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Hot Titles at Toronto Film Festival 2018

The Toronto International Film Festival is a launching pad for Oscar-hopefuls, but it’s also a thriving market. In the past, movies such as “I, Tonya” and “Still Alice” have scored major deals at the Canadian gathering, going on to enjoy critical success and awards love.

That’s always the dream. But for every “I, Tonya,” the festival is littered with examples of sales that sputtered out when the movies finally saw the light of day. Remember “Hardcore Henry,” “Top Five,” or “Begin Again”? Didn’t think so. However all of those films inspired bidding wars up north. Their failure is a reminder of the very real dangers of festival fever, the virus that encourages normally level-headed studio executives to keep sweetening their offers beyond the point of reason.

Which movies will inspire big bids at this year’s fest? Here are a few that have buyers buzzing.

HOT TITLES AT TORONTO
TITLE DIRECTOR CAST U.S. SALES AGENT
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Sam Taylor-Johnson Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton CAA
BUZZ FACTOR: Anticipation is high for Johnson’s first movie since “Fifty Shades of Grey,” based on the controversial book by James Frey.
WILD ROSE Tom Harper Jessie Buckley, Julie Waters, Sophie Okonedo CAA, UTA
BUZZ FACTOR: There’s strong early word of mouth on this uplifting tale about a Scottish musician.
HIGH LIFE Claire Denis Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche CAA
BUZZ FACTOR: This set-in-space saga could be another feather — after “Good Time” — in Pattinson’s indie cap.
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN Xavier Dolan Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon CAA
BUZZ FACTOR: Curiosity is strong for wunderkind director Dolan’s first English-language film, set in Hollywood.
THE WEDDING GUEST Michael Winterbottom Dev Patel Endeavor Content, UTA
BUZZ FACTOR: This journey through Pakistan and India rests on Patel’s capable shoulders.
AMERICAN DHARMA Errol Morris N/A Endeavor Content
BUZZ FACTOR: The director of “Fog of War” gives Steve Bannon the Robert McNamara treatment.
VOX LUX Brady Corbet Natalie Portman, Jude Law Endeavor Content, CAA
BUZZ FACTOR: Following a strong reception at Venice, the movie about a pop star will look to make a deal on the Toronto market.
SKIN Guy Nattiv Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Vera Farmiga ICM
BUZZ FACTOR: Bell gives a revelatory performance as a neo-Nazi in a drama that’s poised to be a surprise discovery of the festival.
THE HUMMING BIRD PROJECT Kim Nguyen Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård CAA
BUZZ FACTOR: Buyers say the film about high-frequency traders could be awards bait in the vein of “The Big Short.”
TELL IT TO THE BEES Annabel Jankel Anna Paquin, Holliday Grainger Film Constellation
BUZZ FACTOR: This drama about two women who fall in love in a provincial British town could be a critics’ darling.
*Compiled by Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang

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