Toronto 2022 preview: Screen’s guide to Gala and Special Presentations | Features – Armessa Movie News

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The full line-up of world and international premieres in Toronto’s Gala and Special Presentations programmes, with details on each title including sales contacts. Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8-18.

Galas

Alice, Darling (Can)
Dir. Mary Nighy
The daughter of UK screen stars Bill Nighy and Diana Quick makes her feature-directing debut. Alice, Darling stars Anna Kendrick, who also executive produces, as a woman dealing with an abusive relationship when her two friends (Wunmi Mosaku, Kaniehtiio Horn) throw an intervention. The film is written by Alanna Francis (2019 TIFF title The Rest Of Us), and produced by Babe Nation Film and Elevation Pictures in association with Castelletto Films. The film is distributed by Elevation in Canada and Lionsgate for the rest of world.
Contact: Helen Lee-Kim, Wendy Reeds, Lionsgate  

Black Ice (Can)
Dir. Hubert Davis
This is the documentarian’s first time at TIFF, despite being a Toronto native. Davis broke through in 2005 with documentary short Hardwood about his relationship with his father (former Harlem Globetrotter Mel Davis), making history as the first Afro Canadian person to be nominated for an Oscar. His latest feature doc explores the systemic racism that exists within ice hockey and is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter (whose Spring­Hill Company produces the title) and musician Drake.
Contact: Phil Byron, Jackson New-Smith, SpringHill Company 

Butcher’s Crossing (US)
Dir. Gabe Polsky
The 1870s-set frontier epic stars Nicolas Cage in the story of a Harvard dropout who joins a team of buffalo hunters on a life-changing adventure in the Colorado wilderness. The cast includes Fred Hechinger, Xander Berkeley, Jeremy Bobb, Rachel Keller and Sound Of Metal’s Paul Raci. Polsky, whose ice‑hockey documentary Red Army played Toronto in 2014 after premiering in Cannes, co-adapted the screenplay with Liam Satre-Meloy from the novel by John Williams (Stoner). Polsky, Molly Conners and Amanda Bowers of Phiphen Pictures produce with Will Clarke and Andy Mayson for Altitude Film Entertainment, and Cage’s Saturn Films.
Contact: Altitude Film Sale

Dalíland (UK-US)
Dir. Mary Harron
Set in New York and Spain in 1973, TIFF’s closing-night film offers a glimpse at the life of Salvador Dali told through the eyes of his assistant, as the Spanish art-world giant prepares for a show and cracks appear in his marriage. Ben Kings­ley and Barbara Sukowa star alongside Christopher Briney. Harron is no stranger to making movies about big personalities, having directed I Shot Andy Warhol, the Charles Manson-themed Charlie Says and The Notorious Bettie Page. She previously worked with Dalíland producer Ed Pressman on American Psycho.
Contact: CAA (US); Bankside Films (international)

The Greatest Beer Run Ever (US)
Dir. Peter Farrelly
Farrelly will be glad to be returning to TIFF: his Green Book won the people’s choice award at the festival in 2018, a key Oscar bellwether that lived up to its reputation when the film won the best picture Oscar five months later. His latest picture is a wartime dramatic comedy based on the book of the same name by Joanna Molloy and John ‘Chickie’ Donohue. Zac Efron, Russell Crowe and Bill Murray star in the Apple Original from Skydance about Donohue, who leaves New York in 1967 to track down and share a few beers with his childhood friends while they serve in combat in Vietnam.
Contact: Apple TV+

The Hummingbird (It)
Dir. Francesca Archibugi
It is unusual for an Italian film to open in Toronto rather than Venice, but then again few Italian films these days sell to a raft of territories before they have even landed. Adapted from Sandro Veronesi’s time-hopping bestseller of the same name about the dramas hidden in an ‘ordinary’ life, The Hummingbird sees experienced Roman director Archibugi working with a starry cast that includes Pierfrancesco Favino, Bérénice Bejo and Nanni Moretti. Italian distributor 01 Distribution has set an October 20 release date for a film co-produced by Fandango and Les Films du Tournelles.
Contact: Fandango Sales

A Jazzman’s Blues (US)
Dir. Tyler Perry
Perry takes a detour from his raucous Madea comedies with this drama for Netflix about a Deep South investigation into an unsolved murder that opens up a story about forbidden love, deceit and secrets. Joshua Boone and Solea Pfeiffer are the leads, and the film spans 1937 to 1987. It seems safe to say A Jazzman’s Blues is Perry’s passion project: it is the first feature screenplay he wrote, back in the mid-1990s. Production took place at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. The filmmaker collaborated with the streamer in 2020 on A Fall From Grace.
Contact: Netflix

Kacchey Limbu (India)
Dir. Shubham Yogi
Lawyer turned film director Yogi’s debut feature is a Mumbai-set coming-of-age sibling drama focusing on Aditi (Radhika Madan), who is on a voyage of self-discovery. Yogi made his name with shorts and the series Minus One, and by working as an assistant director on Indian titles such as Barfi! and Jagga Jasoos. Madan — who was at TIFF in 2018 with Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, winner of the people’s choice award in the Midnight Madness section — stars alongside Rajat Barmecha and Ayush Mehra; the film is produced by Jio Studios and Mango People Media.
Contact: Sanjay Ram, Jio Studios

Moving On (US)
Dir. Paul Weitz
The director of About A Boy and Mozart In The Jungle heads to Toronto with a self-penned Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin comedy about two old friends who bump into each other at a funeral and plot revenge on a widower who crossed them years ago. Malcolm McDowell and Richard Roundtree also star. Moving On is co-financed by Limelight and Boies Schiller Entertainment, and the producer roster includes Limelight’s Dylan Sellers and Chris Parker (Palm Springs), and Depth Of Field’s Andrew Miano (The Farewell).
Contact: UTA Independent Film Group

Prisoner’s Daughter (US)
Dir. Catherine Hardwicke
Succession star Brian Cox and Kate Beckinsale are the leads in this drama about a tough ex-con trying to reconcile with his daughter and grandson. Hardwicke directs from a screenplay by Mark Bacci and has said the story of a broken family recalls her 2003 first feature Thirteen. The filmmaker brought Miss You Already to TIFF for its world premiere in 2015. Oakhurst Entertainment, Capstone Global and Sam Okun Productions are the production leads and VVS Films will distribute in Canada.
Contact: Capstone Global

Raymond & Ray (US)
Dir. Rodrigo Garcia
Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke star in the Apple TV+ comedy-drama about what ensues when two half-brothers reunite at the funeral of their terrible father. Maribel Verdu and Sophie Okonedo round out the key cast and Alfonso Cuaron produces with Mockingbird Pictures’ Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn. Colombian filmmaker Garcia cast McGregor as Yeshua/Jesus in his 2015 drama Last Days In The Desert, and his 2011 drama Albert Nobbs played at TIFF, while 2009 drama Mother And Child premiered at the festival.
Contact: Apple TV+

Roost (US)
Dir. Amy Redford
Actress and filmmaker Redford (daughter of Robert) follows her feature directing debut The Guitar (Sundance Film Festival 2008) with Roost, writer Scott Organ’s own adaptation of his 2018 off-Broadway play The Thing With Feathers. The psychological drama filmed on location in Park City, Utah, and examines the troubles that arise between a mother (Summer Phoenix) and her teen daughter (Grace Van Dien) after the latter is seduced online by a 28-year-old man (Kyle Gallner). Eden Wurmfeld produces with Redford and Lynda Weinman.
Contact: Andrew Herwitz, The Film Sales Company

Sidney (US)
Dir. Reginald Hudlin
Acclaimed director and producer Hudlin (House Party) has teamed with producer Oprah Winfrey on this documentary portrait of Sidney Poitier, examining his legacy as an actor, filmmaker and activist at the centre of Hollywood and the civil-rights movement. The film is also produced by Derik Murray, in close collaboration with the Poitier family, and includes interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand and Spike Lee. The Apple Original is being released worldwide on Apple TV+ on September 23.
Contact: Apple TV+

The Swimmers

The Swimmers (UK)
Dir. Sally El Hosaini
The Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker follows up on her 2012 Sundance-launched My Brother The Devil with this true story — co-scripted with Jack Thorne — of swimming sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini, who fled their war-torn Syrian home as refugees and made it all the way to the 2016 Rio Olympics as part of the Refugee Olympic Team. Lebanese actress sisters Manal and Nathalie Issa star, alongside Ahmed Malek, Matthias Schweighöfer and James Krishna Floyd. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Tim Cole (Wild Bill) and Ali Jaafar (King Of Thieves) produce for Working Title and Netflix.
Contact: Netflix

What’s Love Got To Do With It? (UK)
Dir. Shekhar Kapur
Working Title Films substantially built its empire via lucrative romantic comedy hits, but more recently has tended to veer away from the genre. Now it is back in its early sweet-spot with the world premiere of this Jemima Khan-scripted cross-cultural romantic comedy, set between London and South Asia, and directed by Elizabeth’s Kapur. Lily James, Shazad Latif and Emma Thompson lead the cast, while Nicky Kentish Barnes produces alongside Khan, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Studiocanal fully finances, distributes in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, and sells worldwide.
Contact: Studiocanal

The Woman King (US)
Dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood
Viola Davis stars in this TriStar Pictures drama about the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. The cast also includes Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and John Boyega. Prince-Bythewood (Netflix’s The Old Guard) directs from a screenplay by Dana Stevens based on a story by actor/producer Maria Bello and Stevens. eOne co-finances and distributes in the UK. Sony/TriStar distributes everywhere else and has set a September 16 US release date.
Contact: TriStar Pictures

Special Presentations

All Quiet On The Western Front (Ger-US)
Dir. Edward Berger
One of the biggest productions ever to come out of Germany, this German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic 1929 anti-war novel is directed by Berger (TV’s Deutschland 83 and Patrick Melrose) for worldwide release by Netflix this year. The ensemble cast includes Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch and Daniel Brühl, and the lengthy shoot began in the Czech Republic in March 2021. The novel was famously adapted by Universal in 1930 and went on to win Oscars for best picture and best director.
Contact: Netflix

Allelujah (UK)
Dir. Richard Eyre
Former National Theatre artistic director Eyre built his screen reputation with adaptations of plays (Stage Beauty), novels (Notes On A Scandal) and biography (Iris). Alan Bennett has had big-screen success with the likes of The Madness Of King George and The History Boys, adapted from his plays. The pair collide with this Heidi Thomas-penned, BBC Film, Ingenious Media and Pathé-backed adaptation of Bennett’s play set in the geriatric ward of a hospital threatened with closure. Jennifer Saunders and newcomer Bally Gill lead the cast, which also includes Judi Dench. Pathé distributes in the UK, France and Switzerland, and sells worldwide.
Contact: Pathé International

Blueback (Australia)
Dir. Robert Connolly
Connolly’s ecological-themed family drama stars Mia Wasikowska, Radha Mitchell and Eric Bana in the story of a child who befriends a blue groper fish she names Blueback, taking on poachers to save her pal. It is adapted from Tim Winton’s novella of the same name, with shooting taking place in Bremer Bay and Ningaloo reef in Western Australia. An Arenamedia production, the film reunites Connolly with Bana following the box-office success of mystery thriller The Dry.
Contact: HanWay Films

Bros (US)
Dir. Nicholas Stoller
Raunchy, R-rated US comedies have been thin on the ground in recent years — a deficiency that Billy Eichner (Bros’ writer/star), Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s Nicholas Stoller (director, writer and producer) and Judd Apatow (producer) aim to redress with this opposites-attract modern gay relationship tale. Eichner (a triple Primetime Emmy nominee for Billy On The Street) stars opposite fellow out-gay actor Luke Macfarlane. Universal Pictures, which drew approving reactions for footage shown in June at CineEurope, distributes worldwide, beginning in North America on September 30.
Contact: Universal Pictures

Brother (Can)
Dir. Clement Virgo
Based on David Chariandy’s 2018 novel of the same name, Canadian filmmaker Virgo’s adaptation from Hawkeye Pictures and Conquering Lion Pictures centres on two Jamaican-Canadian brothers in the early 1990s whose dreams are dashed by violent reality. Lamar Johnson (The Hate U Give) stars with Aaron Pierre (The Underground Railroad). Virgo’s credits include 2015 miniseries and multiple Canadian Screen Awards winner Someone Knows My Name (originally The Book Of Negroes) and he has directed episodes of Greenleaf, Billions and Empire. Elevation Pictures will distribute in Canada.
Contact: Bron Releasing

Catherine Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy (UK)
Dir. Lena Dunham
Following a 12-year gap after 2010’s Tiny Furniture — during which she focused on projects such as HBO series Girls — Dunham returned to the big screen this year with the Sundance-launched Sharp Stick. She follows up with her second feature of 2022, a self-penned adaptation of Karen Cushman’s 1994 novel about a 14-year-old girl in medieval England navigating life and avoiding suitors lined up by her father. Bella Ramsey stars alongside Andrew Scott, Billie Piper and Joe Alwyn, while Working Title Films produces for Prime Video, which streams from October 7.
Contact: Prime Video

Causeway (US)
Dir. Lila Neugebauer
Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence could be back in the awards mix with her latest performance as a soldier who struggles to adjust to life after returning home to New Orleans from Afghanistan. Neuge­bauer, an acclaimed US theatre director whose 2018 Broadway revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery earned a Tony award, makes her feature directing debut, and the cast also includes Bullet Train’s Brian Tyree Henry. Lawrence is producing with Justine Ciarrocchi for Excellent Cadaver. Causeway is also produced by IAC Films, IPR.VC and A24, and is handled worldwide by Apple TV+.
Contact: Apple TV+

Chevalier (US)
Dir. Stephen Williams
The Canadian filmmaker, who has producing credits on TV series Lost and Watchmen, makes his debut at TIFF with this Searchlight Pictures-backed biographical drama. It follows a classical musician — the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner —who works his way up (and down) French society during the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Kelvin Harrison Jr stars alongside Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton and Minnie Driver, with Atlanta writer Stefani Robinson, who penned the screenplay, producing alongside Element Pictures.
Contact: Searchlight Pictures

Devotion (US)
Dir. JD Dillard
Set during the Korean War and based on the non-fiction book by Adam Makos, Devotion tells of the US Navy’s first Black aviator and his dedicated wingman. The action film stars Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country) and Glen Powell, who also played a fighter pilot in Top Gun: Maverick and serves here as executive producer. Dillard’s first two features Sleight and Sweetheart premiered at Sundance in 2016 and 2019 respectively. Sony will release Devotion in the US on November 23 over the Thanksgiving holiday. The film also stars Christina Jackson.
Contact: Black Bear International

Driving Madeleine (Fr)
Dir. Christian Carion
Best known internationally for 2005’s Joyeux Noel, Carion offers a showcase for two much-loved figures of French cinema: comic actor Dany Boon (Welcome To The Sticks) and veteran chanteuse and actress Line Renaud, whose screen career spans nine decades and includes work with Claire Denis and Claude Lelouch, as well as a featured cameo in TV’s Call My Agent!. She plays 92-year-old Madeleine, who hires taxi driver Charles to take her on a ride through the locations of her life. Carion’s Une Hirondelle Productions co-produces with TF1, Bright Lights Films and Kobayashi Communications.
Contact: Pathé International

Empire Of Light (UK-US)
Dir. Sam Mendes
Mendes — recipient of the Ebert director award at this year’s TIFF — delivered a $385m global box-office hit with 1917, winner of three Oscars and seven Baftas. Empire Of Light sees him reteam with his Neal Street Productions producing partner Pippa Harris for a self-penned, 1980s-era love story set in and around an old cinema on the south coast of England. The film stars Olivia Colman and 2020 Screen Star of Tomorrow Micheal Ward, alongside Colin Firth and Toby Jones, while Searchlight Pictures finances, partners as producer and releases worldwide, beginning with the US on December 9.
Contact: Searchlight Pictures

The Fabelmans (US)
Dir. Steven Spielberg
The legendary Oscar-winning director makes his first appearance at TIFF with his most personal film yet. The Amblin drama is based on Spielberg’s childhood and is billed as a coming-of-age story about a youngster’s discovery of a secret and the power of cinema to illuminate the truth about ourselves. A rich ensemble cast includes Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen and Judd Hirsch. Spielberg and Tony Kushner co-wrote the screenplay and are also producers alongside Kristie Macosko Krieger. Universal releases in the US on November 23.
Contact: Universal Pictures

Knives Out Glass Onion

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (US)
Dir. Rian Johnson
Knives Out caused a sensation when it premiered at TIFF three years ago and became a global smash, with an original screenplay Oscar nod for Johnson to boot. Following an even more sensational $400m deal between Netflix, Johnson and his T-Street producing partner Ram Bergman to make two follow-ups, the next episode in the adventures of Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is finally here. Glass Onion, named after a song by The Beatles, sees Blanc investigate a mystery in Greece, with a cast including Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista.
Contact: Netflix

Good Night Oppy (US)
Dir. Ryan White
The Amazon Studios documentary tells the true story of Opportunity, the Mars rover dispatched for a 90-day mission that ended up staying on the red planet for 15 years. The film also touches on the bond between the robot and her human handlers back on Earth. White, whose Ask Dr. Ruth premiered at Sundance in 2019, assembled archive footage and shot scenes in-person in Los Angeles during the pandemic. Visual effects are courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic teams in London and Vancouver. A US theatrical release is set for November 4 prior to a November 23 debut on Prime Video.
Contact: Prime Video

The Good Nurse (US)
Dir. Tobias Lindholm
Oscar winner Jessica Chastain (The Eyes Of Tammy Faye) looks set to deliver another heavyweight performance as Amy Loughren in the Netflix-backed true story of the New Jersey hospital nurse who helped apprehend her co-worker Charles Cullen, who eventually confessed to killing up to 40 patients and is believed to have murdered several hundred more. Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Oscar nominated for her work on Sam Mendes’s 1917, adapted the screenplay from Charles Graeber’s book. Lindholm co-wrote the screenplay for Another Round and directed A War and A Hijacking.
Contact: Netflix

The King’s Horseman (Nigeria)
Dir. Biyi Bandele
Bandele’s adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestseller Half Of A Yellow Sun played at TIFF in 2013. Now the festival hosts The King’s Horseman, produced through Ebony Life for Net­flix, just two months after the death of the writer/director in Lagos. The historical drama — inspired by events in West Africa’s Oyo empire in the 1940s — is the first Yoruba-language film to premiere at the festival and the first of Nobel Prize-winner Wole Soyinka’s works to be made into a feature. It is based on Soyinka’s anti-colonial stage play Death And The King’s Horseman.
Contact: Netflix

The Lost King (UK)
Dir. Stephen Frears
The key creative team of quadruple Oscar-nominated Philomena — director Frears and writers Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope — reunite for the true story of amateur historian Philippa Langley (Sally Hawkins) who followed her hunch that English Plantagenet monarch Richard III was buried under a Leicester car park. Coogan, Christine Langan and Dan Winch produce, with backers including Pathé and BBC Film, which likewise partnered on Philomena. Pathé releases in the UK and France, and sells worldwide. IFC Films has picked up rights for North America.
Contact: Pathé International 

A Man Of Reason (S Kor)
Dir. Jung Woo-sung
Previously known as Protector, this kidnap revenge thriller marks the directing debut of A-list Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, who also stars in the film along with Kim Nam-gil (Emergency Declaration) and Park Sung-woong. The story focuses on a longtime prisoner who wishes to start an ordinary life after his release, but his former gangster boss is not ready to let him go, and has a killer kidnap his daughter. Jung most recently appeared in Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae’s directing debut Hunt, which is in TIFF Gala Presentations after playing in Cannes’ Midnight Screenings.
Contact: Acemaker Movieworks

The Menu (US)
Dir. Mark Mylod
Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy star in Searchlight Pictures’ horror-comedy as a young couple who travel to an exclusive restaurant on a remote island, which is run by a celebrity chef (Ralph Fiennes) whose unique approach to cuisine takes a decidedly dark turn. Janet McTeer, Hong Chau and John Leguizamo also star. Mylod is best known for directing and producing on Emmy-winning shows Succession and Game Of Thrones. The Menu is his fourth feature film and is produced by Adam McKay and his company Hyperobject Industries.
Contact: Searchlight Pictures

My Policeman (UK)
Dir. Michael Grandage
Pop icon Harry Styles has two major films at fall festivals this year — he is also in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, which plays out of competition at Venice. In this Amazon Studios-produced adaptation of Bethan Roberts’ 2012 novel of the same name, Styles plays a policeman in 1950s Brighton who is courting a schoolteacher (Emma Corrin) but risking disgrace by trysting with a museum curator (David Dawson). Gina McKee, Linus Roache and Rupert Everett play the same characters in 1999. Lauded theatre director Grandage saw his earlier feature Genius launch at Berlin in 2016.
Contact: Prime Video

On The Come Up (US)
Dir. Sanaa Lathan
Lathan, seen recently as attorney Lisa Arthur in HBO’s Succession, makes her feature directing debut on the story of a 16-year-old girl determined to become a successful rapper and help her family. Backed by Paramount Pictures’ Para­mount Players division, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give). Newcomer Jamila Gray stars, and the cast includes Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Lil Yachty, Mike Epps and Method Man.
Contact: Paramount Pictures

Sanctuary (US)
Dir. Zachary Wigon
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood breakout Margaret Qualley stars as a dominatrix whose wealthy client (Christopher Abbott) triggers chaos when he tries to end their relationship. Homecoming co-creator Micah Bloomberg wrote the screenplay and the action plays out over one night in a hotel room. Rumble Films’ David Lancaster (Drive, Oscar-nominated for Whiplash) and Stephanie Wilcox produce the thriller along with Ilya Stewart of Hype Studios, Pavel Burian of Mosaic Films and international sales agent Charades. Sanctuary marks the second feature from Wigon following 2014 SXSW thriller The Heart Machine.
Contact: Charades (international); UTA Independent Film Group (US)

Stories Not To Be Told (Sp)
Dir. Cesc Gay
Writer/director Gay returns to TIFF with his ninth feature, a comedic collection of five tales about embarrassing and awkward situations in which people find themselves, starring a large ensemble Spanish cast. Gay launched comedy drama Truman at the festival in 2015, which went on to win multiple Goya awards in his native Spain. Stories Not To Be Told is co-written with Tomas Aragay, with whom Gay worked on Truman and In The City.
Contact: Filmax

The Substitute (Arg-It-Mex-Sp-Fr)
Dir. Diego Lerman
One of Argentina’s leading lights in cinema is back with a drama about a literature teacher who takes a job at a school in suburban Buenos Aires and helps a student who has fallen foul of a drug gang. Juan Minujin, Alfredo Castro and Barbara Lennie star. Lerman, last in Toronto five years ago with crime drama A Sort Of Family, wrote the screenplay and produced through his El Campo Cine. The Substitute (El Suplente) will play San Sebastian after its TIFF world premiere.
Contact: El Campo Cine

Walk Up (S Kor)
Dir. Hong Sangsoo
Korean auteur Hong gathers his regulars — Kwon Haehyo, Lee Hyeyoung and Song Sunmi — to follow a middle-aged film director and his daughter as they are led by an interior designer to explore the rooms of a four-storey building. The film will compete at San Sebastian after Toronto. The prolific Hong has won wide acclaim during his long career, most recently with Introduction and The Novelist’s Film, winners of Berlinale Silver Bears for best screenplay and grand jury prize respectively.
Contact: Finecut

Wendell & Wild (US)
Dir. Henry Selick
Netflix has big ambitions in animation and Wendell & Wild is expected to be one of the streamer’s strong contenders this year. Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas) directs this stop-motion animation about scheming brothers who must confront their nemesis — a nun called Sister Helley and her goth teen acolytes. The voice cast features Jordan Peele (a co-writer here) and his longtime comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key, as well as Angela Bassett and Lyric Ross.
Contact: Netflix

Women Talking (US)
Dir. Sarah Polley
Polley’s first two fiction features Away From Her and Take This Waltz debuted at TIFF in 2006 and 2011 respectively, while documentary Stories We Tell premiered at Venice in 2012. For her third fiction film, she has adapted Miriam Toews’ harrowing book about women in a religious colony who struggle to balance their faith with the sexual assaults committed by the men. A strong cast brings together Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, Frances McDormand and Ben Whishaw. Plan B produces for MGM’s Orion Pictures, and UA Releasing will distribute in the US.
Contact: MGM

The Wonder (UK-Ire)
Dir. Sebastian Lelio
Lelio, The Wonder co-screenwriter Alice Birch and source-novel author Emma Donoghue all have Toronto history. The Chilean director has had three features screen at the festival — Gloria, US remake Gloria Bell and Disobedience — while the Birch-scripted Lady Macbeth premiered at TIFF, and Donoghue saw her Room adapted into the hit film that played Telluride and Toronto. This Netflix drama stars Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Ciaran Hinds and Niamh Algar in a 19th-century Irish tale of strangers who transform each other’s lives.
Contact: Netflix

TIFF titles

Profiles by Nikki Baughan, Ellie Calnan, Tim Dams, Charles Gant, John Hazelton, Jeremy Kay, Lee Marshall, Jonathan Romney, Silvia Wong.

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