Toronto Film Festival Adds ‘The Promise,’ ‘The Bleeder’ and More to Line-Up

Originally published on Mxdwn Movies. Click here to view.


The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is only two weeks away, and a large number of indie hits has already been confirmed. TIFF finished its line-up by adding two Gala Premieres, 14 Special Presentations and a few features in the Masters Section. Among those added to the roster include veteran filmmakers like Terry George, Terrence Malick and James Franco. See the full list of new films below:

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall Of a New York Fixer — Gala Premiere

Directed by Joseph Cedar, Norman stars Richard Gere as the titular character, who lives a lonely life of power and money. Determined to make a connection anywhere possible, Norman buys an expensive pair of shoes for Micha Eshel, when then becomes Israel’s Prime Minister. Now, Norman finds himself at the center of an important and controversial geopolitical drama, and must protect himself from the potential fallout. Starring alongside Gere are Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainbourg and Michael Sheen.

Norman makes it international premiere at TIFF, although it will not hit American theaters until March 2017.

The Promise — Gala Premiere

Directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), The Promise brings together two of the finest actors today, Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale. The romantic drama follows an aspiring Armenian doctor, Michael (Isaac), as leaves his humble village to study medicine in Constantinople, while an American photojournalist (Bale) also arrives to cover geopolitics. The latter embarks on a relationship with the Parisian educated, but Armenian-born, Ana, who also finds love with Michael as well. As the romantic rivalry ensues, the two pairs must also contend with a suddenly violent Ottoman Empire, who turn against its own ethnic minorities.

The Promise receives its world premiere at TIFF, and will arrive in American theaters sometime later this year.

(Re) Assignment — Special Presentation

Directed by Walter Hill (The Warriors), (Re) Assignment follows an assassin who embarks on a revenge mission on the gangsters and plastic surgeon, who turned her into a woman. The action-thriller stars Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver and Tony Shalhoub.

(Re) Assignment makes it international premiere at TIFF, and will hit American theaters sometime in 2017.

150 Milligrams — Special Presentation

Directed by Emmanuelle Bercot, 150 Milligrams is based on the true story of Irène Frachon, a pulmonologist who discovers a direct link between a popular, marketed drug and a large number of deaths in France.

150 Milligrams receives its world premiere at TIFF.

The Bleeder — Special Presentation

Directed by Philippe Falardeau, The Bleeder follows the true story of Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), the inspirational boxer who inspired the Rocky series. Wepner was a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with the late Muhammad Ali. Outside of the ring, he struggled with an addictive lifestyle of drugs, booze and women. Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman and Naomi Watts also star.

The Bleeder receives its North American premiere at TIFF.

Brain on Fire — Special Presentation

Directed by Gerard Barrett, Brain on Fire stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Susannah Cahalan, the real-life journalist at the New York Post who suddenly starts having seizures and hearing voices. She soon descends into insanity, and moves from violent outbursts to catatonia. After struggling with her illness, she finally receives the correct diagnosis and begins to rebuild her life. Jenny Slate, Thomas Mann, Richard Armitage, Tyler Perry and Carrie-Anne Moss round out the rest of the cast.

Brain on Fire receives its North American premiere at TIFF.

Burn Your Maps — Special Presentation

Directed by Jordan Roberts, Burn Your Maps follows an eight-year-old boy (Jacob Tremblay) who believes he is a Mongolian goat herder after suffering a horrible tragedy. With the help of a young filmmaker, he convinces his reluctant parents to journey to Mongolia where he says he belongs. The family drama also stars Vera Farmiga and Virginia Madsen.

Burn Your Maps makes it international premiere at TIFF, and will hit American theaters later this year.

Christine — Special Presentation

Directed by Antonio Campos, Christine is already receiving fantastic reviews for Rebecca Hall’s performance as the titular journalist who committed suicide live on camera. Often plagued by dissatisfaction and unhappiness in her professional and emotional life, Christine follows the tragic true story of Christine Chubbuck. Hall is joined by Michael C. Hall and Tracy Letts.

Christine receives its North American premiere at TIFF.

The Duelist — Special Presentation

Directed by Alexey Mzgirev, The Duelists follows the handsome and charismatic Yakovlev, a retired army officer, as he returns to Saint Petersburg. Making a comfortable living through dueling, Yakovlev is stunned when he meets Princess Martha and falls in love, and must hide his dark past form her.

The Duelist makes it international premiere at TIFF.

The Exception — Special Presentation

Directed by David Leveaux, The Exception is set in May 1940, when the last German Kaiser has been living in exile in the Dutch countryside for 25 years. When the Nazis invade Holland, a young German officer is sent to stop the Kaiser from defecting to England. When the British install a spy in the household, a thrilling tale of conspiracy and danger begins to unfold. The historical drama stars Lily James, Christopher Plummer, Jai Courtney and Janet McTeer.

The Exception receives its international premiere at TIFF.

I, Daniel Blake — Special Presentation

Directed by Ken Loach, I, Daniel Black just won the esteemed Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It follows 59-year-old artisan who gets heart disease and applies for benefits. As he attempts to overcome the mountains of red tape involved in getting assistance, he meets single mother Katie and her two children, Dylan and Daisy, who are in a similar situation.

I, Daniel Blake makes its North American premiere at TIFF.

Ikari (Anger) — Special Presentation

Directed by Sang-il Lee, Ikari stars Ken Watanabe in the crime mystery about a grisly unsolved murder, which links three seemingly unrelated stories in three different Japanese cities.

Ikari receives its world premiere at TIFF.

In Dubious Battle — Special Presentation

The latest from James Franco sees the uprising of 900 migratory workers in California apple country after receiving a fraction of the wages they were promises. Based on the novel by John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle stars James Franco, Vincent D’Onofrio, Selena Gomez, Ed Harris, Ashley Greene, Nat Wolff and Bryan Cranston.

In Dubious Battle receives its North American premiere at TIFF, and will hit American theaters sometime later this year.

Naga Liwake (Long Excuses) — Special Presentation

Directed by Miwa Nishikawa, Naga Liwake follows a recently widowed writer who impulsively offers to care for the children of a working man, who happened to lose his own wife in the same accident.

The dramedy makes its international premiere at TIFF.

Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey — Special Presentation

The new documentary from Terrence Malick explores our planetary past and the search for humanity’s place in the universe, and is narrated by the lovely Cate Blanchett. Similar to the space scenes in The Tree of Life, Malick works with a massive team of scientific advisors and VFX artists to bring a beautiful and never-before-seen phenomena.

Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey receives its North American premiere at TIFF.

Wakefield — Special Presentation

Directed by Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club), Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner star as husband and wife in this family drama. Cranston plays the titular character, Robin Swicord, who has a nervous breakdown that he tries to hide from his family, causing him to live in the attic for several months.

Wakefield makes its world premiere at TIFF.

The other additions to the Masters Section include Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Umi yori mo mada fukaku (After the Storm), Andrzej Wajda’s Powidoki (Afterimage), Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Tope (The Bait), Wim Wenders’ Les beaux jours d’Aranjuez (The Beautiful Days of Aranjeuz), Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, Gianfranco Rosi’s Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea), Cristian Mungiu’s Bacalaureat (Graduation), Hissein Habré’s A Chadian Tragedy Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Carlos Saura’s J: Beyond Flamenco, Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta, Goran Paskaljević’s Dev Bhoomi (Land of the Gods), Brilliante Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa, Kim Ki-duk’s Geumul (The Net), Benoît Jacquot’s À jamais (Never Ever), Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Pinneyum (Once Again), Oliver Assayas’ Personal Shopper, Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion, Ulrich Seidl’s Safari, Cristi Puiu’s Sieranevada, Marco Bellocchio’s Fai bei sogni (Sweet Dreams), Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s La fille inconnue (The Unknown Girl) and Hong Sang-soo’s Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot (Yourself and Yours).

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