The countdown to TIFF is officially on with the festival today announcing the first of its big gala premieres and special presentations.
This morning (July 25), Piers Handling, CEO and director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, artistic director, unveiled the first round of titles premiering in the Gala and Special Presentations programs of the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival.
Produced by Toronto’s Banger Films, the documentary, which will world premiere at the fest, chronicles the lead up to the Hip’s emotional final show of their 2016 tour. It features interviews with lead singer Gord Downie (pictured) and teh rest of the band., and is so far the sole Canadian film to get the gala treatment at TIFF.
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) July 25, 2017
Of the 14 galas and 33 special presentations, this first announcement includes 25 world premieres, eight international premieres, six North American premieres and eight Canadian premieres.
At the announcement this morning, the festival’s artistic director, Cameron Bailey said the festival will present a “tighter, more focused” selection of films. In February, the festival announced it would reduce its 2017 lineup by 20% and cut its City to City and Vanguard programs. Last year, TIFF programmed 296 features and 101 shorts.
Of the gala films announced today, five are directed or co-directed by women, including Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings and Dee Rees’ Mudbound. Earlier this month, TIFF announced a five-year planand fundraising initiative to support female talent.
Other gala films include Andy Serkis’ Breathe (U.K), Ben Lewin’s The Catcher Was a Spy (U.S.), Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour (U.K.), Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (U.K.), Haifaa Al Mansour’s Mary Shelley (Ireland/U.K., Luxembourg/U.S.), Hany Abu-Assad’s The Mountain Between Us (U.S.), David Gordon Green’s Stronger (U.S.), Björn Runge’s The Wife (U.K./Sweden), Neil Burger’s as yet untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart film (U.S.) and Susanna White’s Woman Walks Ahead (U.S).
Breaking with tradition of late, TIFF did not announce its opening night film. Instead, it was announced that Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s latest collaboration C’est La Vie! will close the festival.
Copied from Playback