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Art Imitating Life at TIFF 2018

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Armie Hammer in Hotel Mumbai

Rather than hold a press conference to announce the first round of screenings at 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, media releases were issued out of respect for the victims of a Sunday night rampage caused by a gunman.  Unfortunately, there appears to be no sanctuary from mass violence and the subject matter is ironically addressed in Hotel Mumbai, the feature directorial debut by Anthony Maras that recounts the 2008 Islamic terrorist attacks which lasted four days throughout the city; the America-Australian thriller stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Jason Isaacs, and is one of 21 World Premieres that will be showcased.  Amongst the seven International Premieres is Girls of the Sun by Eva Husson which also explores the fatal consequences of extremism as a Kurdish female battalion attempts to liberate their town from ISIS.

Girls of the Sun

“We have an exceptional selection of films this year that will excite Festival audiences from all walks of life,” stated TIFF CEO and Director Piers Handling. “Today’s lineup showcases beloved auteurs alongside fresh voices in filmmaking, including numerous female powerhouses. The sweeping range in cinematic storytelling from around the world is a testament to the uniqueness of the films that are being made.”  Part of the 11 Canadian Premieres is the current Palme d’Or winner.  “Shoplifters is about connections, family, and what keeps us together.  We’ve been fortunate to present many films by Kore-eda at TIFF, including After Life [1998], Like Father,  Like Son [2013], and Our Little Sister [2015]. We’re delighted to share his Palme d’Or–winning film with Toronto audiences.”

Shoplifters

Other Asian films to watch out for are the arsonist mystery drama from South Korea directed by Lee Chang-dong called Burning which is included amongst 30 Special Presentations, Chinese historical martial arts epic Shadow helmed by Zhang Yimou gets the Gala treatment along with 16 other films, and Hidden Man set in 1930s China where a swordsman attempts to solve a five-year-old murder case is directed and starring Jiang Wen.  Reflecting the global collaboration of the film industry is the adaptation of the quirky bounty hunting Western titled The Sisters Brothers which received financial support from the United States, France, Romania and Spain, and is directed by French filmmaker Jacques Audiard.   Hollywood is well-represented with biopics ranging from Neil Armstrong in First Man by Damien Chazelle to septuagenarian bank robber Forrest Tucker in The Old Man & the Gun by David Lowery to disgraced presidential candidate Gary Hart in The Front Runner by Jason Reitman.

The Sisters Brothers

Check out our TIFF coverage
For more information visit the official website for TIFF.  The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018.   

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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