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Natalie Portman’s ‘Lucy in the Sky,’ Amazon’s ‘The Aeronauts,’ added to TIFF 2019 Lineup

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival has unveiled another slew of films that will be showcased at the event this year.


Gala and Special Presentations

TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente today announced the second set of selections in the Gala and Special Presentations programmes screening this September.

Toronto will give Amazon Studios’ adventure feature The Aeronauts, which reunites Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, a Canadian premiere prior to its debut in a select number of theaters on Dec. 6 and premieres two weeks later on Amazon Prime.

“We’re thrilled to announce this second wave of Galas and Special Presentations, which I believe are some of the most compelling in the lineup,” said Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “Audiences will be delighted by the artistry present in this year’s splashiest sections.”

The festival is also giving a gala spot to the North American premiere of Giuseppe Capotondi’s neo-noir thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy, which stars Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Donald Sutherland and Mick Jagger. The film will close the Venice festival in an out-of-competition slot.

“Our TIFF programmers have given us a lot to look forward to this year,” said Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “These final films add even more emotional resonance and gravitas to this year’s already stellar lineup.”

In the special presentations sidebar, TIFF officials have booked Noah Hawley’s Lucy in the Sky, starring Natalie Portman as an astronaut returning from space; Kenny Leon’s American Son for Netflix, which stars Kerry Washington; Marc Myers’ Human Capital, an English-language remake of Paolo Virzì’s Italian film of the same name; and Max Winkler’s Junglelandan underground fighting drama, which stars Charlie Hunnam and Jack O’Connell.

Additionally, the festival has also booked Jason Lei Howden’s Guns Akimbo; Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson’s sci-fi drama Synchronic, starring Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie; Gregor Jordan’s Australian love story Dirt Music; and Geeta Mohandas’ The Elder One.

Also locked down is North American debuts for Benedict Andrews’ Jean Seberg thriller Seberg, which stars Kristen Stewart; Olivier Assayas’ Wasp Networkwith Penelope Cruz; Matthew Carnahan’s based-on-a-true-story Iraqi war tale and Mosul, produced by Joe and Anthony Russo; Justine Triet’s Sibyl; and Palme d’Or-winning director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Truth, which will open Venice and stars Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke.

Finally, international premieres for Trey Edward Shults’ musical drama Waves, headlined by Lucas Hedges and Taylor Russell, Dan Friedkin’s Lyrebird, and Quentin Dupieux’s Deerskin are also booked for the event.


TIFF Masters Lineup

TIFF also announced the 11 films that will comprise the 2019 Masters programme. Featuring films set in Asia, Europe, North America, and Central America, the Masters lineup has titles that cross all genres. The slate will bring two World Premieres to Toronto.

Arturo Ripstein’s 29th feature, Devil Between The Legs will hold its world premiere. TIFF will play host to North American bows for Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You and two titles that bowed in CannesTerrence Malick’s A Hidden Life and Marco Bellocchio’s political drama The Traitor. 

“One of the most exciting things about leading the vision for this programme so far has been the opportunity to explore what defines a Master and the role that these directors play in pushing the future of cinema forward,” said Deane. “I made it a priority to bring filmmakers into the fold that haven’t previously screened in this programme so their films can play alongside some of the more established names. By looking at the films in the programme, it’s apparent that mastering the form is only the jumping-off point for unique and powerful storytelling, and I am looking forward to the discussions that will emerge among Toronto audiences about what makes a master.”

American-Canadian Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin will premiere her latest documentary, Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger; Angela Schanelec’s I Was at Home, But… chronicles the aftermath of a 13-year-old student’s disappearance; Zombi Child, from France’s Bertrand Bonello, spans 55 years, jumping between 1962 Haiti and present-day Paris and dealing with the repercussions of colonialism; The Whistlers, from Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu; and Elia Suleiman stars in his latest film, It Must Be Heaven, a dark comedy centred on a man who leaves Palestine.


Contemporary World Cinema

For the contemporary world cinema program rich slate of titles from 48 countries features a wide range of thought-provoking stories that delve into cultural issues and social struggles in poetic and captivating ways.

“Contemporary World Cinema is a place where different cultures meet,” said Kiva Reardon, International Programmer and new Lead Programmer for the section. “The vision for the programme is to help expand the cinematic canon and push the definition of what has previously been deemed as fundamental. This is a selection of essential, urgent cinema. It has been a pleasure to work with my fellow programmers in this new role to offer bold stories and invigorating films that ask our audiences to reflect on their position in the world.”

The program will open with Atiq Rahimi’s Rwandan genocide drama Our Lady of the Nile, and also includes Mati Diop’s Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story, the Cannes Grand Prix winner; Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms, Berlin’s Golden Bear winner; and the Cannes Jury Prize winners, Ladj Ly’s Les Miserables, and Bacurau, by directors Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles.

“Contemporary World Cinema is the heartbeat of the Festival,” said Cameron Bailey, TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head. “This is where audiences feel the pulse of what’s happening now all around the world in screen storytelling. It takes a strong curatorial vision to shape that vast variety of films. I’m glad we have Kiva Reardon on the job as CWC Lead Programmer.”

Also on the docket is the Canadian premiere for Minhal Baig’s coming-of-age tale Hala, produced by Jada Pinkett Smith; world premieres for Pat Collins’ Henry Glassie: Field Work; Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu; Rubaiyat Hossain’s Made in Bangladesh; Yaron Zilberman’s Incitement; Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens’ The Barefoot Emperor; Zaida Bergroth’s Maria’s Paradise; and Karl Markovics’ Nobadi.

Gael García Bernal (Coco) will bring his directorial feature, Chicuarotes, to TIFF 2019 for a North American premiere, along with Edward Burns’ Beneath the Blue Suburban Skies, and Koji Fukada’s A Girl Missing.


TIFF Wavelengths

The TIFF Wavelengths program will feature international shorts and features by established and emerging talents. With a total of 37 titles, this year’s selection is a testament to political fortitude and artistic experimentation, seen across a captivating mix of genres and perspectives.

“As we approach the 20th anniversary of Wavelengths, one can discern an important shift in formal language and experimentation, and an even wider range of artistic expression, which reflects — in some cases seriously, and others surprisingly playfully — a refusal to be contained, confined, or even labelled,” said Andréa Picard. “As the world runs further amok, it is comforting and inspiring to see filmmakers and artists continue to make work that is personal, committed, generous, aesthetically alert, and rigorous. The films in this year’s programme perfectly exemplify the essential role art plays in resistance and resilience, but also in our capacity for imagination.”

Among those making their debuts are Albert Serra’s Liberte; Pedro Costa’s Vitalina Varela; Sergei Loznitsa’s State Funeral; The Fever from Maya Da-Rin; Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers’ Krabi, 2562; Marwa Arsanios’s Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Part 2; and Hassen Ferhani’s understated documentary 143 Sahara Street.

TIFF 2019 runs from Sept. 5 to 15,

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