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Toronto International Film Festival features celebrities, world premieres

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from Sept. 5-15 this year, offering more than 360 movies for ticket-holders.

Since its inception in 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has gradually become one of the premier events for showcasing new material worldwide.

Put on each year during the first few weeks of September, a large number of industry professionals like filmmakers, producers, agents and distributors, along with a hungry bunch of movie-lovers across all genres, descend on the Canadian metropolis.

Photo: Illustration by Miriam Taylor

This year’s festival runs through Sunday and will have screened more than 360 films, including 146 world premieres.

Among those premieres is The F Word, a Toronto production that drew a large Canadian crowd to a red carpet event to see stars Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver, as well as The Green Inferno, the latest horror film from Hostel director Eli Roth.

TIFF has gained a reputation for generating buzz for films that have not yet had a wide release. Titles like 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Can A Song Save Your Life? already have critics and audiences talking. It’s still too early to declare something an Oscar lock or a total bomb, but those around the festival understand the importance of being featured on such a prominent stage.

Nigel M. Smith, managing editor at Indiewire, personally raved about Prisoners, a film by the Academy Award-nominated Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. It stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

“Jackman gives what I think is his best performance to date as a bereaved father of a girl who goes missing,” said Smith, a 2010 SU arts journalism graduate. “I was riveted the entire time. It’s two and a half hours, but it could have been three and I would’ve been happy. I can’t stress enough how expertly crafted this film is. Everyone should go see it.”

Some of the festival’s content will be available to general viewing public sooner rather than later, including Prisoners, which comes out Sept. 20. Other films, like Can A Song Save Your Life? have just picked up distribution and will take longer to make it to a theater near you.

Reviews by SU arts journalists

For a full listing of the titles that have screenings this year, be sure to check out

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