TIFF announces packed programming slate for November and tease to December

programming release

October 18, 2023

TIFF announces packed programming slate for November and tease to December

Orlando, My Political Biography, Christian Petzold retrospective, and centennial celebration of Ousmane Sembène. Bryan Lee O’Malley, Guy Maddin, BenDavid Grabinski, and best-selling author R. F. Kuang confirmed as special guests.

A still from Phoenix

Phoenix (2014)

TORONTO — TIFF is delighted to unveil an extensive lineup of programming for the month of November, bringing an exhilarating close to the vibrant autumn season of events. Alongside captivating retrospectives from TIFF Cinematheque, TIFF’s Public Programming team presents a diverse range of engaging activities. As part of the new From the Collection series – the first monthly TIFF series exclusive for our Members – TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey will host a screening of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue.

Acclaimed German auteur Christian Petzold will be celebrated in a 16-film retrospective on the heels of his latest award-winning hit Afire, which screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this past summer. This retrospective is curated by TIFF Cinematheque Senior Curator Andréa Picard and is one of the largest ever assembled on the director’s work, featuring a number of imported archival prints.

TIFF Cinematheque is also celebrating the centenary of Ousmane Sembène, the Senegalese auteur whose body of work is relatively small with nine features, but whose legacy extends beyond as a world-class satirist, rebel, and revolutionary artist. His work will be celebrated throughout the month of November with screenings of Ceddo, Emitaï, and Xala (TIFF’ 23 Classics Selection), all brand new 4K restorations courtesy of Janus Films.

Public Programming presents the latest Loved It event featuring best-selling author R. F. Kuang (Babel, Yellowface) on The Personal History of David Copperfield; a TIFF Primetime advance screening of the new Netflix series Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (episodes 101-103) with writers and co-showrunners Bryan Lee O’Malley and BenDavid Grabinski, and the return of International Cinema Cafe. Also returning this year is Sing-a-long-a, featuring special holiday screenings coming this December.

Tickets for all titles below are on sale now.


From the Collection | tiff.net/fromthecollection
These screenings are exclusively available to TIFF Members. To become a Member, visit tiff.net/membership.

Three Colors: Blue, with Cameron Bailey | November 7, 6:30pm
Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy is patterned after the colours of the French flag and offers idiosyncratic explorations of the corresponding themes of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

TIFF Wavelengths Presents | tiff.net/wavelengths

Colectivo los Ingrávidos: Ancestralidad y trance | November 8, 6:30pm
Introduction and Q&A with film curator, archivist, and researcher Almudena Escobar López following the screening

Colectivo los Ingrávidos (Mixtec) is a Mexican film collective that approaches cinema as a ritualistic process capable of connecting moments across space and time. Foregrounding the structural qualities of images as a political gesture, this program proposes a cinematic trance of history, myth, and embodiment that bridges the ancestral to the avant-garde. What cinema is possible after 500 years of colonisation and excess? Ancestralidad y trance features a collection of short films including After America, Archivo de Indias, Pintura de Castas, Mordängeln, Chinampas/The Floating Gardens, Itzcóatl, Sensemayá, Quetzalcóatl, and Tierra en Trance.

Boosie Fade Film Club | tiff.net/boosiefade

Style Wars (d. Tony Silver) | November 9, 8:30pm
Introduction by Boosie Fade co-founders Jordan Sowunmi and James Rathbone

An immersive depiction of hip hop’s earliest years in New York City. Rap music had not yet become hip hop’s most well known form of expression, so the documentary largely focuses on graffiti, which at the time had exploded all over New York City’s walls and, most of all, its subway cars.

Staying Alive: The Films of Christian Petzold | tiff.net/petzold
The Goethe-Institut is an arts partner of TIFF.

Transit | November 9, 6:30pm
Adapted from Anna Seghers’ WWII-set novel, the film transposes the plot to an indistinct moment that resembles an uncanny present-day, resulting in a haunted puzzle-play and ingenious companion piece to his postwar melodrama, Phoenix.

Afire | November 10, 6:30pm
A smouldering summer tale exploring love, leisure, and labour with hints of Chekhov and Rohmer.

Yella | November 11, 3pm
Featuring an extended introduction by programmer and writer Jutta Brendemühl
Recently divorced from her broke and abusive husband, Yella is eager to leave the industrial town of Wittenberg in former East Germany for a fresh start in the West.

The State I Am In | November 11, 6:30pm
The first break-out hit of the Berlin School, this tense drama follows two ex-terrorists and their pouty teenaged daughter, Jeanne (Hummer, who is equally excellent in Petzold’s Ghosts) as they plan an escape to Brazil.

Phoenix | November 16, 7pm
Featuring an extended introduction by film critic Adam Nayman
A searing, expressionistic post-WWII melodrama starring the formidable Nina Hoss as a headstrong concentration camp survivor, Phoenix is one of Petzold’s most successful and acclaimed films.

Something to Remind Me | November 17, 6:30pm
An edgy, Hitchcockian psychological thriller with carefully calibrated suspense, this film upends its classical romantic pursuit story with a reality far darker than its illusory surface.

Ghosts | November 18, 6:30pm
A braided tale of loneliness, grief, and yearning set in contemporary Berlin, Ghosts depicts a meeting of lost souls with unnerving ambiguity.

Pilots preceded by The Warm Money | November 19, 6:30pm
In Petzold’s rarely-screened feature debut, two travelling cosmetic saleswomen join forces to combat all the gross men who harass and exploit them. Paired with Petzold’s first collaboration with his mentor and teacher Harun Farocki.

Barbara | November 21, 6:30pm
Removed from a prestigious medical post in East Berlin and reassigned to an underfunded rural hospital near the Baltic sea — her punishment for requesting an exit visa from the GDR — Barbara (Nina Hoss) resentfully isolates herself from her new colleague, chief physician Andre (Ronald Zehrfeld), who she suspects is keeping tabs on her at the behest of the local Stasi officer Schütz (Rainer Bock).

The Sex Thief | November 23, 6:30pm
A stylish, Marnie-riffing tale of two sisters bound by their ancestral family home in Cologne.

Undine | November 24, 6:30pm
Petzold reunites with Transit co-stars Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski in this realist update of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s 1811 story about a water nymph.

Cuba Libre | November 25, 3pm
A dark and moody neo-noir starring Richy Müller as Tom, a perpetually down-on-his luck drifter who tries to win back his ex-lover Tina (a fierce Catherine Flemming), whom he abandoned and betrayed.

Jerichow | November 25, 6:30pm
A reworking of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Petzold’s first film to receive Canadian distribution plays with the conventions of a love triangle to fashion a suspenseful psychological thriller that is pristinely shot, intricately detailed, and finely acted.

Dreileben | November 26, 1pm
A TV mini-series comprised of a trio of interlocking films with 10-minute intermissions (rather than a standard trilogy or omnibus), Dreileben is an invigorating experiment in narrative construction by three of Germany’s leading filmmakers: Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf, and Christoph Hochhäusler.

Wolfsburg | November 28, 6:30pm
A sleek and chilling psychodrama in which tension anxiously builds until the very end, Wolfsburg explores the tangled aftermath of a hit-and-run accident in the eponymous city where the Nazis established the Volkswagen industrial complex.

Ousmane Sembène at 100 | tiff.net/sembene

Black Girl preceded by Borom Sarret | November 15, 6:30pm
Ousmane Sembène’s stirring first feature is preceded by the groundbreaking short film that marked his directorial debut.

Emitaï | November 18, 4pm
With unflinching realism, Sembène explores the strains that colonialism places upon cultural traditions and, in the process, discovers a people’s hidden reserves of rebellion and dignity. Presented in a new 4K restoration.

Ceddo | November 19, 1pm
In pre-colonial Senegal, members of the Ceddo (or “outsiders”) kidnap Princess Dior Yacine (Tabata Ndiaye) after her father (Makhourédia Guèye), the king, pledges loyalty to an ascendant Islamic faction that plans to convert the entire clan to its faith. Presented in a new 4K restoration.

Mandabi | November 19, 3:45pm
After jobless Ibrahima Dieng receives a money order for 25,000 francs from a nephew who works in Paris, news of his windfall quickly spreads among his neighbours, who flock to him for loans as new troubles rain down on his head.

Xala | November 26, 6:30pm
A pompous businessman finds himself struggling with impotence after taking a much younger third wife, in Sembène’s landmark satire of patriarchy and class in post-independence Senegal. Presented in a new 4K restoration.

TIFF Cinematheque Special Screenings | tiff.net/special

Se7en (d. David Fincher) | November 5, 9:30pm
When a mysterious killer begins perpetrating a string of gruesome, fiendishly inventive murders based on the seven deadly sins, world-weary cop William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) gets assigned to the case while also being saddled with a new partner, hot-headed young detective David Mills (Brad Pitt).

Twenty-eight years after Se7en, director David Fincher reunites with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker for his newest film, The Killer, playing exclusively at TIFF Bell Lightbox starting October 27.

Carnival of Souls (d. Herk Harvey) | November 12, 8:30pm
Director Herk Harvey’s only narrative feature, Carnival of Souls, is now widely beloved as a cult classic, having been later reappraised as essential viewing in independent genre filmmaking.

Detour (d. Edgar G. Ulmer) | November 22, 6:30pm
Hapless pianist Al Roberts (Tom Neal), while hitching to LA to join his singer girlfriend, is forced into a fatal deception when one of his rides expires; afraid that he’ll take the rap, Roberts takes over the dead man’s car and identity.

Modelled after Edgar G. Ulmer’s Depression-era classic Detour, Christian Petzold’s Cuba Libre also screens this November as part of Staying Alive: The Films of Christian Petzold.

The 39 Steps (d. Alfred Hitchcock) | November 29, 8:15pm
Based on the novel by John Buchan, Hitchcock creates a classic spy thriller for the ages.

Influenced by Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, Christian Petzold’s graduation film Pilots also screens this November as part of Staying Alive: The Films of Christian Petzold.

See the North | tiff.net/seethenorth

Archangel with Guy Maddin | November 14, 6:30pm
A traumatized Canadian soldier arrives in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution, only to find himself enmeshed in the lives of his local hosts, in Guy Maddin’s black-and-white 16mm fever dream. Presented in a new 4K restoration.

TIFF Family Films | tiff.net/family

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (d. Steven Spielberg) | November 5, 1pm
The tale of a gentle extra-terrestrial feels as heartfelt as ever more than 40 years later. Screening in 35mm!


Silver Screenings: Faces Places | November 3, 11am
This event is in honour of Sylvia Lustgarten (1926–2023) who co-founded the Ageless International Film Festival at the age of 91.

Silver Screenings and the Ageless Film Festival will host a free screening of Faces Places for an intergenerational audience. In this charming, award-winning documentary, director Agnès Varda and photographer/muralist JR journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.

International Cinema Cafe | November 5 & 26
Reel Talk is now International Cinema Cafe and continues to provide a snapshot of the best cinema from around the world, with a focus on films submitted for Best International Picture at the Academy Awards and hidden gems that may not see wide release.

Supporter Appreciation Weekend | November 11 & 12
In recognition of National Philanthropy Day (Nov. 15), TIFF will be hosting a weekend filled with special programming, activities, and perks exclusive to Members within the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Stay tuned for more information to come.

TIFF Primetime: Scott Pilgrim Takes Off | November 15, 7pm
Following the Canadian premiere of episodes 101-103 of the highly anticipated new Netflix series Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, writers and co-showrunners Bryan Lee O’Malley and BenDavid Grabinski join us for an onstage conversation about their animated adaptation of O’Malley’s iconic Toronto-set graphic novel series. Scott, Ramona Flowers, all seven of her evil exes, and the rest of the original cast from Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World reunite for a familiar but brand new adventure in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.

Loved It: R. F. Kuang on The Personal History of David Copperfield | November 18, 7pm
R. F. Kuang, bestselling author of this year’s literary sensation Yellowface, joins us in person to present a screening of Armando Iannucci’s ingenious The Personal History of David Copperfield, adapted from Charles Dickens’ iconic Bildungsroman David Copperfield and starring Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, and Tilda Swinton. Following the screening, Kuang will discuss the film’s influence on her own bestselling novel Babel.

Audiences will be able to purchase pre-signed copies of Kuang’s novels Babel and Yellowface as add-ons when purchasing tickets for this event. Following the in-cinema event, Kuang will also personally sign copies of her books.

This event is presented in partnership with Programming Partner HarperCollins Canada.

TIFF Next Wave: Open Screen | November 29, 6pm
Open Screen invites emerging filmmakers to share something on screen that they’ve created with a community of supportive peers. It can be a finished project or a work-in-progress, something they’ve screened before, or something they’ve been sitting on for a while. Filmmakers will receive helpful feedback and perspective on their work after it plays on the big screen.

Open Screen is co-presented by Future of Film Showcase and POV. This event is generously supported by the RBC Foundation, in support of RBC Emerging Artists.


Opening October 27 | One week only
The Delinquents
| Mongrel Media
Argentinian writer-director Rodrigo Moreno reinvents the heist movie from the inside out with this playful, inventive story about work-life balance.

✅ Oscars 2024 – Argentina’s Oscars submission for Best International Feature Film
✅ TIFF 2023 – Official Selection, Centrepiece programme

Playing November 5 | Special Screening
| Maison 4:3
Filmmakers speak with some of the most senior members of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in captivity in Syria. The backdrop is a country trying to stay vigilant as it struggles to recover from years of war. Confronted with the fundamentalist beliefs of the jihadists, the film attempts to trace the rise and the fall of the IS through their personal stories.

✅ Oscars 2024 – Canada’s Oscars submission for Best International Feature Film
✅ Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival – Winner, Directors Guild Special Jury Prize (Zayne Akyol)

Playing November 7 | Special Screening
The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes
| IFC Films
The Urashima Tunnel can grant any wish – for a price. High school boy Kaoru, plagued by a troubled past, teams up with Anzu, a girl who struggles to place obligations before her dreams, to investigate the Tunnel. But the cost of their hearts’ desires may be too high to pay. This is an unforgettable summer story of nostalgia, young love, and bending time itself.

✅ Annecy Festival 2023 – Winner, Paul Grimault Prize

Playing November 23 | Special Screening
Orlando, My Political Biography
| filmswelike
Theorist, critic, and curator Paul B. Preciado takes Virginia Woolf’s classic novel as a starting point for a bold, joyous reflection on the nature of contemporary trans life and a celebration of queerness.

✅ TIFF 2023 – Official Selection, Wavelengths programme
✅ Berlin International Film Festival – Four Awards, including the Encounters Award - Special Jury Prize


To cap off 2023, TIFF is thrilled to welcome audiences throughout the month of December and throughout the holiday season. TIFF Cinematheque will feature a Magnificent 70mm series, showcasing crowd favourites like 2001: A Space Odyssey and this year’s blockbuster smash Oppenheimer in stunning 70mm film. Additionally, a Toronto-exclusive New Release title will be announced.

Public Programming will present Sing-a-long-a, a joyous and participatory celebration of musical favourites, including The Sound of Music and, for the first time in this sing-a-long-a format in Canada, The Greatest Showman. Tickets for this series are on sale as of October 18.

The full December Programming release will be unveiled November 15, 2023.

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About TIFF
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival®in September; TIFF Lightbox, which features five cinemas, learning and entertainment facilities; and the innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $200 million CAD. TIFF Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel, and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation, and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Major Sponsors RBC and Visa, and Major Supporters: the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and City of Toronto.

TIFF Cinematheque is supported by Ontario Creates and Canada Council for the Arts.

Silver Screenings is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Canada.

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