The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is an annual highlight for film fans across the globe, who trek to Canada in search of the next biggest thing in the world of cinema. Every year, the festival boasts some of the most impressive rosters of film for any festival. A good reaction from the Toronto audience might just secure a film an express ticket to the awards at the end of the year. Will this year be any different? Well, if their initial lineup is anything to go by, the year’s festival looks to be stacked.

Perhaps the most high-profile among the films announced is “Nightbitch,” the Amy Adams-led comedy horror about a woman who, after leaving her career to pursue being a stay-at-home mum, soon finds her life fall into absurdity as she begins transforming into a dog. This film had been expected to go to fall festivals, and is already tipped for awards despite the surreal concept, given the talent displayed by director Marielle Heller in both 2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? And 2019’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and the popularity of the Rachel Yoder novel on which it is based.

The Dreamworks animated film The Wild Robot, which received a lot of praise after the trailer was released, demonstrating its uniquely beautiful animation style, will also premiere this September at the festival. Whilst Dreamworks hasn’t had the best track record recently in terms of garnering critical acclaim, director Chris Sanders is a three-time Oscar nominee, his filmography including beloved classics like How to Train Your Dragon and Lilo & Stitch.

Both streaming juggernauts Netflix and Disney+ are also getting involved in the TIFF action. Netflix, with Sydney Freeland’s Indigenous basketball coming-of-age film “Rex Ball,” and Disney+ with the Elton John Documentary “Elton John: Never Too Late” from R.J. Cutler and David Furnish. The final films announced in this initial wave are Mike Flanagan’s “The Life of Chuck”, the latest Stephen King adaptation to hit the big screen, and Woo-Min-ho’s “Harbin “, a historical action film about a group of rebellious insurgents attempting to secure Korean Independence against Japanese oppression.

In addition to these first six films, the initial slate of honourary awards has been announced. Last year, TIFF honourary award recipients included Colman Domingo, Spike Lee, and Pedro Almodovar, and three new names have been added to the covetous list. Following her performance in Nightbitch, Amy Adams will also be awarded the TIFF Tribute Performer Award, legendary horror director David Cronenberg will receive the TIFF Norman Jewison Career Achievement Award, and Sandra Oh will serve as the TIFF Tribute Awards Honorary chair.

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