7 book-to-screen adaptations to watch for at TIFF

TIFF 2020 is here! Check out the screen versions of these books at the festival.

This year, the Toronto International Film Festival will include both physical and digital screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's a list of literary-inspired films at the festival this year.

TIFF runs from Sept. 10 to 20, 2020.

Concrete Cowboy

Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin star in the film Concrete Cowboy. (TIFF)

Concrete Cowboy stars Idris Elba and Stranger Things' Caleb McLaughlin and leans on a theme of love and family ties as it delves into the unique subculture of Black cowboys and horse trainers on the streets of Philadelphia. When a troubled teen is forced to live with his absent father, the pair reconnect through a love of nature, horses and community. 

Based on: The 2011 novel Ghetto Cowboy by American author Greg Neri

Inconvenient Indian

Inconvenient Indian is a documentary film by Métis-Algonquin filmmaker Michelle Latimer that highlights the dichotomy of history and truth as it examines the cultural colonization of Indigenous peoples in North America.

Based on: The 2012 nonfiction book The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King


Frances McDormand stars in Nomadland, directed by Chloé Zhao. (TIFF)

Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao directs this exploration of hope and hopeless in the American West. Starring Frances McDormand, Nomadland looks at the precariousness of modern work and finding love as a lonely woman named Fern travels cross-country in an RV. 

Based on: The 2017 nonfiction book of the same name by American author Jessica Bruder

Penguin Bloom

Naomi Watts stars in Glendyn Ivin’s Penguin Bloom, dramatizing the true-life story of a woman who suffers a traumatic accident. (TIFF)

Penguin Bloom stars Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln and is directed by Glendyn Ivin. It is based on the true story of Sam Bloom, whose recovery from a tragic accident is helped when she and her family meet a stray magpie named Penguin.

Based on: The 2016 nonfiction book of the same name by Australian author Bradley Trevor Greive

A Suitable Boy

Directed by Mira Nair, A Suitable Boy is a six-part drama series adaptation about a young woman living in post-partition India. Against the backdrop of a country in transition, A Suitable Boy looks at the delicate balance between tradition, family duty and finding one's own way in the world. 

Based on: Indian author Vikram Seth's 1993 novel of the same name

Summer of 85

Set in 1980s, this period piece by French filmmaker François Ozon highlights love and heartbreak between two teenage boys on the Normandy coast. The coming-of-age tale looks at the nature of friendship, infatuation and devotion.

Based in part on: British author Aidan Chambers's 1982 YA novel Dance on My Grave


TRICKSTER | Official Trailer

3 years ago
Duration 1:57
Official Trailer for CBC Gem's Trickster

Trickster is a CBC supernatural thriller series that follows an Indigenous teen named Jared who struggles to keep his family afloat when a stranger named Wade ruptures the balance.

Based on: The 2017 novel Son of a Trickster by Haisla-Heiltsuk author Eden Robinson. Kaniehtiio Horn defended the novel on Canada Reads 2020.

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