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TIFF 2018 - What to Watch

We don't have the complete line up yet for this years TIIF, but from what has been announced so far, it looks to be another great year. Below is a list of some of the films that have us the most excited. 


TIFF-Gala Presentations
Writer/Director Asghar Farhadi 
Cast: PΓ©nelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darin

The film follows Laura (PΓ©nelope Cruz) on her travels from Argentina to her small hometown in Spain for her sister’s wedding, bringing her two children along for the occasion.  Amid the joyful reunion and festivities, the eldest daughter is abducted.  In the tense days that follow, various family and community tensions surface and deeply hidden secrets are revealed.


Writer/Director: Joel Edgerton
Producers: Steve Golin, Kerry Kohansky-Roberts, Joel Edgerton
Cast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Cherry Jones, Michael “Flea” Balzary, Xavier Dolan, Troye Sivan, Joe Alwyn, Emily Hinkler, Jesse LaTourette, David Joseph Craig, ThΓ©odore Pellerin, Madelyn Cline, and Britton Sear

Tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.


Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda
Special Presentation, Canadian Premiere 

Winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or, the touching new family drama by master filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows; Like Father, Like Son) was partially inspired by real-life events in his native Japan. After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them.


Dir. Yury Bykov
Cast: Vladislav Abashine, Denis Shvedov, Andrey Smolyakov
Contemporary World Cinema - World Premiere - Russia/France/Armenia

A dilapidated industrial building stands in the outskirts of a provincial Russian town. Many of its workers have been employed before the change from state regulation to capitalist privatization. When owner Kalugin (Andrey Smolyakov), a well-connected local oligarch, announces that the factory is bankrupt, a group of workers who haven't been paid for months kidnaps him for ransom.

Led by the mysterious Alexei (Denis Shvedov) whose motives are far from clear, the heist goes awry. Kalugin’s private security guards and a police SWAT team quickly have the building surrounded. The workers are trapped, the clock is ticking and allegiances are beginning to fray...

(Special Presentations)
Dir. Nick Hamm
Cast: Lee Pace, Jason Sudeikis, Judy Greer, Corey Stoll, Isabel Arraiza, Michael Cudlitz, Erin Moriarty

Lee Pace, Jason Sudeikis, Judy Greer, and Corey Stoll star in this story — inspired by true events — of the rise and fall of automotive maverick John Delorean and his drug dealer-turned-informant neighbor, who worked with the authorities to bring the inventor down.

It’s 1974 and Jim Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis) is your average family man—father of two, hard-working pilot, doting husband to Ellen (Judy Greer). Oh, he’s also an occasional drug smuggler. And when Jim is caught using his family vacation to smuggle cocaine into the US, ambitious FBI agent Benedict J. Tisa (Corey Stoll) sees an opportunity to earn a major victory for the Bureau by using Jim to entrap his elusive supplier.

Starting over in an affluent San Diego neighborhood on the government’s payroll, Jim’s duties as a confidential informant get side-tracked when he befriends his famous neighbor, motoring engineer and designer John DeLorean (Lee Pace). Bedazzled by DeLorean’s charm and vision, Jim soon finds himself in DeLorean’s inner circle at the launch of a new enterprise that promises to revolutionize the American motor industry.

However, when DeLorean’s dream hits the buffers with his company set to go belly-up, and Tisa’s nowhere near getting his guy, Jim suddenly finds himself caught between two desperate men who are willing to do anything to succeed.


Dir. Maxim Pozdorovkin
TIFF Docs, World Premiere

When a robot kills a human, who takes the blame? This eerie, eye-opening work of science nonfiction uses incidents in which robots have caused the deaths of humans—from a Volkswagen factory in Germany to a bomb-carrying police droid in Dallas—as a window into global automation and its consequences. Though they are typically treated as freak anomalies, each case raises questions of accountability, legality and morality. Exploring the provocative views of engineers, journalists and philosophers, the film goes beyond sensational deaths to examine more subtle but pervasive ways that robots pose a threat to humanity.

(TIFF Docs)
Dir. Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron

Ghost Fleet follows a small group of activists who risk their lives on remote Indonesian islands to find justice and freedom for the enslaved fishermen who feed the world’s insatiable appetite for seafood. Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul, a Thai abolitionist, has committed her life to helping these “lost” men return home. Facing illness, death threats, corruption, and complacency, Patima’s fearless determination for justice inspires her nation and the world.

(TIFF Docs)
Dir. Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone

The story of The Elephant Queen, a mother who will do everything in her power to protect her herd. Forced to leave the waterhole, their epic journey narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, takes audiences across the African savannah and into the heart of an elephant family. A tale of love, loss, and coming home.


Dirs. Janus Metz and Sine Plambech
TIFF Docs, World Premiere

In the small fishing community of Thy in northern Denmark, ove 900 Thai women are married to Danish men, a trend that started 25 years ago when a former sex worker from Pattaya married a Thy native and has since helped lonely local men and impoverished women from her village find someone to share life with. Acclaimed filmmaker Janus Metz (Armadillo, Borg vs. McEnroe) and his anthropologist wife, Sine Plambech, follow four of these Thai-Danish couples over ten years in an epic chronicle that explores universal questions of love and romance, dreams and everyday hardship and the very meaning of family.

Dir. James Longley
TIFF Docs, Canadian Premiere

In his latest documentary, two-time Oscar nominee and MacArthur "genius" award-winner James Longley (Iraq in Fragments, short Sari’s Mother) spent three years in Afghanistan following students and teachers at a school in an old neighborhood of Kabul that is slowly rebuilding from past conflicts. Interweaving the turbulent modern history of Afghanistan with intimate present-day portraits, the film offers a sweeping and compassionate vision of a society living in the shadow of war.


Dir. Ron Mann
TIFF Docs, North American Premiere

The new film from Ron Mann (Grass, Altman) is a charmingly intimate portrait of the fabled Greenwich Village guitar shop. There, custom guitar-maker Rick Kelly and his apprentice Cindy Hulej build handcrafted guitars out of salvaged wood from historic New York buildings. Nothing looks or sounds quite like a Kelly guitar, which is the reason they are embraced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, just to name a few. Instigated by filmmaker and guitarist Jim Jarmusch, who appears alongside a cast of prominent musicians, the film captures a week in the life of Carmine Street Guitars, while examining an all-too-quickly vanishing way of life.

Dir. Jafar Panahi
Masters, North American Premiere 

Winner of the Best Screenplay award at Cannes, renowned filmmaker Jafar Panahi (The Circle, Tehran Taxi) directs and features in this poignant yet playful exploration of oppression—his fourth movie since being banned from filmmaking in Iran. Well-known actress Behnaz Jafari is distraught by a provincial girl’s video plea for help—forbidden by her family to pursue her acting studies in Tehran. Behnaz abandons her shoot and turns to filmmaker Panahi to help with the student’s troubles. They travel by car to the rural northwest, where they have amusing encounters with the generous residents of the girl's mountain village. But the city visitors also discover that old traditions die hard.


(Contemporary World Cinema)
Dir. Lance Daly
Cast: Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene, Jim Broadbent
Writers: PJ Dillon, Pierce Ryan, Eugene O’Brien, Lance Daly

It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and reunite with his estranged family. He’s seen more than his share of horrors but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets on a destructive path to avenge his family, systematically working his way up the political and social hierarchy of 19th Century Ireland. Hannah, an ageing British soldier and famed tracker of deserters, is sent to stop Feeney before he can further stoke the fires of revolution. But Hannah and Feeney are old army comrades with a mutual respect forged by their times fighting together. Personal bonds and shifting allegiances cause both men to question their motives, as they are tested to the limit by the hellish landscape of “the Great Hunger”.