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Toronto Film Festival Lineup: If Actors Can’t Promote Movies, Just Bring ‘Em to Canada as Directors!

Though Hollywood is in the midst of a debilitating double strike that prevents actors and writers from promoting their upcoming work, the Toronto Film Festival is pressing ahead, having announced its exciting 2023 lineup on Monday morning.

The festival seems to have found a convenient workaround the whole promotion issue, inviting actors such as Chris Pine (Poolman), Anna Kendrick (Woman of the Hour), Ethan Hawke (Wildcat), Michael Keaton (Knox Goes Away), Viggo Mortensen (The Dead Don’t Hurt), Tony Goldwyn (Ezra), and Kristin Scott Thomas (North Star) to present the new indie films that they actually directed.

Because the DGA struck a deal with the AMPTP, directors are still allowed to promote their movies, so while it will be up to each individual whether they decide to do so, I’d expect most of the folks above to attend, if only to draw further attention to the plight of their fellow actors.

Many studios are holding back their big fall movies and awards contenders, but there are still a few heading to TIFF, including Alexander Payne‘s collegiate comedy The Holdovers from Focus Features, Taika Waititi‘s soccer comedy Next Goal Wins from Searchlight Pictures, and Craig Gillespie‘s star-studded GameStop movie Dumb Money from Sony Pictures.

All of the major streamers are also well-represented, as Amazon is bringing Maggie Betts‘ drama The Burial starring Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones and Jamie Foxx, Apple is trotting out its delightful Sundance acquisition Flora and Son, and Netflix is showing up with a raft of titles including David YatesPain Hustlers starring Chris Evans and Emily Blunt; the well-reviewed Sundance pick-up Fair Play; the Annette Bening movie Nyad from Free Solo directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin; the biopic Rustin starring Colman Domingo in a buzzy performance; and the thriller Reptile starring Benicio Del Toro and Justin Timberlake, which I’ve heard good things about.

I’m also looking forward to the Cannes sensations Anatomy of a Fall and The Zone of Interest from Justine Triet and Jonathan Glazer, respectively, and I’m personally pumped for Richard Linklater‘s action-comedy Hitman starring Glen Powell. Other notables include the Kate Winslet drama Lee and the survival drama The End We Start From, which stars Jodie Comer, both of which are acquisition titles.

TIFF is slated to run Sept. 7-17, so there’s still hope that SAG-AFTRA will come to an agreement with the AMPTP before then. But either way, TIFF’s Cameron Bailey is confident in his festival’s lineup.

“This year’s Galas & Special Presentations showcase a rich tapestry of talent, vision, and storytelling. From thought-provoking narratives to breathtaking visuals and stories so unreal they have to be real, each work embodies the power of cinema to inspire, challenge, and move audiences. Get ready to experience an unforgettable celebration of film and a memorable and star-studded festival, showcasing the best of global cinema for film lovers in September,” Bailey said in a statement.

Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF has yet to announce its Midnight Madness title, but you can see the lineup as it currently stands below:

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

A Difficult Year
Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache | France
International Premiere

A Normal Family
Hur Jin-ho | South Korea
World Premiere

American Fiction
Cord Jefferson | USA
World Premiere

Anatomy of a Fall
Justine Triet | France
Canadian Premiere

Close to You
Dominic Savage | Canada/United Kingdom
World Premiere

Days of Happiness
Chloé Robichaud | Canada
World Premiere

El Rapto
Daniela Goggi | Argentina
North American Premiere

Ezra
Tony Goldwyn | USA
World Premiere

Fingernails
Christos Nikou | USA
International Premiere

Four Daughters
Kaouther Ben Hania | France/Tunisia/Germany/Saudi Arabia
North American Premiere

His Three Daughters
Azazel Jacobs | USA
World Premiere

Hitman
Richard Linklater | USA
North American Premiere

In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon
Alex Gibney | USA
World Premiere

Kidnapped
Marco Bellocchio | Italy/France/Germany
North American Premiere

Knox Goes Away
Michael Keaton | USA
World Premiere

La Chimera
Alice Rohrwacher | Italy/France/Switzerland
North American Premiere

Last Summer
Catherine Breillat | France
North American Premiere

Les Indésirables
Ladj Ly | France
World Premiere

Memory
Michel Franco | USA/Mexico
North American Premiere

Monster
Kore-eda Hirokazu | Japan
North American Premiere

Mother Couch
Niclas Larsson | USA
World Premiere

North Star
Kristin Scott Thomas | United Kingdom
World Premiere

One Life
James Hawes | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Pain Hustlers
David Yates | USA
World Premiere

Poolman
Chris Pine | USA
World Premiere

Reptile
Grant Singer | USA
World Premiere

Rustin
George C. Wolfe | USA
International Premiere

Seven Veils
Atom Egoyan | Canada
World Premiere

Shoshana
Michael Winterbottom | United Kingdom/Italy
World Premiere

Sing Sing
Greg Kwedar | USA
World Premiere

Smugglers
Ryoo Seung-wan | South Korea
North American Premiere

Swan Song
Chelsea McMullan | Canada
World Premiere

The Beast
Bertrand Bonello | France/Canada
North American Premiere

The Burial
Maggie Betts | USA
World Premiere

The Convert
Lee Tamahori | Australia/New Zealand
World Premiere

The Critic
Anand Tucker | United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Dead Don’t Hurt
Viggo Mortensen | Mexico/Canada/Denmark
World Premiere

The Holdovers
Alexander Payne | USA
International Premiere

The Peasants
DK Welchman, Hugh Welchman | Poland/Serbia/Lithuania
World Premiere

The Zone of Interest
Jonathan Glazer | United Kingdom/Poland/USA
Canadian Premiere

Together 99
Lukas Moodysson | Sweden/Denmark
World Premiere

Unicorns
Sally El Hosaini, James Krishna Floyd | United Kingdom/USA/Sweden
World Premiere

Uproar
Paul Middleditch, Hamish Bennett | New Zealand
World Premiere

Wicked Little Letters
Thea Sharrock | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Wildcat
Ethan Hawke | USA
International Premiere

Woman of the Hour
Anna Kendrick | USA
World Premiere

GALA PRESENTATIONS 2023

Concrete Utopia
Um Tae-Hwa | South Korea
North American Premiere

Dumb Money
Craig Gillespie | USA
World Premiere

Fair Play
Chloe Domont | USA
International Premiere

Flora and Son
John Carney | Ireland/USA
Canadian Premiere

Hate to Love: Nickelback
Leigh Brooks | Canada
World Premiere

Lee
Ellen Kuras | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Next Goal Wins
Taika Waititi | USA
World Premiere

NYAD
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin | USA
International Premiere

Punjab ’95
Honey Trehan | India
World Premiere

Solo
Sophie Dupuis | Canada
World Premiere

The End We Start From
Mahalia Belo | United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Movie Emperor
Ning Hao | China
World Premiere

The New Boy
Warwick Thornton | Australia
North American Premiere

The Royal Hotel
Kitty Green | Australia/United Kingdom
Canadian Premiere

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