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2017: The Year in TIFF Films

Some of the best TIFF '16 films haven't hit theatres yet. But they will...

Jan 10, 2017 @ 3:00pm

Are you looking for the films playing at this year's Toronto International Film Festival? Well, you're in the wrong spot — but don't worry: the schedule for TIFF '17 goes live on August 22.

Learn more about TIFF '17

TIFF '16 was stuffed with brilliant films, and it seems like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association agrees: our People's Choice Award Winner just won pretty much all the Golden Globes, while the many of the ones that were left went to other TIFF selections. Moonlight picked up the Globe for Best Drama, Isabelle Huppert (who appeared in no fewer than three TIFF films and an In Conversation With event) won Best Actress in a Drama, while her film Elle took home Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language, and Casey Affleck got the nod as Best Actor in a Drama for Manchester by the Sea, to name just a few of the TIFF '16 works that were recognized.

Those films arrived in theatres last year, and many of them can be seen right now. But there is also a wealth of incredible films from last year's Festival that haven't been released yet. Here's your guide to some of the gems to look out for this year, including a bunch of masterpieces that are playing right here at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Sieranevada | Dir. Cristi Puiu

Expect it: January 13, 2017 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Synopsis: A patriarch’s wake turns into a full-on familial tempest, in the brilliant new film from uncompromising Romanian auteur Cristi Puiu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu). This one made it to theatres in some countries, but if you haven't seen it, now's your chance: it plays TIFF Bell Lightbox starting this Friday, January 13.

Toni Erdmann | Dir. Maren Ade

Expect it: January 27, 2017 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Synopsis: The new film from Maren Ade (The Forest for the Trees, Everyone Else) is an alternately hilarious and mortifying comedy about the fraught relationship between a repressed corporate consultant and her incessantly prank-playing dad.

The Red Turtle | Dir. Michaël Dudok de Wit

Expect it: January 27, 2017 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Synopsis: The first international co-production from renowned Japanese animation giant Studio Ghibli enlists the talents of Oscar-winning Dutch animator Michaël Dudok De Wit for a wondrous story about the unlikely friendship between a castaway on a deserted island and an enormous sea turtle.

I Am Not Your Negro | Dir. Raoul Peck

Expect it: February 24, 2017 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Synopsis: Working from the text of James Baldwin’s unfinished final novel, director Raoul Peck (Moloch Tropical, Murder in Pacot) creates a stunning meditation on what it means to be Black in America.

The Salesman | Dir. Asghar Farhadi

Expect it: February, 2017
Synopsis: A sudden eruption of violence creates an atmosphere of simmering tension between a husband and wife, in this work of slow-burning domestic suspense from Academy Award–winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation).

A United Kingdom | Dir. Amma Asante

Expect it: February, 2017
Synopsis: Amma Asante (Belle) helms this biopic of Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), the former African royal who courted controversy with his interracial marriage to Englishwoman Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike) and later led his nation to independence from the British Empire as the first president of Botswana.

After the Storm | Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda

Expect it: March, 2017
Synopsis: A divorced man struggles to regain his estranged family’s trust while sheltering with them during a typhoon, in the latest film from celebrated Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda (Like Father, Like Son, Our Little Sister).

Personal Shopper | Dir. Olivier Assayas

Expect it: March, 2017
Synopsis: Kristen Stewart reunites with director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria) for this artful ghost story about a young woman trying to reconnect with the spirit of her departed brother.

I, Daniel Blake | Dir. Ken Loach

Expect it: March, 2017
Synopsis: British master Ken Loach won his second Palme d’Or at Cannes for this timely drama about an aged, ailing handyman’s battle to survive after being denied his government health allowance.

Their Finest | Dir. Lone Scherfig

Expect it: March, 2017
Synopsis: Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (An Education, The Riot Club) directs a sterling British cast — including Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston and Richard E. Grant — in this period comedy-drama about a group of filmmakers struggling to make an inspirational film to boost morale during the Blitz of London in World War II.

Weirdos | Dir. Bruce McDonald

Expect it: March, 2017
Synopsis: Canadian master Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, The Tracey Fragments) teams with veteran playwright and screenwriter Daniel MacIvor for this offbeat coming-of-age comedy-drama, about two Nova Scotian teens who hit the road in July 1976 accompanied by the laconic ghost of (the still-living) Andy Warhol.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City | Dir. Matt Tyrnauer

Expect it: April, 2017
Synopsis: This timely and inspirational documentary chronicles legendary writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs’ battle to save historic NYC neighbourhoods from the draconian redevelopment plans of ruthless power broker Robert Moses in the 1960s.

Maudie | Dir. Aisling Walsh

Expect it: April, 2017
Synopsis: Academy Award nominees Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky, Blue Jasmine) and Ethan Hawke star in the true story of Maud Lewis, who overcame the physical challenge of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to become one of Canada’s premier folk artists.

The Unknown Girl | Dir. Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Expect it: May 2017
Synopsis: After refusing to answer a late-night knock on her clinic door, a doctor seeks to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death of her unidentified caller, in this social-realist procedural from Belgian auteurs Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Lady Macbeth | Dir. William Oldroyd

Expect it: June 2017
Synopsis: Acclaimed theatre director William Oldroyd relocates Nikolai Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk to 19th-century England, in this Gothic tale about a young woman trapped in a marriage of convenience whose passionate affair unleashes a maelstrom of murder and mayhem on a country estate.

Colossal | Dir. Nacho Vigalondo

Expect it: Sometime this year
Synopsis: A going-nowhere party girl (Anne Hathaway) discovers a mysterious connection between herself and a giant monster wreaking havoc on the other side of the globe.

The Ornithologist | Dir. João Pedro Rodrigues

Expect it: Sometime this year
Synopsis: Stranded along a sublime river fjord in northern Portugal, a hunky ornithologist is subjected to a series of brutal and erotic Stations-of-the-Cross-style tests, in the daring new film from provocative Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues.

Catfight | Dir. Onur Tukel

Expect it: Sometime this year
Synopsis: A reunion between two old school friends (Sandra Oh and Anne Heche) sparks a no-holds-barred war of attrition, in this outrageously madcap black comedy.