TIFF’s fall launch coincides with the official opening of Varda, the new lounge and café-bar at TIFF Bell Lightbox, named in honour of the celebrated French filmmaker Agnès Varda. Opening on October 6, Varda is the new downtown destination for high-quality delicious coffee, conversation, sophisticated drinks, and snacks. It will be open Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 10pm, with special cinq à sept offerings in homage to Varda’s Cléo de 5 à 7. During opening weekend, audiences can catch special screenings of this beloved classic, as well as Jane B. par Agnès V. This fall also marks the introduction of Member Tuesdays at TIFF Bell Lightbox starting on October 10, offering Members exclusive access to Varda on that evening to complement a full slate of programming.
TIFF Bell Lightbox will be showing an exciting lineup of the most talked-about New Releases hot off their run at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival, including Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall, winner of this year’s Palme d’Or, starring German actress Sandra Hüller, opening on October 25; NYAD, from Academy Award-winning directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), starring Annette Bening and Jodie Foster, opening on October 20; from Oscar-nominated director Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro), comes Silver Dollar Road, a searing documentary about a Black family in North Carolina who battle decades of harassment by land developers trying to seize their waterfront property on October 13; as well as the Australian film The Royal Hotel from Kitty Green, starring Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick, opening October 6; and the recently announced TIFF People’s Choice Documentary Award-winning Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe, Swan Song, and Fair Play opening on September 29; and Strange Way of Life and The Burial, opening on October 6.
Additional internationally acclaimed New Releases opening on October 13 include Foe, starring Academy Award nominees Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal; Once Within a Time, the latest from Godfrey Reggio, will have a special screening on October 15 and Anik Jean’s debut feature My Mother’s Men will screen on October 4.
From October 12–November 2, TIFF Cinematheque will present the first spotlight on Romanian cinema in more than 15 years to Toronto audiences. Reclaiming the Past: Romanian Cinema Before the New Wave is an essential primer in understanding both the history and cinema of Romania, before its celebrated New Wave of renowned and award-winning filmmakers like Radu Jude, Cristian Mungiu, Cristi Puiu, and Radu Muntean. Curated by Andrei Tănăsescu, Reclaiming the Past, a 12-film survey, aims to draw the curtain on Romanian cinema’s (re)staging of life to reveal hidden wonders waiting to be discovered, spotlighting filmmakers such as renowned theatre director Liviu Ciulei (Best Director, Cannes – Forest of the Hanged, 1965) and The Eruption (1957), his rarely screened classic due to be rediscovered; and Manole Marcus’s I Don’t Want to Get Married (1961), a charming cinematic debut, earnest proletkult romantic comedy, and vibrant technicolor musical.
Quebec filmmaker Ariane Louis-Seize’s debut feature Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (TIFF ’23) kicks off TIFF’s Halloween programming on Friday, October 13, followed by a Midnight Madness Presents screening of Dario Argento’s 1986 slasher film Opera with Karim Hussain on October 28; TIFF Family Films presentation of Hocus Pocus on October 29; and Next Wave Presents Scott Pilgrim vs. the World on October 31. For those at home, Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou’s horror–thriller Talk To Me — A24’s top-grossing horror release — will be available October 3 on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Other seasonal highlights include the Canadian premiere of Madeleine Gavin’s Beyond Utopia on October 25, winner of the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, in partnership with community partner HanVoice. Beyond Utopia is a suspenseful, riveting portrait of how far people will go to gain freedom, and follows various families as they attempt to flee North Korea. Following the screening, film participants and producers Sue Mi Terry and Jana Edelbaum will be in attendance for an in-person conversation and audience Q&A.
Secret Movie Club returns on October 24 and Member-exclusive events kick off with a complimentary screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie, and book-signing with author Mona Awad to celebrate the release of her new novel Rouge. Silver Screenings, TIFF’s programming for seniors, returns with two events: a free digital screening of Chandler Levack’s 2022 Festival hit I Like Movies on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox, followed by a live Zoom Q&A with Levack on October 20; and on November 3, 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 J.R. journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship. This screening will be followed by an intergenerational portrait collage workshop led by public artist Dan Bergeron (free; registration required).
Tickets for this season’s TIFF Cinematheque programming will go on sale September 27 at 10am for TIFF Members and Under-25 Pass holders, and September 29 at 10am for the public.
TIFF CINEMATHEQUE PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS
October 6 – November 2
The Disreputables with introductions by series programmer Norm Wilner
This series highlights genre cinema from the ’80s and early ’90s — mostly produced under the radar, with minimal studio interference — that used action, humour, and preposterous situations to show us exactly where society was heading. The eight films in this series are: Kathryn Bigelow’s Blue Steel, Paul Michael Glaser’s The Running Man, Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop, John Carpenter’s They Live, Martha Coolidge’s Real Genius, Douglas Cheek’s C.H.U.D., Jack Sholder’s The Hidden, and Larry Cohen’s The Stuff.
October 10, 6pm and October 14, 3pm
TIFF Cinematheque New and Restored
Screening on October 10, visionary Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr and co-director Ágnes Hranitzky’s masterpiece, Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) is a parable-like, nearly timeless narrative that reflects on the fascistic fervour of the closing century while offering a troubling premonition of its sadly borne-out resurgence (in Hungary specifically, but also elsewhere.). The film is adapted from co-writer László Krasznahorkai’s 1989 novel The Melancholy of Resistance. Presented here in a stunning 4K restoration, the deep contrast of the chiaroscuro images are restored — an enhancement that serves Tarr’s signature transcendent style.
On October 14, one of Luis Buñuel’s most disturbing and openly perverse films, Él, will be presented in a 4K restoration. The 1953 film concerns a handsome and wealthy 40-year-old virgin who is obsessed with purity and Catholic ritual. Becoming fixated on an attractive ankle he spies during a church service, he tracks down the young woman to whom it belongs, marries her, becomes hysterically jealous, and is driven to bizarre extremes in his increasingly paranoid attempts to ensure her faithfulness. “A mocking study of irrational love and jealousy [with] suggestions of Freud and the Marquis de Sade” (Pauline Kael).
October 11, 6:30pm
TIFF Wavelengths Presents Figures of Absence: The Films of Dore O.
Introduction and Q&A with Masha Matzke (film restorer, scholar, and curator at Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin) following the screening.
On the occasion of the publication of Figures of Absence. The Films of Dore O. Women’s Experimental Cinema (StrzeleckiBooks; ed. Masha Matzke), the first monograph focusing on the film practice of the German artist Dore O., a three-day event honours the work and legacy of one of Germany’s most prolific and internationally renowned — yet overlooked ― experimental filmmakers. The programme offers the rare chance to see the recently restored films by Dore O., many of which have been inaccessible for a long time.
This screening is part of a three-day event, Figures of Absence. The Films of Dore O. Book Launch and Film Screenings with Masha Matzke (Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin) presented by TIFF Cinematheque, Goethe-Institut, and AD HOC. Restorations courtesy Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin.
October 12 – November 2
Reclaiming the Past: Romanian Cinema Before the New Wave
Introductions by series programmer Andrei Tănăsescu.
A selection of films showcasing the strong output of Romanian cinema prior to its New Wave, with a rare survey of films from 1925–1993. Romanian cinema in the ’60s was marked by visionary filmmaking and in the ’80s a subversive approach in reaction to the increasingly oppressive regime of that time.
The Eruption (d. Liviu Ciulei, 1957)
I Don’t Want to Get Married (d. Manole Marcus, 1961)
A Movie with a Charming Girl (d. Lucian Brato, 1966)
Re-enactment (Lucian Pintilie, 1970)
Microphone Test (d. Mircea Daneliuc, 1980)
Sequences (d. Alexandru Tatos, 1981)
Snapshot Around the Family Table (d. Ada Pistiner, 1980) preceded by A Day Will Come (d.Copel Moscu,1985)
Videograms of a Revolution (d. Andrei Ujica, Harun Farocki, 1992)
The Conjugal Bed (d. Mircea Daneliuc, 1993)
God Plays Sax, the Devil Violin (d. Alexandra Gulea, 2003) preceded by This is It (d. Thomas Ciulei, 2001)
kinema:ikon 1975 - 1989
Sahia Studio: The Reality Factory
October 26, 6:30pm
MDFF Selects presents American Glass Factory
Introduction by MDFF’s Kazik Radwanski with a live performance by Director Jason Fox, both are joined by Producer Aliya Pabani for a Q&A following the screening.
Director and editor Jason Fox explores the relationship between documentary film and the US Democratic Party — from John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey’s election race in Primary, to the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions and the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory.
October 28, 6:30pm Midnight Madness Presents Opera with Karim Hussain
Introduction by Midnight Madness Presents programmers Peter Kuplowsky and Liane Cunje with special guest Karim Hussain.
Midnight Madness Presents is proud to premiere the newly restored Opera in 4K from Severin. Murder at the opera comes in two varieties in Dario Argento’s fever-dream opus, featuring an incredible soundtrack from the likes of Verdi, Claudio Simonetti, and Brian Eno. Betty (Cristina Marsillach), a fledgling operatic soprano understudy, is thrust into the spotlight for her company’s production of Verdi’s Macbeth, after the primadonna succumbs to a mysterious accident. Unable to shake the feeling of being pursued and watched, Betty’s dream spirals into a vivid nightmare when a black leather-gloved assailant infiltrates her life and loved ones backstage. Torturously forcing her to witness their gruesome ends in one of the most cinematically sadistic devices from the Master of the Thrill, Argento’s voyeurism extends far beyond the lens, widening audience eyes to experience Betty’s haunting memories from the impossibly privileged setting of the Teatro Regio di Parma.
Severin Films’ new 4K restoration with grading supervised in Toronto by Karim Hussain (DP of Infinity Pool and Possessor).
October 29, 1:00pm
TIFF Family Films presents Hocus Pocus
A teenage boy newly arrived to Salem, Mass., is skeptical of the legend of the Sanderson sisters ― three witches who, when sentenced to death in the 17th century, cast a spell to one day bring themselves back to life. In present day, it’s Halloween, and Max (Omri Katz) finds himself at the Sanderson’s old home with his kid sister Dani (Thora Birch) and school crush Allison (Vinessa Shaw) when he accidentally resurrects the witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy), unleashing a series of dramatic and comedic events that include a zombie, a talking cat, and plenty of flying brooms. A flop at the box office and panned by critics when it was released in 1993, Hocus Pocus nonetheless went on to become a cult favourite, eventually spawning a sequel in 2022.
October 31, 6:30pm
TIFF Next Wave Presents: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Recorded introduction by Director Edgar Wright.
Freeloading twentysomething bassist Scott Pilgrim’s complicated ― if underwhelming ― romantic life takes a turn for the action-packed when he meets the (literal) girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers. But in order to win her heart, he is challenged with defeating each of her “seven evil exes.” With Toronto as his distinct setting, director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and star Michael Cera bring Bryan Lee O’Malley’s cult comic-book hero to vivid and musically charged life while championing a less-than-likely hero.
TIFF Members and TIFF Under 25-Free Pass Holders receive access to year-round TIFF benefits including free access to more than 300 Cinematheque screenings. To learn more and join as a TIFF Member, visit tiff.net/membership.
New Releases - Playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Playing October 4
My Mother’s Men | Immina
A woman sets out to honour her dead mother’s wish that her ashes be distributed amongst her five ex-husbands to scatter in a place most significant to each of them, in Anik Jean’s debut feature. Starring Léane Labrèche-Dor, Marc Messier, and Benoît Gouin.
Opens October 6
The Royal Hotel | Elevation Pictures
Director Kitty Green and actor Julia Garner (The Assistant) reunite in this story of two friends who run out of cash while backpacking in Australia and must take jobs in an exploitative pub to fund their trip home. Starring Jessica Henwick, Julia Garner, Hugo Weaving, Bree Bain, and Toby Wallace.
✅ TIFF 2023 – Official Selection, Gala Presentations
✅ San Sebastián International Film Festival 2023 – Nominee, Golden Seashell Best Film
1 Week Only
Opens October 13
Foe | Amazon Studios
Academy Award® nominees Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird, TIFF ’17) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun and Carmen, TIFF ’22) star in this haunting exploration of marriage and identity set in an uncertain world. Based on best-selling author Iain Reid’s novel, and directed by Garth Davis, Foe’s mesmerizing imagery and persistent questions about the nature of humanity (and artificial humanity) bring the not-too-distant future to luminous life. Also stars Aaron Pierre (Brother, TIFF ’22).
Opens October 13
Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person | Game Theory Films
Ariane Louis-Seize’s deadpan horror comedy finds droll humour in the plight of a young Montreal bloodsucker who can only feed on people for whom she feels sympathy. Starring Sara Montpetit, Félix-Antoine Bénard, Steve Laplante, and Sophie Cadieux.
✅ TIFF 2023 – Official Selection, Centrepiece, TIFF Next Wave Selects
✅ Venice Film Festival 2023 – Winner of 4 awards, including Giornate degli Autori Award (Ariane Louis-Seize)
1 Week Only
Opens October 13
Silver Dollar Road | Amazon Studios
A Black family in North Carolina battles decades of harassment by land developers trying to seize their waterfront property, in this searing documentary by Oscar-nominated director Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro).
✅ TIFF 2023 – Official Selection, TIFF Docs
✅ Calgary International Film Festival 2023 – Nominee, Best International Documentary
Playing October 15 at 5:00 pm
Once Within a Time | Oscilloscope Films
Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi) and Jon Kane direct, Philip Glass scores, Steven Soderbergh executive produces, and Mike Tyson acts in this surreal fairy tale about the end — and new beginning — of the world. Also stars John Flax and Apollo Garcia Orellana.
Opens October 20
NYAD | Netflix Studios
Annette Bening and Jodie Foster dive into the dangerous waters of the Florida Straits, in this film based on the true story of the woman who, at the age of 64, became the first person to swim from Cuba to the US without a shark cage.
✅ TIFF 2023 - Official Selection, Gala Presentations
Opens October 25
Anatomy of a Fall | Elevation Pictures
Winner of this year’s Palme d’Or, and starring German actor Sandra Hüller, Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall is a riveting portrait of a complex woman put on trial for the murder of her spouse. Also starring Samuel Theis, Swann Arlaud, and Milo Machado Graner.
✅ TIFF 2023 – Official Selection, Special Presentations
✅ Cannes Film Festival 2023 – Winner of 3 awards, including Palme d’Or and Queer Palme
Rent on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox
Available October 3
Talk To Me | VVS Films
A group of teens figure out how to keep themselves entertained at parties by using an embalmed hand to conjure spirits. But when one of them gets hooked on the thrill, their world spirals nightmarishly out of control, in Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou’s horror–thriller film. Starring Sophie Wilde, Alexandra Jensen, and Miranda Otto.