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TIFF Lineup! The Special Presentations & Galas

by Nathaniel R

Elle Fanning as author Mary Shelley

The annual Toronto International Film Festival, our personal favorite, is just two months away. Today they held a press conference to announce the first batch of films from their special presentations and gala sections (i.e. the premieres of multiple kinds, be it world premiere, international premiere, canadian premiere or whatnot).

A ton of films after the jump...

links go to all articles involving the film in question

BPM (Beats Per Minute) (France) This Cannes sensation is a period political drama about French ACT UP protestors during the AIDS crisis
Battle of the Sexes (USA) Oscar hopeful true story about the infamous tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell)

The Brawler (India) A sports drama about a lower caste boxer [WORLD PREMIERE]
The Breadwinner (Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg) An animated film about an 11 year old Afghan girl. From the studio that brought you all those great Irish animated films by Tomm Moore so it's probably special [WORLD PREMIERE]
Catch the Wind (UK) A factory worker moves to Morocco to follow her job and her life is upended
Call Me By Your Name (Italy) Luca Guadagnino's next luscious picture (after previously directing the luscious I Am Love and the luscious A Bigger Splash. They're all so... luscious!) is a gay romance between Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer
The Children Act (UK) an adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel about a high court judge in personal and professional crises. This could be a killer role for Emma Thompson who headlines [WORLD PREMIERE]
The Current War (USA) all star period biopic about the race for sustainable electricity between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse [WORLD PREMIERE]
Darkest Hour (UK) This WW II Winston Churchill drama is from director Joe Wright (Atonement) and stars Gary Oldman. Everyone expects it to be an Oscar contender


Disobedience (UK) Sebastian Lelio of Gloria fame directs this English language adaptation of Naomi Aldermans novel. The Rachels (McAdams and Weisz) star [WORLD PREMIERE]
Downsizing (USA) Alexander Payne is finally back. This time in a satire about a man who shrinks himself (Matt Damon)
A Fantastic Woman (Chile) this trans drama is expected to be Chile's Oscar submission. It's from the director of the wondrous Gloris Sebastían Lelo who has two pictures at the festival.
First They Killed My Father (Cambodia) Angelina Jolie returns to the director's chair adapting a childhood memoir by Loung Ung
Guardians (France) Xavier Beauvois directs this drama about the women left behind to tend the farm during World War I [WORLD PREMIERE]
Hostiles (USA) Scott Cooper of Crazy Heart fame returns with another manly drama, this one a 19th century western, starring Christian Bale, West Studi, Rosamund Pike and more...

The Hungry (India) An adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus relocated to modern-day India [WORLD PREMIERE]
I Tonya (USA) Margot Robbie plays Tonya Hardin in this biopic about the disgraced Olympian [WORLD PREMIERE]
Lady Bird (USA) Greta Gerwig directs Saoirse Ronan [OPENING FILM OF SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS]
mother! (USA) Darren Aronofsky's secretive thriller with Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and the one and only Michelle Pfeiffer

Novitiate (USA) Melissa Leo and a bunch of young nuns! A Sundance hit
Omerta (India) About the British terrorist who kidnapped and killed an American reporter Daniel Pearl [WORLD PREMIERE]
Plonger (France) Actress Melanie Laurent directs this drama about a photographer attempting to "find herself" [WORLD PREMIERE]
The Price of Success (France) a comedian's sudden succcess causes trouble with his family
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (USA) We just discussed the trailer to this biopic about the creator of Wonder Woman [WORLD PREMIERE]

The Rider a slice of life drama about a cowboy (Brady Jandreau) struggling to start over (USA)
A Season in France (France) an interracial romance between an African immigrant teacher and a Frenchwoman (the great Sandrine Bonnaire of Vagabond fame) [WORLD PREMIERE]
The Shape of Water (USA) Guillermo del Toro's fable about a lab worker (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with an amphibious creature
Sheikh Jackson (Egypt) a comedy about a Michael Jackson devotee in a tailspin after the King of Pop's death [WORLD PREMIERE, CLOSING FILM OF SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS]
The Square (Denmark) The Palme d'Or winning artworld satire from Cannes, from the director of Force Majeure

Submergence (France/Germany/Spain) Wim Wenders returns with a water logged romance between James McAvoy as a water engineer and Alicia Vikander as a deep-sea researcher [WORLD PREMIERE]

Suburbicon (USA) George Clooney directs a ton of famous actor friends in a dark comedy about home invasion 
Thelma (Norway) the latest from king of sensitively wrought miserabilism, Joachim Trier returns. This time though he's got a female lead (finally!) and a different genre since he's working with supernatural elements. 
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (USA) a grieving mother antagonizes a local police force. Starring the great Frances McDormand
Victoria and Abdul (UK) Judi Dench reprises her royal Oscar nominated Mrs Brown role for the sequel

links go to all articles involving the film in question

The Catcher Was a Spy with Paul Rudd

Breathe (UK) Actor Andy Serkis directs this biopic romance between Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy
The Catcher Was a Spy (USA) Ben Lewin directs this biopic about a baseball player who became a secret agent in World War II
C'est La Vie (France) a comedy about a catering team [CLOSING NIGHT GALA]
Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool (UK) Annette Bening stars as cancer-stricken Oscar winner Gloria Grahame

Kings (France, Belgium) Halle Berry and Daniel Craig headline this intriguing prospect, a drama about a foster mother and her 12 children during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. But here's why we're excited: it's the sophomore feature from Mustang director Deniz Gamze Ergüven.
Long Time Running (Canada) a documentary about the final tour of Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip
Mary Shelley  (Ireland, UK, Luxembourg) a biopic about the horror author and her tempestuous marriage. Elle Fanning headlines this film from the first female Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour
The Mountain Between Us (USA) Hany Abu-Assad directs Idris Elba and Kate Winslet in this romantic wilderness survival drama
Mudbound (USA) this Sundance hit drama, a period piece about the Jim Crow south, is hoping for major Oscar play. From director Dee Rees of Pariah fame. 
Stronger (USA) Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslandy star in David Gordon Green's true story film about a man who survived the Boston Marathon bombins
Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film (USA) a remake of the French comedy The Intouchables

The Wife (UK, Sweden) Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce star as an author receiving a Nobel and his wife who is about to leave him
Woman Walks Ahead (USA) Jessica Chastain headlines this true story about a 19th century artist travelling into Dakota Territory and her friendship with Sioux Chief Sitting Bull


P.S. Bear in mind that these lists above are just the special presentations and galas. TIFF has yet to announce the films from their 12 other sections which are


  • Contemporary World Cinema Compelling stories, global perspectives.
  • Discovery Directors to watch. The future of world cinema.
  • In Conversation With… Engaging onstage conver­sations with leaders in the film industry and beyond.
  • Masters The latest from the world’s most influential art-house filmmakers.
  • Midnight Madness The wild side: midnight screenings of the best in action, horror, shock and fantasy cinema.
  • Platform Directors’ cinema now. Launched in 2015, this juried program shines a light on up to 12 selections that demonstrate directorial vision from international filmmakers.
  • Primetime Serial storytelling: television in its artistic renaissance.
  • Short Cuts The world. In short form.
  • TIFF Cinematheque Curated gems from the history of Canadian and international cinema.
  • TIFF Docs Candid and unscripted: the best non-fiction cinema from around the world.
  • TIFF Kids and TIFF Next Wave For the next generation of movie lovers.
  • Wavelengths Daring, visionary and autono­mous voices. Works that expand our notions of the moving image.


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Reader Comments (35)

The better question is what am I not interested in. This is such a dynamite lineup, I was nearly trembling with antici...pation. Thanks for the breakdown.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris K

My most anticipated:

Call Me By Your Name
A Fantastic Woman
Professor Marston & The Wonder Women
Mary Shelley
The Shape Of Water

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

So, in light of TIFF we can expect

Battle of the Sexes (Searchlight)
Darkest Hour (Focus)
Downsizing (Paramount)
Film Stars
Fantastic Woman (SPC)
First They Killed My Father (Netflix)
Florida Project (A24)
Lady Bird (A24)
Shape of Water (Searchlight)

Every year Telluride produces at least two BP nominations, so lets go with Darkest Hour and The Shape of Water.

And I'm more and more convinced Shade of Water is VERY real. Like BP winner real. Its hitting the Big 3 Fall Festivals in Telluride/Venice/TIFF, its the only one of the pics above I see with real breakout potential, and I've only only heard good buzz about it so far.


July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

So much potential everywhere! I hope it's another great fall movie season.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCash

I'm speechlessly excited that this will be my first TIFF this year!!

Chris K - aint it the truth!!??

July 25, 2017 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

Wow, chilena cinema is on a roll lately!

That Brian Craston/Kevin Hart project looks disastrous.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTheBoyFromBrazil

Just googled and the Bryan Craston / Kevin Hart movie is with Nicole Kidman, so I'll have to watch it.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTheBoyFromBrazil

Lots of exciting films to look forward to. Curious not to see ON CHESIL BEACH (with Saoirse Ronan) or LEAN ON PETE (Andrew Haigh) listed. I wonder if they will be premiering at TIFF (or another fest) this year if we have to wait for 2018.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

These ALL sound terrific !!!

Better than Cannes.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

• First They Killed My Father (Cambodia) Angelina Jolie returns to the director's chair adapting a childhood memoir by Loung Ung

• Omerta (India) About the British terrorist who kidnapped and killed an American reporter Daniel Pearl [WORLD PREMIERE]

That's a subplot waiting to happen. Will Angelina Jolie, who once played Mariane Pearl, attend the OMERTA screening?

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

Disappointed in the lack of Radegund.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

I am so pleased to see 'Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool' in the line up because having seen a rough cut of it quite a few months ago (with a friend who worked on the production) I thought it was very special and very different from the round-of-the-mill biopics we usually get.If you are expecting a Being Julia/ My Week with Marilyn experience, well, you will have to think again.Both Annette Bening and Jamie Bell are outstanding in it and beyond.Watch out...

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny W

Hope CALL ME BY YOUR NAME gets all the attention it deserves. An astounding film. Chalamet is remarkable and so well-supported by Hammer & Stuhlbarg. A sumptuous, luscious masterpiece.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

no word on where your oscar predictions are, huh

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercarlos

Surprised Florida project, sacred deer and happy end weren't mentioned.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

If LA, AFI festival, gets the new PTA like they did with Inherent Vice, I'm going this year.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArtful

I want!!!

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Just a shout-out support to The Wife with Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce. I hope it surprises in delightful ways.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

The one I'm actually most intrigued by is I, Tonya. How campy/strange/dark will it be? Margot Robbie is hit-or-miss with me, but it's always a delight to see Allison Janney on the big screen.

On another note, Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel has been selected to close the NYFF. I think we have a serious awards contender on our hands. Buzz is quite high on this one.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Most excited by the Wife; most fearful with that strong a line up of actresses that Close will be overlooked

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Mother! Because I'm incredibly intrigued by the film and Battle of the Sexes to find out if it's more commercial or a possible Oscar contender.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLizzy G

I'm attending the Melbourne Film Festival next week and will be seeing BPM, Call me by your name and A fantastic woman. I've read good things about all three and am excited.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

It's crazy that in this single festival there are SO MANY potential Best Actress contender: Close, Thompson, Fanning, Stone, McAdams/Weisz, Berry, Foy, Chastain, Winslet, Dench, McDormand, Hawkins....

i''m freaking out.

July 26, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I still think Winslet is winning her 2nd,Baz B in uk is usually correct with his predictions,

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

Call Me By Your Namen (of course) and The Children Act (and then The Wife, Mudbound, and Kings). I like the book and can't wait to see what Emma Thompson does with her role (and hot-off-Dunkirk Fionn Whitehead and Stanley Tucci could pop in supporting roles, if the script is like the book).

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

Did you say Wes Studi? Bring on the comeback for Magua!

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBen

All very exciting. I hope Kings is a great feature for Berry.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermikenewq

The TIFF announcement leaves me thirsty for an update on Nathaniel's wonderful Oscar prediction charts.
I've just read On Chesil Beach, and think that it will be a great role for Ronan. It's not appearing in Toronto, so do you think it's been delayed until next year? Lady Bird looks like a great replacement vehicle for her.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJes

Jes -- i've been working on them alll day behind the scenes so by next week for sure. hopefully sooner than that.

July 26, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I feel overwhelmed by the potential lineups in the actress categories. Plenty of overdue veterans and newcomers vying for a spot. And the bulk of these potential nominees will be worthy which makes the whole thing sort of painful because someone significant will be left out of the final five in her category.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArtful

It's my first year too Chris Feil.

Most excited for Children Act, Mary Shelley and The Hungry.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

What a year it would be if Close and Pfeiffer could each get "overdue" buzz and finally win Leading and Supporting Oscars, nearly 30 years after getting those exact same nominations for Dangerous Liaisons.
Bonus points if the other Merteuil, Annette Bening, gets a nomination for "Liverpool"

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClement_Paris



Let's start they coronation season.

And how great would be if we have


as the best actresses nominees. *.* But I love Saoirse to.


Battle of the Sexes
The Bread Winner
The Children Act
I, Tonya
Lady Bird
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Woman Walks Ahead

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJon

I have a feeling I , Tonya is going to be something special. Watch out for Margot Robbie!

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

And i have thought for years that the Academy should expand from 5 nominees to 6 in all categories much like the Emmys. Too many worthy performances get overlooked.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

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