Elton John performs during the live ABC telecast of the 92nd Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre | Blaine Ohigashi / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Elton John Documentary Headlines First TIFF Titles

Elton John: Never Too Late set for fest's Gala line-up

5 mins read

Elton John leads the star-studded sextet of titles offering a sneak peek of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The festival announced today that Elton John: Never Too Late will have its world premiere among TIFF’s Gala line-up. Expect the glam rocker to walk the red carpet with his Canadian husband, David Furnish, who directed the documentary with R.J. Cutler. The latter previously went behind the music scene in Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry.

Never Too Late will stream on Disney+ following its TIFF premiere. Deadline reports that the film is “designed to serve as the official feature on Elton John” and “is comprised of unseen concert footage of him over the past 50 years, hand-written journals and present-day footage of him and his family.” John is one of the most successful recording artists of all time. His re-release of “Candle in the Wind” in tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is the best-selling chart single of all time with 33 million copies. His accolades include two Oscars for Best Original Song, for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King and “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman, the latter of which Furnish produced.

TIFF emphasized star power in its first wave following a comparatively low-key festival in 2023 that saw many stars forgo promotional duties in solidarity with industry strikes. While Elton John is the only doc announced so far, dramas making their world premieres at the festival include Marielle Heller’s Nightbitch. The film stars Amy Adams as a stay-at-home mother who believes the monotony of parenting is turning her into a dog. Adams will receive the TIFF Tribute Performer Award at the festival and is expected to be a Best Actress contender this year. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, meanwhile, headlines the animated film The Wild Robot, which will world premiere at the festival.

The festival also announced two Canadians to be fêted during this year’s TIFF Tribute Awards. David Cronenberg will receive the Norman Jewison Career Achievement Award, while actor/producer Sandra Oh will serve as the inaugural Tribute Awards Honorary Chair. The festival also announced the return of the Industry Conference, In Conversation With… series, and a repeat of previous festival venues.

“We know the TIFF audience has been eagerly anticipating what films will be coming to Toronto this September, and today’s announcement is a snapshot of what’s to come this year: a wonderfully wide range of titles that span genres and generations, with discoveries for everyone,” said Anita Lee, TIFF’s Chief Programming Officer, in a statement. “TIFF is renowned for finding and showcasing works from both emerging and established filmmakers from all around the world, and for creating an unmatched groundswell of excitement, often paving the way for awards season, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of industry delegates and public filmgoers that attend each year. As we approach our 50th Festival, we are proud to evolve and expand our offerings to meet the needs of the industry and our audiences while always remaining true to what TIFF stands for — transforming the way people see the world through film.”


The titles announced today by TIFF are:

Elton John: Never Too Late | R.J. Cutler, David Furnish | USA
World Premiere | Gala

Harbin | Woo Min-ho | South Korea
World Premiere | Gala

The Life of Chuck | Mike Flanagan | USA
World Premiere | Special Presentation
Sales Title – Rights Available (WME)

Nightbitch | Marielle Heller | USA
World Premiere | Special Presentation
Searchlight Pictures

Rez Ball | Sydney Freeland | USA
World Premiere | Special Presentation

The Wild Robot | Chris Sanders | USA
World Premiere | Gala
DreamWorks Animation


TIFF runs Sept. 5 to 15.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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