Dear Evan Hansen to open 46th edition of TIFF

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Michael McGowan’s All My Puny Sorrows is among the Canadian titles to world premiere among the gala and special presentations program.

The Toronto International Film Festival has named Stephen Chbosky’s Dear Evan Hansen (pictured) as the opening film for its 46th edition as it unveils September’s gala and special presentation premieres.

The feature adaptation of the Broadway musical, which stars Ben Platt, Amy Adams and Julianne Moore, will kick off the festival on Sept. 9 at Roy Thomson Hall, marking its world premiere. Meanwhile, the North American debut of Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s One Second will close the festival.

Canadian director Michael McGowan’s feature All My Puny Sorrows will world premiere at the festival as one of its special presentations. The film, which is an adaptation of the Miriam Toews novel, is produced by McGowan’s Mulmur Feed Co. as well as Sugar Shack Productions and Carousel Pictures.

Canadian copros to world premiere in the special presentation program are Bent Hamer’s The Middle Man, produced by Hamer’s BulBul Film Association, Toronto’s The Film Farm and Germany’s Pandora Film; and Barry Levinson’s The Survivor, produced by BRON Studios and New Mandate Films, with financial support from Creative Wealth Media.

Danis Goulet’s Night Raiders, which was previously announced for the TIFF lineup, will have its North American premiere as a gala presentation for the festival. Other previously announced titles – Eric Warin and Tahir Rana’s animation Charlotte and Phillip Noyce’s Lakewood – will world premiere as special presentations.

Also making its world premiere at TIFF is Michael Showalter’s U.S. feature The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Walt Becker’s Clifford the Big Red Dog (U.S./U.K.).

The international premieres include Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island (France), Michael Pearce’s Encounter (U.K./U.S), Fabrice du Welz’s Inexorable (Belgium/France) and Justin Bateman’s Violet (U.S.).

Among the North American premieres are Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava (U.K.), Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car (Japan), Maria Schrader’s I’m Your Man (Germany), Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat’s Official Competition (Competencia Oficial) (Spain/Argentina), Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades) (France), Ildikó Enyedi’s The Story of My Wife (Hungary/Germany/Italy/France) and Nanni Moretti’s Three Floors (Tre Piani) (Italy/France). Will Sharpe’s U.K. feature The Electrical Life of Louis Wain will have its Canadian premiere.

The festival also added Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre Toronto as a venue for the first five days of the festival. The decision was made after the Ontario government reopened theatres beginning on July 16 and the federal government announced it will open the Canada border to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens starting Aug. 9 and international visitors on Sept. 7. The industry conference will continue to be held as virtual-only.

“We’re so excited to be able to share this year’s lineup with audiences in theatres,” said Joana Vicente, TIFF executive director and co-head, in a statement. “These films reflect passion, creativity, and break new ground to tell their stories. We’re honoured to have them as part of TIFF 2021.”

“Some of the year’s biggest films will screen at TIFF this year,” added Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head. “Our programming team has been hard at work for months searching for the most compelling stories, acclaimed filmmakers, and top onscreen talent that comprise two of TIFF’s highest-profile sections.”

Image courtesy of TIFF