Thu, Sep 7, 2023, 3:30 PM – Sun, Sep 17, 2023
TIFF 2023 is coming for you and the films are eclectic as usual. Promising big stars, buzzy indies, cool series, new filmmakers to discover, and my personal favorite, in the form of the sinister Midnight Madness section, TIFF has all the films you’ll be hearing about come awards season. Here are a handful of things on our radar this year. Look for coverage from us and our main man Steve Kopian at Unseen Films.
RIDDLE OF FIRE- (Midnight Madness Closing Night feature)
The movie follows three mischievous children as they embark on an odyssey when their mother asks them to run an errand.
BAD BOY -World Premiere – Primetime Programme
From Ron Leshem (Executive producer of HBO’s Euphoria, Creator of the original Israeli Euphoria series off which the US series is based) and Hagar Ben-Asher (Bosch, City on a Hill)
Created alongside Daniel Chen, Roee Florentin, Moshe Malka, Amit Cohen (No Man’s Land, False Flag), Daniel Amsel (Euphoria, Valley of Tears).
Starring Bat Hen Sabag, Amjad Shawa, Guy Menaster, Havtamo Parada, Neta Plotnik, Liraz Chamami, Ishay Lalush, Daniel Hen, Ben Sultan
BAD BOY is a gripping true story about a young boy imprisoned in a chaotic and colorful juvenile detention facility. While in jail, DEAN bonds with ZORO, a mysterious fellow inmate who grows to be his closest friend and lifeline despite the fact that Zoro is serving time for cold-blooded murder. In order to survive the harsh reality behind bars, Dean learns to harness his unique creativity and humor – all while battling his own inner demons. Twenty years later, these traits still define Dean as a star comedian, while his time in jail is a secret that constantly threatens to resurface and tear his life apart.
Episode Count: 8×40
LIMBO (North American Premiere*)
North American Premiere
Directed by: Ivan Sen
Starring: Simon Baker, Rob Collins, Natasha Wanganeen, Nicholas Hope
*LIMBO World Premired at Berlinale Film Festival 2023
Travis, a jaded detective, arrives in the remote outback town of Limbo to investigate the cold case murder of local Indigenous girl Charlotte Hayes 20 years ago. As truths about the murder begin to unfold, the detective gains a new insight into the unsolved case from the victim’s fractured family, the surviving witnesses, and the reclusive brother of the chief suspect. A poignant, intimate journey into the complexities of loss and the impact of the justice system on Aboriginal families in Australia.
September 12 5:45 pm Public screening Scotiabank 3
September 13 3:45 pm Public screening Scotiabank 9
BACKSPOT – World Premiere – Discovery
Directed by: D.W. Waterson
Written by: Joanne Sarazen, Story by: D.W. Waterson
Produced by: Alona Metzer, D.W. Waterson, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Martin Katz
Executive Produced by: Elliot Page, Matt Jordan Smith, J.C. Davidson, Katisha Shaw
Starring: Devery Jacobs (“Reservation Dogs”), Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”), Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight’s Tale), Kudakwashe Rutendo, Thomas Antony Olajide, Wendy Crewson
A driven cheerleader (Devery Jacobs) struggles to handle the pressure when she and her girlfriend are both selected for an elite cheer squad, in D.W. Waterson’s feature directorial debut.
RT: 93 Minutes
Friday, September 8 at 8:30PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
Monday, September 11 at 3:00PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
Friday, September 15 at 9:45PM at Scotiabank Theatre
THE CRITIC – World Premiere – Special Presentations
Directed By: Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie)
Written by: Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal)
Starring: Ian McKellen (The Good Liar), Gemma Arterton (Summerland), Mark Strong (1917), Romola Garai (Suffragette), Ben Barnes (Westworld) and Alfred Enoch (Foundation)
Gemma Arterton and Sir Ian McKellen star as adversaries forced to take desperate measures to save their careers, in this scintillating tale of ambition and deceit in the theatre world.
RT: 95 minutes
Monday, September 11 at 12:00PM at the Princess of Wales
Wednesday, September 13 at 4:00PM at Scotiabank 2
Saturday, September 16 at 3:00PM at Scotiabank 2
IRENA’S VOW (Quiver Distribution) – World Premiere – Centerpiece Program
Directed by: Louise Archambault (Atomic Saké, Familia)
Written by: Dan Gordon (Passenger 57, Wyatt Earp)
Starring: Sophie Nélisse (“Yellowjackets,” 47 Meters Down: Uncaged), Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible 2, “Batwoman”), Andrzej Seweryn, and Maciek Nawrocki
Produced by: Nicholas Tabarrok, p.g.a, Beata Pisula, Tim Ringuette, Berry Meyerowitz and Jeff Sackman
Through the eyes of a strong-willed woman comes the remarkable true story of Irena Gut Opdyke and the triumphs of the human spirit over devastating tragedy. 19-year-old Irena Gut is promoted to housekeeper in the home of a highly respected Nazi officer when she finds out that the Jewish ghetto is about to be liquidated. Determined to help twelve Jewish workers, she decides to shelter them in the safest place she can think of: the basement of the German commandant’s house. Over the next two years, Irena uses her wit, humor, and courage to hide her friends until the end of the German occupation, concealing them in the midst of countless Nazi parties, a blackmail scheme, and even the birth of a child. Her story is one of the most inspiring of our time.
RT: 121 Minutes
Sunday, September 10 at 3:15PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1
Monday, September 11 at 3:35PM at Scotiabank 11
KNOX GOES AWAY – World Premiere – Special Presentations
Directed by: Michael Keaton
Written By: Gregory Poirier (Rosewood)
Starring: Michael Keaton (Birdman), James Marsden (“Jury Duty”), Al Pacino (The Godfather), and Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic RIver)
Michael Keaton directs and plays Knox, a hitman losing his memory, putting him in a race against time to help his estranged son (James Marsden) cover up a messy crime.
RT: 114 minutes
Sunday, September 10 at 9:45 PM at The Princess of Wales Theatre
Monday, September 11 at 5:30 PM at Roy Thomson Hall
SUMMER QAMP– WORLD PREMIERE – 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Directed by Jen Markowitz
Mins 80 | Language English | Year 2023 | Country Canada
SUMMER QAMP is a moving, compelling and joyful documentary following a group of LGBTQ+ youth at an idyllic lakeside camp in Alberta, Canada – CAMP fYrefly. The campers enjoy the traditional summer camp experience in a safe, affirming environment where they deepen their connections with their own community and themselves.
World Premiere – Saturday, September 9 at 12:15 PM at Scotiabank 13
Sunday, September 10 at 4:30 PM at Scotiabank 12
For more information on TIFF 2023 click here!
The 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival takes place Thursday, September 7—17, 2023.