No Docs in First Wave of TIFF Titles

Patricia Rozema’s

By Pat Mullen

And the TIFF line-up is out! The Festival cancelled its press conference to launch the line-up for the 2018 programme out of respect for Sunday night’s shooting on the Danforth and released the first wave of Gala and Special Presentations titles via email. The list of films is undeniably strong, but has two notable absences: an opening night Gala and documentaries. There isn’t a single doc tapped for the red carpet treatment so far, not even Michael Moore’s hotly anticipated Fahrenheit 11/9. Moore all but stole opening night in 2015 when his Where to Invade Next eclipsed Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition and caused a bidding war after a sensational reception. (Read our TIFF’15 report on docs here.)

The Festival will release the TIFF Docs slate in the upcoming weeks as well as additional Galas, Special Presentations, and Masters titles, the latter of which often offers a few docs. Canadian docs will be announced next week in the big Canuck press conference.

The dramatic line-up is quite good overall with several Canadian directors already announced. Patricia Rozema’s stage-to-screen adaptation Mouthpiece gets a special spotlight as the Opening Night selection of the Special Presentations programme. Mouthpiece centres on two actresses reconciling their views on feminism following the death of a mother. Other Canadian titles include Don McKellar’s adaptation of Joseph Boyden’s Giller-prize winning novel Through Black Spruce, Kim Nguyen’s high stakes financial drama The Hummingbird Project starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgard, and Salma Hayek, and Keith Behrman’s Giant Little Ones starring Maria Bello. Canadian director Stella Meghie also appears with the American production The Weekend, while additional Canadian content is to be found in French director Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of Patrick DeWitt’s spectacular novel The Sisters Brothers.

On the Oscar front, hot tickets include the Bradley Cooper-directed remake of A Star is Born, which is already drawing mad buzz for Lady Gaga’s performance. (Read our review of TIFF’17’s Gaga: Five Foot Two here.) La La Land director Damien Chazelle returns with First Man, starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, while Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins is back with If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the novel by James Baldwin and starring Canada’s Stephan James.

The full list of Galas and Special Presentations is as follows:


Beautiful Boy
Felix van Groeningen, USA World Premiere

Everybody Knows
Asghar Farhadi, Spain/France/Italy North American Premiere

First Man
Damien Chazelle, USA Canadian Premiere

Mélanie Laurent, USA Canadian Premiere

The Hate U Give
George Tillman, Jr., USA World Premiere

Hidden Man
Jiang Wen, China International Premiere

High Life
Claire Denis, Germany/France/Poland/United Kingdom World Premiere

Husband Material
Anurag Kashyap, India World Premiere

The Kindergarten Teacher
Sara Colangelo, USA Canadian Premiere

The Land of Steady Habits
Nicole Holofcener, USA World Premiere

Life Itself
Dan Fogelman, USA World Premiere

The Public
Emilio Estevez, USA World Premiere

Red Joan
Sir Trevor Nunn, United Kingdom World Premiere

Zhang Yimou, China North American Premiere

A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper, USA North American Premiere

What They Had
Elizabeth Chomko, USA International Premiere

Steve McQueen, United Kingdom/USA World Premiere


Ben is Back
Peter Hedges, USA World Premiere

Lee Chang-dong, South Korea North American Premiere

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Marielle Heller, USA International Premiere

Nadine Labaki, Lebanon North American Premiere

Cold War
Paweł Pawlikowski, Poland/United Kingdom/France Canadian Premiere

Wash Westmoreland, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere

Matteo Garrone, Italy/France Canadian Premiere

The Front Runner
]Jason Reitman, USA International Premiere

Giant Little Ones
Keith Behrman, Canada World Premiere

Girls of the Sun (Les filles du soleil)
Eva Husson, France International Premiere

Hotel Mumbai
Anthony Maras, Australia World Premiere

The Hummingbird Project
Kim Nguyen, Canada World Premiere

If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins, USA World Premiere

Nandita Das, India North American Premiere

Mia Hansen-Løve, France World Premiere

Monsters and Men
Reinaldo Marcus Green, USA Canadian Premiere

Patricia Rozema, Canada World Premiere

Non-Fiction Olivier Assayas, France Canadian Premiere

The Old Man & The Gun
David Lowery, USA International Premiere

Papi Chulo
John Butler, Ireland World Premiere

Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico/USA Canadian Premiere

Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan Canadian Premiere

The Sisters Brothers
Jacques Audiard, USA/France/Romania/Spain North American Premiere

László Nemes, Hungary/France North American Premiere

Through Black Spruce
Don McKellar, Canada World Premiere

The Wedding Guest
Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom World Premiere

The Weekend
Stella Meghie, USA World Premiere

Where Hands Touch
Amma Asante, United Kingdom World Premiere

White Boy
Rick Yann Demange, USA International Premiere

Paul Dano, USA Canadian Premiere

TIFF runs Sept. 6-16.