TIFF Galas and Special Presentations

Galas

Opening Film:

The Swimmers, UK
Sally El Hosaini
Cast: Manal Issa, Nathalie Issa, Matthias Schweighöfer, Ahmed Malek, James Krishna Floyd
The remarkable true tale of sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini, who fled their home in war-torn Damascus to seek a new life in Europe and earn the chance to compete in the Olympics.

A Jazzman's Blues, USA
Tyler Perry
Cast: Joshua Boone, Amirah Vann, Solea Pfieffer, Austin Scott, Milauna Jemai Jackson,
In 1947 Georgia, Bayou (Joshua Boone) meets Leanne (Solea Pfieffer). They fall in love, but Leanne’s relatives forbid the relationship. Years later, Bayou has become a song-and-dance sensation and Leanne, passing as white, has married another man. They conspire to escape together, but secrets from their past threaten to destroy their relationship.

Alice, Darling, Canada/USA
Mary Nighy
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Kaniethiio Horn, Wunmi Mosaku, Charlie Carrick
Alice (Anna Kendrick) is an anxious person and no one is sure why. When she’s invited to a friend's cottage, she lies to her boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick), telling him it’s a business trip. With Simon continuously texting her, it becomes clear to her friends that she’s being closely monitored by him.

Black Ice,  Canada
Hubert Davis
Cast: Akim Aliu, Wayne Simmons, Matt Dumba, Anthony Duclair
This documentary examines the role of Black players in Canadian hockey, from pre-NHL contributions to the game to the struggles against racism that continue to this day.

Butcher's Crossing, USA
Gabe Polsky
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Fred Hechinger, Rachel Keller, Xander Berkeley
Will Andrews (Hechinger) drops out of Harvard and travels west to Butcher’s Crossing, Kansas to find a stronger purpose and meaning in life. He meets veteran buffalo hunter Miller (Nicolas Cage), who will provide the experience he longs for. However, the adventure proves to be far more dangerous than anyone anticipated.

Hunt, South Korea
Lee Jung-jae
Cast: Lee Jung-jae, Jung Woo-sung, Jeon Hye-jin, Heo Sung-tae
Following a failed assassination attempt on South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, KCIA Foreign Unit chief Park (Lee Jung-jae) and Domestic Unit head Kim (Jung Woo-sung) are charged with identifying the conspirators.

Kacchey Limbu, India
Shubham Yogi
Cast: Radhika Madan, Rajat Barmecha, Ayush Mehra
Set in the courtyards and improvised pitches of Mumbai, the story follows a pair of siblings who find themselves on competing cricket teams as they struggle to balance familial loyalty with the pursuit of their passions.

Moving On, USA
Paul Weitz
Cast: Jane Fonda, Malcolm McDowell, Lily Tomlin, Richard Roundtree, Sarah Burns
Back in the '70s, Claire (Jane Fonda), Evvie (Lily Tomlin), and Joyce were all great friends, until terrible things transpired, secrets were kept, and everyone drifted apart. Now Joyce has died and it’s time to set things straight.

Paris Memories, France
Alice Winocour
Cast: Virginie Efira, Benoît Magimel, Maya Sansa, Grégoire Colin
Mia (Virginie Efira) is a professional translator. When she stops at a crowded bistro one night, terrorists with high-powered weapons begin shooting patrons at random, killing with a terrifying nonchalance. While many die in the attack, Mia survives, but her world has been shattered.

Prisoner's Daughter, USA
Catherine Hardwicke
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Brian Cox
After 12 years, Max (Brian Cox), who is suffering from pancreatic cancer and has been given just months to live, is freed from prison. The conditions of Max’s compassionate leave require him to reside with his estranged daughter Maxine (Kate Beckinsale), who grudgingly agrees.

Raymond & Ray, USA
Rodrigo García
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Ewan McGregor, Maribel Verdú, Tom Bower, Vondie Curtis Hall, Sophie Okonedo
Long-estranged half-brothers Raymond (Ewan McGregor) and Ray (Ethan Hawke) reunite to bury their father. Ray Sr. left his sons a pittance and, to add insult to injury, an aggravating and exhausting final request.

Roost, USA
Amy Redford
Cast: Summer Phoenix, Grace Van Dien, Kyle Gallner, Jesse Garcia
When Anna (Grace Van Dien) tells her mother, Beth (Summer Phoenix), that she’s met a boy online, Beth goes on full alert. It turns out Anna’s new crush is not a boy but a man — 28 years old, and saying all the right things to a girl on the verge of 17 as she cradles her phone in her bedroom.

Sidney, USA
Reginald Hudlin
Cast: Harry Belafonte, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Nelson George, Louis Gossett Jr.
Sidney Poitier was one of the most gifted and charismatic actors the cinema has known. This documentary crafts a richly detailed portrait, surveying Poitier’s films, life story, and litany of accomplishments as an artist and activist who forever changed what it means to be Black in America.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever, USA
Peter Farrelly
Cast: Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray
In 1967, US veteran John "Chickie" Donohue (Zac Efron) goes on an audacious escapade to bring liquid support to the troops in Vietnam.

The Hummingbird, Italy/France
Francesca Archibugi
Cast: Pierfrancesco Favino, Kasia Smutniak, Bérénice Bejo, Nanni Moretti
Marco's (Pierfrancesco Favino) nickname is Hummingbird because he devotes all his energy to staying fixed in one place. Everyone in his life seems to be restless and searching, from his parents to his wife to Luisa, the real love of his life, a woman he’s always known, always stayed in contact with, but never touched.

The Son, UK
Florian Zeller
Peter (Hugh Jackman) and Beth (Vanessa Kirby) are euphoric after the birth of their first child. Their little family is about to unexpectedly expand again, however, when Peter’s adolescent son Nicholas (Zen McGrath), who suffers from severe depression, arrives.

The Woman King, UK
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, John Boyega
In the 1800s, the Agojie are an all-female unit of warriors who protect the African Kingdom of Dahomey with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. When the kingdom is threatened, Agojie General Nanisca (Viola Davis) must defend their land and way of life.

What's Love Got To Do With It?, UK
Shekhar Kapur
Cast: Lily James, Shazad Latif, Shabana Azmi, Emma Thompson, Sajal Aly, Asim Chaudhry
Filmmaker Zoe (Lily James) and Kazim (Shazad Latif), a doctor, grew up next door to each other. Having witnessed his parents’ anguish when his sister married a white Briton, Kaz opts to follow his parents’ example and seek an arranged marriage. Kaz’s decision intrigues Zoe — and provides her with a brilliant premise for her next documentary.

Closing Film:

Dalíland, UK/USA
Mary Harron
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Barbara Sukowa, Christopher Briney, Rupert Graves, Alexander Beyer
In 1973, James (Christopher Briney) is drawn into the orbit of Dalí (Ben Kingsley) and Gala (Barbara Sukowa) when he begins working for them.

Special Presentations

A Man of Reason, South Korea
Jung Woo-sung
Cast: Jung Woo-sung, Kim Nam-gil, Park Sung-woong, Kim Jun-han, Lee Elijah, Park You-na
After 10 years of incarceration on behalf of his employer, all Su-hyuk (Jung Woo-sung) wants is a normal life. When Su-hyuk declines an offer to rejoin his employer, the Kaiser Corporation, which steals and murders in the name of urban development, he declines, putting his life and the lives of those he loves in danger.

All Quiet on the Western Front, USA/Germany
Edward Berger
Cast: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, Edin Hasanovic, Daniel Brühl
It’s 1917 and wartime in Germany. Paul (Felix Kammerer) lies about his age so he can enlist alongside his friends — all of them very young men filled with romanticized, patriotic notions. The reality of war almost immediately dismantles their exuberance.

Allelujah, UK
Richard Eyre
Cast: Jennifer Saunders, Bally Gill, David Bradley, Russell Tovey, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench
When the Minister of Health’s belt-tightening measures threaten a small Yorkshire hospital with closure, the staff invites a news crew to document preparations for a concert in honor of hospital leader Sister Gilpin and her crew, all of them struggling to cope with ever-dwindling resources and ever-burgeoning demand.

Blueback, Canada/France/Belgium
Robert Connolly
Cast: Keira Knightley, Marion Cotillard, Sam Claflin, Sophie Okonedo, Mark Strong, Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn
The remarkable true story of Charlotte Salomon, a German Jewish artist defying incredible odds to create a masterpiece during World War II.

Broker, South Korea
Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Kang Ho Song, Dong Won Gang, Doona Bae, Ji Eun Lee, Joo Young Lee
A woman plans to leave her baby boy at the Busan Family Church, abandoning him in complete anonymity, with the faint promise of coming back for him someday. At the receiving end of the box, two men delete the surveillance video and steal the baby. They are brokers, ready to put the baby up for sale to their network of wealthy wannabe parents. The following day, the mother returns to take back her child.

Bros., USA
Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane
Bobby Leiber (Billy Eichner) is a podcaster and writer assigned to write a romantic comedy about a gay couple that appeals to straight audiences. Along the way, he meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), who makes him question his identity and view on love.

Brother, Canada
Clement Virgo
Cast: Lamar Johnson, Aaron Pierre, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Kiana Madeira, Lovell Adams-Gray
Two Trinidadian-Canadian brothers come of age in 1990s Scarborough, where they reconcile their dreams and expectations with the violence that confronts them around every corner.

Catherine Called Birdy, UK
Lena Dunham
Cast: Billie Piper, Andrew Scott, Paul Kaye, Joe Alwyn, Bella Ramsey, Isis Hainsworth
Birdy (Bella Ramsey) revels in causing minor mayhem around her family’s village. When her father, the inept Lord of Stonebridge, is faced with financial destitution thanks to his profligate spending, he sees only one way out: to find his daughter a wealthy, landholding husband who will secure the family’s future.

Causeway, USA
Lila Neugebauer
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond, Jayne Houdyshell
While for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan, Lindsay (Jennifer Lawrence) was injured when her vehicle hit an explosive. Back home, she struggles to recover from severe wounds, both physical and psychological, while waiting for her doctor to approve her petition to redeploy.

Chevalier, USA
Stephen Williams
Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton, Marton Csokas, Minnie Driver
Composer Joseph Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), propelled by talent, ambition, and a drive to surmount the racist barriers all around him, climbs his way up from outcast to a place in Marie Antoinette’s inner circle.

Corsage, Austria/France/Germany
Marie Kreutzer
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Florian Teichtmeister
Having celebrated her 40th birthday alongside her husband, Emperor Franz Joseph (Florian Teichtmeister), Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Vicky Krieps) finds her role reduced to that of ceremonial appearances.

Decision to Leave, South Korea
Park Chan-wook
Cast: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il
Detective Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) is assigned to the case when a man who was climbing a mountain is found dead. Is it just a tragic accident? Or was it a suicide? Could it have been a homicide? The young detective begins investigating in Busan, a city of unsolved cases where crime rides high.

Devotion, USA
JD Dillard
Cast: Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell, Christina Jackson, Thomas Sadoski, Joe Jonas
An inspiring tale of friendship, courage, and sacrifice, this visceral war film tells the story of the US Navy's first Black aviator. Set during the early days of the Korean War, two pilots confront both geopolitical uncertainty and racist hostility with uncommon valor.

Driving Madeleine, France
Christian Carion
Cast: Dany Boon, Line Renaud, Alice Isaaz, Jérémie Laheurte
Charles (Dany Boon) is a Paris taxi driver with debts who's in danger of losing his driver’s licence to numerous traffic infractions. He's hired to drive Madeleine (Line Renaud), 92, who's moving into a care home, but wants to make some stops along the way, believing that this might be her last car ride through the city.

El Suplente, Argentina/Italy/Mexico/Spain/France
Diego Lerman
Cast: Juan Minujín, Alfredo Castro, Bárbara Lennie, Rita Cortese, María Merlino, Lucas Arrua
Recently appointed as a substitute literature teacher at a high school in an underserved area of Buenos Aires, Lucio (Juan Minujín) has to hit the ground running if he wants to find a way to connect with the minds — and the realities — of students with far tougher things than homework to worry about.

Empire of Light, UK/USA
Sam Mendes
Cast: Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Toby Jones, Colin Firth
Hilary (Olivia Colman) works at a movie house, opening the theatre every morning and overseeing a brimming concession stand. When Stephen (Micheal Ward) arrives as an eager new employee, the two form a quick, if outwardly unlikely, connection.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, USA
Rian Johnson
Cast: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson
Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) travels to Greece to peel back the layers of a mystery involving a new cast of colorful suspects.

Good Night Oppy, USA
Ryan White
Cast: John Beck-Hofmann, David Paul Jacobson
When NASA launched the Opportunity Rover on an exploration mission to Mars, they designed it to survive for 90 days. What was intended to be a short sojourn turned into a voyage that lasted almost 15 years, as the rover, lovingly nicknamed "Oppy," surpassed all expectations.

Holy Spider, Denmark/Germany/Sweden/France
Ali Abbasi
Cast: Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Mehdi Bajestani, Arash Ashtiani, Forouzan Jamshidnejad
By day, Saeed (Mehdi Bajestani) is a worker, doting family man, veteran of the Iran–Iraq War, and a devout Shia Muslim. But by night, Saeed cruises seedy alleys by motorcycle on a "holy" crusade to cleanse his nation of immorality.

Joyland, Pakistan
Saim Sadiq
Cast: Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan, Sarwat Gilani, Salmaan Peerzada
Haider Rana, a quiet, unemployed husband with an employed wife, has a seemingly happy arranged marriage. Amidst pressure and ridicule from his father, Haider finds work as a backup dancer for a trans performer, opening his eyes to another way to love — and another way of life.

Moonage Daydream, USA
Brett Morgen
Cast: David Bowie
A kaleidoscopic weave of archival performances and candid interviews, this portrait of David Bowie from director Brett Morgen immerses us in the restless starman’s singular galaxy of music, art, and identity.

My Policeman, UK/USA
Michael Grandage
Cast: Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, David Dawson, Rupert Everett, Gina McKee, Linus Roache
This tale of forbidden romance and changing social conventions follows three people — policeman Tom (Harry Styles/Linus Roache), teacher Marion (Emma Corrin/Gina McKee), and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson/Rupert Everett) — and their emotional journey spanning decades.

Nanny, USA
Nikyatu Jusu
Cast: Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Rose Decker, Leslie Uggams
A young Senegalese newcomer to New York is haunted by violent visions while working as a nanny and planning for the arrival of her own son.

No Bears, Iran
Jafar Panahi
Cast: Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiar Panjei, Mina Kavani, Reza Heydari
Jafar Panahi plays himself in this film, as he builds a story about a couple attempting to secure fake passports so that they can flee to France.

On the Come Up, USA
Sanaa Lathan
Cast: Jamila C. Gray, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Lil Yachty, Mike Epps, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Justin Martin
Bri (Jamila C. Gray) wants to carry on after her father — a local hip-hop legend named Lawless, who was killed when he was just on the verge of making it big. That’s not an easy task, and she chokes during her first rap battle at Garden Heights. Despite her initial stumble, she is bent on breaking in.

One Fine Morning, France
Mia Hansen-Løve
Cast: Léa Seydoux, Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, Nicole Garcia
Sandra (Léa Seydoux) works as a freelance translator, is a single mother to her eight-year-old daughter, and cares for her retired father who is losing his sight, memory, and independence to a neurodegenerative disorder. Sandra cannot help but feel her love life is behind her, until she runs into her old friend Clément (Melvil Poupaud), a cosmochemist with a son he adores and a marriage that he fears may be losing its spark.

Other People's Children, France
Rebecca Zlotowski
Cast: Virginie Efira, Roschdy Zem
A teacher's new relationship with a single father becomes complicated when she begins to connect with his young daughter.

Saint Omer, France
Alice Diop
Cast: Kayije Kagame, Guslagie Malanda, Valérie Dréville, Aurélia Petit
A young novelist working on a contemporary retelling of the ancient Medea myth is forced to confront her personal traumas as she observes the trial of a woman accused of infanticide.

Sanctuary, USA
Zachary Wigon
Cast: Christopher Abbott, Margaret Qualley
The heir to a hotel empire (Christopher Abbott) and the dominatrix (Margaret Qualley) who has primed him for success battle it out in a hotel room as he tries to end their relationship.

Stories Not to be Told, Spain
Cesc Gay
Cast: Chino Darin, Anna Castillo, Javier Rey, Quim Gutierrez, Brays Efe
Five tales of human vulnerability and the hilarious, painful, and extremely awkward curveballs life sometimes throws us.

The Banshees Of Inisherin, UK, Ireland, USA
Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan
When his friend Colm (Brendan Gleeson) refuses to hang out with him anymore, Pádraic (Colin Farrell) is dumbfounded. “I just don’t like you anymore,” Colm explains. Unwilling to accept that their friendship is over, Pádraic continues confronting Colm, until Colm posits a gruesome ultimatum.

The Blue Caftan, Morocco/France/Belgium/Denmark
Maryam Touzani
Cast: Lubna Azabal, Saleh Bakri, Ayoub Missioui
Halim, a talented tailor, works diligently as his wife Mina manages the customers. When the demand for Halim’s skill exceeds his personal capacity, he reluctantly accepts the help of Youssef, a soft-spoken young apprentice. It is not long, however, before the tailor’s careful attentions to craft drift to meet Youssef's longing gaze — while Mina watches.

The Eternal Daughter, UK
Joanna Hogg
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Joseph Mydell, Carly-Sophia Davies
Julie (Tilda Swinton) and her elderly mother travel to a hotel, but a disagreeable receptionist refuses to grant them a good room despite near-total vacancy. They get a shabby view, and hear disturbing noises at night — to say nothing of the traditional but expertly employed ornate décor with mirrors and portraits multiplying the camera’s watchful gaze. The film grows ever-more spooky as long-suppressed secrets arise.

The Fabelmans, USA
Steven Spielberg
Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle, Jeannie Berlin
Teenage Sammy Fabelman is always desperate for a new piece of gear so he can make ever-bigger movies with his friends, while navigating the interpersonal landmines of home and school life.

The Good Nurse, USA
Tobias Lindholm
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kim Dickens, Malik Yoba
Amy (Jessica Chastain), a nurse struggling with single-parenthood and a health scare of her own gets help when a new nurse, Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne), arrives at her New Jersey hospital, only to have her patients begin dying mysteriously.

The King's Horseman, Nigeria
Biyi Bandele
Cast: Odunlade Adekola, Shaffy Bello, Deyemi Okanlawon, Mark Elderkin, Jenny Stead
As the King’s Horseman, Elésin Oba (Odunlade Adekola) is responsible for the political ruler’s smooth travels in life and in death. When the King dies, religious tradition insists Elésin must commit ritual suicide.

The Lost King, UK
Stephen Frears
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Steve Coogan, Harry Lloyd
Langley (Sally Hawkins) is a writer who finds herself suffering a midlife malaise after a divorce and some health challenges. She happens upon the Richard III Society, a group of amateur historians bent on rehabilitating the damaged reputation of Richard, and soon becomes obsessed with finding his long-lost remains.

The Menu, USA
Mark Mylod
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult,John Leguizamo, Janet McTeer
A self-contained farm-to-table paradise, Hawthorne Island represents the pinnacle of exclusive eats, serving celebrities and billionaires who think nothing of forking out $1,250 a head. Included in this evening’s clientele are Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), a devout foodie pilgrim, his date Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), a washed-up movie star (John Leguizamo), a restaurant critic (Janet McTeer), and a trio of tech bros.

The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile, USA
Kathlyn Horan
Cast: Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile, Shooter Jennings
After she catapulted into the musical stratosphere at the age of 13, Tanya Tucker’s career soared throughout the 1970s. A decade on, however, Tanya flew a bit too close to the sun and eventually chose to live a more private life. Brandi Carlile never believed Tucker received her due respect so she and producer Shooter Jennings coaxed Tucker into the studio with the goal of creating her first album of original music in 17 years.

The Whale, USA
Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins, Samantha Morton
Writing instructor Charlie (Brendan Fraser) never has his webcam on while teaching online. He makes excuses and is so good-natured that no one makes a fuss, but the real reason for is his appearance. Charlie weighs 600 pounds. His obesity starts to pose a grave threat to his health and his friend Liz (Hong Chau), a nurse, begs him to check into a hospital, but also recognizes that it might be more important to simply offer support.

The Wonder, UK/Ireland
Sebastián Lelio
Cast: Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Niamh Algar, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Elaine Cassidy
Nurse Lib Wright (Florence Pugh) arrives in the Irish Midlands hired for an unusual task: to observe an 11-year-old girl named Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy), who has reportedly not eaten for four months.

Triangle of Sadness, Sweden/UK/USA/France/Greece
Ruben Östlund
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Zlatko Buric, Iris Berben, Vicki Berlin
This satire explores hypocrisy, greed, and thirst for power amongst the idle rich (and the luxury-cruise industry) in three chapters.

Walk Up, South Korea
Hong Sangsoo
Cast:Kwon Haehyo, Lee Hyeyoung, Song Sunmi
Byung-soo (Kwon Haehyo) and his daughter are greeted by Ms. Kim (Lee Hyeyoung), a longtime friend who owns a renovated four-storey building. Ms. Kim is a designer and Byung-soo wants to introduce her to his daughter who intends to study interior design. Ms. Kim takes her guests on a tour of the building to show them the renovations she has done. The three explore the apartments on each level, as if they were awkwardly intruding on the lives of the tenants.

Wendell & Wild, USA
Henry Selick
Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Lyric Ross, Angela Bassett, James Hong, Tamara Smart
The tale of Wendell and Wild, two mischievous demon brothers, and the hijinx they wreak in the Land of the Living are the main focus of this stop-motion animated feature.

Women Talking, USA
Sarah Polley
Cast: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, Frances McDormand
In a tight-knit cloistered religious colony, women struggle to recover from an epidemic of abuse.