TIFF 2022 Lineup Includes ‘The Whale,’ ‘Women Talking,’ ‘Empire of Light,’ and Many More

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TIFF has today announced the full selection for the Gala and Special Presentations programs for the 47th Toronto International Film Festival, taking place September 8–18. The news follows several early world premiere announcements this summer, including Sally El Hosaini’s opening night film “The Swimmers.”

Major titles announced today include Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” and Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light.” They all screen in the high-profile Special Presentations section that also includes the previously announced world premieres of Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” and Nicholas Stoller’s “Bros,” in addition to several highlights from earlier in the festival calendar.

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TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey marks his first year as the sole leader of the festival with a refurbished programming team, some new venues, and robust efforts to maximize industry attendance. “It’s going to feel like the festival you know, but with some new elements as well,” Bailey said in a recent interview with IndieWire.

This includes the addition of the 1,000-seat Royal Alexander Theatre, a historic venue that the festival is updating for state-of-the-art projection and sound. Two minutes from Roy Thomson Hall and the Princess of Wales theaters, the venue solidifies an area of downtown Toronto “that will really be the center of activity of a lot of premieres,” Bailey said. “The fans will be out. We know we have some big actors and directors coming into town, so we’re expecting that kind of excitement.”

The festival previously announced the world premiere of Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” an autobiographical drama that Bailey said would appeal to anyone appreciative of Spielberg’s films. “They came from an individual who had passions, obsessions, and fears,” Bailey said. “That’s what you see in the film.” He positioned another major fall title as a quasi-companion piece: Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” an ’80s romance starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth set around an old cinema on the South Coast of England. “It’s catnip for cinephiles,” he said.

Another film that stands out in the Gala section is “The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” Peter Farrelly’s first directorial effort since his Oscar juggernaut “Green Book” launched in the same TIFF section four years ago and won the audience prize. Despite the cheeky title, it’s not a return to the madcap comedies he used to make with his brother, Bobby; instead, it’s an adaption of the non-fiction tome by Joanna Molloy about a U.S. Marine Corps veteran in 1967 who sneaks into Vietnam with a duffel bag of beer to share with friends in combat. Zac Efron plays the audacious veteran.

“Empire of Light” - Credit: Searchlight Pictures
“Empire of Light” - Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight Pictures

“It’s not entirely a comedy,” Bailey said. “There are some very serious themes in the movie about his moral awakening, his understanding that the Vietnam War he saw as a good versus evil conflict turns out to be much more complicated. He learns a lot more about the effect on the Vietnamese people.”

The section also marks the first time that Tyler Perry will come to the festival as a director. The prolific Atlanta billionaire’s Netflix-produced “A Jazzman’s Blues” stems from the first screenplay he ever wrote back in 1995, and revolves around a love story set in the deep South of the 1940s. “It’s a grander, maybe more dramatically ambitious film for him,” Bailey said. “It’s beautifully directed and it has a real grace to it. If you know his films you may be surprised by the look and feel but the heart of it is very much Tyler Perry.”

Previously announced commercial titles like the Billy Eichner-scripted “Bros” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” point to an effort by the festival to showcase high-profile premieres beyond the awards circuit even as many of those films will be present as well. The festival has also already announced world premieres of Lena Dunham’s coming-of-age comedy “Catherine Called Birdy,” Harry Styles’ star vehicle “My Policeman,” and the Viola Davis period drama “The Woman King,” which Bailey said featured one of her best performances.

“Catherine Called Birdy” - Credit: TIFF
“Catherine Called Birdy” - Credit: TIFF

TIFF

Bailey also noted the range of the sales titles of the festival, including arthouse favorite Hong Sang-soo’s “Walkup” (“not an awards film necessarily, but one critics may respond to”) and Gabe Polsky’s “Butcher’s Crossing,” which stars Fred Hechinger as a college dropout who befriends a buffalo hunter (Nicolas Cage) in the Colorado wilderness. “The good news is that whether they’re coming from studios or streaming platforms or coming in for sales, there’s still enough support or money out there to make films with artistic ambition,” Bailey said. “That’s all we need.”

“Holy Spider”
“Holy Spider”

Other additions of note include world premieres of Paul Weitz’s “Moving On,” Catherine Hardwicke’s “Prisoner’s Daughter,” Rodrigo García’s “Raymond & Ray,” Richard Eyre “Allelujah,” Edward Berger’s remake of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” JD Dillard’s “Devotion,” and Henry Selick’s “Wendell & Wild.”

A variety of other festival favorites that will premiere (or have already premiered) elsewhere are also on deck, including Lee Jung-jae’s “Hunt,” Florian Zeller’s “The Son,” Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave,” Ali Abbasi’s “Holy Spider,” Sarah Polley, Joanna Hogg’s “The Eternal Daughter,” and Mia Hansen-Løve’s “One Fine Morning.” Two particularly special treats from the circuit: Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner, “Triangle of Sadness,” and Nikyatu Jusu’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, “Nanny.”

Check out the list of both new and previous additions below, with more additions to come in the following days.

GALA PRESENTATIONS 2022

*Previously announced

“Alice, Darling,” Mary Nighy | Canada, USA, World Premiere

“Black Ice,” Hubert Davis | Canada, World Premiere

“Butcher’s Crossing,” Gabe Polsky | USA, World Premiere

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” Peter Farrelly | USA, World Premiere

“The Hummingbird,” Francesca Archibugi | Italy, France, World Premiere

“Hunt”
“Hunt”

“Hunt,” Lee Jung-jae | South Korea, North American Premiere

“A Jazzman’s Blues,” Tyler Perry | USA, World Premiere

“Kacchey Limbu,” Shubham Yogi | India, World Premiere

“Moving On,” Paul Weitz | USA, World Premiere

“Paris Memories,” Alice Winocour | France, North American Premiere

“Prisoner’s Daughter,” Catherine Hardwicke | USA, World Premiere

“Raymond & Ray,” Rodrigo García | USA, World Premiere

“Roost,” Amy Redford | USA, World Premiere

“Sidney,” Reginald Hudlin | USA, World Premiere

“The Woman King” - Credit: Sony
“The Woman King” - Credit: Sony

Sony

“The Son,” Florian Zeller | United Kingdom, North American Premiere

*”The Swimmers,” Sally El Hosaini | United Kingdom, World Premiere Opening Night Film

“What’s Love Got To Do With It?,” Shekhar Kapur | United Kingdom, World Premiere

*”The Woman King,” Gina Prince-Bythewood | USA, World Premiere

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 2022

*Previously announced

“Allelujah,” Sir Richard Eyre | United Kingdom, World Premiere

“Allelujah” - Credit: Rob Youngson
“Allelujah” - Credit: Rob Youngson

Rob Youngson

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Edward Berger | USA, Germany, World Premiere

“The Banshees Of Inisherin,” Martin McDonagh | United Kingdom, Ireland, USA, North American Premiere

“Blueback,” Robert Connolly | Australia, World Premiere

“The Blue Caftan,” Maryam Touzani | Morocco, France, Belgium, Denmark, North American Premiere

“Broker,” Hirokazu Kore-eda | South Korea, Canadian Premiere

*”Brother,” Clement Virgo | Canada, World Premiere

*”Bros,” Nicholas Stoller | USA, World Premiere

*”Catherine Called Birdy,” Lena Dunham | United Kingdom, World Premiere

“The Banshees of Inisherin” - Credit: Searchlight Pictures
“The Banshees of Inisherin” - Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight Pictures

“Causeway,” Lila Neugebauer | USA, World Premiere

“Chevalier,” Stephen Williams | USA, World Premiere

“Corsage,” Marie Kreutzer | Austria, France, Germany, North American Premiere

“Decision to Leave,” Park Chan-wook | South Korea, North American Premiere

“Devotion,” JD Dillard | USA, World Premiere

“Driving Madeleine,” Christian Carion | France, International Premiere

“El Suplente,” Diego Lerman | Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Spain, France, World Premiere

“Empire of Light,” Sam Mendes | United Kingdom, USA, Canadian Premiere

“The Eternal Daughter,” Joanna Hogg | United Kingdom, North American Premiere

*”The Fabelmans,” Steven Spielberg | USA, World Premiere

*”Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Rian Johnson | USA, World Premiere

“Good Night Oppy,” Ryan White | USA, International Premiere

“The Good Nurse,” Tobias Lindholm | USA, World Premiere

“Holy Spider,” Ali Abbasi | Denmark, Germany, Sweden, France, Canadian Premiere

“Joyland,” Saim Sadiq | Pakistan, North American Premiere

“Chevalier” - Credit: Larry Horricks
“Chevalier” - Credit: Larry Horricks

Larry Horricks

“The King’s Horseman,” Biyi Bandele | Nigeria, World Premiere

“The Lost King,” Stephen Frears | United Kingdom, World Premiere

“A Man of Reason,” Jung Woo-sung | South Korea, World Premiere

“The Menu,” Mark Mylod | USA, World Premiere

*”On the Come Up,” Sanaa Lathan | USA, World Premiere

“One Fine Morning,” Mia Hansen-Løve | France, Canadian Premiere

“Other People’s Children,” Rebecca Zlotowski | France, North American Premiere

“Moonage Daydream,” Brett Morgen | USA, North American Premiere

*”My Policeman,” Michael Grandage | United Kingdom, World Premiere

“The Menu” - Credit: Searchlight Pictures
“The Menu” - Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight Pictures

“Nanny,” Nikyatu Jusu | USA, International Premiere

“No Bears,” Jafar Panahi | Iran, North American Premiere

“The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile,” Kathlyn Horan | USA, International Premiere

“Saint Omer,” Alice Diop | France, North American Premiere

“Sanctuary,” Zachary Wigon | USA, World Premiere

“Stories Not to be Told,” Cesc Gay | Spain, World Premiere

“Triangle of Sadness” - Credit: Cannes Film Festival
“Triangle of Sadness” - Credit: Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

“Triangle of Sadness,” Ruben Östlund | Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, France, Greece, North American Premiere

“Walk Up,” Hong Sangsoo | South Korea, World Premiere

“Wendell & Wild,” Henry Selick | USA, World Premiere

“The Whale,” Darren Aronofsky | USA, North American Premiere

“Women Talking,” Sarah Polley | USA, International Premiere

“The Wonder,” Sebastián Lelio | United Kingdom, Ireland, Canadian Premiere

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