The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is back for its 48th edition, welcoming movies from around the world to premiere in Canada. TIFF in past years has been a bellwether for Academy Award winners, but this year the festival is being held in the backdrop of two Hollywood strikes that have paralysed production and could see a drop in the numbers of stars showing at the event.
The Festival CEO Cameron Bailey declined to comment on tickets or on the details of star-studded premieres. The event comes right after the Venice Film Festival, where actor Adam Driver slammed the streaming sites for their lack of flexibility over the demands of writers’ and actors’ guilds. Driver was promoting his film “Ferrari,” which is produced by an independent studio.
Below are some facts about the festival and the 2023 films.
WHEN AND WHERE
The 11-day festival will run from Thursday, Sept. 7—17 in Toronto's downtown center. The theaters holding premieres include TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, Royal Alexandra Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre and the Princess of Wales Theatre.
An outdoor experience will stretch along King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue featuring food vendors and musical acts including Nickelback, who will perform on Friday.
As the Hollywood strikes continue, the red carpets will look a bit different this year. In order for Hollywood stars to attend their premieres they require a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement so few are expected to attend.
Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson are expected at the festival to promote their film "Daddio." Most actors are not expected to attend, including Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Shailene Woodley, Pete Davidson, and the rest of the "Dumb Money" star-studded.
Paul Giamatti and the cast of "The Holdovers" will also not attend due to the strike.
FILMS TO WATCH
TIFF will open with an animated feature for the first time: Studio Ghibli’s “The Boy and the Heron.” The hand-drawn film from Hayao Miyazaki will also mark the first time a Japanese film opens the festival.
There are a host of directorial debuts including Patricia Arquette's "Gonzo Girl" and Kristin Scott Thomas' "North Star."
Films directed by actors include Anna Kendrick's "Woman of the Hour," Chris Pine's "Poolman" and Michael Keaton's "Knox Goes Away." There are music documentaries ranging from Lil Nas X to Nickelback.
"Dumb Money," "The Royal Hotel," and "Rustin" are others worth keeping an eye on, to name a few. Spanish director Pedro Almodovar will be one of the recipients of the TIFF Tribute Award this year.
OSCAR NOMINEES AND WINNERS
TIFF often highlights the future success of films at awards ceremonies like the Oscars.
Jane Campion's Western drama "The Power of the Dog" had its world premiere at TIFF in 2021 and went on to receive 12 Oscar nominations, with Campion taking home best director.
Last year, German film "All Quiet on the Western Front" premiered at TIFF and won four Oscars, including best international feature film.