TIFF continues to roll out more of its film programming, including the world premiere of a documentary featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, a 1978-set gang thriller with Brie Larson, a cannibal love story starring Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey, and the return of the Blair Witch.
The Midnight Madness programme, which features the weird, wacky, and downright scary of the fest will pack a punch with opening night film “Free Fire.” Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting between two rival gangs in an abandoned warehouse turns into a shootout and kickstarts a heart-racing game of survival. Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Armie Hammer star in the film by director Ben Wheatley, whose previous efforts “Kill List,” “Sightseers,” and “High-Rise” have all played at TIFF.
One of the year’s best-kept secrets, the surprise sequel to “The Blair Witch” will hold its world premiere during the festival. “Blair Witch” picks up years after the events of the first film that saw a group of students armed with a camcorder go missing in the woods. Now, after footage he believes to be that of the missing trio gets posted online, a young man heads out in search of his sister on an expedition to find out what happened to his lost sibling, deep in the heart of the Blair Witch’s forest. The film was such a surprise that it was only just revealed to be a a sequel to “The Blair Witch” at Comic-Con, where the director revealed he had managed to keep it a secret from the actors through the entire casting and audition process.
Nicolas Cage is also set to make his return to the festival, starring opposite Willem Dafoe in the contemporary crime thriller “Dog Eat Dog”, a film about a trio of ex-cons who end up on the run from the law after a kidnapping goes awry.
Also earning early buzz is the sci-fi thriller “The Girl With All The Gifts”. Based on the acclaimed novel by Mike Carey, a young girl sets out to save the world in a dystopian-set future in the film starring Gemma Arterton and Glenn Close.
Outside of the Midnight Madness programme, a wave of documentary and Vanguard programme films was announced, including one featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and his quest to save the environment.
In “The Turning Point,” DiCaprio’s tireless quest to raise global awareness about climate change in his role as a UN Ambassador of Peace is front and centre. The film will have its world premiere at TIFF.
Other documentary announcements include “Into The Inferno”, a look at volcanos from iconic filmmaker Werner Herzog, and “The 6th Beatle”, which dives into the legacy of The Beatles’ first promoter, Sam Leach, before he was replaced by manager Brian Epstein.
Notable announcements in the Vanguard programme, which highlights provocative and unique storytelling, include the return of Jim Carrey and “Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek as a “mountain man.”
After an absence from the big screen, “The Bad Batch” features Carrey who, together with Keanu Reeves and Jason Momoa, stars in a dystopian love story set in a Texan community of cannibals.
Malek will star in “Buster’s Mal Heart” as a mountain man on the run from authorities for breaking into vacation homes to survive the winter. Haunted by recurring dreams of being lost at sea, Malek’s character discovers that they may not be dreams at all.
TIFF kicks off on September 8.