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TIFF 2017: Wright’s Darkest Hour, Haifaa Al Mansour & Deniz Gamze Ergüven Receive Galas Showcase

TIFF 2017: Wright’s Darkest Hour, Haifaa Al Mansour & Deniz Gamze Ergüven Receive Galas Showcase

There was no mention of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, but not straying far from the modus operandi of previous editions, TIFF’s announcement of their Gala selections (currently a field of fourteen minus the opener) continues to promote Canadiana (Long Time Running), dramatic works grown-ups (Breathe), spotlight items from France (they offered the closing slot to Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s C’est la vie!), and naturally include flash bulb premiere friendly studio items (The Mountain Between Us ) and bromance with Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger).

The most interesting side notes to take from this round of announcements is that the listed as Canadian Premieres means both Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool and Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour (Focus Features) are now officially confirmed for Telluride and Venice. We expect the hype awards consideration machine to be huge for Wright’s seventh feature film. The selections also inform us that Mustang director Deniz Gamze Ergüven will have her world premiere screening for Kings in the section and the same applies for Mary Shelley from Saudi Arabia’s Haifaa Al Mansour who made her impactful debut with Wadjda in 2012. It’s a coin toss on whether this was rejected by Venice, or if this was a major coup by Toronto programmers.

Also worth noting is Netflix will be using Toronto to push for award season bid for Dee Rees’ Sundance preemed Mudbound. Cameron Bailey was one of the few outspoken fest people who has a different take on Cannes policy for including online distribution services within their line-ups. Here are the fourteen selections.

Breathe Andy Serkis, United Kingdom – World Premiere
The Catcher Was A Spy Ben Lewin, USA – World Premiere
C’est la vie! Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano, France – World Premiere (*Closing Night Film*)
Darkest Hour Joe Wright, United Kingdom – Canadian Premiere
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool Paul McGuigan, United Kingdom – Canadian Premiere
Kings Deniz Gamze Ergüven, France/Belgium – World Premiere
Long Time Running Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Canada – World Premiere
Mary Shelley Haifaa Al Mansour, Ireland/United Kingdom/Luxembourg/USA – World Premiere
The Mountain Between Us Hany Abu-Assad, USA – World Premiere
Mudbound Dee Rees, USA – International Premiere
Stronger David Gordon Green, USA – World Premiere
Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film Neil Burger, USA – World Premiere
The Wife Björn Runge, United Kingdom/Sweden – World Premiere
Woman Walks Ahead Susanna White, USA – World Premiere

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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