TIFF 2021 lineup: Dune, Dionne, Alanis and Night Raiders

The festival teased 10 films playing at this year's edition, which will mix in-person, digital and drive-in screenings


Denis Villeneuve’s Dune will have its Canadian premiere at TIFF this September, in a “World Exclusive IMAX Special Event” at the Ontario Place Cinesphere.

The Quebecois filmmaker’s all-star adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic – delayed almost a year due to the pandemic – was one of 10 features on the 2021 lineup that TIFF announced today.

In addition to the Dune screening, the festival unveiled nine more films playing in its official selection, including music documentaries about Dionne Warwick and Alanis Morissette.

  • Kenneth Branagh’s IRA drama Belfast, starring Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan and Judi Dench;
  • Philip Noyce’s Lakewood, a thriller starring Naomi Watts as a mother racing to save her child from a lockdown situation;
  • Last Night In Soho, Edgar Wright’s Swinging London thriller starring Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit), Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) and 60s icons Terence Stamp, Rita Tushingham and Diana Rigg;
  • The Starling, a drama which reunites Melissa McCarthy with her St. Vincent director Theodore Melfi;
  • Petite Maman, the new feature from Portrait Of A Lady On Fire writer/director Céline Sciamma
  • Don’t Make Me Over, a documentary about music icon Dionne Warwick directed by Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner; and
  • Jagged, a study of Canrock superstar Alanis Morissette from Alison Klayman (Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry).

Canadian titles announced today include Danis Goulet’s thriller Night Raiders, starring Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers as a mother determined to rescue her daughter from a near-future residential school, and Éric Warin and Rahir Rana’s Charlotte, a study of German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon co-written by Toronto novelist David Bezmozgis.

“It’s been a tough year and we’re so glad to be back,” Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s artistic director and co-head, said in a statement. “We can’t wait for September. We’ve been inspired by the quality, range and diversity of the films we’re inviting, and we couldn’t wait to give everyone an early glimpse.”

As with the 2020 edition, the TIFF 2021 lineup will feature a mixture of indoor, outdoor and digital screenings, with in-person screenings to be held at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall and the Princess of Wales Theatre, plus drive-in, open-air and IMAX screenings at Ontario Place.

Digital screenings will be accessible to all of Canada, and conversations, Q&As and panels will be available on the TIFF Bell Digital Talks platform. All digital film screenings will be offered with closed captions.

“We believe that digital access is an important part of providing accessibility to audiences and will be vital to the future of film festivals,” said TIFF executive director and co-head Joana Vicente in the same statement. “This inclusivity across all our offerings helps to ensure that, no matter where you are located, you can participate in the festival.”

The festival will announce its galas and special presentations on July 20, rolling out the rest of the program on July 28 and August 11. The 46th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 9-18, 2021.

@normwilner

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