The Toronto International Film Festival announced the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” will be the annual festival’s opening-night gala presentation.

Kicking the festival off on September 9, the Broadway adaptation starring Tony Award winner Ben Platt tells the story of a high school senior with a debilitating anxiety disorder whose therapeutic writing exercise winds up in the wrong hand with tragic consequences. Directed by Stephen Chbosky, the musical also stars Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, and Amandla Stenberg.

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“There was no question that ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ was the ideal film to launch the festival this year,” Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head, TIFF, said in a statement. “This film is ultimately about healing, forgiveness, and reaffirms how connected and essential we all are to one another. We couldn’t think of a more important idea to celebrate this year as we come together once again to share the power and joy of cinema in theatres together.”

Other new film announcements on Tuesday include Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield’s biopic “The Eyes Of Tammy Faye”, Benedict Cumberbatch as an eccentric London artist who introduced Victorian London to the delights of cats in “The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain”, the boxing drama “The Survivor” with Ben Foster, the premiere of the live-action family film “Clifford The Big Red Dog”, and “Encounter”, about a father and his sons running from an alien threat, starring Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer.

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Acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou will close out the festival with the North American premiere of “One Second”, described as a “love letter to cinema” in which a man escapes a labour camp for a glimpse of his beloved daughter.

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Featuring in-person and digital screenings, this year’s edition of TIFF includes the previously announced premieres of the Alanis Morissette documentary “Jagged”, Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” with Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe, Antoine Fuqua’s English-language remake of “The Guilty” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and “Last Night In Soho”, the latest from Edgar Wright featuring Anya Taylor-Joy.

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