The first wave of 2017's Toronto Film Festival's lineup was announced today, and it's one of the strongest in TIFF's history. The slate features premieres from festival stalwarts Terrence Malick, Guillermo del Toro, Darren Aronofsky, Martin McDonagh, Alexander Payne, and even directorial debuts from the likes of actors Andy Serkis and Greta Gerwig.
Of the 14 Galas and 33 Special Presentations, the first lineup announcement includes 25 World Premieres, eight International Premieres, six North American Premieres, and eight Canadian Premieres, including works from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, India, Egypt, and Cambodia.
Other titles of note that are making their world premieres include I, Tonya that has Margot Robbie as Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and documents her violent attempt to beat her rival Nancy Kerrigan; David Gordon Green’s Stronger, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, the Boston Marathon bombing victim who, despite losing his lower legs, helped identify the terrorists involved; and Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carrel as Bobby Riggs in the re-telling of their epic gender-based tennis showdown in Battle of the Sexes.
TIFF 2017 will take place in Toronto, Canada from September 7 - 17.
Director: Andy Serkis
Based on the true story of Robin Cavendish, a handsome, brilliant and adventurous man whose life takes a dramatic turn when polio leaves him paralyzed. Cast: Andrew Garfield, Diana Rigg, Claire Foy.
“The Catcher Was A Spy”
Director: Ben Lewin
Major league baseball player, Moe Berg, lives a double life working for the Office of Strategic Services. Cast: Paul Rudd, Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Mark Strong, Jeff Daniels.
Director: Joe Wright
Within days of becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must face his most turbulent and defining trial: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn.
“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”
Director: Paul McGuigan
A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady. Cast: Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, Julie Walters.
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
A foster family in South Central a few weeks before the city erupts in violence following the verdict of the Rodney King trial in 1992. Cast: Daniel Craig, Halle Berry, Issac Ryan Brown.
“Long Time Running”
Directors: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier
A documentary chronicling The Tragically Hip during the emotional lead up through to the epic last show of the iconic Canadian band's now legendary 2016 tour. Cast: Gord Downie, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair.
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
The love affair between poet Percy Shelley and 18 year old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, which resulted in Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein. Cast: Maisie Williams, Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley.
"The Catcher Was a Spy"
“The Mountain Between Us”
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness. Cast: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Dermot Mulroney.
Director: Dee Rees
Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war. Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell.
Director: David Gordon Green
A victim of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 helps the police track down the killers while struggling to recover from devastating trauma. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Clancy Brown.
Director: Björn Runge
A writer decides to leave her husband while traveling to receive a prestigious award. Cast: Christian Slater, Harry Lloyd, Glenn Close.
“Woman Walks Ahead”
Director: Susanna White
The story of Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from 1890s Brooklyn, who travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull, and becomes embroiled in the Lakota peoples' struggle over the rights to their land. Cast: Jessica Chastain, Sam Rockwell, Ciarán Hinds.
Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film
Director: Neil Burger
Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star in this remake of the French hit The Intouchables, a dramatic buddy comedy about the unlikely friendship between a rich quadriplegic and his working-class caregiver.
"Battle of the Sexes"
“Battle of the Sexes”
Director: Valerie Faris
The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs. Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Elisabeth Shue.
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
Director: Robin Campillo
120 BPM. The average heart rate. The protagonists of 120 battements par minute are passionate about fighting the indifference that exists towards AIDS. Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel.
Director: Anurag Kashyap
A lower caste boxer struggles to make his mark on the boxing world.
Director: Nora Twomey
A headstrong young girl in Afghanistan disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family. Cast: Saara Chaudry, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif.
“Call Me By Your Name”
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them. Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg.
“Catch the Wind”
Directors: Gaël Morel
A middle-aged factory worker's life is upended when she follows her employer to Morocco. Cast: Sandrine Bonnaire, Lubna Azabal, Ilian Bergala.
“The Children Act”
Directors: Richard Eyre
British High Court judge Fiona Maye toils over a case involving a young boy diagnosed with cancer who refuses treatment on his family's religious beliefs. Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci.
Director: Sebastián Lelio
A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish home after the death of her rabbi father and stirs up controversy when she shows an interest in an old childhood friend. Cast: Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Alessandro Nivola
Director: Alexander Payne
A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself. Cast: Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern.
“A Fantastic Woman”
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Marina, a waitress who moonlights as a nightclub singer, is bowled over by the death of her older boyfriend. Cast: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco.
“First They Killed My Father”
Director: Angelina Jolie
Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounts the horrors she suffered under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge.
Director: Xavier Beauvois
An intimate drama exploring the lives of women who are left behind to work a family farm during the Great War. Cast: Nathalie Baye, Iris Bry, Laura Smet.
Director: Scott Cooper
In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory. Cast: Rosamund Pike, Christian Bale, Stephen Lang.
Director: Bornila Chatterjee
An adaptation of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus set in contemporary New Delhi. The Hungry is a contemporary retelling of Shakespearian tragedy Titus Andronicus, set in the extravagant surroundings of an Indian wedding whilst exploring the role of the patriarch and corruption in Indian politics and big business. Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Antonio Aakeel.
Director: Craig Gillespie
Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises among the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the sport is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes. Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Mckenna Grace.
Director: Greta Gerwig
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris.
Director: Margaret Betts
Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality. Cast: Liana Liberato, Margaret Qualley, Dianna Agron.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
A look at the life and crimes of American mob boss, Raymonde Aprile. Cast: Sylvester Stallone.
Director: Mélanie Laurent
A restless photographer leaves her family to "find herself" and takes up deep-sea diving. Cast: Gilles Lellouche, María Valverde, Ibrahim Ahmed
“The Price of Success”
Director: Teddy Lussi-Modeste
A comedian's relationship with his family crumbles when he reaches a level of success in his career. Cast: Tahar Rahim, Roschdy Zem, Maïwenn.
“Professor Marston & the Wonder Women”
Director: Angela Robinson
The true story of William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character "Wonder Woman", and the controversy the comic generated in its earlier years. Cast: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote.
Director: Chloé Zhao
After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. Cast: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau.
“A Season in France ”
Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
An African high school teacher flees his war-torn country for France, where he falls in love with a Frenchwoman who offers a roof for him and his family. Cast: Eriq Ebouaney, Sandrine Bonnaire
“The Shape of Water”
Director: Guillermo del Toro
An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment. Cast: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer.
Director: Amr Salama
An Islamic cleric has a crisis of faith when he hears the news that his childhood idol, Michael Jackson, has died. Cast: Basma, Ahmad El-Fishawi, Ahmed Malek.
Director: Ruben Östlund
A poignant satirical drama reflecting our times - about the sense of community, moral courage and the affluent person's need for egocentricity in an increasingly uncertain world. Cast: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West.
Director: Wim Wenders
In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, an Englishman, James Moore, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance. Cast: Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, Charlotte Rampling.
Directors: George Clooney
A home invasion rattles a quiet family town. Cast: Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore.
Director: Joachim Trier
A woman begins to fall in love, only to discover that she has fantastic powers. Cast: Eili Harboe, Okay Kaya, Ellen Dorrit Petersen
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Director: Martin McDonagh
A frustrated and grieving mother antagonizes her local police force to call attention to the lack of progress in the search for her daughter’s killer. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Peter Dinklage, Sam Rockwell, Frances McDormand.
“Victoria and Abdul ”
Directors: Stephen Frears
Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim. Starring: Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Olivia Williams
Featured image from Norway's 'Thelma'