TIFF 2019 Unveils its Lineup; Joker, Ford v Ferrari, Knives Out and More

TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente today announced the first round of titles selected for the Gala and Special Presentations programmes at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. This first batch of films from the 2019 Official Selection features 18 Galas and 38 Special Presentations.

This year’s edition of film festival will premiere much-anticipated titles like  ‘Joker’ featuring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, Adam Sandler-starring ‘Uncut Gems’, and ‘Star Wars’ followup ‘Knives Out.’

TIFF is often viewed as the launching pad for Oscar hopefuls, and this year it is going to be no different. First among Oscar-calibre films is ‘Ford v. Ferrari,’ a drama about a team of designers driven to develop a new racing car that stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale. Director of 2015 film ‘Brooklyn’, John Crowley will aim for the top prize again with ‘The Goldfinch,’ the big-screen version of Donna Tartt’s best-selling novel.

Other films in awards contention include, ‘Blackbird,’ a family drama with Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon; ‘Hustlers’ with Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, and Cardi B. as strippers out for revenge; ‘Judy’ starring Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland; ‘Harriett,’ Kasi Lemmons’ look at the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman; ‘Just Mercy,’ a court room drama with Michael B. Jordan; and ‘The Two Popes,’ a look at the relationship between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis that features Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce as the church leaders.

Looking for Best Foreign Film glory will be two international titles from two well-known directors: ‘Parasite,’ Bong Joon-ho’s twisty thriller about an impoverished family growing obsessed with their rich employers and Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Pain and Glory,’ a deeply personal reflection on filmmaking.

“Some of the year’s biggest films will land in Toronto this September,” said Bailey, Co-Head and Artistic Director of TIFF. “We’re thrilled to unveil Galas and Special Presentations that bring the brightest lights in film to our Festival audience. Our new programming team has been hard at work for months to deliver the compelling stories, acclaimed filmmakers, and top onscreen talent that mark our two highest-profile sections.”

“I’m delighted to step into my first Festival as TIFF Co-Head to such a powerful slate of films,” said Vicente, Co-Head and Executive Director of TIFF. “Fast-paced, boundary-pushing, satirical — this lineup has films representing every corner of the cinematic landscape on top of a strong number of World Premieres. It’s a pleasure to be able to share these films with audiences for the first time.”

Of the Gala films announced today, 50% of titles are directed or co-directed by women — a record number for the programme. This year’s selection also includes 29 World Premieres, six International Premieres, 13 North American Premieres, and eight Canadian Premieres. Here’s the full list of titles selected.


O​pening Night Film​​ (previously announced)​: “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” Daniel Roher
Closing Night Film: “Radioactive,” Marjane Satrapi
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,”​Marielle Heller
“Abominable,” J​ill Culton
“American Woman,” Semi Chellas
“Blackbird,” Roger Michell
“Ford v Ferrari,” J​ames Mangold
“Harriet,”  K​asi Lemmons
“Hustlers,” ​Lorene Scafaria
“Joker,” Todd Phillips
“Just Mercy,” Destin Daniel Cretton
“Ordinary Love,” Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn
“The Goldfinch,” J​ohn Crowley
“The Sky Is Pink​,” ​Shonali Bose
“The Song of Names,” François Girard
“True History of the Kelly Gang,” J​ustin Kurzel
“Western Stars,” Thom Zimny and Bruce Springsteen
“Clemency,” Chinonye Chukwu

Special Presentations

“A Herdade,” T​iago Guedes
“Bad Education,” C​ory Finley
“Coming Home​ A​gain,” Wayne Wang
“Dolemite Is My Name,” Craig Brewer
“Ema,” ​Pablo Larraín
“Endings, Beginnings,” ​Drake Doremus
“Frankie,” Ira Sachs
“Greed,” M​ichael Winterbottom
“Guest of Honour,” A​tom Egoyan
“Heroic Losers​​ (​La odisea de los giles),” Sebastian Borensztein
“Honey Boy,” A​lma Har’el
“Hope Gap,” William Nicholson

“How to Build a Girl​,” Coky Giedroyc
“I Am Woman,” U​njoo Moon
“Jojo Rabbit,” T​aika Waititi
“Judy,” Rupert Goold
“Knives Out,” ​Rian Johnson
“La Belle Époque,”N​icolas Bedos
“Marriage Story,” ​Noah Baumbach
“Military Wives,” P​eter Cattaneo
“Motherless Brooklyn,” ​Edward Norton
“No. 7 Cherry Lane,” ​Yonfan
“Pain and Glory,” P​edro Almodóvar
“Parasite​ (G​isaengchung),” ​​​Bong Joon-ho
“Pelican Blood (​P​elikanblut​)​,” ​Katrin Gebbe
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire​ (P​ortrait de la jeune fille en feu)​​,” C​éline Sciamma

“Saturday Fiction (​L​an Xin Da Ju Yuan​)​,” ​Lou Ye
“The Friend,” ​Gabriela Cowperthwaite
“The Laundromat,” S​teven Soderbergh
“The Lighthouse,” R​obert Eggers
“The Other Lamb,” M​algorzata Szumowska
“The Painted Bird,” V​áclav Marhoul
“The Personal History of David Copperfield,” ​Armando Iannucci
“The Report,” Scott Z. Burns
“The Two Popes,” Fernando Meirelles
“Uncut Gems​,” Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie
“Weathering With You,” M​akoto Shinkai
“While at War (​M​ientras Dure La Guerra​)​,” A​lejandro Amenábar

The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 – 15 in Toronto, Canada.

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