TIFF Unveils First Round Of Titles For 2017, Tennis Drama ‘Borg/McEnroe’ To Open Fest

The countdown is on to the Toronto International Film Festival, with festival organizers last week announcing the first round of movies from Hollywood and beyond coming to Toronto in September.

On Monday, the opening-night film was revealed: tennis drama “Borg/McEnroe”, starring Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason and Stellan Skarsgård, will be kicking off this year’s film fest.

“’Borg/McEnroe’ has a powerful tension about it that is on par with the electric energy of Toronto on Opening Night,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF in a statement. “The story of this nail-biter matchup changed the sport of tennis forever, and the outstanding performances from LaBeouf and Gudnason will be a spectacular way for festival-goers to kick things off.”

“Borg/McEnroe” focuses on the epic rivalry between Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg (Gudnason) and his biggest rival on the court, brash American John McEnroe (LaBeouf), which came to a head during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships.

“I am extremely honoured by TIFF’s selection of ‘Borg/McEnroe’ as the opening film,” said the film’s director, Janus Metz. “It is a great celebration and recognition of everyone in the cast and crew who worked so hard to make this film what it is. We had very high ambitions for this project and have come such a long way together. I’m very excited that we can finally let the film out into the world, and I couldn’t dream of a better way of doing this.”

RELATED: TIFF To Downsize Movie Lineup By 20%, Drop 2 Venues

On July 25, festival heads Cameron Bailey and Piers Handling announced just a few of the festival’s high-profile films that kick off the 42nd edition of TIFF on September 7. The first round of film includes 14 galas and 33 special presentations. More announcements, including that of the opening night film, will be made throughout August.

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Among the fest’s high-profile premieres are “Breathe” starring Andrew Garfield, Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”, “The Mountain Between Us” with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, “mother!” starring Jennifer Lawrence, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany’s Boston Marathon bombing drama “Stronger”. Another hotly anticipated gala is “Long Time Running”, a documentary on the farewell tour of one of Canada’s favourite bands, The Tragically Hip.

Some of the most buzzed-about films include Margot Robbie’s turn as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya”, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Holland in “The Current War”, “Downsizing” with Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy in “Submergence”, the dark comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” starring Frances McDormand, and tennis showdown “Battle Of The Sexes” with Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

 

TIFF runs from September 7 to 17. See the full list of titles below.

GALAS 2017″

Borg/McEnroe |Janus Metz, Sweden/Denmark/Finland
World Premiere

Breathe | Andy Serkis, United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Catcher Was A Spy | Ben Lewin, USA
World Premiere

C’est la vie! | Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano, France
World Premiere

Darkest Hour | Joe Wright, United Kingdom
Canadian Premiere

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool | Paul McGuigan, United Kingdom
Canadian Premiere

Kings | Deniz Gamze Ergüven, France/Belgium
World Premiere

Long Time Running | Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Canada
World Premiere

Mary Shelley | Haifaa Al Mansour, Ireland/United Kingdom/Luxembourg/USA
World Premiere

The Mountain Between Us | Hany Abu-Assad, USA
World Premiere

Mudbound | Dee Rees, USA
International Premiere

Stronger | David Gordon Green, USA
World Premiere

Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film | Neil Burger, USA
World Premiere

The Wife | Björn Runge, United Kingdom/Sweden
World Premiere

Woman Walks Ahead | Susanna White, USA
World Premiere

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 2017

Battle of the Sexes | Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, USA
International Premiere

BPM (Beats Per Minute) | Robin Campillo, France
North American Premiere

The Brawler | Anurag Kashyap, India
World Premiere

The Breadwinner | Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg
World Premiere

Call Me By Your Name | Luca Guadagnino, Italy/France
Canadian Premiere

Catch the Wind | Gaël Morel, France
International Premiere

The Children Act | Richard Eyre, United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Current War | Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, USA
World Premiere

Disobedience | Sebastián Lelio, United Kingdom
World Premiere

Downsizing | Alexander Payne, USA
Canadian Premiere

A Fantastic Woman | Sebastián Lelio, Chile
Canadian Premiere

First They Killed My Father | Angelina Jolie, Cambodia
Canadian Premiere

The Guardians | Xavier Beauvois, France
World Premiere

Hostiles | Scott Cooper, USA
International Premiere

The Hungry | Bornila Chatterjee, India
World Premiere

I, Tonya | Craig Gillespie, USA
World Premiere

Special Presentations Opening Film
Lady Bird | Greta Gerwig, USA
International Premiere

mother! | Darren Aronofsky, USA
North American Premiere

Novitiate | Maggie Betts, USA
International Premiere

Omerta | Hansal Mehta, India
World Premiere

Plonger | Mélanie Laurent, France
World Premiere

The Price of Success | Teddy Lussi-Modeste, France
International Premiere

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women | Angela Robinson, USA
World Premiere

The Rider | Chloé Zhao, USA
Canadian Premiere

A Season in France | Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France
World Premiere

The Shape of Water | Guillermo del Toro, USA
Canadian Premiere

Sheikh Jackson | Amr Salama, Egypt
World Premiere

The Square | Ruben Östlund, Sweden
North American Premiere

Submergence | Wim Wenders, France/Germany/Spain
World Premiere

Suburbicon | George Clooney, USA
North American Premiere

Thelma | Joachim Trier, Norway/Sweden/France/Denmark
International Premiere

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri | Martin McDonagh, USA
North American Premiere

Victoria and Abdul | Stephen Frears, United Kingdom
North American Premiere

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