TIFF Galas and Special Presentations

Special Event

Sharkwater Extinction, Canada - World Premiere
Rob Stewart
Sharkwater Extinction is an action-packed journey that follows filmmaker Rob Stewart’s hard-nosed exposé of the massive illegal shark fin industry and the political corruption behind it, a conspiracy that is leading to the extinction of sharks. A sequel to Sharkwater, Stewart's first award-winning film that debuted at TIFF in 2006, this film goes a step further, as Stewart discovers endangered sharks are routinely added to our everyday products, many intended for human consumption.


Opening Film:

Outlaw King, USA/United Kingdom - World Premiere
David Mackenzie
Cast: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Stephen Dillane 
Scottish hero Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) transforms from defeated nobleman to defiant freedom fighter.

Other Galas:

Beautiful BoyUSA - World Premiere
Felix van Groeningen
Cast: Steve CarellTimothée ChalametMaura TierneyAmy Ryan
Dave Sheff (Steve Carrell) loves his son Nic (Timothée Chalamet) more than anything, but when the boy develops a meth addiction, Dave can't understand how he went wrong as a father.

Everybody Knows, Spain/France/Italy - North American Premiere
Asghar Farhadi
Lara (Penélope Cruz) takes her children but leaves her husband Alejandro (Ricardo Darín) behind when she goes to attend her sister’s wedding in the village where she grew up. There, she reconnects with her old boyfriend (Javier Bardem). When the power cuts out at the wedding, Lara is horrified to learn her daughter has disappeared.

First Man, USA - Canadian Premiere
Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan GoslingClaire FoyJon BernthalKyle ChandlerJason ClarkeCorey StollLukas Haas
The story of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Green Book, USA - World Premiere
Peter Farrelly
Cast: Viggo MortensenMahershala AliLinda Cardellini
Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), an uneducated Italian-American bouncer, is hired to drive world-class pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South. Confronted with racism, danger — as well as unexpected humanity and humor — they are forced to set aside their differences to survive and thrive.

The Hate U Give, USA - World Premiere
George Tillman, Jr.
Cast: Amandla StenbergKJ ApaAnthony MackieRegina HallCommon
Starr (Amandla Stenberg) attends a private prep school. Her best friend Khalil drives her home from a party and they're stopped by police. Khalil is told to get out of the car and when he does, a cop shoots him dead. Although the police have no interest in investigating what happened, Starr is interviewed by the media. Finally, the fate of the policeman comes down to Starr's testimony.

Hidden Man, China - International Premiere
Jiang Wen
Fifteen years after a bloody massacre in China, one of the survivors returns, now trained in martial arts and American spy craft, determined to take revenge on the men who killed his master so many years ago.

High Life, Germany/France/Poland/United Kingdom - World Premiere
Anurag Kashyap
A spaceship with a crew made up entirely of death-row inmates is sent into deep space on a mission to harvest energy from a nearby black hole.

Husband Material, India - World Premiere
François Girard
Free-spirited Rummi (Taapsee Pannu) comes from a traditional family but is drawn to impulsive bad boy Vicky (Vicky Kaushal). Matters are complicated when her family tries to use a matchmaker (Abhishel Bachchan) to arrange a marriage for Rummi.

The Kindergarten Teacher, USA - Canadian Premiere
Sara Colangelo
Lisa (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a kindergarten teacher, discovers a five-year-old child in her class who has a prodigious gift for poetry and she decides to take it upon herself to nurture him.

The Land of Steady Habits, USA - World Premiere
Nicole Holofcener
Newly retired Anders (Ben Mendelsohn) divorces his wife Helene (Edie Falco) and searches for the liberation of his youth in the form of a new woman (Connie Britton) and new friends.

The Lie, Canada - World Premiere
Veena Sud
Jay (Peter Sarsgaard) and his wife Rebecca (Mireille Enos) discover their daughter Kayla (Joey King) murdered her friend in what she insists was an accident. Not sure what to believe, the two work together to cover up their daughter’s lethal actions.

Life Itself, USA - World Premiere
Dan Fogelman
Cast: Oscar IsaacOlivia WildeAntonio BanderasAnnette BeningOlivia CookeMandy Patinkin
As a young New York couple (Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde) fall in love and move from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

The Public, USA - World Premiere
Emilio Estevez
A public library run by Stuart (Emilio Estevez) is overrun by a group of homeless people who refuse to leave because they have nowhere else to go to escape the frigid cold of the night. Soon the entire library is taken over in an act of civil disobedience.

Red Joan, United Kingdom - World Premiere
Sir Trevor Nunn
Retired scientist Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) is arrested for crimes she committed in the 1930s. At that time, a young Joan (Sophie Cookson) was lured into a group of politicized youths and became a British spy for the KGB.

ShadowChina - North American Premiere
Zhang Yimou
A Chinese military commander (Deng Chao) creates a “shadow” of himself to fool his enemies and also his dangerous king (Zheng Kai).

A Star is Born, USA - North American Premiere
Bradley Cooper
Cast: Bradley CooperLady GagaSam ElliottDave Chappelle
A country music star named Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) manages to discover an unknown talent in a young singer named Ally (Lady Gaga) just as his career is about to fade out.

What They Had, USA - International Premiere
Elizabeth Chomko
Cast: Hilary SwankMichael ShannonBlythe DannerRobert ForsterTaissa FarmigaJosh Lucas
Bridget (Hilary Swank) returns home to see her mother Ruth (Blythe Danner), who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Bridget's brother Nicky (Michael Shannon) thinks she should be put in a nursing home. Bridget, whose own marriage is falling apart, learns about commitment and love from her father's (Robert Forster) unending devotion to his wife, whom he calls "my girl."

Widows, United Kingdom/USA - World Premiere
Steve McQueen
Cast: Viola DavisElizabeth DebickiCynthia ErivoMichelle Rodriguez
Four widows in Chicago whose husbands were killed while committing a robbery get together to complete the job.

Closing Film:

Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy,  Canada/USA/United Kingdom - World Premiere
Justin Kelly
Savannah Knoop (Kristen Stewart) spends six years pretending to be the celebrated gay author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law (Laura Dern).

Special Presentations

Opening Film:

MOUTHPIECE, Canada -  World Premiere
Patricia Rozema
After her mother dies, Cassandra (Norah Sadava/Amy Nostbakken) realizes the ideals she once believed made her so different from her mother are exactly what connected the two women all along.

22 July, Norway/Iceland - North American Premiere
Paul Greengrass
The story of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack in which a car bomb was detonated in Oslo and a mass shooting was carried out at a teen leadership camp, all by a far-right extremist demanding the country change its ways.

American Woman, USA - World Premiere
Jake Scott
Following her daughter’s mysterious disappearance one night, Deb (Sienna Miller) is left to raise her infant grandson all on her own.

Baby (Bao Bei Er), China - World Premiere
Liu Jie
A man whose baby was born with a severe genetic condition decides to stop treatments on the infant and let her die, but a woman (Yang Mi) with the same condition passionately campaigns for the father to reconsider.

Ben is Back, USA - World Premiere
Peter Hedges
When Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges), 19, unexpectedly returns home from rehab, his mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is thrilled, but his teenage sister, Ivy (Kathryn Newton) and stepfather Neal (Courtney B. Vance), are wary.

Boy Erased, USA - International Premiere
Joel Edgerton
Jared (Lucas Hedges), a gay teenager, is forced to attend a gay-conversion program by his mother Nancy (Nicole Kidman) and Baptist minister father, Marshall (Russell Crowe).

Burning, South Korea - North American Premiere
Lee Chang-dong
Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) doesn’t trust the aloof, mysterious Ben (Steven Yeun), who starts spending time with his friend and budding love interest, Hae-mi (Jun Jong-seo), especially after Hae-mi mysteriously disappears.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, USA - International Premiere
Marielle Heller
In an attempt to maintain her fame, biographer Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) begins to sell forged and stolen correspondence from dead writers and actors.

Capernaum, Lebanon  - North American Premiere
Nadine Labaki
Living on the very fringe of Lebanese society, 12-year-old Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) files a lawsuit against his parents for giving birth to him when they didn’t have the means to properly take care of him.

Cold War, Poland/United Kingdom/France - Canadian Premiere
Pawel Pawlikowski
Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is captivated by Zula (Joanna Kuling) and they begin a love affair that is threatened by the events of the Cold War.

Colette, United Kingdom - Canadian Premiere
Wash Westmoreland
A country girl (Keira Knightley) marries an author (Dominic West) but soon grows disillusioned by her marriage and her husband, especially when she discovers he doesn't write any of his own works, and expects her to produce novels under his name. When she does, and they're more successful than anything ever published by him, a rift grows between the two.

Dogman, Italy/France - Canadian Premiere
Matteo Garrone
Dog groomer Marcello (Marcello Fonte) becomes embroiled in the criminal activities of the violent and ill-tempered Simoncino (Edoardo Pesce).

Driven, Puerto Rico/United Kingdom/USA - North American Premiere
Nick Hamm
Jim (Jason Sudeikis) is forced to become an undercover informant for the FBI so they can take down his drug-dealing neighbor DeLorean (Lee Pace).

Duelles (Mothers' Instinct), Belgium/France - World Premiere
Olivier Masset-Depasse
Alice (Veerle Baetens) and Céline are extremely close, and even share either side of a semi-detached house with their families, but when tragedy strikes, their relationship is severely tested.

A Faithful Man (L'homme fidèle), France - World Premiere
Louis Garrel
Journalist Abel (Louis Garrel) is blindsided when his girlfriend of three years, Marianne (Laetitia Casta), confesses she’s pregnant with his best friend’s baby and is leaving him.

The Front Runner, USA - International Premiere
Jason Reitman
The rise and fall of Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman), who was considered the overwhelming front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice.

Gloria Bell, USA/Chile - World Premiere
Sebastián Lelio
Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a mother and divorcée who spends her evenings dancing in singles clubs, searching for love. She meets and falls for Arnold (John Turturro), but his adult daughters won’t give up on their strong hold on their father quite so easily.

Hold the Dark, USA - World Premiere
Jeremy Saulnier
A woman (Riley Keough) is devastated when her son is dragged off by a pack of wolves, but the town refuses to hunt them down. She enlists the help of writer and wolf expert Russell Core (Jeffrey Wright) to track down the wolves and find her son before her husband (Alexander Skarsgård) returns home from war.

Giant Little Ones, Canada - World Premiere
Keith Behrman
Unhappy teenager Franky (Josh Wiggins) has a confusing sexual encounter the night of his birthday party that makes him question his entire identity and risks his relationships with his best friend and his girlfriend.

Girls of the Sun (Les filles du soleil), France - International Premiere
Eva Husson
French war correspondent Mathilde (Emmanuelle Bercot) finds herself embedded in a unit made up entirely of women who have banded together to fight back against ISIS extremists in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Hotel Mumbai, Australia - World Premiere
Anthony Maras
This film dramatizes the events of the 2008 attack on Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace hotel by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants and those held hostage inside the hotel.

The Hummingbird Project, Canada - World Premiere
Kim Nguyen
Cousins Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgård) attempt to build a thousand-mile long tunnel from Kansas to New Jersey for a fibre-optic cable that will give them a one-millisecond edge at the New York Stock Exchange.

If Beale Street Could Talk, USA - World Premiere
Barry Jenkins
Tish (KiKi Layne) is pregnant, but her fiancé Fonny (Stephan James) has been wrongly accused of rape and is being sent to prison. She sets out to clear his name before their baby is born.

Kursk, Belgium/Luxembourg - World Premiere
Thomas Vinterberg
When the Russian submarine Kursk suffers a series of explosions, it's assumed all on board are dead. That is, until the rescuers hear tapping noises and discover over 20 men are still alive in a sealed compartment.

Legend of the Demon Cat – Director’s Cut, China/Japan - World Premiere
Chen Kaige
A demonic cat is wreaking havoc in China and has possessed the Emperor, prompting a Chinese poet and Japanese monk to team up and attempt to release the vengeful spirit inside the feline.

Manto, India - North American Premiere
Nandita Das
Based on the true story of writer Saadat Hasan Manto (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and the tumultuous years he spent in India and Pakistan that he later channeled into his increasingly gritty writing.

Maya, France - World Premiere
Mia Hansen-Løve
French war correspondent Gabriel (Roman Kolinka) has just been released from captivity in Syria and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. To combat this, he is advised to visit India where he meets and falls for the significantly younger Maya (Aarshi Banerjee), while attempting to integrate himself back into normal life.

Mid90s, USA - World Premiere
Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill’s directorial debut follows 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic) who is searching for somewhere he belongs and turns to Motor Avenue skate shop. There he makes older friends who embrace Stevie, providing him with a newfound sense of worth and belonging.

A Million Little Pieces, USA - World Premiere
Sam Taylor-Johnson
Alcoholic crack addict James (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) checks himself into rehab but is cynical of the program and its promises. He eventually comes to bond with two other patients: former crime lord Leonard (Billy Bob Thornton) and Lilly (Odessa Young), a former sex worker.

Monsters and Men, USA - Canadian Premiere
Reinaldo Marcus Green
When a black man is fatally shot during an arrest, Manny (Anthony Ramos) bears witness to the murder and films it on his phone. Afterwards, he’s torn on what to do, feeling compelled to share the video and prove injustice, but knowing he’ll risk his family’s safety if he does.

Never Look Away (Werk ohne Autor), Germany - North American Premiere
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Inspired by the life of contemporary artist Gerhard Richter, the film chronicles the intertwining lives of a young art student named Kurt (Tom Schilling) and a professor (Sebastian Koch) who is involved in Nazi Eugenics.

Non-Fiction, France - Canadian Premiere
Olivier Assayas
Parisian publisher Alain (Guillaume Canet) and one of his longtime authors (Vincent Macaigne) both struggle to adjust to the new media landscape that surrounds them while coping with the crisis of middle age.

The Old Man & The Gun, USA - International Premiere
David Lowery
Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

Papi Chulo, Ireland - World Premiere
John Butler
Heartbroken Los Angeles TV weatherman Sean (Matt Bomer) has a meltdown on air and is forced to take a sabbatical. He hires Ernesto (Alejandro Patiño) to paint his deck and their business arrangement gradually develops into a deep friendship.

The Quietude (La Quietud), Argentina - North American Premiere
Pablo Trapero
Mia (Martina Gusman) and her estranged sister Eugenia (Bérénice Bejo) are reunited when their father suffers a stroke. Living in the same house again, tensions begin to mount between the sisters amid love affairs and familial arguments.

Roma, Mexico/USA - Canadian Premiere
Alfonso Cuarón
Newly single and pregnant Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) is a live-in nanny for an upper middle class family in Mexico City. Matriarch Sofia (Marina de Tavira) is left alone with Cleo after her husband leaves. Despite their differences in social status, the two bond over single motherhood.

The Sisters Brothers, USA/France/Romania/Spain - North American Premiere
Jacques Audiard
In 1851, gunslinger brothers Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) Sisters work for a man they refer to as The Commodore, who hires them as assassins. One assignment, involving John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), changes everything for the brothers.

Skin, USA - World Premiere
Guy Nattiv
Based on the true story of Bryon Widner who was raised by skinheads but eventually turned his back on his hateful upbringing, undergoing an excruciating transformation to rid himself of his racist tattoos with the help of a Black activist.

Sunset, Hungary/France - North American Premiere
László Nemes
Írisz Leiter (Juli Jakab) wishes to work at the hat store her late parents once owned. After she’s turned away by the new owner, she begins to learn dark secrets about her family.

Teen Spirit, USA - World Premiere
Max Minghella
Shy teenager Violet (Elle Fanning) dreams of leaving behind her small farm life to pursue a singing career.

Tell It To The Bees, United Kingdom - World Premiere
Annabel Jankel
Newly single and homeless Lydia (Holliday Grainger) moves in with Dr. Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) and the two connect over the bee colonies Jean has in her yard. As their bond grows deeper, the two face scrutiny and intolerance from their community.

Through Black Spruce, Canada - World Premiere
Don McKellar
Cree woman Annie Bird (Tanaya Beatty) travels to Toronto to try and find her sister who disappeared there over a year before. While in the city, Annie finds herself thrown into the dangerous high fashion world her sister once abandoned their whole family to be a part of.

Viper Club, USA - World Premiere
Maryam Keshavarz
When Helen (Susan Sarandon) learns her war correspondent son has been taken hostage by a terrorist organization, she is told the American government won't intervene. A covert group offers to help Helen bypass the government and free her son, risking everything to help her when no one else will.

Vision, Japan/France - International Premiere
Naomi Kawase
While searching for a rare plant called “vision” in Japan, French essayist Jeanne (Juliette Binoche) meets the taciturn Tomo (Masatoshi Nagase) who helps her navigate the forests while also revealing secrets from her past.

Vita & Virginia, United Kingdom/Ireland - World Premiere
Chanya Button
Explores the tumultuous relationship between authors Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) and Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki).

The Wedding Guest, United Kingdom - World Premiere
Michael Winterbottom
A mysterious man (Dev Patel) journeys to Pakistan for a wedding with a secret plan involving weaponry and the bride-to-be.

The Weekend, USA - World Premiere
Stella Meghie
Stand-up comedian Zadie (Sasheer Zamata) invites her ex-boyfriend Bradford (Tone Bell) to her mother’s bed and breakfast. He brings along his current girlfriend, Margo (DeWanda Wise), making for an uncomfortable weekend.

Where Hands Touch, United Kingdom - World Premiere
Amma Asante
In Nazi-occupied Germany, biracial teen Lenya (Amandla Stenberg) meets and falls in love with Lutz (George MacKay), a young Nazi who is drawn to her despite Nazi revulsion towards Black Germans. Their love affair is not only forbidden, but extremely dangerous for them both.

White Boy Rick, USA - International Premiere
Yann Demange
Detroit drug dealer Richard Wershe, known on the streets as White Boy Rick, is recruited as an undercover informant for the police, but when he decides to stop working for the police, it has severe repercussions for him.

Wildlife, USA - Canadian Premiere
Paul Dano
Joe (Ed Oxenbould), 14, witnesses his parents’ marriage fall apart after his father (Jake Gyllenhaal) leaves to fight wildfires and his mother (Carey Mulligan) finds companionship with another man (Bill Camp).

Wild Rose, United Kingdom - World Premiere
Tom Harper
Recently released from prison, Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) sets her sights on leaving Glasgow to go to Nashville so she can become a country music star. Her new employer Susannah (Sophie Okonedo) recognizes her talent and sets out to help make her dreams come true.

Closing Film:

Shoplifters, Japan - Canadian Premiere
Hirokazu Kore-eda
A family in Japan survives by leading a life of crime and teaching their children how to shoplift. They meet a young street girl whom they welcome into their family, but soon learn she may not be as homeless as they once thought.