While the Toronto International Film Festival showcases, among its lineups, genre films, Canadian films, and features from notable underseen filmmakers and countries, the festival has also become a premier destination for high-profile features, features that often go on to become major contenders during the awards circuit that follows after a few months. These films are often found in the Gala and Special Presentations Programme, with the Gala Programme focusing on films that garner interest among the festival goers. Special Presentations, on the other hand, showcases key premieres.
Following the first wave lineup announcement, the festival has now announced additions to both Programmes. Pace Cabezas’ Mr. Right will be the closing night film for the 2015 Festival. The full list of additions, along with the official synopsis of each film, can be seen below.
- Disorder, directed by Alice Winocour, making its North American Premiere
In this masterfully engineered thriller, a young ex-soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder protects a beautiful woman and her child from a brutal home invasion.
- Man Down, directed by Dito Montiel, making its North American Premiere
In a savage post-apocalyptic America, U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer searches desperately for the whereabouts of his estranged son and wife. Accompanied by his best friend, a hard-nosed Marine whose natural instinct is to shoot first and ask questions later, the two intercept Charles, an apocalyptic survivor carrying vital information about the whereabouts of Gabriel’s family. By revisiting the past, audiences are guided in unravelling the puzzle of Gabriel’s experience, and what will eventually lead to the origin of this war-torn America.
- Miss You Already, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, making its World Premiere
This honest and powerful story follows two best friends, Milly and Jess, as they navigate life’s highs and lows. Inseparable since they were young girls, they can’t remember a time they didn’t share everything — secrets, clothes, even boyfriends — but nothing prepares them for the day Milly is hit with life-altering news. A story for every modern woman, this film celebrates the bond of true friendship that ultimately can never be broken, even in life’s toughest moments.
- Mississippi Grind, directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, making its Canadian Premiere
Gerry is a talented, but struggling poker player about to be swallowed up by his unshakeable gambling habit. But his luck begins to change after he meets the young, charismatic Curtis. Gerry convinces his new lucky charm to hit the road with him, towards a legendary high stakes poker game in New Orleans. The highs and lows unveil the duo’s true characters and motivations, and an undeniable bond forms between them.
- Mr. Right, directed by Paco Cabezas, making its World Premiere
Martha is unlucky in love, but when she finally meets her Mr. Right it seems like she’s found her match — even if he’s an international hitman on the run from the crime cartels who employ him. On the bright side, as long as Hopper or Shotgun Steve don’t kill them first, these two may actually have a chance at happily ever after.
- 45 Years, directed by Andrew Haigh, making its Canadian Premiere
While preparing for their 45th anniversary, Kate and Geoff’s marriage is shaken with a discovery that calls into question the life they’ve built together, in this emotional tour-de-force.
- About Ray, directed by Gaby Dellal, making its World Premiere
The touching story of three generations of a family living under one roof in New York as the life-changing transformation by one ultimately affects them all. Ray is a teenager who realizes that she isn’t meant to be a girl and decides to transition from female to male. His single mother, Maggie, must track down Ray’s biological father to get his legal consent to allow Ray’s transition. Dolly, Ray’s lesbian grandmother, struggles to accept that she now has a grandson. They must each confront their own identities and learn to embrace change and their strength as a family, in order to ultimately find acceptance and understanding.
- Angry Indian Goddesses, directed by Pan Nalin, making its World Premiere
A comic drama about a group of Indian women finding their hearts and losing their heads! A wild bunch of girls from all over India descend upon Goa. Their closest friend Frieda has invited them to her family home for a surprise announcement: she’s getting married. Thus begins an impromptu bachelorette.
- Being Charlie, directed by Rob Reiner, making its World Premiere
Being Charlie is based on a compilation of real-life experiences written by two friends who lived through being stuck in the cycle of rehab. Eighteen-year-old Charlie Mills is a sharp-mouthed addict fighting to get back home, while his father constantly stiff-arms him to limit the distractions during a big election for governor of California. Charlie’s parents are at odds about their son’s return to rehab. Following a feeble attempt at an intervention, he agrees to work the program at a new adult rehab facility where he meets a handful of misfit personalities; among them is Eva, a beautiful but troubled girl, and Travis, a supportive house manager. Charlie’s internal struggle with his addiction is confronted by the envy for his best friend and his separate addiction with Eva.
- Body, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska, making its North American Premiere
Set in Poland, this absurdist dark comedy follows the intertwined stories of a criminal prosecutor, his anorexic daughter, and her therapist who claims she can communicate with the dead.
- Equals, directed by Drake Doremus, making its North American Premiere
In a futuristic, utopian society known as the Collective — where inhabitants have been bred to be peaceful and emotionless — a man and a woman discover that they have feelings for one another. Together, they attempt to understand this connection.
- I Saw the Light, directed by Marc Abraham, making its World Premiere
This film tells the story of legendary country western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his meteoric rise to fame and its ultimately tragic effect on his health and personal life. Based on Colin Escott’s award-winning biography.
- London Fields, directed by Matthew Cullen, making its World Premiere
Set in 1999 London, this noir crime thriller based on Martin Amis’ novel of the same name features a star-studded cast, including Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Cara Delevigne, Theo James, Billy Bob Thorton and Jim Sturgess.
- ma ma, directed by Julio Medem, making its International Premiere
This is the story of Magda. Confronted with tragedy, she reacts with a surge of life that flows inside of her, from the imaginable to the unimaginable. Accompanied by her closest circle, she will live the most unexpected situations filled with humour and delicate happiness.
- The Meddler, directed by Lorene Scafaria, making its World Premiere
Marnie Minervini, recent widow and eternal optimist, moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be closer to her daughter. Armed with an iPhone and a full bank account, Marnie sets out to make friends, find her purpose, and possibly open up to someone new.
- Mr. Six, directed by Guan Hu, making its North American Premiere
With his son captured, Mr. Six and his old pals stand up to the new, younger generation of hooligans, defending their dignity as once respected gangsters in the neighbourhood.
- Mustang, directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, making its North American Premiere
It’s the beginning of the summer in a village in the north of Turkey; Lale and her four sisters come home from school, innocently playing with boys. The supposed debauchery of their games causes a scandal with unintended consequences. The family home slowly turns into a prison, classes on housework and cooking replace school, and marriages begin to be arranged. The five sisters, driven by the same desire for freedom, fight back against the limits imposed on them.
- My Mother, directed by Nanni Moretti, making its North American Premiere
Margherita is a director shooting a film with the famous American actor, Barry Huggins, who is quite a headache on set. Away from the shoot, Margherita tries to hold her life together, despite her mother’s illness and her daughter’s adolescence.
- Our Brand is Crisis, directed by David Gordon Green, making its World Premiere
A Bolivian presidential candidate enlists a management team led by damaged but brilliant strategist “Calamity” Jane Bodine, who seizes the chance to beat her professional nemesis Pat Candy, coaching the opposition. But as Pat zeroes in on every vulnerability, Jane faces a personal crisis as intense as the one her team exploits to boost their numbers, in this drama revealing the machinations of political consultants for whom nothing is sacred and winning is all that matters.
- A Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by Natalie Portman, making its North American Premiere
Based on Amos Oz’s international best-seller, this is the story of his youth at the end of the British Mandate in Palestine and the early years of the state of Israel. The film details young Amos’s relationship with his mother and his birth as a writer, looking at what happens when the stories we tell become the stories we live.
- A Tale of Three Cities, Mabel Cheung, making its International Premiere
Based on the miraculous true story of Jackie Chan’s parents, this film is about the unbreakable bond of love between an opiumpeddling widow and a former spy on the run. Together they witness love and humanity in the face of war, famine, and overwhelming danger.
- Truth, directed by James Vanderbilt, making its World Premiere
In the vein of All the President’s Men and The Insider, this is the incredible true story of Mary Mapes, an award-winning CBS News journalist, and Dan Rather’s producer. The film chronicles the story they uncovered of a sitting U.S. president that may have been AWOL from the United States National Guard for over a year during the Vietnam War. When the story blew up in their face, the ensuing scandal ruined Dan Rather’s career, nearly changed a U.S. presidential election, and almost took down all of CBS News in the process. Based on Mapes’s book Truth and Duty.
- The Wave, directed by Roar Uthaug, making its International Premiere
Experienced geologist Kristian Eikfjord accepts a job offer out of town. As he’s getting ready to move from the city of Geiranger with his family, he and his colleagues measure small geological changes in the underground. Kristian worries that his worst nightmare is about to come true, when the alarm goes off and disaster is inevitable. With less than 10 minutes to react, it becomes a race against time in order to save as many people as possible, including his own family.
- The Witch, directed by Robert Eggers, making its Canadian Premiere
A colonial family leaves plantation life and attempts to reap their harvest on a fledgling farm at the edge of an imposing ancient New England forest. Superstition and dread set in as food grows scarce, a family member goes missing, and the children’s play takes on a frenzied and menacing undercurrent. As they begin to turn on one another, the malevolent machinations of an ethereal presence from within the woods exacerbate the growing corruption of their own nature.
The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival will run from September 10th to the 20th.