The Toronto International Film Festival is sticking with its traditional September time frame, becoming only the second major festival to proceed as planned since the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of large gatherings worldwide. (The Venice International Film Festival will kick off on Sept. 2.)
The much-slimmed-down TIFF's 45th edition, Sept. 10-20, is more internationally focused and largely absent the star-studded Hollywood premieres that have commanded attention in years past, festival co-head Cameron Bailey said in a statement.
While Toronto has traditionally been one of the year's most significant launchpads for awards contenders as well as films looking for buzz and distribution, the 2020 edition will showcase 50 feature films, compared with more than 300 last year. Netflix, which had a major presence at last year's festival, has signaled that it will sit out the fall festivals, and it appears that most major studios will do likewise.
"We began this year planning for a 45th festival much like our previous editions, but along the way we had to rethink just about everything," Bailey said. "We're thankful to every filmmaker and company that joined us on this adventure and we can't wait to share these brilliant films with our audiences."
The lineup includes the feature directorial debuts of Oscar-winning actresses Halle Berry and Regina King, a romantic drama starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and a father-son story starring Idris Elba and "Stranger Things" actor Caleb McLaughlin.
Several titles in the lineup were previously announced, including Berry's "Bruised," Francis Lee's "Ammonite" starring Winslet and Ronan, Ricky Staub's "Concrete Cowboy" starring Elba and McLaughlin, and Spike Lee's opening night premiere of "David Byrne's American Utopia," a filmed version of the acclaimed Broadway show to be released by HBO.
Among the new titles announced by Bailey are King's "One Night in Miami" about the friendship between Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, Ben Sharrock's refugee comedy "Limbo," J Blakeson's thriller "I Care a Lot," starring Rosamund Pike, and a slew of documentaries including the latest from Sam Pollard ("MLK/FBI"), Frederick Wiseman ("City Hall") and Werner Herzog ("Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds").
Mira Nair's "A Suitable Boy," a six-part series for the BBC, will serve as the closing night presentation.