Entertainment

Kevin Smith’s New Horror Movie “Tusk” Will Premiere At The Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF’s a big event for aspiring Oscar contenders. But there’s also a rockin’ midnight movie section.

Justin Long in Kevin Smith’s Tusk A24

The Toronto International Film Festival, which takes place every year in September, marks the start of Serious Movie Season. Most of the aspiring Oscar contenders will have their premieres there before they hit theaters, while seemingly every major star with a new film heads to Canada to promote their projects.

But it’s also home to rollicking midnight movie and genre sections that showcase some terrific horror, sci-fi, and otherwise out-there far from around the world. On July 29, the festival announced that Kevin Smith’s new film Tusk will be having its world premiere in the midnight section, while movies from Takashi Miike and Dave McKean will screening in the Vanguard sidebar.

The Midnight Madness, Vanguard, and Masters program announcements follow last week’s unveiling of opening night film The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, and the Gala and Special Screenings lineups. Among the highlights in those secionts are the directorial debuts of Chris Evans (Before We Go) and Jon Stewart (Rosewater); Shawn Levy’s highly anticipated dramedy This Is Where I Leave You, starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey; and the Broadway musical adaptation The Last Five Years, with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.

On the biopic front, there’s Edward Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice with Tobey Maguire playing chess legend Bobby Fischer, and The Imitation Game, in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays the brilliant mathematician Alan Turing. Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes finds Andrew Garfield going indie to play a desperate construction worker trying to get his home back, while The Drop features Tom Hardy starring alongside the late James Gandolfini in a crime drama. In Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a freelance cameraman who gets caught up in the ruthless world of TV news, while Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Julianne Moore star in Alzheimer’s saga Still Alice.

TIFF 2014 will run from Sept. 4 through Sept. 14. Updates to the lineup will be added here as they’re announced. (Last update: July 29 at 3 p.m.).

Note: All film descriptions were provided by the Toronto International Film Festival.

Galas

Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher. Scott Garfield/Fair Hill, LLC

Black and White
Mike Binder, USA, World Premiere
Black and White is the story of a widowed grandfather who is left to raise his biracial granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother seeks custody, a bitter legal battle ensues that forces the uneasy family members to have an honest conversation about life, death, anger, and America’s racial divide. Starring Academy Award winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, as well as Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland, and Jillian Estell.”

The Equalizer
Antoine Fuqua, USA, World Premiere
“In this big-screen adaptation of the cult ’80s TV show, McCall believes he has put his past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets Teri, a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by — he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to exact vengeance upon anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman, and Melissa Leo.”

Foxcatcher
Bennett Miller, USA, Canadian Premiere
“Based on true events, this film tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multimillionaire and two champion wrestlers. Starring Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Ruffalo, and Sienna Miller.”

Haemoo
Shim Sung-bo, South Korea, International Premiere
“The ragtag crew of a fishing boat takes on a dangerous commission to smuggle a group of illegal immigrants from China to Korea, in this tense high-seas adventure co-scripted by South Korean genre-movie guru Bong Joon-ho. Starring Kim Yoon-seok and Park Yoo- chun.”

The Judge (Opening Night Film)
David Dobkin, USA, World Premiere
“Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth, and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, and Billy Bob Thornton.”

A Little Chaos (Closing Night Film)
Alan Rickman, U.K., World Premiere
“A landscape gardener with a taste for the unconventional is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV, and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her. Starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Alan Rickman, and Matthias Schoenaerts.”

Maps to the Stars
David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, North American Premiere
“David Cronenberg forges both a wicked social satire and a very human ghost story from today’s celebrity-obsessed culture. Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson.”

The New Girlfriend (Une nouvelle amie)
François Ozon, France, World Premiere
“When her best friend Lea dies, Claire falls into a deep depression. However, after making a surprising discovery about her late friend’s husband, she’s given a new lease on life. Starring Romain Duris, Anaïs Demoustier, and Raphaël Personnaz.”

Pawn Sacrifice
Ed Zwick, USA, World Premiere
“In this remarkable true story set in the height of the Cold War, chess legend Bobby Fischer is locked in a gripping championship clash with the Soviets as he struggles against his own psychological demons while the whole world anxiously awaits the outcome. Starring Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard, and Liev Schreiber.”

Jason Bateman and Tina Fey in This Is Where I Leave You. Warner Bros.

The Riot Club
Lone Scherfig, U.K., World Premiere
“A privileged young man is inducted into the exclusive, debaucherous company of Oxford’s elite ‘Riot Club’ in this scathing dissection of the British class system. Based on the hit play Posh, the film stars Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Douglas Booth.”

Samba
Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, France, World Premiere
“Samba migrated to France 10 years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burnout. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives — Samba’s willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track — until fate draws them together. Balancing lighthearted moments with heavier emotion, Samba is a story about two strangers on a new path to happiness. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Sy, and Tamar Rahim.”

This Is Where I Leave You
Shawn Levy, USA, World Premiere
“Shawn Levy’s dramatic comedy follows four adult siblings who return home after their father’s death to spend a week with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes, and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and frayed relationships among those who know and love them best, they reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways. Starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, and Kathryn Hahn.”

Wild
Jean-Marc Vallée, USA, International Premiere
“After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction, and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. Wild powerfully reveals Cheryl’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, and Kevin Rankin.”

Special Presentations

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. Weinstein Company

99 Homes
Ramin Bahrani, USA
“After his family is evicted from their home, proud and desperate construction worker Dennis Nash tries to win his home back by striking a deal with the devil and working for Rick Carver, the corrupt real estate broker who evicted him. Starring Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern, and Michael Shannon.”

American Heist
Sarik Andreasyan, USA, World Premiere
“Two brothers with troubled pasts become embroiled in a high-stakes bank robbery in this indie action thriller. Starring Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster, and Akon.”

Before We Go
Chris Evans, USA, World Premiere
“Set in Manhattan, the story follows two strangers after their serendipitous meeting in Grand Central. Over the course of one night, they form an unlikely bond and the conflicts in their own lives become the basis for exploration into each other and themselves. Starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve.”

Breakup Buddies
Ning Hao, China, World Premiere
“Recently cuckolded and reeling from a messy divorce, a hapless former singer hits the road — and the bar — with his all-too-helpful best bud in this hilarious romantic comedy.”

Cake
Daniel Barnz, USA, World Premiere
Cake tells the story of the acerbic Claire Bennett, who has managed to alienate everyone from her life with the exception of her loyal housekeeper. When Claire becomes fascinated with the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group, she develops a poignant relationship with the woman’s grieving husband and comes to terms with her own personal tragedy, catapulting her forward into life. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, and Sam Worthington.”

Coming Home
Zhang Yimou, China, North American Premiere
“Lu Yanshi and Feng Wanyu are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return — until Lu determines to resurrect their past together and reawaken his wife’s memory. Starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li.”

The Dead Lands (Hautoa)
Toa Fraser, New Zealand/U.K., World Premiere
“Hongi, a Maori chieftain’s teenage son, must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains led by Wirepa, Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden ‘Dead Lands’ and forge an uneasy alliance with a mysterious warrior, a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years. Starring Xavier Horan, Raukura Turei, Rena Owen, James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, and Te Kohe Tuhaka.”

Dearest
Peter Ho-Sun Chan, China/Hong Kong, North American Premiere
“Drawing on remarkable true stories, Peter Chan delivers a moving drama about child abduction in China. Huang Bo stars as a father whose young son disappears in the streets of a big city. He sets out on a search across China, stopping at nothing to find him. In this star-studded cast, Zhao Wei plays the role of a mother from a poor rural area.”

The Drop
Michael R. Roskam, USA, World Premiere
The Drop follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv, Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past, where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living — no matter the cost. Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts, and John Ortiz.”

Eden
Mia Hansen-Løve, France, World Premiere
“In the ’90s, French electronic music is developing at a fast pace. Entering this exciting Parisian nightlife, Paul and his best friend form a DJ duo called Cheers. But just as they rapidly find their audience, they are caught up in a euphoric and short-lived rise to fame. Eden retraces the steps of the ‘French touch’ generation from 1992 to today — a generation that still enjoys outstanding international success thanks to DJs like Daft Punk, Dimitri from Paris and Cassius. Starring Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Vincent Macaigne, Greta Gerwig, Golshifteh Farahani, Laura Smet, and Vincent Lacoste.”

Far From Men (Loin des Hommes)
David Oelhoffen, France, North American Premiere
“Algeria, 1954: While the rebellion rumbles in the valley, two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas Mountains. In the midst of an icy winter, Daru, a reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder. Pursued by horsemen seeking summary justice and vengeful settlers, the two men decide to confront the unknown. Together, they fight to gain their freedom. Starring Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb.”

Force Majeure
Ruben Östlund, Sweden/Norway/Denmark/France, North American Premiere
“A Swedish family’s ski trip in the French Alps is cut short by news of an oncoming avalanche, during which an impulsive decision by the father Tomas drives a wedge between him and his wife, Ebba — he has run for his life, while she has stayed to protect her children. When the anticipated disaster fails to occur, reality and embarrassed relief return to the mountainside resort, but the family’s world has been shaken to its core. Force Majeure is an observational comedy about the role of the male in modern family life. Starring Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, and Fanni Metelius.”

The Gate
Régis Wargnier, France, World Premiere
“Two decades after forging an unlikely alliance in Pol Pot’s Cambodia, a French ethnologist and a former Khmer Rouge official meet again after the latter is arrested for crimes against humanity, in this drama from top French director Régis Wargnier.”

Good Kill
Andrew Niccol, USA, North American Premiere
“A Las Vegas-based fighter pilot turned drone pilot fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. But the pilot is starting to question the mission. Is he creating more terrorists than he’s killing? Is he fighting a war without end? This story follows one soldier’s tale with epic implications. Starring Ethan Hawke and January Jones.”

The Good Lie
Philippe Falardeau, USA, World Premiere
“Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon and an ensemble of young Sudanese actors — all of whom have direct personal ties to the war in their country — bring the inspiring and uplifting story of The Lost Boys of the Sudan to the screen in a film about heartbreak and hope, survival and triumph. Also starring Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel, Ger Duany, Emmauel Jal, and Femi Oguns.”

Hector and the Search for Happiness
Peter Chelsom, Germany/Canada, North American Premiere
“Hector is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. Deciding to break out of his deluded routine, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive formula for true happiness…and so begins his larger-than-life adventure with riotously funny results. Starring Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Simon Pegg, Stellan Skarsgård, and Jean Reno.”

The Humbling
Barry Levinson, USA, North American Premiere
The Humbling tells the story of a legendary stage actor who has an affair with a lesbian woman half his age at a secluded country house in Connecticut. Based on Philip Roth’s final novel, it is a tragic comedy about a man who has lived inside his own imagination for too long. Starring Al Pacino, Mandy Patinkin, Dianne Wiest, and Greta Gerwig.”

Hungry Hearts
Saverio Costanzo, Italy, International Premiere
“Mina and Jude meet while stuck together in the restroom of a restaurant, marking the beginning of a true love story. They move in together. They get married. They anticipate the arrival of their baby — until a spiritual guide tells Mina she is bearing an ‘indigo’ child. Starring Adam Driver, Alba Rohrwacher, and Roberta Maxwell.”

The Imitation Game
Morten Tyldum, U.K./USA, Canadian Premiere
“Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist, and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war but was prosecuted by the U.K. government in 1952 for homosexual acts that the country deemed illegal.”

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
Roger Allers, Gaëtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz,Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar and Michal Socha, Canada/France/Lebanon/Qatar/USA, World Premiere
“Inspired by the beloved classic, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet is a richly animated story and celebration of Gibran’s book, created by artists, animators and musicians from around the world. Starring Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek-Pinault, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, John Rhys-Davies, and Quvenzhané Wallis.”

The Keeping Room
Daniel Barber, USA, World Premiere
“Left without men in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women — two sisters and one African-American slave — must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army. Starring Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Sam Worthington, Muna Otaru, and Kyle Soller.”

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler Open Road Films

The Last Five Years
Richard LaGravenese, USA, World Premiere
“In this adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, The Last Five Years is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five-year period. Jamie, a young, talented, up-and-coming Jewish novelist, falls in love with Cathy, a shiksa goddess and struggling actress. The film, told almost entirely through song and a beautiful pop music score, portrays an honest, heartbreaking, often funny, exploration of love and its consequences on individual identity. Starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.”

Learning to Drive
Isabel Coixet, USA, World Premiere
“As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other’s company, they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel. Starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley.”

Love & Mercy
Bill Pohlad, USA, World Premiere
“Focusing on Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter, and leader of The Beach Boys, Love & Mercy paints an unconventional portrait of the artist by interweaving seminal moments in his life, from his artistic genius to his profound struggles, and the love that keeps him alive. Starring Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack, and Paul Giamatti.”

Manglehorn
David Gordon Green, USA, North American Premiere
“Angelo Manglehorn is a small-town locksmith who never got over the love of his life. Clara was a beautiful, idealized woman who left him heartbroken 40 years ago. He still writes her letters obsessively as he tries to find her and get back the woman of his dreams. Manglehorn is the journey of this magical man, his son, his cat, and a beautiful new woman trying to help him put the pieces of his heart back together. Starring Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, and Chris Messina.”

Mary Kom
Omung Kumar, India, World Premiere
“Glamorous Indian star Priyanka Chopra completely transforms herself to play Mary Kom, world champion in women’s boxing. From traditional village life in remote Manipur state to high-stakes bouts in India and around the world, this is a remarkable story of triumph.”

Men, Women and Children
Jason Reitman, USA, World Premiere
Men, Women and Children follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. Starring Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler, and Judy Greer.”

Miss Julie
Liv Ullmann, Norway/U.K./Ireland, World Premiere
“Set in a country estate in Ireland in the 1880s, over the course of one midsummer night, Miss Julie explores the brutal, charged power struggle between a young aristocratic woman and her father’s valet. Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton.”

Mr. Turner
Mike Leigh, U.K., Canadian Premiere
“This biopic explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, until his death. Throughout his life, the popular — if anarchic — member of the Royal Academy of Arts travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. Starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Joshua McGuire, Ruth Sheen, David Horovitch, and Karl Johnson.”

My Old Lady
Israel Horovitz, USA, World Premiere
“A down-and-out New Yorker inherits an apartment in Paris from his estranged father and is stunned to find a refined old lady living there with her protective daughter. Starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kristin Scott Thomas.”

Ned Rifle
Hal Hartley, USA, World Premiere
Ned Rifle is the third and final chapter of Hal Hartley’s tragicomic epic begun with Henry Fool (1997) and continued with Fay Grim (2007). At once a saga concerning the Grim family of Queens and how their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of the self-proclaimed genius Henry Fool, the trilogy is also an illustration of America’s grappling with ideas, art, politics, and religion over the course of 20 years. In this swiftly paced and expansive conclusion, Henry and Fay’s son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy, and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family.”

Nightcrawler
Dan Gilroy, USA, World Premiere
“Lou Bloom, a driven young man, discovers the nocturnal world of L.A. crime journalism. Joining a group of freelance camera crews who film marketable mayhem, Lou makes his own place at the table, aided by Nina, a veteran of the blood sport that is local TV news. Blurring the line between observer and perpetrator, Lou finds his calling in a murderous world reduced to transactions. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton.”

Pasolini
Abel Ferrara, France/Italy/Belgium, North American Premiere
“Rome: On the night of Nov. 2, 1975, the great Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini is murdered. Pasolini is the symbol of an art that’s fighting against the power. His writings are scandalous, and his films are persecuted by the censors; many people love him and many hate him. The day of his death, Pasolini spends his last hours with his beloved mother and later with his dearest friends, until he finally goes out into the night in his Alfa Romeo in search of adventure in the eternal city. At dawn Pasolini is found dead on a beach in Ostia on the outskirts of the city. In a film dreamlike and visionary, blending reality and imagination, it reconstructs the last day in the life of this great poet. Starring Willem Dafoe.”

Phoenix
Christian Petzold, Germany, World Premiere
“Nelly Lenz is a concentration camp survivor who has been left with a disfigured face. Following facial reconstruction surgery, Nelly begins the search for her husband Johnny. When she finally does find him, he does not recognize her. Nevertheless he approaches her with a proposal: Since she resembles his wife, whom he believes to be dead, he asks her to help him claim his wife’s considerable inheritance. Nelly agrees, and becomes her own doppelgänger — she needs to know if Johnny ever loved her, or if he betrayed her. Starring Nina Hoss.”

The Reach
Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, USA, World Premiere
“Ben, a young man who works as a hunting guide, gets a job of a lifetime when he is hired by Madec, a wealthy businessman from Los Angeles, to hunt a bighorn sheep. Their excursion in the Southwestern desert quickly goes from bad to worse when overly eager Madec gets trigger happy, accidentally killing an old prospector. He attempts to bribe Ben for his secrecy, but Ben staunchly refuses. Outraged, Madec turns on Ben, determined to eliminate the only witness to his crime. Trapped in a sadistic cat-and-mouse game, Ben has to rely on his basic survival skills to make it out alive. Starring Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, Hannah Mangan Lawrence, and Ronny Cox.”

Red Amnesia (Chuangru Zhe)
Wang Xiaoshuai, China, North American Premiere
“A retired widow has her daily routine derailed when she starts receiving mysterious, anonymous phone calls in this scintillating thriller from Chinese ‘Sixth Generation’ master Wang Xiaoshuai. Starring Lü Zhong, Shi Liu, Feng Yuanzheng, Qin Hao, and Amanda Qin.”

Return to Ithaca
Laurent Cantet, France, North American Premiere
“A terrace overlooking Havana. Five friends gather to celebrate the return of Amadeo after 16 years of exile. From dusk to dawn, they reminisce about their youth, the group they used to form, the faith they had in the future — also their disillusionment.”

Rosewater
Jon Stewart, USA, Canadian Premiere
The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with the true story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari (played by Gael García Bernal), whose appearance on Stewart’s show in 2009 precipitated his five-month imprisonment by the Iranian government.”

A Second Chance (En chance til)
Susanne Bier, Denmark, World Premiere
“How far are decent human beings willing to go when tragedy blurs the line between just and unjust? Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen have crafted a startling yet moving drama about how easily we lose our grasp on justice when confronted with the unthinkable, and life as we know it hangs by a thread. Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Lykke May Andersen.”

Still Alice
Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, USA, World Premiere
“Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested. Alice’s struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Starring Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Julianne Moore.”

The Theory of Everything
James Marsh, U.K./USA, World Premiere
“The extraordinary true story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Hawking receives an earth-shattering diagnosis at age 21. Together, Stephen and Jane defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science. Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, and Emily Watson.”

Time Out of Mind
Oren Moverman, USA, World Premiere
“George, a man on the decline, enters the New York City homeless shelter system when he runs out of options. George struggles to navigate his way through this new world with the help of Dixon, a shelter veteran, while trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter Maggie. Starring Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vasquez, Coleman Domingo, Geraldine Hughes, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Steve Buscemi.”

Top Five
Chris Rock, USA, World Premiere
“Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, Top Five tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind. Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che. And featuring music by Questlove.”

While We’re Young
Noah Baumbach, USA, World Premiere
“Noah Baumbach’s exploration of aging, ambition, and success stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple whose career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. Also starring Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver, Charles Grodin, Maria Dizzia, and Adam Horovitz.”

Whiplash
Damien Chazelle, USA, Canadian Premiere
“Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite East Coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability — and his sanity. Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Max Kasch, and Damon Gupton.”

Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes)
Damian Szifron, Argentina/Spain, Canadian Premiere
“More than living up to its title, director Damián Szifron’s compendium of outrageous, hilarious, and truly bizarre anecdotes offers a subversive, blackly comic portrait of contemporary Argentina. Starring Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Dario Grandinetti.”

Midnight Madness

Dan Stevens in The Guest Picturehouse

[REC] 4: Apocalypse
Jaume Balagueró, Spain, World Premiere
“Angela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, sole survivor and witness to the horrific events inside the building. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying a virus? Distrust spreads through the isolated facility while new, even more deadly forms of evil spread even faster.”

Big Game
Jalmari Heleander, Finland/U.K./Germany, World Premiere
“The fate of the most powerful man in the world lies in the hands of a 13-year-old boy. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Oskari and the president must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives.”

Cub
Jonas Govaerts, Belgium World Premiere
“Young, imaginative 12-year-old Sam heads off to camp with his Cub Scouts pack. In the woods, he stumbles upon a strange tree house and a masked, feral child. When his leaders ignore his warnings about the mysterious boy, Sam starts to feel increasingly isolated from the pack, and convinced a terrible fate awaits them all.”

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
Mark Hartley, Australia, International Premiere
“Director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed!) continues his delightful documentary disinterment of down-market movie detritus with this chronicle of the rise and fall of 1980s action-exploitation juggernaut Cannon Films, whose contributions to the cinematic canon include American Ninja, The Delta Force, Death Wish II, and Masters of the Universe.”

The Guest
Adam Wingard, USA, Canadian Premiere
“The follow-up to Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s wildly popular You’re Next, The Guest tells the story of a mysterious and devastatingly charming visitor, David (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey) who arrives on the doorstep of a bereaved family claiming to be the best friend of their dead son, a young soldier who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives,
but when people start mysteriously dying in town, their teenage daughter Anna (Maika Monroe of It Follows) starts wondering if David is responsible.”

It Follows
David Robert Mitchell, USA, North American Premiere
“For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys, and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind. With a riveting central performance from Monroe and a strikingly ominous electronic score by Disasterpeace, It Follows is an artful psychosexual thriller from David Robert Mitchell (whose The Myth of the American Sleepover premiered at Critics’ Week in 2010). The film also stars Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.”

Tokyo Tribe (Midnight Madness Opening Night Film)
Sion Sono, Japan, International Premiere
“Set in an alternate Tokyo of the near future, director Sion Sono continues his run of sensational films with the explosive street gang tale Tokyo Tribe. Tokyo Tribe is the first live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga series Tokyo Tribe 2, by Santa Inoue, which has sold two million copies and has been published in Asia and the west to great popularity.”

Tusk
Kevin Smith, USA, World Premiere
“Wallace (Justin Long) is a podcaster on a mission who thinks he has found the story of a lifetime in Howard Howe (Michael Parks), an adventurer with amazing stories and a curious penchant for walruses. When Mr. Howe’s true desires unfold, things take a dark turn and Wallace faces a terrifying transformation at the hands of his captor. As his friends Alison and Teddy (Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment) search the backwoods of Canada to rescue him, they discover a nightmare from which there is no escape. Conceived from one of indie legend Kevin Smith’s own Smodcast’s, Tusk is an unprecedented tale that is equal parts hilarious and horrifying.”

What We Do in the Shadows
Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, New Zealand/USA, Canadian Premiere
“Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi), and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) are three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles — like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection, modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.”

Vanguard

Over Your Dead Body Toei Company

Alleluia
“Fabrice Du Welz, France/Belgium, North American Premiere When Gloria and Michel meet on a dating site, nothing suggests the destructive and murderous passion that will be born of their crazy love. Alleluia is inspired by a 1947 article about nurse Martha Beck and swindler Raymond Fernandez, who became involved in a deadly, tragic affair.”

The Duke of Burgundy
Peter Strickland, U.K., World Premiere
“Peter Strickland’s eagerly anticipated follow up to Berberian Sound Studio and Katalin Varga is a gorgeously dark melodrama following two women who test the limits of their unsettlingly intense relationship. Starring Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen) and Chiara d’Anna.”

Goodnight Mommy (Ich seh, Ich seh)
Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Austria, North American Premiere
“In the heat of the summer in an isolated house in the countryside between woods and corn fields, 10-year-old twins wait for their mother. When she returns with her head wrapped in bandages after surgery, nothing is as it was before. Stern and distant now, she shuts the family off from the outside world. Starting to doubt that this woman is actually their mother, the boys are determined to find the truth by any means.”

Hyena
Gerard Johnson, U.K., International Premiere
“Michael Logan is an anti-hero for our times: a natural predator, a high-functioning addict, and corrupt police officer. But his dark world is evolving: a recent influx of ruthless Albanian gangsters is threatening to change London’s criminal landscape. Michael’s razor sharp instincts have always kept him one step ahead, but now his increasingly self-destructive behavior and the sheer brutality of the new gang lords send Michael spiraling into a descent of fear and self-doubt.”

Luna
Dave McKean, U.K., World Premiere
“Renowned artist and filmmaker Dave McKean (MirrorMask) brings his distinctive blend of live action and gorgeously wrought animation to this dreamlike reverie about four people — Grant, Christine, Dean and Freya — whose long weekend in an isolated house by the sea brings up old resentments and the life of a dead child is revisited in a series of strange dreams.”

Over Your Dead Body
Takashi Miike, Japan, International Premiere
“A star, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) plays Oiwa, the protagonist in a new play based on the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. She pulls some strings to get her lover, Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizo Ichikawa) cast in the play, even though he’s a relatively unknown actor. Other performers Rio Asahina (Miho Nakanishi) and Jun Suzuki (Hideaki Ito) lust after Miyuki. Off stage the cast’s possessive love and obsessions exist as reality. Trapped between the play and reality, the cast’s feelings for each other are amplified. When it becomes clear that love is not meant to be both on and off stage, love turns into a grudge and crosses the blurred line between reality and fantasy.”

Shrew’s Nest (Musarañas)
Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel, Spain, World Premiere
“Spain, 1950s. Monste’s agoraphobia keeps her locked in a sinister apartment in Madrid and her only link to reality is the little sister she sacrificed her youth to raise. But one day, a reckless young neighbour, Carlos, falls down the stairwell and drags himself to their door. Someone has entered the shrew’s nest… and perhaps he’ll never leave.”

Spring
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, USA, World Premiere
“A young man in a personal tailspin flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a girl harboring a dark, primordial secret in this edgy, romantic drama with a supernatural twist.”

They Have Escaped
JP Valkeapää, Finland, North American Premiere
“A boy and a girl meet at a custody center for youth with difficulties. The boy has come to serve his obligatory civil service. The girl is one of the youths in custody, and she is constantly in trouble, with a fire inside her and a lust for life that can’t be quashed or controlled. The boy becomes infatuated with the girl. He is a quiet one; a stutterer. But there is a fire inside him as well. Rules, laws, punishment; the shackles of the hostile environment with no understanding around them can be broken. They steal a car and flee together. Thus begins a journey with endless escapes.”

Waste Land
Pieter Van Hees, Belgium, World Premiere
“Leo Woeste is a homicide investigator living with his girlfriend Kathleen and her five-year-old son, Jack. Kathleen gets pregnant unexpectedly just as Leo must solve his most bizarre case to date: the ritual murder of a young Congolese man, which may or may not involve Leo’s hedonistic new colleague, Johnny Rimbaud. As the case’s complexity mounts by the minute, Leo is pulled away from Kathleen and his role as a father, and heads deeper and deeper into the Waste Land.”

The World of Kanako (Kawaki)
Tetsuya Nakashima, Japan, International Premiere
“When beautiful straight-A high school student Kanako goes missing, her mother asks ex-husband Akikazu — a drifting, irresponsible former cop — to find their daughter. He embarks on a desperate search in the hope of reuniting his family by any means necessary. But as his investigation progresses, Akikazu starts to discover the darkness that lies behind his daughter’s impeccable facade. Clue by clue, revelation by revelation, he starts his descent into the hellish underworld of Kanako’s secret life…”

Masters

The Face Of An Angel BBC Films

1001 Grams
Bent Hamer, Norway/Germany/France, World Premiere
“When Norwegian scientist Marie attends a seminar in Paris on the actual weight of a kilo, it is her own measurement of disappointment, grief and love that ends up on the scale. Starring Ane Dahl Torp, Laurent Stocker. and Stein Winge.”

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron)
Roy Andersson, Sweden/Norway/France/Germany, North American Premiere
“Like a modern-day Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sam and Jonathan, two traveling salesmen peddling novelty items, take audiences on a kaleidoscopic journey through human destinies. This is a trip that shows us the beauty of single moments, the pettiness of others, the humor and tragedy that is in us, and the frailty of humanity.”

The Face of an Angel
Michael Winterbottom, U.K., World Premiere
“Why are we fascinated by murder? Inspired by the killing of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy, this film looks beyond the salacious headlines to explore both the media and the public’s obsession with violent stories, whether fictional or real. Starring Daniel Brühl, Kate Beckinsale, Valerio Mastandrea, and Cara Delevingne.”

The Golden Era (Huang jin shi dai)
Ann Hui, China/Hong Kong, North American Premiere
“Xiao Hong, one of the most famous female writers, lived through the most turbulent times in contemporary China. Her estrangement from her father sparked a long quest for an emotionally satisfying life. She was rescued from poverty by writer Xiao Jun, but their competitive relationship brought her more heartache than joy. While escaping the Japanese invasion, she married novelist Duanmu Hongliang and fled to Hong Kong. Starring Tang Wei, and Feng Shao Feng.”

Goodbye to Language 3D (Adieu au langage 3D)
Jean-Luc Godard, France, North American Premiere
“The idea is simple: A married woman and a single man meet. They love, they argue, fists fly. A dog strays between town and country. The seasons pass. The man and woman meet again. The dog finds itself between them. The other is in one, the one is in the other and they are three. The former husband shatters everything. A second film begins: the same as the first, and yet not. From the human race we pass to metaphor. This ends in barking and a baby’s cries. In the meantime, we will have seen people talking of the demise of the dollar, of truth in mathematics and of the death of a robin.”

Hill of Freedom (Ja-yu-ui eon-deok)
Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, North American Premiere
“South Korean master Hong Sang-soo crafts yet another delightful, soju-saturated tale of love thwarted in this story of a heartsick Japanese man who travels to Seoul to attempt a reunion with the woman he still pines for. Starring Ryo Kase, Sori Moon, Younghwa Seo, and Euisung Kim.”

Leviathan
Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia, Canadian Premiere
“Kolia lives in a small fishing town near the Barents Sea. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya (Elena Liadova) and his son Roma (Sergueï Pokhodaev) from a previous marriage. The town’s corrupt mayor Vadim Shelevyat is determined to take away his business, his house, as well as his land. First the mayor tries buying off Kolia, but Kolia unflinchingly fights as hard as he can so as not to lose everything he owns. Facing resistance, the mayor starts being more aggressive. Starring Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovitchenkov, Roman Madyanov, and Anna Ukolova.”

Revivre (Hwajang)
Im Kwon-taek, South Korea, North American Premiere
“A middle-aged man who has recently lost his wife to cancer indulges in fantasies about a young woman at his work in the new film from Korean master Im Kwon-taek (Chunhyang). Starring Ahn Sung-ki, Kim Qyu-ri, and Kim Ho-jung.”

Timbuktu
Abderrahmane Sissako, France/Mauritania/Mali, North American Premiere
“Luminous, lyrical, and poetic, set during the early days of the 2012 fundamentalist takeover of northern Mali and inspired by real people and real events, Timbuktu is a searing drama about the everyday woes and resistance of ordinary people in a city overrun by extremist foreign fighters. Starring Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino, Toulou Kiki, and Abel Jafri.”

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