TIFF 2016 to open with The Magnificent Seven

Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven, a star-studded remake of the 1960s ensemble western, will open the Toronto International Film Festival, part of a first slate of films scheduled for the annual event this fall.

2016 edition runs Sept. 8-18

Director Antoine Fuqua, left, poses with The Magnificent Seven cast member Chris Pratt in Las Vegas this spring. The cowboy tale remake will open the 2016 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)
Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven, a star-studded remake of the 1960s ensemble western that puts Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke into the saddle, will open the Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFF CEO Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey unveiled the festival's first slate of films for this September's edition, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Tuesday morning.

"We are pleased to welcome acclaimed filmmaker Antoine Fuqua back to the festival," said Handling, who noted it would be the American director's third time bringing a movie to the festival.

"Fuqua has delivered an exciting character-driven film on a grand scale, while putting his own unique spin on the genre, making for a thrilling opening night."

New filmmaker Kelly Fremon Craig's The Edge of Seventeen landed the closing night slot. The Vancouver-filmed coming-of-age drama stars Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick.

Oliver Stone's take on Edward Snowden's story, the disaster thriller about the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil spill, a new sci-fi drama from Canadian Denis Villeneuve, and buzz movies from Sundance and Cannes are also among the titles coming to TIFF this fall.

Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is Stone's anticipated biopic-political thriller about the National Security Agency whistleblower who leaked classified information to the media.

Mark Wahlberg stars in Deepwater Horizon, Peter Berg's thriller inspired by the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Quebec filmmaker Villeneuve's latest TIFF entry is Arrival, in which Oscar winner Amy Adams portrays a linguist who, after an alien spacecraft lands on Earth, must determine the visitors' intentions.

Films that made a splash at earlier film festivals such as Sundance and Cannes are also headed for Toronto, including Nate Parker's slave rebellion drama The Birth of a Nation and Jeff Nichols's interracial marriage drama Loving.

Damien Chazelle's La La Land, a musical romance, features Emma Stone and Canadian actor Ryan Gosling.

"Ryan Gosling singing and dancing doesn't get any better," Handling quipped.

Other notable titles include: 

  • Fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford's sophomore film Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.
  • Actor Ewan McGregor's directorial debut American Pastoral, an adaptation of Philip Roth's Pulitzer-winning novel. 
  • Mira Nair's Queen of Katwe, based on the real story of a Ugandan chess prodigy and starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong'o.
  • Concert films JT + The Tennessee Kids and The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America.

TIFF will also screen the latest from acclaimed filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, Asghar Farhadi, Wener Herzog, Kenneth Lonergan and Park Chan-wook.

TIFF's artistic director tells CBC's Eli Glasner about a few notable films to watch out for this fall at the festival 2:51

Major movie draw

The initial mass of 35,000 fans who attended TIFF's first edition (introduced as the Festival of Festivals in 1976) has grown into a huge gathering of approximate 500,000 cinephiles who descend on Toronto annually, along with movie stars, filmmakers, movie moguls and other dealmakers.

Now in its 41st year, TIFF has become a significant player on the increasingly crowded international film festival circuit and is especially prized for its famed audience of average — but discerning — audience members. The fest has developed a rep as a real-world testing ground, with many winners of TIFF's top prize — the People's Choice Award — catching a wave that takes them all the way to the Oscars. 

On a more serious note, Handling and Bailey noted that the festival is working with law enforcement officials on increasing security for this year's edition. 

"I can't announce the plan because then it wouldn't be secure, but we've taken this extremely seriously in light of what's happened in France and Europe in particular. We're looking at a whole series of measures," Handling said following the press conference.

"I think the public will see a little bit of extra security. Certainly behind the scenes, [almost] invisible, as it should be, but we're definitely tightening security." 

TIFF 2016 runs Sept. 8-18. 

The films announced today:


  • Arrival, Denis Villeneuve, U.S.
  • Deepwater Horizon, Peter Berg, U.S.
  • The Headhunter's Calling, Mark Williams, Canada.
  • The Journey is the Destination, Bronwen Hughes, United Kingdom/South Africa.
  • JT + The Tennessee Kids, Jonathan Demme, U.S.
  • LBJ, Rob Reiner, U.S.
  • Lion, Garth Davis, Australia.
  • Loving, Jeff Nichols, U.S.
  • A Monster Calls, J.A. Bayona, U.S./Spain.
  • Planetarium, Rebecca Zlotowski, France/Belgium.
  • Queen of Katwe, Mira Nair, South Africa/Uganda.
  • The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America, Paul Dugdale, United Kingdom.
  • The Secret Scripture, Jim Sheridan, Ireland.
  • Snowden, Oliver Stone, Germany/U.S.
  • Strange Weather, Katherine Dieckmann, U.S.
  • Their Finest, Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom.
  • A United Kingdom, Amma Asante, United Kingdom.

Special Presentations

  • The Age of Shadows (Miljeong), Kim Jee woon, South Korea.
  • All I See Is You, Marc Forster, Thailand.
  • American Honey, Andrea Arnold, U.S.
  • American Pastoral, Ewan McGregor, U.S.
  • Asura: The City of Madness, Kim Sung-soo, South Korea.
  • Barakah Meets Barakah (Barakah yoqabil Barakah), Mahmoud Sabbagh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Barry Vikram, Gandhi, U.S.
  • Birth of the Dragon, George Nolfi, U.S./China/Canada.
  • The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker, U.S.
  • Bleed for This, Ben Younger, U.S.
  • Blue Jay, Alex Lehmann U.S.
  • Brimstone, Martin Koolhoven, Netherlands/Germany/France/Belgium/Sweden/United Kingdom.
  • BrOTHERHOOD, Noel Clarke, United Kingdom.
  • Carrie Pilby, Susan Johnson, U.S.
  • Catfight, Onur Tukel, U.S.
  • City of Tiny Lights, Pete Travis, United Kingdom.
  • The Commune (Kollektivet), Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands.
  • Daguerrotype (Le Secret de la chambre noire), Kiyoshi Kurosawa, France/Japan/Belgium.
  • A Death in the Gunj, Konkona Sensharma, India.
  • Denial, Mick Jackson, U.S./United Kingdom.
  • Elle, Paul Verhoeven, France.
  • Foreign Body (Jassad Gharib, Corps Etranger), Raja Amari, Tunisia/France.
  • Frantz, François Ozon, France/Germany.
  • The Handmaiden (Agassi), Park Chan-wook, South Korea.
  • Harmonium (Fuchi ni tatsu), Kôji Fukada, Japan/France.
  • I Am Not Madame Bovary, Feng Xiaogang, China.
  • The Journey, Nick Hamm, United Kingdom.
  • King of the Dancehall, Nick Cannon, U.S./Jamaica.
  • La La Land, Damien Chazelle, U.S.
  • The Limehouse Golem, Juan Carlos Medina, United Kingdom.
  • Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan, U.S.
  • Maudie, Aisling Walsh, Canada/Ireland.
  • Neruda, Pablo Larraín, Chile/Argentina/Spain/France.
  • Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford, USA/United Kingdom.
  • The Oath, Baltasar Kormákur, Iceland.
  • Orphan (Orpheline), Arnaud des Pallières, France.
  • Paris Can Wait, Eleanor Coppola, U.S.
  • Paterson, Jim Jarmusch, U.S.
  • The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi.
  • Salt and Fire, Werner Herzog, Germany/U.S./France/Mexico.
  • Sing, Garth Jennings, U.S./France.
  • Souvenir, Bavo Defurne, Belgium/Luxembourg/France.
  • Things to Come (L'Avenir), Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany.
  • Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade, Germany.
  • Trespass Against Us, Adam Smith, United Kingdom.
  • Una, Benedict Andrews, United Kingdom.
  • Unless, Alan Gilsenan, Canada/Ireland.
  • The Wasted Times (Luo Man Di Ke Xiao Wang Shi), Cheng Er, China.

With files from The Canadian Press


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