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TIFF ‘18 Docs: 27 stories we couldn’t make up if we tried

The year’s best in non-fiction

Aug 9, 2018

Today, the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival announced its documentary programme, which will feature 27 feature-length non-fiction films, representing 19 countries.

The TIFF Docs selection will open with the World Premiere of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9, a radical (and humorous) look at the United States under Donald Trump.

Other World Premieres include Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks’ Quincy, profiling musical icon Quincy Jones; Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s The Elephant Queen, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, tracing the epic journey of an elephant herd; Billy Corben’s Screwball, a true-crime comedy on doping in Major League Baseball; and Heartbound, a film 10 years in the making by last year’s Festival opener Janus Metz.


Angels Are Made Of Light


Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

“TIFF Docs contains multiple titles poised to become the next non-fiction hits after a summer of box-office breakouts,” said TIFF Docs Programmer Thom Powers. “Beyond the well-known directors in the lineup, look out for newer talents that will take audiences by surprise.”

One-third of this year’s doc features are directed or co-directed by female filmmakers, including the TIFF Docs closing film Margarethe von Trotta’s Searching for Ingmar Bergman, which offers a multi-faceted look at the Swedish auteur’s life 100 years after his birth.

Women creators, trailblazers, and the #MeToo movement are also examined within the lineup: Naziha Arebi’s Freedom Fields, about a Libyan women’s football team; Alex Holmes’ Maiden recounts the story of an all-women sailing crew; Tom Volf’s Maria by Callas profiles one of the major icons of the 20th century; Alexis Bloom’s Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes recounts the ousting of the Fox News creator for allegations of sexual harassment; Tom Donahue’s This Changes Everything examines gender dynamics in Hollywood, executive produced by Geena Davis; and Mark Cousins’ Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema, narrated by Tilda Swinton, explores international cinema through the lens of women directors.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018. Ticket packages are on sale now.


The Elephant Queen


Ghost Fleet

The full list of TIFF Docs films announced today:

American Dharma | Errol Morris, USA/United Kingdom
North American Premiere

Angels Are Made Of Light | James Longley, USA/Denmark/Norway
Canadian Premiere

The Biggest Little Farm | John Chester, USA
International Premiere

Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes | Alexis Bloom, USA
World Premiere

The Elephant Queen | Victoria Stone, Mark Deeble, United Kingdom/Kenya
World Premiere

TIFF Docs Opening Film
Fahrenheit 11/9 | Michael Moore, USA
World Premiere


Graves Without a Name


Heartbound (Hjertelandet)

Free Solo | E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, USA
International Premiere

Freedom Fields | Naziha Arebi, Libya/United Kingdom/Netherlands/USA/Qatar/Lebanon/Canada
World Premiere

Ghost Fleet | Shannon Service, Jeffrey Waldron, USA
International Premiere

Graves Without a Name (Les tombeaux sans noms) | Rithy Panh, France/Cambodia
Canadian Premiere

Heartbound (Hjertelandet) | Janus Metz, Sine Plambech, Denmark/Netherlands/Sweden
World Premiere

Maiden | Alex Holmes, United Kingdom
World Premiere


Maria by Callas


Meeting Gorbachev

Maria by Callas | Tom Volf, France
North American Premiere

Meeting Gorbachev | Werner Herzog, André Singer, United Kingdom/USA/Germany
Canadian Premiere

This Changes Everything | Tom Donahue, USA
World Premiere

Monrovia, Indiana | Frederick Wiseman, USA
North American Premiere

Putin's Witnesses (Svideteli Putina) | Vitaly Mansky, Latvia/Switzerland/Czech Republic
International Premiere

Quincy | Rashida Jones, Alan Hicks, USA
World Premiere

Reason (Vivek) | Anand Patwardhan, India
World Premiere


Putin's Witnesses


This Changes Everything

Screwball | Billy Corben, USA
World Premiere

TIFF Docs Closing Film
Searching for Ingmar Bergman | Margarethe von Trotta, Germany/France
North American Premiere

The Truth About Killer Robots | Maxim Pozdorovkin, USA
World Premiere

Walking on Water | Andrey Paounov, Italy/USA
North American Premiere

When Arabs Danced (Au temps où les Arabes dansaient) | Jawad Rhalib, Belgium
North American Premiere

Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema | Mark Cousins, United Kingdom
North American Premiere

Previously announced Canadian features at the Festival include Ron Mann’s Carmine Street Guitars, Barry Avrich’s Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, and Astra Taylor’s What is Democracy?


Walking on Water


When Arabs Danced (Au temps où les Arabes dansaient)

TIFF '18 Trailer Mashup