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TIFF 2016 unveils opening line-up

Cowboys and aliens will be present at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival with the world premiere of The Magnificent Seven remake helmed by Antoine Fuqua opening the cinematic proceedings and filmmaker Denis Villenueve making an appearance with his extra-terrestrial visitation thriller Arrival.  “Fuqua’s ability to effortlessly blend visceral action and the emotion of drama is what makes him such a compelling storyteller, and this film is no exception,” stated TIFF Artist Director Cameron Bailey. “With an incredible ensemble cast [Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio and Byung-Hun Lee] who deliver commanding performances, our audience is certainly in for a ride.”
The Magnificent Seven 2016

19 Galas and 48 Special Presentations were part of the first around of announcements consisting of movie offerings by Werner Herzog, Jim Jarmusch, Mia Hansen-Løve, Rebecca Zlotowski, Tom Ford, François Ozon, Andrea Arnold, Maren Ade, Park Chan-wook, Kim Jee woon, Kenneth Lonergan, Damien Chazelle, Pablo Larraín, and Paul Verhoeven.   “The global voices, transformative stories and diverse perspectives of these films capture the cinematic climate of today,” remarked Bailey. “New films featuring cinema’s brightest talents promise to captivate and entertain the world’s film community and audiences alike.”

Here are some World Premieres to watch out for:

Deepwater Horizon by Peter Berg, USA

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.


The Headhunter’s Calling by Mark Williams, Canada

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.

Lion by Garth Davis, Australia

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.


Queen of Katwe by Mira Nair, South Africa/Uganda

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 by Paul Dugdale, UK

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 by Jim Sheridan, Ireland

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.


All I See Is You by Marc Forster, Thailand

Set in exotic locations, this unique and visually-driven psychological drama tells the story of a blind woman and her husband, who upon restoration of her sight, begins to discover previously unseen and disturbing details about themselves, their marriage, and their lives. Starring Blake Lively, Yvonne Strahovski, and Jason Clarke.

Asura: The City of Madness by Kim Sung-soo, South Korea

A shady cop finds himself in over his head when he gets caught between Internal Affairs and the city’s corrupt mayor. Starring Hwang Jung-min, Kwak Do-won, Ju Ji-hoon, and Jung Woo-sung.

The Oath by Baltasar Kormákur, Iceland

A father tries to pull his daughter out of her world of drugs and petty crime, only to find that danger can be found in unexpected places. Starring Gísli Örn Garðarsson and Hera Hilmar.

baltasar kormakur

A Death in the Gunj by Konkona Sen Sharma, India

Set in 1979, this coming of age story follows a shy young Indian student who quietly and fatefully unravels during a family road trip to McCluskiegunj. Starring Vikrant Massey, Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiah, Tillotama Shome, Jim Sarbh, Tanuja Mukherjee, Om Puri, and Arya Sharma.

Foreign Body (Jassad gharib, Corps etranger) by Raja Amari, Tunisia/France

Samia immigrates to France illegally. Obsessed by the idea her radical islamist brother might be stalking her, she first finds refuge with Imed, an acquaintance from her village, then with Leila, her employer. Desire and fear heightens the tension between the three protagonists. Starring Hiam Abbass, Sarra Hannachi, and Salim Kechiouche.

I Am Not Madame Bovary by Feng Xiaogang, China

A café proprietor spends a decade petitioning the Chinese legal system after being swindled by her ex-husband, in this caustically comic contemporary fable. Starring Fan Bingbing.


The Edge of Seventeen

 Closing the festivities will be the directorial debut and world premiere of The Edge of Seventeen by Kelly Fremon Craig which stars Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick.  “It’s always a pleasure to close the Festival with laughter,” said TIFF CEO and Director Piers Handling. “The Edge of Seventeen is an entertaining and witty coming-of-age tale that will leave audiences smiling long after the lights have come up.”

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016 and for more information visit          


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