TIFF 2016 featuring World Premieres from filmmakers including Oliver Stone, Mira Nair, Ewan McGregor, Konkona Sensharma, Lone Scherfig, Raja Amari, Jonathan Demme, Baltasar Kormákur, Amma Asante, Christopher Guest, Feng Xiaogang, Rob Reiner, J.A. Bayona, Arnaud des Pallières, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and many more

Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, announced the first round of titles premiering in the Gala and Special Presentations programmes of the 41st Toronto International Film Festival®.

Of the 19 Galas and 49 Special Presentations announced, this initial lineup includes films from such celebrated directors as Werner Herzog, Denis Villeneuve, Jim Jarmusch, Mia Hansen-Løve, Rebecca Zlotowski, Tom Ford, François Ozon, Andrea Arnold, Maren Ade, Park Chan-wook, Kim Jee woon, Kenneth Lonergan, Antoine Fuqua, Damien Chazelle, Pablo Larraín, and Paul Verhoeven.

“Revealing the first round of films offers a highly anticipated glimpse into the Festival’s lineup this year,” said Handling. “Bold and adventuresome work by established and emerging filmmakers from Canada, France, South Africa, Ireland, the UK, Australia, USA, South Korea, Iceland, Germany, Denmark, Chile, India, and China will illuminate Toronto screens and red carpets over another remarkable 11 days this September.”

“The global voices, transformative stories and diverse perspectives of these films capture the cinematic climate of today,” said Bailey. “New films featuring cinema’s brightest talents promise to captivate and entertain the world’s film community and audiences alike.”

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016.

TIFF 2016 GALAS

Arrival Denis Villeneuve, USA Canadian Premiere

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team, led by expert linguist Louise Banks, are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers. To find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

Deepwater Horizon Peter Berg, USA World Premiere

Inspired by the true story of the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that rocked the globe on April 20, 2010, comes this chronicle of the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the extreme moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in history. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, and Kate Hudson.

Closing Night Film. The Edge of Seventeen Kelly Fremon Craig, USA World Premiere The directorial debut of writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig follows high school junior Nadine, who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian starts dating her best friend Krista. All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all. Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner and Hayden Szeto.

The Headhunter’s Calling Mark Williams, Canada World Premiere

A ruthless corporate headhunter in Chicago battles his rival for control of their job placement firm, until a family tragedy brings his personal and professional lives into conflict. Starring Gerard Butler, Alison Brie, Willem Dafoe, Gretchen Mol, Alfred Molina, and Max Jenkins.

The Journey is the Destination Bronwen Hughes, United Kingdom/South Africa World Premiere

The inspiring life story of late photojournalist, artist and activist Dan Eldon, who abandoned a comfortable life in London to document the struggle, heartbreak and hope of a war-torn and famine-ridden region of Africa. Inspiring and irreverent, the film follows a young man coming of age to realize his purpose, his place in the world, and his belief that we can all create positive change. Starring Ella Purnell, Maria Bello, Sam Hazeldine, Ben Schnetzer, and Kelly Macdonald.

JT + The Tennessee Kids Jonathan Demme, USA World Premiere In this thrilling concert documentary, Academy Award–winning director Jonathan Demme captures the charismatic and highly acclaimed artistry of Justin Timberlake and The Tennessee Kids’ spectacular closing performances from The 20/20 Experience World Tour at the legendary MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

LBJ Rob Reiner, USA World Premiere

On November 22, 1963, one president’s life was taken while another’s was resurrected. LBJ tells the story of politician Lyndon B. Johnson who was at risk of fading into irrelevancy but, upon John F. Kennedy’s assassination, seized his moment to rescue a nation and claim his place among the most influential US presidents. LBJ is an intimate look into Johnson’s masterful political manoeuvring during one of the most difficult times in America’s history. Starring Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Jeffrey Donovan, and Michael Stahl-David.

Lion Garth Davis, Australia World Premiere After a wrong train takes a five-year-old Indian boy thousands of kilometres from home and family, he survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only the scantest of clues, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family. This true story stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, and David Wenham.

Loving Jeff Nichols, USA North American Premiere This film celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of Richard and Mildred Loving, who waged a decade-long legal battle that led to the overturning of the state of Virginia’s law prohibiting interracial marriage. Their civil rights case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry. Starring Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, and Michael Shannon.

.Opening Night Film.

The Magnificent Seven, Antoine Fuqua, USA World Premiere Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a 1960 western classic. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, the desperate townspeople, led by Emma Cullen, employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. Starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.

A Monster Calls J.A. Bayona, USA/Spain World Premiere This visually spectacular drama follows a lonely 12-year-old boy struggling with his mother’s illness, until an ancient, wild, and relentless monster appears, guiding him on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson.

Planetarium Rebecca Zlotowski, France/Belgium North American Premiere

Kate and Laura Barlow, two young American spiritualists in 1930s Paris, finish their world tour. Fascinated by their gift, a powerful French film producer hires them to shoot a highly ambitious film. In the vortex of cinema, experiments, and feelings, this new family doesn’t yet see what Europe will soon go through. Stars Natalie Portman, Lily-Rose Depp, Emmanuel Salinger, Amira Casar, Pierre Salvadori and Louis Garrel.

Queen of Katwe Mira Nair, South Africa/Uganda World Premiere

This vibrant true story follows a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. The support from her family and community instills her with confidence and determination, as she sets out to pursue her dream of becoming an international champion. Starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, and Madina Nalwanga.

The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America Paul Dugdale, United Kingdom World Premiere

This documentary film follows The Rolling Stones on a cultural adventure across Latin America, as the band heads towards their historic tour finale — being the first ever rock band to play to a crowd of 1.2 million in Havana, Cuba.

The Secret Scripture Jim Sheridan, Ireland World Premiere A once vibrant and lively beauty in her youth, Roseanne McNulty has spent the majority of her adult life confined to a mental hospital in rural Ireland. She has been institutionalized for so long, no one seems to remember why she was hospitalized in the first place. When a new chief psychiatrist takes a keen interest in her, he finds a hidden memoir she has written over the course of decades. It unravels the mystery of her incarceration, telling the tale of her passionate, yet tortured, life. Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Rooney Mara, Theo James, Eric Bana, and Jack Reynor.

Snowden Oliver Stone, Germany/USA World Premiere Academy Award–winning director Oliver Stone tackles one of the most important and fascinating true stories of the 21st century. This politically charged, pulse-pounding thriller reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world — considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage.

Strange Weather Katherine Dieckmann, USA World Premiere A lyrical, emotionally rich drama tracking Darcy as she travels the Deep South with her friend in an effort to process her grief over the loss of her son. A story about forgiveness, redemption, grace, and how to be fully alive when facing death. Starring Holly Hunter, Carrie Coon, and Kim Coates.

Their Finest Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom World Premiere Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig’s period comedy-drama follows a group of filmmakers struggling to make an inspirational film to boost morale — and inspire America to join the war — during the London Blitz in World War II. A witty, romantic and moving portrayal of a young woman finding her way, and her voice, in the mayhem of war…and movies. Starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachel Stirling, and Richard E. Grant.

A United Kingdom Amma Asante, United Kingdom World Premiere This biopic tells the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. Starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.

Written by Trina Stewart

Trina Stewart is the editor-in-chief at Life's a Blog. Blogging and Social Media is her passion by night, while project management and business development fills her day.

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