Jenna Ortega’s ‘Finestkind,’ Dakota Johnson’s ‘Daddio’ Added to Toronto Film Fest Lineup

Jenna Ortega’s ‘Finestkind,’ Dakota Johnson’s ‘Daddio’ Added to Toronto Film Fest Lineup

Despite the ongoing SAG-AFTRA actors and WGA writers strikes, the Toronto Film Festival continues to turn up the star wattage for its 48th edition, adding movies with Dakota Johnson, Bérénice Bejo, Awkwafina, Sandra Oh and Mads Mikkelsen to its lineup on Thursday.

For the Gala section, TIFF unveiled the A-list heavy crime drama Finestkind from Brian Helgeland, the Oscar-winning writer-director behind Mystic River and L.A. Confidential; and A Knight’s Tale, which stars Ben Foster, Jenna Ortega, Tommy Lee Jones and Toby Wallace.

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Also headed to Roy Thomson Hall is the South Korean drama A Normal Family, directed by Hur Jin-ho, the Korean auteur who in the past premiered Dangerous Liaisons and April Snow in Toronto. TIFF earlier tapped fellow Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan’s Smugglers for its Special Presentations sidebar, and has now bumped that drama up to a gala screening in Toronto after a world bow in Locarno.

There’s also a gala world premiere for Karan Boolani’s directorial debut Thank You For Coming, with Anil Kapoor starring and Rhea Kapoor producing. In the Special Presentations section, Toronto programmers added Christy Hall’s directorial debut Daddio, with Dakota Johnson paired with Sean Penn in a drama about a woman in a cab talking to the taxi driver about key relationships in their lives; and Mexican director Alejandro Lozano’s El Sabor de la Navidad.

That will join the 20th Century Studios comedy Quiz Lady, starring Awkwafina and Sandra Oh and getting a first look in Toronto ahead of a November bow on Hulu in the U.S.; and a world premiere for Lone Scherfig’s The Movie Teller, which features Bérénice Bejo, the silent star of The Artist.

Also booked into Special Presentations is The Promised Land, a Danish period drama starring Mads Mikkelsen from A Royal Affair director Nikolaj Arcel that will get a Canadian premiere after competing in Venice; Ru, a 1970s-set drama by Canadian director Charles-Olivier Michaud about a shy young Vietnamese woman adjusting to a new life in Canada; and the Venice competition film Evil Does Not Exist, the latest feature from Oscar-winning Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

TIFF also unveiled its Centerpiece program, which includes the Cannes titles Close Your Eyes by Victor Erice and Aki Kaurismaki’s deadpan comedy Fallen Leaves; the immigrant drama Green Border from Polish director Agnieszka Holland; and Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days, which is set in Japan and also bowed in Cannes.  

There’s world premieres in the sidebar formerly known as Contemporary World Cinema for Ian Gabriel’s Death of a Whistleblower, a true events thriller about biological warfare in Africa and the Middle East; Italian actor and director Edoardo Gabbriellini’s Holiday; Louise Archambault’s Irena’s Vow, the Holocaust drama starring Sophie Nelisse and Dougray Scott; and Hala filmmaker Minhail Baig’s latest film, We Grown Now, which is set in her hometown of Chicago.

The Toronto Film Festival, set to run Sept. 7 to 17, earlier announced it would open its 2023 edition with Japanese anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s much anticipated final film, The Boy and the Heron.

Galas

A Normal Family Hur Jin-ho | South Korea World Premiere

Finestkind Brian Helgeland | USA World Premiere

Smugglers Ryoo Seung-wan | South Korea North American Premiere

Thank You For Coming Karan Boolani | India World Premiere

Special Presentations

Daddio Christy Hall | United States International Premiere

El Sabor de la Navidad Alejandro Lozano | Mexico World Premiere

Evil Does Not Exist Ryûsuke Hamaguchi | Japan North American Premiere

Quiz Lady Jessica Yu | USA World Premiere

Ru Charles-Olivier Michaud | Canada World Premiere

The Movie Teller Lone Scherfig | Spain/France/Chile World Premiere

The Promised Land Nikolaj Arcel | Denmark/Germany/Sweden Canadian Premiere

Centerpiece

100 Yards Xu Haofeng, Xu Junfeng | China International Premiere

About Dry Grasses (Kuru Otlar Üstüne) Nuri Bilge Ceylan | Turkey/France/Germany/Sweden North American Premiere

A Happy Day Hisham Zaman | Norway/Denmark World Premiere

A Ravaging Wind (El Viento Que Arrasa) Paula Hernández | Argentina/Uruguay World Premiere

A Road to A Village (गाउ आएको बाटो) Nabin Subba | Nepal World Premiere

Banel & Adama (Banel e Adama) Ramata-Toulaye Sy | France/Senegal/Mali North American Premiere

Chuck Chuck Baby Janis Pugh | United Kingdom International Premiere

City of Wind (сэр сэр салхи) Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir | France/Mongolia/Portugal/Netherlands/Qatar/Germany North American Premiere

Close Your Eyes (Cerrar Los Ojos) Víctor Erice | Spain/Argentina North American Premiere
Luminaries

Death of a Whistleblower Ian Gabriel | South Africa World Premiere

Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet) Aki Kaurismäki | Finland/Germany Canadian Premiere
Luminaries

Fitting In Molly McGlynn | Canada
Canadian Premiere
Sloan Science on Film Showcase, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Green Border (Zielona Granica) Agnieszka Holland | Poland/Czech Republic/France/Belgium North American Premiere
Luminaries

Hey, Viktor! Cody Lightning | Canada Canadian Premiere

Holiday Edoardo Gabbriellini | Italy World Premiere

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (Vampire humaniste cherche suicidaire consentant)

Ariane Louis-Seize | Canada North American Premiere

I Do Not Come To You By Chance Ishaya Bako | Nigeria World Premiere

In Flames Zarrar Kahn | Canada/Pakistan North American Premiere

Inshallah a Boy (Inshallah Walad) Amjad Al Rasheed | Jordan/France/Saudi Arabia/Qatar/Egypt North American Premiere

Irena’s Vow Louise Archambault | Canada/Poland World Premiere

Je’vida Katja Gauriloff | Finland Canadian Premiere

Kanaval Henri Pardo | Canada/Luxembourg World Premiere

Limbo Ivan Sen | Australia North American Premiere

Lost Ladies (Laapataa Ladies) Kiran Rao | India World Premiere

Mountains Monica Sorelle | USA International Premiere

National Anthem Luke Gilford | USA International Premiere

Perfect Days Wim Wenders | Japan Canadian Premiere

Robot Dreams Pablo Berger | Spain/France North American Premiere

Shadow of Fire Shinya Tsukamoto | Japan North American Premiere

Shayda Noora Niasari | Australia Canadian Premiere

Sira Apolline Traoré | Burkina Faso/Senegal/France/Germany North American Premiere

Snow Leopard (Xue Bao) Pema Tseden | China North American Premiere

Sweet Dreams Ena Sendijarević | Netherlands/ Sweden/ Indonesia/France North American Premiere

The Breaking Ice Anthony Chen | China North American Premiere

The Delinquents Rodrigo Moreno | Argentina/Brazil/Luxembourg/Chile North American Premiere

The Feeling That the Time for Something Has Passed Joanna Arnow | USA North American Premiere

The Monk and the Gun Pawo Choyning Dorji | Bhutan/France/USA/Taiwan International Premiere

The Nature of Love (Simple Comme Sylvain) Monia Chokri | Canada/France North American Premiere

The Reeds (Son Hasat) Cemil Ağacıkoğlu | Turkey/Bulgaria World Premiere

The Settlers (Los Colonos) Felipe Gálvez Haberle | Chile/Argentina/France/Denmark/United Kingdom/Taiwan/Sweden/Germany
North American Premiere

The Teachers’ Lounge Ilker Çatak | Germany North American Premiere

They Shot the Piano Player (Dispararon Al Pianista) Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal | Spain/France Canadian Premiere

Toll (Pedágio) Carolina Markowicz | Brazil/Portugal World Premiere

Upon Open Sky (A Cielo Abierto) Mariana Arriaga, Santiago Arriaga | Mexico/Spain North American Premiere

We Grown Now Minhal Baig | USA World Premiere

Woodland (WALD) Elisabeth Scharang | Austria World Premiere

Your Mother’s Son (Anak Ka Ng Ina Mo) Jun Robles Lana | Philippines World Premiere

Documentary

I am Sirat A collaboration between Deepa Mehta and Sirat Taneja | Canada World Premiere