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First Batch of Films Announced for TIFF 2013

It’s almost that time of year again! Yesterday Director and CEO of TIFF, Piers Handling joined TIFF’s artistic director Cameron Bailey to announce the first batch of films screening at this years Toronto International Film Festival.

After announcing a selection of the films to be screened, they announced that Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate would open the festival. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and tells the story of the rise and fall of the controversial website. The film also stars Daniel Brühl, Stanley Tucci, and Laura Linney.

Highlights of the announced films include:

12 Years a Slave (directed by Steve McQueen)
The film tells the tells the incredible true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and finally freed in 1853. Appearing in the lead role is Chiwetel Ejiofor who will be joined on screen by Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Brap Pitt, and 2013 Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.

Rush (Ron Howard)
A biopic about champion racecar driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) who after a near fatal crash, gets back behind the wheel to challenge rival James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). Also stars Olivia Wilde and Natalie Dormer.


Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatiff Kechiche)
The story of Adèle, whose life is changed forever when she meets Emma, a girl with blue hair who takes her on a journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening won the prestigious Palme d’Or at this years Cannes Film Festival.

Devil’s Knot (Atom Egoyan)
A haunting true mystery about the infamous killing of three children in a small Arkansas town. The police charge and convict three teens (aka the West Memphis Three) for committing the murders during an alleged satanic ritual, but a mother and investigator suspect that the truth may be even worse. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Bruce Greenwood, and Dane DeHaan.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her (Ned Benson)
The story of a New York couple, played by Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, told in two parts respectively titled Him and Her, each in their own perspective. Also stars Bill Hader, William Hurt, Viola Davis, and Isabelle Huppert.

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
After their space shuttle is destroyed, two astronauts drift alone in space with nothing to hold on to except each other. The film will be shown in 3D and reportedly features a 17-minute sequence with no dialogue. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.


Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
After skipping the festival with his 2011 film Young Adult, Canadian director Jason Reitman returns to the festival with his drama starring Kate Winslet as a mother who takes a desperate stranger into her home, and later learns that he is an escaped convict. Also Starring Josh Brolin, Tobey Maguire, and James Van Der Beek.

August: Osage County (John Wells)
Adapted from Tracey Letts’ Tony and Pulitzer Price winning play, August tells the story of the dysfunctional Weston family, who are brought back together after a family crisis. Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Sam Shepard.


Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.