TIFF ’17: Long Time Running gets gala treatment

The only other Canadian project announced today is the Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg copro The Breadwinner, which will world premiere in the special presentations section.

The countdown to TIFF is officially on with the festival today announcing the first of its big gala premieres and special presentations.

Among the titles heading to Toronto in September are Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier’s Tragically Hip doc Long Time Running. Produced by Toronto’s Banger Films, the documentary, which will world premiere at the fest, chronicles the lead up to the Hip’s emotional final show of their 2016 tour. It is so far the sole Canadian film to get the gala treatment at TIFF.

Of the special presentations selections, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg copro The Breadwinner (pictured) is the only Canadian film named to date. The family-oriented film, which will bow at the fest, is produced by Toronto’s Aircraft Pictures, Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions, with Toronto’s Guru Studios handling a portion of the animation and Angelina Jolie‘s Jolie Pas Productions exec producing. The film, the first of two animated feature projects to come from Aircraft, follows a young girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to become the primary earner for her family.

At the announcement this morning, the festival’s artistic director, Cameron Bailey said the festival will present a “tighter, more focused” selection of films. In February, the festival announced it would reduce its 2017 lineup by 20% and cut its City to City and Vanguard programs. Last year, TIFF programmed 296 features and 101 shorts.

Of the 14 gala films announced today, five are directed or co-directed by women, including Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings, which will world premiere at the festivalEarlier this month, TIFF announced a five-year plan and fundraising initiative to support female talent.

Other gala world premieres include Andy Serkis’ Breathe (U.K), Ben Lewin’s The Catcher Was a Spy (U.S.), Haifaa Al Mansour’s Mary Shelley (Ireland/U.K., Luxembourg/U.S.), Hany Abu-Assad’s The Mountain Between Us (U.S.), David Gordon Green’s Stronger (U.S.), Björn Runge’s The Wife (U.K./Sweden), Neil Burger’s as yet untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart film (U.S.) and Susanna White’s Woman Walks Ahead (U.S).

Breaking with tradition of late, TIFF did not announce its opening night film. Instead, it was announced that Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s latest collaboration C’est La Vie! will close the festival.

In the special presentations section, 14 more world premieres were announced, including Anurag Kashyap’s The Brawler (India), Richard Eyre’s The Children Act (U.K.), Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War (U.S.), Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience (U.K), Xavier Beauvois’ The Guardians (France), Bornila Chatterjee’s The Hungry (India), Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya (U.S.), Hansal Mehta’s Omerta (India), Mélanie Laurent’s Plonger (France), Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (U.S.), Amr Salama’s Sheikh Jackson (Egypt) and Wim Wenders’ Submergence (France/Germany/Spain).