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, and Elisabeth Moss.
Brain on Fire Gerard Barrett, Ireland/Canada World Premiere
Brain on Fire follows Susannah Cahalan, a rising journalist at the New York Post who mysteriously starts having seizures and hearing voices. As weeks go by and Susannah rapidly descends into insanity, she moves inexplicably from violence to catatonia. Following a series of outbursts, misdiagnoses, and a prolonged hospital stay, a lucky, last-minute intervention by one doctor finally gives her a diagnosis and hope to rebuild her life. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Richard Armitage, Tyler Perry, and Carrie-Anne Moss.
Burn Your Maps Jordan Roberts, USA/Mongolia World Premiere
After his family suffers an unimaginable tragedy, an eight-year-old boy becomes convinced that he is actually a Mongolian goat herder. With the help of an aspiring filmmaker, he tries to convince his reluctant parents to take the long journey back to the village in Mongolia where he says he belongs. Burn Your Maps is a poignant story about family, loss, and faith. Starring Vera Farmiga, Jacob Tremblay, Virginia Madsen, Marton Csokas, and Suraj Sharma.
Christine Antonio Campos, USA Canadian Premiere
Always the smartest person in the room at her news station, Christine feels destined for bigger things and relentlessly pursues a promotion to a higher profile market. Plagued by self-doubt and a tumultuous home life, Christine’s diminishing hope begins to rise when an on-air co-worker initiates a friendship, which ultimately becomes yet another unrequited love. Disillusioned as her world continues to close in on her, Christine takes a dark and surprising turn. Starring Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, and Tracy Letts.
The Duelist Alexey Mizgirev, Russia World Premiere
Returning to Saint Petersburg after a long exile, the dashing Yakovlev, a retired army officer, makes a comfortable living by winning other people’s duels. Unbeatable, he leaves a trail of dead bodies behind him as he swirls through polite society, frequently called upon to wield a pistol as a surrogate in dawn duels. When Yakovlev meets the young, beautiful Princess Martha, the two fall in love. What transpires uncovers a series of answers about his dark past. Starring Petr Fedorov, Vladimir Mashkov, Martin Wuttke, Yuri Kolokolnikov, and Franziska Petri.
The Exception David Leveaux, United Kingdom World Premiere
May, 1940. The last German Kaiser has been living in exile in the Dutch countryside for 25 years. When the Nazis invade Holland, they send a young German officer to stop the old man from defecting to England. But the British have already installed a spy in his household. And then Himmler announces he is coming to dinner. The threads of history conspire with the recklessness of the heart to dumbfound them. Starring Lily James, Christopher Plummer, Jai Courtney, Janet McTeer, Ben Daniels, and Eddie Marsan.
I, Daniel Blake Ken Loach, United Kingdom/France/Belgium North American Premiere
British master Ken Loach brings this timely drama about an aged, ailing handyman’s battle to survive after being denied his government health allowance. Starring Dave Johns and Hayley Squires.
In Dubious Battle James Franco, USA North American Premiere
In the California apple country, 900 migratory workers rise up against the landowners after getting paid a fraction of the wages they were promised. The group takes on a life of its own — stronger than its individual members and more frightening. Led by the doomed Jim Nolan, the strike is founded on his tragic idealism — on the “courage never to submit or yield.” Based on the novel by John Steinbeck. Starring James Franco, Vincent D’Onofrio, Selena Gomez, Ed Harris, Sam Shepard, Robert Duvall, and Bryan Cranston.
The Long Excuse (Nagai Iiwake) Miwa Nishikawa, Japan World Premiere
A recently widowed writer whose wife died in a bus crash impulsively offers to care for the children of a working man who lost his wife in the same accident, in this gently humorous drama from Japanese writer-director Miwa Nishikawa. Starring Masahiro Motoki, Sousuke Ikematsu, and Eri Fukatsu.
Rage Sang-il Lee, Japan World Premiere
A grisly unsolved murder links three seemingly unrelated stories in three different Japanese cities, in this arresting ensemble thriller from director Sang-il Lee. Starring Ken Watanabe and Aoi Miyazaki.
Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey Terrence Malick, Germany North American Premiere
An exploration into our planetary past and a search for humanity’s place in the future. The universe unfolds before the audience’s eyes, melding innovative effects with awe-inspiring footage in this experience for the senses, mind, and soul. Working with scientific advisors and VFX artists, Terrence Malick shows an array of never-witnessed natural phenomena — macroscopic and microscopic — immersing audiences into a poetic journey full of open questions. Narrated by Cate Blanchett.
Wakefield Robin Swicord, USA International Premiere
Howard Wakefield’s nervous breakdown leads him to hide from his life, and his family, in his garage attic. While his prolonged absence allows him to ponder the deeper questions around his life, he comes to realize that it may not be simple to cross the driveway and go home again. Starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner.
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