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The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have unveiled their lineup of galas and special presentations, and as usual the schedule is littered with award season hopefuls looking to launch their campaigns.

Opening the festival, which runs from 8-18 September, is Antione Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven starring Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington. However, all eyes will be on the reception of some highly-hyped Oscar hopefuls including The Birth of a NationLovingLionManchester by the Sea and La La Land.

Toronto is seen as the first proving ground, and a major tryout, for studios’ prospective award champions, so a good reception here is key.

VISIT TIFF FOR THE FULL LINEUP

Of course the festival can also end an awards campaign just as rapidly as it launches it, and there are plenty of worthy films ready to step into the spotlight. Arrival and Deepwater Horizon are already being talked about, while Elle is the vehicle to Isabelle Huppert’s leading actress nomination.

Other films to watch out for include Rob Reiner’s LBJ, which may carry more impact in an election year (not a coincidence) and Oliver Stone, who is hoping his biopic of Edward Snowden connects. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an imminent nominee, so he may be able to lead the way for Snowden to reach the Oscars.

Whether or not you buy into the festival thing, Toronto maintains credibility as an independent showcase of Hollywood’s finest by distancing itself from the awards game. Ironically, this serves it well as an arbiter of potential awards favourites. Nonetheless, its lineup is predictably compelling and the inevitable talking point of the film world throughout late September.


GALAS

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

The Edge of Seventeen

The Headhunter’s Calling

The Journey is the Destination

JT + The Tennessee Kids

LBJ

Lion

Loving

The Magnificent Seven

A Monster Calls

Planetarium

Queen of Katwe

The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America

The Secret Scripture

Snowden

Strange Weather

Their Finest

A United Kingdom

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

The Age of Shadows

All I See Is You

American Honey

American Pastoral

Asura: The City of Madness

Barakah Meets Barakah

Barry

Birth of the Dragon

The Birth of a Nation

Bleed for This

Blue Jay

Brimstone

BrOTHERHOOD

Carrie Pilby

Catfight

City of Tiny Lights

The Commune

Daguerrotype

A Death in the Gunj

Denial

Elle

Foreign Body

Frantz

The Handmaiden

Harmonium

I Am Not Madame Bovary

The Journey

King of the Dancehall

La La Land

The Limehouse Golem

Manchester by the Sea

Mascots

Maudie

Neruda

Nocturnal Animals

The Oath

Orphan

Paris Can Wait

Paterson

The Salesman

Salt and Fire

Sing

Souvenir

Things to Come

Toni Erdmann

Trespass Against Us

Una

Unless

The Wasted Times

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