TIFF 2021 Contemporary World Cinema And Discovery Lineup Announced

The first wave of Toronto International Film Festival 2021 titles dropped last week, and now we have even more movies joining the festival. The titles announced today are part of the TIFF Contemporary World Cinema and Discovery lineup, and include new films from Jane CampionMaya Forbes and Wallace WolodarskyJoachim Trier, and more – including a heavy dose of debut features from filmmakers on the rise.

The Toronto International Film Festival is back this year for its 46th edition, and while we all want things to get back to normal, there's still some question as to how this is all going to work out. TIFF limited its in-person screenings last year and relied heavily on virtual screenings. A virtual component is expected this year, too, but Canada will be opening its borders to outsiders for the first time in a long time – and just in time to coincide with the festival.

Here are more details on that:

The Government of Canada intends to open its borders for non-essential travel from American citizens and permanent residents on August 9, 2021 and citizens of any country on September 7, 2021 provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, and that visitors have been fully vaccinated with Government of Canada-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen – Johnson & Johnson – AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD) at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. In addition to this, travellers must also: meet the pre-entry test requirements; provide a digital copy of vaccination documentation; provide COVID-19-related information electronically through the ArriveCAN app prior to arrival in Canada; provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case border agents determine they do not meet the necessary requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and participate in random COVID-19 testing. Those meeting these requirements can travel to Canada without having to quarantine, including the elimination of the three-night hotel quarantine policy. This allows TIFF to welcome a portion of its traditional volume of international press, industry, and talent back to the Festival as permitted by the Canadian government.

"The news on relaxed border restrictions was crucial in TIFF's plan to safely welcome international press and industry back to that unique TIFF experience they know and love," said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF. "While remaining diligent, TIFF continues working within the parameters and guidelines of the government and health officials for the health and safety of all our stakeholders. We're ecstatic to bring a portion of the in-person experience back to the press and industry who've supported TIFF films throughout the years."

TIFF is also offering TIFF Rewind this year, a series of free digital talks with filmmakers and cast who revisit some previous TIFF premieres. "Audiences may remember when TIFF partnered with Crave to introduce the organization's first digital cinema experience, Stay-at-Home Cinema, back in March of 2020," said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF. "Furthering the success of that watch-along format, and building a bridge between our physical venues and at-home experiences, TIFF Rewind brings nostalgia to film lovers and focuses on Festival moments I recall vividly."

Confirmed TIFF Rewind films and guests include:

Antoine Fuqua on Training Day

  • Director Antoine Fuqua revisits his acclaimed police thriller about a rookie cop who spends 24 hours in Los Angeles gang territory with a corrupt senior narcotics officer, which marks the 20th anniversary of its North American premiere at the Festival in 2001. The film earned Denzel Washington his first Academy Award for Best Actor after two previous nominations (and an earlier Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor).

Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara on Best in Show

  • Director and co-writer Christopher Guest and stars Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy revisit the making of their cult classic about the competitive world of dog shows, which made its world premiere at the Festival in 2000.

Patricia Cardoso and America Ferrera on HBO's Real Women Have Curves

  • Director Patricia Cardoso and star America Ferrera discuss their breakout hit about a young Mexican American woman coming of age in Los Angeles, which was helmed by a Latina creative team and had its international premiere at the Festival in 2002.

Viggo Mortensen on Eastern Promises

  • Viggo Mortensen revisits his second collaboration with David Cronenberg, a crime thriller set in the nebulous, cut-throat underworld of Russian organized crime in London, which made its world premiere at the Festival in 2007 and won the People's Choice Award.

The 46th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9–18, 2021. You can see the latest wave of titles below.

TIFF 2021 Contemporary World Cinema

Are You Lonesome Tonight? | Wen Shipei | China

North American Premiere

  • The lives of three people converge in Wen Shipei's thrilling debut: a young man who believes he's killed someone, the dead man's widow, and the policeman in charge of the investigation.

The Box (La Caja) | Lorenzo Vigas | USA/Mexico

North American Premiere

  • The latest from Lorenzo Vigas (From Afar) is a heartrending study of familial loyalties and a searing look at Mexico's manufacturing industry

Costa Brava, Lebanon (Costa Brava) | Mounia Akl | Lebanon/Norway/Sweden/France/Spain/Denmark/Qatar

North American Premiere

  • Saleh Bakri and Nadine Labaki star in Mounia Akl's impassioned debut, an eerie family drama set amid a raging climate crisis in near-future Lebanon.

The Daughter (La Hija) | Manuel Martín Cuenca | Spain

World Premiere

  • A pregnant 15-year-old and the couple giving her shelter form a tense agreement, in the latest from Manuel Martín Cuenca (The Motive).

The Hill Where the Lionesses Roar (Luaneshat e kodrës) | Luàna Bajrami | Kosovo/France

North American Premiere

  • In a remote Kosovar village, three young women who feel their dreams have been stifled go on a quest for independence.

Întregalde | Radu Muntean | Romania

North American Premiere

  • Romanian auteur Radu Muntean's latest is an incisive, mordant, and suspenseful drama about the limits of generosity, as a trio of volunteers delivering relief to a remote village are led on a detour by a stranger.

Kicking Blood | Blaine Thurier | Canada

World Premiere

  • Blaine Thurier's sultry, perma-stoned, ultra-modern spin on the vampire genre evokes cult-horror figures like George A. Romero and Stuart Gordon.

La Soga 2 | Manny Perez | USA

World Premiere

  • Dominican American writer and actor Manny Perez makes his directorial debut with this action-packed sequel to TIFF '09 selection La Soga.

Maria Chapdelaine | Sébastien Pilote | Canada

World Premiere

  • A teen in rural Quebec must decide her future by choosing one of three suitors, in Sébastien Pilote's moving adaptation of Louis Hémon's 1913 novel.

Medusa | Anita Rocha da Silveira | Brazil

North American Premiere

  • A gang of young women in Brazil try to control everything around them, including other women, in this genre-hopping film about internalized misogyny.

Murina | Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovi? | Croatia/Brazil/USA/Slovenia

North American Premiere

  • The dynamic between a restless teenager and her oppressive father changes when a family friend arrives at their isolated Croatian home.

Nobody Has to Know | Bouli Lanners | France/Belgium/United Kingdom

World Premiere

  • Belgian writer, director, and actor Bouli Lanners' latest is an engrossing drama about one man's amnesia and the love story that rewrites his past.

The Odd-Job Men (Sis dies corrents) | Neus Ballús | Spain

North American Premiere

  • A subtle comedy about masculinity and barely hidden social anxieties, Neus Ballús's latest delivers a tender look at Barcelona through the eyes of a recent émigré.

The Other Tom (El otro Tom) | Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo | Mexico/USA

North American Premiere

  • A mother risks losing custody of her son when she refuses to medicate his ADHD, in this drama from directors Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo.

OUT OF SYNC (Tres) | Juanjo Giménez | Spain

North American Premiere

  • In the latest from director Juanjo Giménez, a sound designer must rethink her career and life when her vision and hearing fall out of sync.

Terrorizers | Ho Wi Ding | Taiwan

World Premiere

  • A murder at Taipei Main Station connects a group of disillusioned youths, in director Ho Wi Ding's hat tip to Edward Yang's The Terrorizers.

Unclenching The Fists | Kira Kovalenko | Russia

North American Premiere

  • In an industrial town in the North Caucasus, a middle child struggles to escape the stifling grip of the family she both loves and rejects.

Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas) | Edwin | Indonesia/Singapore/Germany

North American Premiere

  • From Indonesian auteur Edwin and novelist Eka Kurniawan comes this offbeat martial-arts romance between an impotent brawler and a mafia bodyguard.

The Wheel | Steve Pink | USA

World Premiere

  • Writer-director Steve Pink's intimate drama is about a young couple on the brink of divorce, each coping in their own way with their shared past.

Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon) | Carlo Francisco Manatad | Philippines/France/Singapore/Indonesia/Germany/Qatar

North American Premiere

  • After a devastating typhoon in the Philippines, three characters must decide whether to stay home or escape to Manila and leave their pasts behind.

TIFF 2021 Discovery

Aloners | Hong Sung-eun | South Korea

International Premiere

  • A solitary woman re-evaluates her isolated existence after her neighbour dies alone in his apartment, in Hong Sung-eun's subtle debut feature.

Anatolian Leopard (Anadolu Leopar?) | Emre Kay?? | Germany/Denmark/Turkey/Poland

World Premiere

  • To help save the Turkish zoo where they work, two employees collude to hide the death of a leopard, in director Emre Kay??'s feature debut.

As In Heaven (Du som er i himlen) | Tea Lindeburg | Denmark

World Premiere

  • Religious dogma and superstition threaten the dreams of a young 19th-century woman, in Tea Lindeburg's period film that feels eerily contemporary.

A Banquet | Ruth Paxton | United Kingdom

World Premiere

  • Ruth Paxton's women-led horror sees a mother tested when her daughter insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power.

Dug Dug | Ritwik Pareek | India

World Premiere

  • In this striking and musically infectious satire, mysterious events in the wake of a freak motorcycle accident sow the seeds of a new religion.

Farha | Darin J. Sallam | Jordan/Sweden/Saudi Arabia

World Premiere

  • A 14-year-old girl in 1948 Palestine watches from a locked cellar as catastrophe consumes her home, in this bold debut from Darin J. Sallam.

The Game | Ana Lazarevic | Serbia/USA

World Premiere

  • Ana Lazarevic's empathetic feature debut follows the journey of a smuggler who becomes stranded in the Balkans with two teen refugees.

Learn To Swim | Thyrone Tommy | Canada

World Premiere

  • The feature debut from Toronto's Thyrone Tommy (Mariner, TIFF '16) charts the stormy romance between two very different contemporary jazz musicians.

Lo Invisible | Javier Andrade | France/Ecuador

World Premiere

  • Javier Andrade's dazzling and mysterious film follows a woman who comes home from a psychiatric clinic after a bout with severe postpartum depression.

Paka (River of Blood) | Nithin Lukose | India

World Premiere

  • This Romeo and Juliet–esque vengeance tale is set deep in the forests of Kerala, where the river is witness to a violent, generations-old feud.

Quickening | Haya Waseem | Canada

World Premiere

  • The debut feature from writer-director Haya Waseem explores the life of a young woman of colour navigating love, heartbreak, and family turmoil.

Scarborough | Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson | Canada

World Premiere

  • Three kids in a low-income neighbourhood find friendship and community in an unlikely place, in this adaptation of Catherine Hernandez's award-winning book.

Snakehead | Evan Jackson Leong | USA

International Premiere

  • A woman rises through the ranks of the gang that smuggled her into New York City, in Evan Jackson Leong's fact-based debut feature.

To Kill The Beast | Agustina San Martín | Argentina/Brazil/Chile

World Premiere

  • Agustina San Martín's feature directorial debut is a bold piece of tropical gothic that puts young female desire at the centre of its loose narrative.

Tug of War (Vuta N'Kuvute) | Amil Shivji | Tanzania/South/Africa/Germany/Qatar

World Premiere

  • A young revolutionary and a runaway bride struggle for forbidden freedoms, in Amil Shivji's adaptation of Adam Shafi's Swahili novel.

Wildhood | Bretten Hannam | Canada

World Premiere

  • Link and his brother flee their abusive father and embark on a journey where Link discovers his sexuality and rediscovers his Mi'kmaw heritage.

TIFF 2021 Gala Presentations 

The Good House | Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky | USA

World Premiere

  • Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline play ex-flames who rekindle their romance, in this comedy from directors Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky.

Silent Night | Camille Griffin | United Kingdom

World Premiere

  • Keira Knightley and Lily-Rose Depp star in Camille Griffin's feature directorial debut, about a family's eventful Christmas dinner in the country.

The Worst Person In The World (Verdens Verste Menneske) | Joachim Trier | Norway/France/Sweden/Denmark

North American Premiere

(*Previously announced as a Special Presentation)

  • The finale in Joachim Trier's "Oslo Trilogy" follows a 30-year-old woman in the midst of an existential crisis as she navigates between career and romantic choices, and her own refusal to be defined — even by herself.

TIFF 2021 Special Presentations 

The Falls (Pu Bu) | Chung Mong-Hong | Taiwan

North American Premiere

  • A mother and daughter's fraught relationship takes unexpected turns while they quarantine during COVID, in the latest from Chung Mong-Hong (A Sun).

The Humans | Stephen Karam | USA

World Premiere

  • Steven Yeun, Beanie Feldstein, and Richard Jenkins star in Stephen Karam's adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize–winning multi-generational family drama.

Inu-Oh | Masaaki Yuasa | Japan/China

North American Premiere

  • Two boys marginalized by society in 14th-century Japan find power through dance and song, in Masaaki Yuasa's animated tale of friendship and magic.

Lingui, The Sacred Bonds (Lingui) | Mahamat-Saleh Haroun | Chad/France/Germany/Belgium

North American Premiere

  • Chadian master Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's latest is a generous exploration of the intricate support networks women weave to survive the harsh laws of men.

Mothering Sunday | Eva Husson | United Kingdom

North American Premiere

  • Olivia Colman and Colin Firth star in this deeply affecting adaptation of Graham Swift's bittersweet novel about secret love in post-WWI England.

The Power of the Dog | Jane Campion | Australia/New Zealand

Canadian Premiere

  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst lead Jane Campion's drama about two brothers whose lives change when a widow and her son arrive at their ranch.

Sundown | Michel Franco | Mexico

North American Premiere

  • Tim Roth stars in writer-director Michel Franco's chilling drama about a wealthy Briton attempting to abandon his life while vacationing in Acapulco.

Wolf | Nathalie Biancheri | United Kingdom/Ireland/Poland

World Premiere

  • In Nathalie Biancheri's sophomore feature, George MacKay's wolf encounters Lily-Rose Depp's wildcat in a radical behavioural reform institute.