My #TIFF16 Film Selections

Rating for scheduling marked by ⭐’s

Toni Erdmann (162 minutes) ⭐

Maren Ade | Special Presentations

German English | Canadian Premiere | 2014

One of the most talked-about films at this year’s Cannes, the new film from Maren Ade (The Forest for the Trees, Everyone Else) is an alternately hilarious and mortifying comedy about the fraught relationship between a repressed corporate consultant and her incessantly prank-playing dad.

The Birth of a Nation (120 minutes)

Nate Parker | Special Presentations

English | International Premiere | 2015

Writer-director Nate Parker reclaims the title of D.W. Griffith’s KKK-boosting 1916 milestone for this epic chronicle of the life of Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion against white plantation owners in 1831 Virginia.

Free Fire (90 minutes)

Ben Wheatley | Midnight Madness

English | World Premiere | 2016

Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Cillian Murphy star in the hotly anticipated new film by Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High-Rise), about a weapons deal gone wrong that escalates into a manic, bullet-riddled standoff inside an abandoned warehouse.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (92 minutes) ⭐

Matt Tyrnauer | TIFF Docs

English | World Premiere | 2016

This timely and inspirational documentary chronicles legendary writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs’ battle to save historic NYC neighbourhoods from the draconian redevelopment plans of ruthless power broker Robert Moses in the 1960s.

ARQ (88 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tony Elliott | Discovery

English | World Premiere | 2016

Orphan Black screenwriter Tony Eliott makes his feature directorial debut with this brain-twisting sci-fi thriller, about a husband and wife (The Flash’s Robbie Amell and Jessica Jones’ Rachael Taylor) living in a dystopic future who become trapped in a mysterious time loop — one that may have something to do with an ongoing battle between an omnipotent corporation and a ragtag band of rebels.

The Handmaiden (145 minutes)

Park Chan-wook | Special Presentations

Korean Japanese | North American Premiere | 2016

A crook-turned-servant falls for the vulnerable heiress she had originally schemed to swindle, in this audacious, visually sumptuous, and highly erotic period piece from acclaimed writer-director Park Chan-wook.

Colossal (110 minutes)⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nacho Vigalondo | Vanguard

English | World Premiere | 2015

A going-nowhere party girl (Anne Hathaway) discovers a mysterious connection between herself and a giant monster wreaking havoc on the other side of the globe.

Personal Shopper (105 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐

Olivier Assayas | Masters

English French Swedish | North American Premiere | 2016

Kristen Stewart reunites with director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria) for this artful ghost story about a young woman trying to reconnect with the spirit of her departed brother.

My Life as a Courgette (66 minutes)

Claude Barras | TIFF Kids

French | North American Premiere | 2016

Director Claude Barras uses gorgeous stop-motion animation to tackle difficult subject matter in this delicately told story about a young boy sent to a group home after the death of his alcoholic mother, who finds comfort, acceptance and hope with his equally troubled new companions.

Daguerrotype (131 minutes) ⭐⭐

Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Platform

French | World Premiere | 2016

Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Tokyo Sonata) makes his first film outside Japan with this French-language fantasy, about an aging photographer whose obsession with an archaic technique draws his young assistant and beautiful daughter into a dark and mysterious world.

Planetarium (106 minutes)⭐

Rebecca Zlotowski | Gala Presentations

French English | North American Premiere | 2016

In 1930s France, two sisters (Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp) who perform as supernatural mediums cross paths with a visionary film producer.

Certain Women (107 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐

Kelly Reichardt | Masters

English | Canadian Premiere | 2015

Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Night Moves) directs Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart and Lily Gladstone in this tripartite portrait of striving, independent women whose lives intersect in suggestive and powerful ways.

Handsome Devil (95 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

John Butler | Contemporary World Cinema

English | World Premiere | 2016

A music-mad 16-year-old outcast at rugby-mad boarding school forms an unlikely friendship with his dashing new roommate, in this funny and observant coming-of-age tale from Irish novelist and filmmaker John Butler.

93 Days (124 minutes) ⭐

Steve Gukas | City to City

English | World Premiere | 2016

Bimbo Akintola, Danny Glover and TIFF Rising Star Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama star in director Steve Gukas’ riveting real-life thriller about courageous health-care workers in Lagos battling the Ebola outbreak of 2014.

A Monster Calls (108 minutes)⭐

J. A. Bayona | Gala Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2016

Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones star in this adaptation of the award-winning children’s book by Patrick Ness, about a lonely young boy struggling with the imminent death of his terminally ill mother who is befriended by a friendly, shambling monster that arrives in his room nightly to tell him stories.

WITHOUT NAME (93 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lorcan Finnegan | Vanguard

English | World Premiere | 2016

A land surveyor discovers a dark secret deep within a dense forest, in this eco-horror thriller from first-time Irish filmmaker Lorcan Finnegan.

Snowden (134 minutes)⭐

Oliver Stone | Gala Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2015

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in this real-life political thriller from Oscar winner Oliver Stone, co-starring Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Timothy Olyphant and Nicolas Cage.

Deepwater Horizon (107 minutes)⭐

Peter Berg | Gala Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2015

Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Kate Hudson, and Gina Rodriguez headline this true-life disaster tale about the 2010 oil-rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the biggest oil spill in US history.

Arrival (116 minutes)

Denis Villeneuve | Gala Presentations

English | Canadian Premiere | 2015

Visionary Quebecois auteur Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario) directs Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker in this sci-fi drama about the panic that follows a wave of mysterious spacecraft landings across the globe.

La La Land (126 minutes)

Damien Chazelle | Special Presentations

English | Canadian Premiere | 2015

An ambitious jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) fall in love while pursuing their dreams of stardom, in this dazzlingly stylized homage to the classic Hollywood musical from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle.

Into the Inferno (104 minutes)⭐

Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer | TIFF Docs

English | International Premiere | 2016

The great Werner Herzog teams up with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer for this globe-trotting tour of some of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes.

In Dubious Battle (114 minutes)

James Franco | Special Presentations

English | North American Premiere | 2016

James Franco directs and stars alongside a fine cast — including Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Selena Gomez and Nat Wolff — in this adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era novel about two labour organizers trying to unionize exploited California fruit pickers.

(re)ASSIGNMENT (95 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Walter Hill | Special Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2016

This jaw-droppingly audacious revenge thriller from the great Walter Hill (The Warriors, 48 Hours) stars Michelle Rodriguez as a lowlife killer put through full male-to-female gender reassignment surgery by a score-settling surgeon (Sigourney Weaver).

The Girl with All the Gifts (110 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐

Colm McCarthy | Midnight Madness

English | North American Premiere | 2016

A sweet little girl who may hold the key to a cure for the zombie virus that has decimated most of the world’s population escapes from a military compound and sets out to find her place in the world.

Salt and Fire (93 minutes)

Werner Herzog | Special Presentations

English | North American Premiere | 2015

Michael Shannon and Gael García Bernal star in this ecological thriller from the great Werner Herzog, about a scientist and a corporate CEO who must overcome their ideological differences in order to avert potential disaster from a volcano on the verge of eruption.

Burn Your Maps (102 minutes) ⭐⭐⭐

Jordan Roberts | Special Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2016

In this charming and moving adventure story, an eight-year-old boy (Jacob Tremblay, Room) becomes convinced that he actually hails from the steppes of Mongolia, leading his troubled parents (Vera Farmiga and Martin Csokas) to undertake an incredible family voyage.

The Promise (130 minutes)

Terry George | Gala Presentations

English French German Armenian | World Premiere | 2016

An Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac), an artist (Charlotte Le Bon), and a worldly American journalist (Christian Bale) form a love triangle amid the chaos of the First World War, in this epic romance from director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda).

Brain on Fire (95 minutes) ⭐⭐

Gerard Barrett | Special Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2015

A New York Post journalist (Chloë Grace Moretz) suffering from a rare autoimmune disorder is repeatedly misdiagnosed following a series of violent outbursts and severe amnesia, in Gerard Barrett’s adapation of Susannah Cahalan’s bestselling memoir, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness.

Sing (110 minutes) ⭐

Garth Jennings | Special Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2016

A show-biz impresario who happens to be a koala (Matthew McConaughey) attracts a menagerie of musical hopefuls when he holds a singing contest to try and save his theatre, in this animated musical comedy from the creators of Despicable Me.

Prevenge (88 minutes)

Alice Lowe | Vanguard

English | North American Premiere | 2016

Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is a triple threat as the writer, director and star of this pitch-black comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child psychically spurs her on to murder.

The Unknown Girl (106 minutes)

Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne | Masters

French | North American Premiere | 2015

After refusing to answer a late-night knock on her clinic door, a doctor seeks to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death of her unidentified caller, in this social-realist procedural from Belgian auteurs Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (99 minutes)

André Øvredal | Midnight Madness

English | World Premiere | 2016

Father-and-son coroners (Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch) enter a world of terror while conducting a late-night autopsy on a murdered young woman, in the English-language debut of Norwegian fearmonger André Øvredal (Troll Hunter).

The Commune (111 minutes) ⭐⭐

Thomas Vinterberg | Special Presentations

Danish | North American Premiere | 2016

The new film from Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, The Celebration) focuses on a middle-aged professional couple in 1970s Denmark who decide to experiment with communal living by inviting a group of friends and random eccentrics to cohabit with them in a sprawling house.

Their Finest (110 minutes) ⭐

Lone Scherfig | Gala Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2016

Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (An Education, The Riot Club) directs a sterling British cast — including Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston and Richard E. Grant — in this period comedy-drama about a group of filmmakers struggling to make an inspirational film to boost morale during the Blitz of London in World War II.

Nocturnal Animals (116 minutes)

Tom Ford | Special Presentations

English | North American Premiere | 2016

Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Armie Hammer headline the second feature from director Tom Ford (A Single Man), about a woman who is forced to confront the demons of her past as she is drawn into the world of a thriller novel written by her ex-husband.

Mascots (89 minutes)

Christopher Guest | Special Presentations

English | World Premiere | 2015

Director Christopher Guest (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) and members of his beloved stock company — Parker Posey, Bob Balaban, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Ed Begley Jr., and Fred Willard — along with new additions Chris O’Dowd and Zach Woods, usher us into the high-stakes world of professional sports mascots, who are engaged in a cutthroat competition for the annual “Gold Fluffy Award.”

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