The Toronto Film Festival has announced more than 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international arthouse fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing-night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet.
In what has become a launching pad for awards contenders and starry releases, the Toronto Film Festival, which last year screened Oscar winners “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity,” will also welcome directorial efforts from “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and “Captain America,” himself, Chris Evans.
Announced this morning at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the World Premieres Galas include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional-family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
International titles world-preeming on the Gala screen include Lone Scherfig’s Oxford undergrad intrigue “The Riot Club,” based on Laura Wade’s play “Posh”; Francois Ozon’s “The New Girlfriend,” based on a short story by suspense scribe Ruth Rendell; and Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s social comedy “Samba,” which reteams them with “The Intouchables” star Omar Sy.
Two recent Cannes competition premieres, David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” (eOne) and Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” (SPC), will also receive their North American preems on Toronto’s Gala stage.
Earlier this year, Toronto Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey delivered the message that, from now on, prime first-weekend screening slots would be restricted to world or North American preems, a response to last year’s thunder-stealing programming at Telluride.
However, the festival did not reveal its opening night film on Tuesday, a sign the N. American fest was still negotiating the early slots with studios, who just last week announced the New York Film Festival debut of three hot properties: David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu’s “Birdman.”
But the move does not seem to have diminished Toronto’s clout. Today’s slate announcement, the first of many this summer, is packed with world preems of U.S. titles still up for grabs.
U.S. titles world-preeming in Special Presentations include Oren Moverman’s “Time Out Of Mind,” starring Richard Gere as a homeless man reaching out to his estranged daughter; Bill Pohlad’s Brian Wilson biopic “Love & Mercy,” starring John Cusack and penned by Moverman; Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young,” starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as an uptight docu filmmaker and his wife; and Chris Rock’s “Top Five.”
“Ned Rifle,” the final chapter in Hal Hartley’s tragicomic trilogy about the Grim family, will world preem in the program, as well as Daniel Barnz’s “Cake,” starring Jennifer Aniston as a woman obsessed with the suicide of a someone in her chronic pain support group; Chris Evans’ helming bow, “Before We Go”; and Sarik Andreasyan’s “American Heist,” starring Adrien Brody and Hayden Christensen; Daniel Barber’s Civil War-era thriller “The Keeping Room”; and Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s “Still Alice,” starring Julianne Moore as a professor who discovers she has early onset Alzheimer’s.
U.S.-backed pics from foreign helmers world-preeming in Toronto include Isabel Coixet’s “Learning to Drive,” starring Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson; and Jean-Baptiste Leonetti’s “The Reach,” starring Michael Douglas and Jeremy Irvine.
Fall releases world-preeming in Special Presentations include Dan Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler” (Open Road), starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a freelance crime journalist; Jason Reitman’s ensemble pic “Men, Women & Children” (Paramount); Montreal helmer Philippe Falardeau’s “The Good Lie” (Warner Bros.), starring Reese Witherspoon as a woman who opens her home to Sudanese refugees; Michael R. Roskam’s neighborhood thriller “The Drop” (Fox Searchlight), starring Tom Hardy and the late James Gandolfini; James Marsh’s biopic about Stephen Hawking, “The Theory of Everything” (Focus); and Israel Horovitz’s “My Old Lady” (Cohen Media), starring Kevin Kline as a man who discovers a mother and daughter (Maggie Smith and Kristen Scott Thomas) are living in the Paris apartment he has recently inherited.
Perhaps the most intriguing international co-production world-preeming in Special Presentations is “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet,” an animated feature inspired by the classic book with segments by animation directors from around the world. The film first screened as a work-in-progress at Cannes.
Susanne Bier’s “A Second Chance,” Liv Ullman’s “Miss Julie,” Mia Hansen-Love’s “Eden,” Regis Wargnier’s “The Gate,” Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix,” Ning Hao’s “Breakup Buddies” and Toa Fraser’s “The Dead Lands” will all world-preem in Special Presentations.
Barry Levinson’s “The Humbling,” David Gordon Green’s “Manglehorn” and Andrew Niccol’s “Good Kill” receive their North American preems in the program, Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash” its Canadian preem.
Additional international titles announced in Special Presentations include Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner,” Laurent Cantet’s “Return to Ithaca,” Abel Ferrara’s “Pasolini,” Zhang Yimou’s “Coming Home,” David Oelhoffen’s “Far From Men,” Ruben Ostlund’s “Force majeure,” Shim Sung-Bo’s “Haemoo,” Peter Chelsom’s “Hector and the Search for Happiness,” Saverio Costanzo’s “Hungry Hearts” and Wang Xiaoshuai’s “Red Amnesia.”
The Toronto Film Festival run Sept. 4-14.
Here’s the Full List of TIFF Galas, World Premieres and Canadian Premieres:
Black and White Mike Binder, USA
Black and White is the story of a widowed grandfather who is left to raise his bi-racial granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother seeks custody, a bitter legal battle ensues that forces the uneasy family members to have an honest conversation about life, death, anger and America’s racial divide. Starring Academy Award-winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, as well as Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland and Jillian Estell.
The Equalizer Antoine Fuqua, USA World Premiere In this big-screen adaptation of the cult ‘80s TV show, McCall believes he has put his past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets Teri, a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by –— he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to extract vengeance upon anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo.
Foxcatcher Bennett Miller, USA Canadian Premiere Based on true events, this film tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers. Starring Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Ruffalo and Sienna Miller.
Haemoo Shim Sung-bo, South Korea International Premiere The ragtag crew of a fishing boat takes on a dangerous commission to smuggle a group of illegal immigrants from China to Korea, in this tense high-seas adventure co-scripted by South Korean genre-movie guru Bong Joon-ho. Starring Kim Yoon-seok and Park Yoo- chun.
The Judge David Dobkin, USA World Premiere Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth, and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton.
.Closing Night Film.
A Little Chaos Alan Rickman, United Kingdom World Premiere A landscape gardener with a taste for the unconventional is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her. Starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Alan Rickman and Matthias Schoenaerts.
Maps to the Stars David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany North American Premiere David Cronenberg forges both a wicked social satire and a very human ghost story from today’s celebrity-obsessed culture. Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson.
The New Girlfriend (Une nouvelle amie) François Ozon, France World Premiere When her best friend Lea dies, Claire falls into a deep depression. However, after making a surprising discovery about her late friend’s husband, she’s given a new lease on life. Starring Romain Duris, Anaïs Demoustier and Raphaël Personnaz.
Pawn Sacrifice Ed Zwick, USA World Premiere In this remarkable true story set in the height of the Cold War, chess legend Bobby Fischer is locked in a gripping championship clash with the Soviets as he struggles against his own psychological demons while the whole world anxiously awaits the outcome. Starring Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard and Liev Schreiber.
The Riot Club Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom World Premiere A privileged young man is inducted into the exclusive, debaucherous company of Oxford’s elite “Riot Club,” in this scathing dissection of the British class system. Based on the hit play Posh, the film stars Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay and Douglas Booth.
Samba Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, France World Premiere Samba migrated to France 10 years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burnout. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives — Samba’s willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track — until fate draws them together. Balancing light-hearted moments with heavier emotion, Samba is a story about two strangers on a new path to happiness. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Sy and Tamar Rahim.
This is Where I Leave You Shawn Levy, USA World Premiere Shawn Levy’s dramatic comedy follows four adult siblings who return home after their father’s death to spend a week with their over- sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and frayed relationships among those who know and love them best, they reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways. Starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll and Kathryn Hahn.
Wild Jean-Marc Vallée, USA International Premiere After years of reckless behaviour, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. Wild powerfully reveals Cheryl’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens and ultimately heals her. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann and Kevin Rankin.
99 Homes Ramin Bahrani, USA
After his family is evicted from their home, proud and desperate construction worker Dennis Nash tries to win his home back by striking a deal with the devil and working for Rick Carver, the corrupt real estate broker who evicted him. Starring Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern and Michael Shannon.
American Heist Sarik Andreasyan, USA World Premiere Two brothers with troubled pasts become embroiled in a high-stakes bank robbery, in this indie action thriller. Starring Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster and Akon.
Before We Go Chris Evans, USA World Premiere Set in Manhattan, the story follows two strangers after their serendipitous meeting in Grand Central. Over the course of one night, they form an unlikely bond and the conflicts in their own lives become the basis for exploration into each other and themselves. Starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve.
Breakup Buddies Ning Hao, China World Premiere Recently cuckolded and reeling from a messy divorce, a hapless former singer hits the road — and the bar — with his all-too-helpful best bud, in this hilarious romantic comedy.
Cake Daniel Barnz, USA World Premiere Cake tells the story of the acerbic Claire Bennett who has managed to alienate everyone from her life, with the exception of her loyal housekeeper. When Claire becomes fascinated with the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group, she develops a poignant relationship with the woman’s grieving husband and comes to terms with her own personal tragedy, catapulting her forward into life. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman and Sam Worthington.
Coming Home Zhang Yimou, China North American Premiere Lu Yanshi and Feng Wanyu are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labour camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return — until Lu determines to resurrect their past together and reawaken his wife’s memory. Starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li.
The Dead Lands (Hautoa) Toa Fraser, New Zealand/United Kingdom World Premiere Hongi, a Maori chieftain’s teenage son, must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honour to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains led by Wirepa, Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden “Dead Lands” and forge an uneasy alliance with a mysterious warrior, a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years. Starring Xavier Horan, Raukura Turei, Rena Owen, James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare and Te Kohe Tuhaka.
Dearest Peter Ho-Sun Chan, China/Hong Kong North American Premiere Drawing on remarkable true stories, Peter Chan delivers a moving drama about child abduction in China. Huang Bo stars as a father whose young son disappears in the streets of a big city. He sets out on a search across China, stopping at nothing to find him. In this star-studded cast, Zhao Wei plays the role of a mother from a poor rural area.
The Drop Michael R. Roskam, USA World Premiere The Drop follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a covert scheme of funnelling cash to local gangsters in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv, Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living — no matter the cost. Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts and John Ortiz.
Eden Mia Hansen-Løve, France World Premiere In the ‘90s, French electronic music is developing at a fast pace. Entering this exciting Parisian nightlife, Paul and his best friend form a DJ duo called Cheers. But just as they rapidly find their audience, they are caught up in a euphoric and short-lived rise to fame. Eden retraces the steps of the “French touch” generation from 1992 to today — a generation that still enjoys outstanding international success thanks to DJs like Daft Punk, Dimitri from Paris and Cassius. Starring Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Vincent Macaigne, Greta Gerwig, Golshifteh Farahani, Laura Smet and Vincent Lacoste.
Far From Men (Loin des Hommes) David Oelhoffen, France North American Premiere Algeria, 1954. While the rebellion rumbles in the valley, two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas mountains. In the midst of an icy winter, Daru, a reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder. Pursued by horsemen seeking summary justice and vengeful settlers, the two men decide to confront the unknown. Together, they fight to gain their freedom. Starring Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb.
Force Majeure Ruben Östlund, Sweden/Norway/Denmark/France North American Premiere A Swedish family’s ski trip in the French Alps is cut short by news of an oncoming avalanche, during which an impulsive decision by the father Tomas drives a wedge between him and his wife, Ebba — he has run for his life, while she has stayed to protect her children. When the anticipated disaster fails to occur, reality and embarrassed relief returns to the mountainside resort, but the family’s world has been shaken to its core. Force Majeure is an observational comedy about the role of the male in modern family life. Starring Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju and Fanni Metelius.
The Gate Régis Wargnier, France World Premiere Two decades after forging an unlikely alliance in Pol Pot’s Cambodia, a French ethnologist and a former Khmer Rouge official meet again after the latter is arrested for crimes against humanity, in this drama from top French director Régis Wargnier.
Good Kill Andrew Niccol, USA North American Premiere A Las Vegas-based fighter pilot turned drone pilot fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. But the pilot is starting to question the mission. Is he creating more terrorists than he’s killing? Is he fighting a war without end? This story follows one soldier’s tale with epic implications. Starring Ethan Hawke and January Jones.
The Good Lie Philippe Falardeau, USA World Premiere Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon and an ensemble of young Sudanese actors — all of whom have direct personal ties to the war in their country — bring the inspiring and uplifting story of The Lost Boys of the Sudan to the screen in a film about heartbreak and hope, survival and triumph. Also starring Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel, Ger Duany, Emmauel Jal and Femi Oguns.
Hector and the Search for Happiness Peter Chelsom, Germany/Canada North American Premiere Hector is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. Deciding to break out of his deluded routine, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive formula for true happiness… and so begins his larger-than-life adventure with riotously funny results. Starring Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Simon Pegg, Stellan Skarsgård and Jean Reno.
The Humbling Barry Levinson, USA North American Premiere The Humbling tells the story of a legendary stage actor who has an affair with a lesbian woman half his age at a secluded country house in Connecticut. Based on Philip Roth’s final novel, it is a tragic comedy about a man who has lived inside his own imagination for too long. Starring Al Pacino, Mandy Patinkin, Dianne Wiest and Greta Gerwig.
Hungry Hearts Saverio Costanzo, Italy International Premiere Mina and Jude meet while stuck together in the restroom of a restaurant, marking the beginning of a true love story. They move in together. They get married. And anticipate the arrival of their baby — until a spiritual guide tells Mina she is bearing an “indigo” child. Starring Adam Driver, Alba Rohrwacher and Roberta Maxwell.
The Imitation Game Morten Tyldum, United Kingdom/USA Canadian Premiere Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, Canada/France/Lebanon/Qatar/USA World Premiere Roger Allers, Gaëtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz,Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar and Michal Socha
Inspired by the beloved classic, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet is a richly-animated story and celebration of Gibran’s book, created by artists, animators and musicians from around the world. Starring Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek-Pinault, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, John Rhys-Davies and Quvenzhané Wallis.
The Keeping Room Daniel Barber, USA World Premiere Left without men in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women — two sisters and one African-American slave — must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army. Starring Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Sam Worthington, Muna Otaru and Kyle Soller.
The Last Five Years Richard LaGravenese, USA World Premiere In this adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, The Last Five Years is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie, a young, talented up-and-coming Jewish novelist falls in love with Cathy, a Shiksa Goddess and struggling actress. The film, told almost entirely through song and a beautiful pop music score, portrays an honest, heartbreaking, often funny, exploration of love and its consequences on individual identity. Starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.
Learning to Drive Isabel Coixet, USA World Premiere As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other’s company, they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel. Starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley.
Love & Mercy Bill Pohlad, USA World Premiere Focusing on Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys, Love & Mercy paints an unconventional portrait of the artist by interweaving seminal moments in his life, from his artistic genius to his profound struggles, and the love that keeps him alive. Starring Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack and Paul Giamatti.
Manglehorn David Gordon Green, USA North American Premiere Angelo Manglehorn is a small town locksmith who never got over the love of his life. Clara was a beautiful, idealized woman who left him heartbroken 40 years ago. He still writes her letters obsessively as he tries to find her and get back the woman of his dreams. Manglehorn is the journey of this magical man, his son, his cat and a beautiful new woman trying to help him put the pieces of his heart back together. Starring Al Pacino, Holly Hunter and Chris Messina.
Mary Kom Omung Kumar, India World Premiere Glamorous Indian star Priyanka Chopra completely transforms herself to play Mary Kom, world champion in women’s boxing. From traditional village life in remote Manipur state to high-stakes bouts in India and around the world, this is a remarkable story of triumph.
Men, Women and Children Jason Reitman, USA World Premiere Men, Women and Children follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. Starring Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler and Judy Greer.
Miss Julie Liv Ullmann, Norway/United Kingdom/Ireland World Premiere A country estate in Ireland in the 1880s. Over the course of one midsummer night, Miss Julie explores the brutal, charged power struggle between a young aristocratic woman and her father’s valet. Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton.
Mr. Turner Mike Leigh, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere This biopic explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, until his death. Throughout his life, the popular — if anarchic — member of the Royal Academy of Arts travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. Starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Joshua McGuire, Ruth Sheen, David Horovitch and Karl Johnson.
My Old Lady Israel Horovitz, USA World Premiere A down-and-out New Yorker inherits an apartment in Paris from his estranged father and is stunned to find a refined old lady living there with her protective daughter. Starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Ned Rifle Hal Hartley, USA World Premiere Ned Rifle is the third and final chapter of Hal Hartley’s tragicomic epic begun with Henry Fool (1997) and continued with Fay Grim (2007). At once a saga concerning the Grim family of Queens and how their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of the self- proclaimed genius Henry Fool, the trilogy is also an illustration of America’s grappling with ideas, art, politics, and religion over the course of 20 years. In this swiftly paced and expansive conclusion, Henry and Fay’s son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family.
Nightcrawler Dan Gilroy, USA World Premiere Lou Bloom, a driven young man, discovers the nocturnal world of L.A. crime journalism. Joining a group of freelance camera crews
who film marketable mayhem, Lou makes his own place at the table, aided by Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news. Blurring the line between observer and perpetrator, Lou finds his calling in a murderous world reduced to transactions. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton.
Pasolini Abel Ferrara, France/Italy/Belgium North American Premiere Rome: on the night of November 2, 1975, the great Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini is murdered. Pasolini is the symbol of an art that’s fighting against the power. His writings are scandalous, and his films are persecuted by the censors; many people love him and many hate him. The day of his death, Pasolini spends his last hours with his beloved mother and later with his dearest friends, until he finally goes out into the night in his Alfa Romeo in search of adventure in the eternal city. At dawn Pasolini is found dead on a beach in Ostia on the outskirts of the city. In a film dreamlike and visionary, blending reality and imagination, it reconstructs the last day in the life of this great poet. Starring Willem Dafoe.
Phoenix Christian Petzold, Germany World Premiere Nelly Lenz is a concentration camp survivor who has been left with a disfigured face. Following facial reconstruction surgery, Nelly begins the search for her husband Johnny. When she finally does find him, he does not recognise her. Nevertheless he approaches her with a proposal: since she resembles his wife, whom he believes to be dead, he asks her to help him claim his wife’s considerable inheritance. Nelly agrees, and becomes her own doppelganger — she needs to know if Johnny ever loved her, or if he betrayed her. Starring Nina Hoss.
The Reach Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, USA World Premiere Ben, a young man who works as a hunting guide, gets a job of a lifetime when he is hired by Madec, a wealthy businessman from Los Angeles, to hunt a bighorn sheep. Their excursion in the Southwestern desert quickly goes from bad to worse when overly-eager Madec gets trigger happy, accidentally killing an old prospector. He attempts to bribe Ben for his secrecy, but Ben staunchly refuses. Outraged, Madec turns on Ben, determined to eliminate the only witness to his crime. Trapped in a sadistic cat-and-mouse game, Ben has to rely on his basic survival skills to make it out alive. Starring Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, Hannah Mangan, Lawrence and Ronny Cox.
Red Amnesia (Chuangru Zhe) Wang Xiaoshuai, China North American Premiere A retired widow has her daily routine derailed when she starts receiving mysterious, anonymous phone calls, in this scintillating thriller from Chinese “Sixth Generation” master Wang Xiaoshuai. Starring Lü Zhong, Shi Liu, Feng Yuanzheng, Qin Hao and Amanda Qin.
Return to Ithaca Laurent Cantet, France North American Premiere A terrace overlooking Havana. Five friends gather to celebrate the return of Amadeo after 16 years of exile. From dusk to dawn, they reminisce about their youth, the group they used to form, the faith they had in the future — also their disillusionment.
Rosewater Jon Stewart, USA Canadian Premiere The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with the true story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari (played by Gael García Bernal), whose appearance on Stewart’s show in 2009 precipitated his five-month imprisonment by the Iranian government.
A Second Chance (En chance til) Susanne Bier, Denmark World Premiere How far are decent human beings willing to go, when tragedy blurs the line between just and unjust? Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen have crafted a startling yet moving drama, about how easily we lose our grasp on justice when confronted with the unthinkable, and life as we know it hangs by a thread. Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Lykke May Andersen.
Still Alice Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, USA World Premiere Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested. Alice’s struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Starring Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Julianne Moore.
The Theory of Everything James Marsh, United Kingdom/USA World Premiere The extraordinary true story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Hawking receives an earth-shattering diagnosis at age 21. Together, Stephen and Jane defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science. Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis and Emily Watson.
Time Out of Mind Oren Moverman, USA World Premiere George, a man on the decline, enters the New York City homeless shelter system when he runs out of options. George struggles to navigate his way through this new world with the help of Dixon, a shelter veteran while trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter Maggie. Starring Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vasquez, Coleman Domingo, Geraldine Hughes, Michael Kenneth Williams and Steve Buscemi.
Top Five Chris Rock, USA World Premiere Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, Top Five tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind. Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm and Michael Che. And featuring music by Questlove.
While We’re Young Noah Baumbach, USA World Premiere Noah Baumbach’s exploration of aging, ambition and success, stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple whose career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. Also starring Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver, Charles Grodin, Maria Dizzia and Adam Horovitz.
Whiplash Damien Chazelle, USA Canadian Premiere Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite East Coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability — and his sanity. Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Max Kasch and Damon Gupton.
Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes) Damian Szifron, Argentina/Spain Canadian Premiere More than living up to its title, director Damián Szifron’s compendium of outrageous, hilarious and truly bizarre anecdotes offers a subversive, blackly comic portrait of contemporary Argentina. Starring Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg and Dario Grandinetti.