Kate Winslet as war photographer Lee Miller, Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn in a taxi cab, and Ewan McGregor in the story of estranged siblings trying to coax their mother out of a furniture store sofa are just some of the storylines of acquisition titles screening at 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
This year’s selection boasts a number of feature directorial debuts from Anna Kendrick, Kristin Scott Thomas, Chris Pine, and Finn Wolfhard, as well as sophomore outings by Michael Keaton and Viggo Mortensen.
The first public screenings in Toronto and P&I screenings are listed for each film in Eastern Time. The The TIFF runs September 7-17.
Dir. Ellen Kuras
Kate Winslet stars in the true story about American model-turned war photographer Lee Miller, one of the first to enter the Nazi concentration camps after the Allied Liberation. Alexander Skarsgard and Andy Samberg also star.
Screenings: WP Sept. 9, 6pm, Roy Thomson Hall; P&I Sept. 10, 8:45am, TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Sales: US – CAA Media Finance, UTA Independent Film Group; international – Rocket Science
The Critic (UK)
Dir. Anand Tucker
Tucker (Leap Year, Shopgirl) directs from a screenplay by British playwright Patrick Marber based on the novel Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn. The Ian McKellen, Gemma Arterton, Mark Strong, and Ben Barnes star.
Screenings: P&I Sept. 7, 12noon, Tiff Bell Lightbox 1; WP Sept. 11, 12noon, Princess Of Wales Theatre
Sales: US – CAA Media Finance, UTA Independent Film Group; international – Fearless Minds [email protected]
The Dead Don’t Hurt (Can-Mex-Den)
Dir. Viggo Mortensen
Mortensen directs his second feature (after TIFF 2020 selection Falling) himself opposite Vicky Krieps in the western about a flower seller and a in a touch Nevada town.
Screenings: WP Sept. 8, 6.15pm, Princess Of Wales Theatre; P&I Sept. 9, 11am, Scotiabank Theatres
Sales: Hanway Films
Dir. Christy Hall
Fresh from Telluride where it earned mostly positive reviews, Daddio and sees Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn play passenger and driver in a two-hander about strangers who make a profound connection during a cab ride from New York’s JFK airport. First-time feature director Hall is the co-creator of Netflix show I Am Not Okay With This.
Screenings: IP Sept. 10, 3pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox; P&I Sept. 11, 8.10pm, Scotiabank Theatre
Sales: US – CAA Media Finance /WME Independent; international – WME Independent
Dir. Tony Goldwyn
Comedy drama about a beleaguered divorcee who takes his autistic son on a road trip. Bobby Cannavale stars alongside Rose Byrne, Robert De Niro, Vera Farmiga, Rainn Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, and newcomer William Fitzgerald.
Screenings: WP Sept. 9, 6.30pm, Princess Of Wales Theatre; P&I Sept. 10, 9.45am, Scotiabank Theatre.
Sales: US – CAA Media Finance; international – Mister Smith Entertainment
Hit Man (USA)
Dir. Richard Linklater
Linklater’s dark comedy arrives on a wave of strong reviews from Venice and stars co-writer Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) as a university lecturer who moonlights as an assassin in a sting operation for the police and falls for his intended victim.
Screenings: NAP Sept. 11, 5.30pm, Royal Alexandra Theatre; P&I, Sept. 12, 9am, Tiff Bell Lightbox
Sales: US – CAA Media Finance, [email protected]; international – AGC Studios
Knox Goes Away (USA)
Dir. Michael Keaton
A rare directing foray from Keaton after his 2008 debut The Merry Gentleman stars himself as an assassin with dementia on a journey of redemption. Ke The cast includes James Marsden, Marcia Gay Harden, and Al Pacino.
Screenings: WP Sept. 10, 9.45pm, Princess of Wales; P&I Sept. 11, 11.30am, Scotiabank.
Sales: US – CAA Media Finance, abeecr[email protected]; international – FilmNation Entertainment
Mother Couch (USA)
Dir. Niclas Larsson
Ewan McGregor, Rhys Ifans, Lara Flynn Boyle and Ellen Burstyn star in the comedy about three estranged children who must deal with their mother who has installed herself in a sofa in a furniture store.
Screenings: WP Sept. 9, 2.30pm, Royal Alexandra; P&I Sept. 10, 11.30am, Scotiabank Theatre 2
Sales: US – UTA Independent Film Group; international – Charades
North Star (UK)
Dir. Kristin Scott Thomas
Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Emily Beecham and Freida Pinto star in Scott Thomas’s feature directing debut about a trio of dysfunctional sisters who reunite for their mother’s third wedding. The cast includes Scott Thomas, while Indian Paintbrush founder Steven Rales is among the producers.
Screenings: WP Sept. 7, 9.30pm, Princess of Wales Theatre; P&I Sept. 8, 9.30am, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Sales: CAA Media Finance
One Life (UK)
Dir. 01 Johnny Flynn plays the younger Winton and the cast includes Helena Bonham Carter and Jonathan Pryce.Screenings:
WP Sept. 9, 3.15pm, Princess Of Wales Theatre; P&I Sept. 10, 11.45am, Scotiabank Theatre
Sales: US – CAA Media Finance; international – FilmNation
Dir. 01 Ben El Hosaini’s The Swimmers
at Netflix opened TIFF last year.Screenings:
WP Sept. 8, 12noon, TIFF Bell Lightbox; P&I Sept. 10, 9.15am, Scotiabank TheatreSales: US – CAA Media Finance; international – Protagonist Pictures
Dir. Ethan Hawke
Hawke’s fifth turn as director gets its international premiere after the first public screening in Telluride and charts the life and art of American author Flannery O’Connor, played by Hawke’s daughter Maya Hawke. The cast includes Laura Linney and Cooper Hoffman.Screenings:
IP Sept. 11, 8.45pm, Royal Alexandra Theatre; P&I Sept. 12, 11.45am, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3Sales:
CAA Media Finance; UTA Independent Film Group
Woman Of The Hour (USA)
Dir. Anna Kendrick
Kendrick’s first time as feature director takes on the bizarre true story of Rodney Alcala, who appeared on the TV show The Dating Game
in the 1970s while he was an active serial killer. Kendrick and Daniel Zovatto star.Screenings:
WP Sept. 8, 3pm, Princess Of Wales Theatre; P&I Sept.
9, 11.45am, Scotiabank TheatreSales: AGC InternationalMidnight MadnessBoy Kills World
Bill Skarsgard (It
franchise) is a deaf warrior trained by a shaman to overthrow a dystopian dynasty. Michelle Dockery and Famke Janssen also star and horror aces Sam Raimi and Roy Lee are among the producersScreenings: WP Sept. 9, 11.59pm, Royal Alexandra Theatre; P&I Sept. 10, 9.30am, Scotiabank TheatreSales: US – CAA Media Finance, Capstone Global; international – Capstone Global
Hell Of A Summer (USA-Can)
Dirs. Finn Wolfhard, Billy Bryk
Tongue-in-cheek slasher comedy about a masked killer who terrorises the counsellors of a summer camp. Stranger
Things star Wolfhard and Bryk (
When You Finish Saving The World) make their feature directing debuts. Screenings: WP Sept. 10, 11.59pm, Royal Alexandra Theatre; P&I Sept 11, 3.40pm, Scotiabank TheatreSales: US – CAA Media Finance, 30West; international – Altitude Film Sales
Dir. Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Martial arts thriller about two commandos who confront a 40-strong army of thugs on a passenger train bound for New Delhi.Screenings:
WP Sept. 7, 9.30pm, Scotiabank Theatre; P&I
Sept. 13, 6.20pm, Scotiabank Theatre
Sales: WME IndependentIndustry SelectsQueen Of Bones
Canadian filmmaker Budreau’s (Stockholm, Born To Be Blue
) latest film centres on two siblings who fear their father is hiding a secret about their late mother’s connection to the supernatural. Martin RaiScreening:
Sept. 10, 6.30pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 7Sales: CAA Media Finance, Radiant Films International [email protected]
(USA)Dir. James Joel Kinnaman also stars in the project from Unified Pictures, Fifth Season and Film 44 which was packaged before the SAG-AFTRA strike and, with an interim agreement in place, is in pre-production.
WME Independent2023 TIFF market preview: strikes impacting costs and talent attendance, but plenty on offer