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The Toronto International Film Festival tends to bring out a combination of literary adaptations and potential blockbusters and this year’s event is stacked. The first slate of gala presentations was shared today and movie fans came expect A-list projects out in full force come September.

Some of the most-anticipated TIFF movies are Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which features a star-studded ensemble including Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson and Chris Evans. There’s also Hustlers, starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, Keke Palmer and Lizzo as strippers who dupe their wealthy clients to make bank and DC fans will get to see how Joaquin Phoenix make his mark as Batman’s nemesis, in Joker.

Other movies to look forward to include the adaptation of the bestselling Donna Tartt novel, The Goldfinch, starring Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Luke Wilson, Sarah Paulson and Jeffrey Wright; Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, which features Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Melissa Rauch and David Schwimmer; and Jojo Rabbit, directed by Taika Waititi and starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson and Stephen Merchant. And let’s not forget A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys, the very-probable tearjerker on the life of Fred Rogers and his life-changing effect on a cynical journalist.

Encouragingly, of the Gala films announced on Tuesday, a record-setting 50 per cent of the works are directed or co-directed by women. Canadians to look out for homegrown talent, including Atom Egoyan and his psychological drama Guest of Honour; Semi Chella marks her feature film directorial debut with American Woman; and the emotional detective tale,  The Song of Names, from Francois Girard.

The previously-announced opening night film is the Crave Original doc Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band with Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive, the Marie Curie biopic starring Rosamund Pike, closing the fest. More titles will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5-15, 2019.

Full list of TIFF films announced, in alphabetical order:

2019 GALAS

Opening night – Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (directed by Daniel Roher)
Closing night – Radioactive (directed by Marjane Satrapi)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (directed by Marielle Heller)
Abominable (directed by Jill Culton)
American Woman (directed by Semi Chellas)
Blackbird (directed by Roger Michell)
Clemency (directed by Chinonye Chukwu)
Ford v Ferrari (directed by James Mangold)
Harriet (directed by Kasi Lemmons)
Hustlers (directed by Lorene Scafaria)
Joker (directed by Todd Phillips)
Just Mercy (directed by Destin Daniel Cretton)
Ordinary Love (directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn)
The Goldfinch (directed by John Crowley)
The Sky Is Pink (directed by Shonali Bose)
The Song of Names (directed by Francois Girard)
True History of the Kelly Gang (directed by Justin Kurzel)
Western Stars (directed by Thom Zimny and Bruce Springsteen)


A Herdade (directed by Tiago Guedes)
Bad Education (directed by Cory Finley)
Coming Home Again (directed by Wayne Wang)
Dolemite is My Name (directed by Craig Brewer)
Ema (directed by Pablo Larrain)
Endings, Beginnings (directed by Drake Doremus)
Frankie (directed by Ira Sachs)
Greed (directed by Michael Winterbottom)
Guest of Honour (directed by Atom Egoyan)
Heroic Losers (directed by Sebastian Borensztein)
Honey Boy (directed by Alma Har’el)
Hope Gap (directed by William Nicholson)
How to Build a Girl (directed by Coky Giedroyc)
I Am Woman (directed by Unjoo Moon)
Jojo Rabbit (directed by Taika Waititi)
Judy (directed by Rupert Goold)
Knives Out (directed by Rian Johnson)
La Belle Époque (directed by Nicolas Bedos)
Marriage Story (directed by Noah Baumbach)
Military Wives (directed by Peter Cattaneo)
Motherless Brooklyn (directed by Edward Norton)
No.7 Cherry Lane (directed by Yonfan)
Pain and Glory (directed by Pedro Almodóvar)
Parasite (directed by Bong Joon-ho)
Pelican Blood (directed by Katrin Gebbe)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (directed by Céline Sciamma)
Saturday Fiction (directed by Lou Ye)
The Friend (directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite)
The Laundromat (directed by Steven Soderbergh)
The Lighthouse (directed by Robert Eggers)
The Other Lamb (directed by Malgorzata Szumowska)
The Painted Bird (directed by Václav Marhoul)
The Personal History of David Copperfield (directed by Armando Iannucci)
The Report (directed by Scott Z. Burns)
The Two Popes (directed by Fernando Meirelles)
Uncut Gems (directed by Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie)
Weathering With You (directed by Makoto Shinkai)
While at War (directed by Alejandro Amenábar)