TIFF Completes Massive Line-up with Mavericks and More Titles, plus a Guest List and Official Schedule.

Juliette Binoche (Clouds of Sils Maria) gets a Mavericks talk!
Photo courtesy of TIFF.
The Toronto International Film Festival adds some more films to its line-up and it seems it saved the best for last. TIFF today named the Mavericks selections that form the most impressive wave of its massive programming line-up for 2014. The Mavericks programme offers the fullest festival experience for TIFF-goers with extended conversations with some of the hottest stars and filmmakers involved with some of the TIFF’s biggest films. This year’s Mavericks programme includes extended conversations with Oscar winners Juliette Binoche (Clouds of Sils Maria), Reese Witherspoon (Wild, The Good Lie), Denzel Washington (The Equalizer) and Robert Duvall (The Judge), along with filmmakers Julie Taymor (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer), and Jon Stewart (Rosewater).

The Mavericks celebrities offer just some of the names on the guest list for TIFF ’14. TIFF also released the list of talent expected to attend the festival. Other TIFF-bound stars include Julianne Moore, Christopher Plummer, Jane Fonda (and virtually the entire cast of This is Where I Leave You), Patricia Clarkson, Catherine Keener, Keira Knightley, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton (!), Channing Tatum, Kate Winslet, and John Travolta. (I'm royally devastated that Ned Rifle's Parker Posey isn't on the list.) James Franco has also been added to the list with his adaptation of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury being one of a handful of films added to the line-up. Other new entries include the Cannes Palme d’or winner Winter Sleep and St. Vincent starring Bill Murray, who will also appear at the festival.

TIFF, finally, released the official schedule for the festival today, so festivalgoers best start their planning ASAP!

The new entries for TIFF 2014 include:


Roger Waters The Wall
Sean Evans and Roger Waters, United Kingdom World Premiere
Filmed during Waters’ sold-out 2010–2013 “The Wall Live” tour, Roger Waters The Wall delivers an exhilaratingly visceral experience of rock ‘n’ roll showmanship and storytelling. And it does much more, illuminating the music’s themes of war and loss as it follows Waters on a personally revealing road trip.

The Sound and the Fury
 James Franco, USA North American Premiere
The Sound and the Fury captures the lives and passions of the Compsons, a once proud Southern family caught in a tragic spiral of loss and misfortune. Based on the novel by Nobel Prize-winner author William Faulkner and considered among the 20th century’s greatest works, The Sound and the Fury encapsulates the universal theme of the death of honour, social injustice and forbidden love.
Starring James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson and Joey King.

St. Vincent
Theodore Melfi, USA World Premiere
Maggie, a single mother, moves into a new home in Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son, Oliver. Forced to work long hours, she has no choice but to leave Oliver in the care of their new neighbour, Vincent, a retired curmudgeon with a penchant for alcohol and gambling. An odd friendship soon blossoms between the improbable pair. Together with a pregnant stripper named Daka, Vincent brings Oliver along on all the stops that make up his daily routine — the race track, a strip club, and the local dive bar. Vincent helps Oliver grow to become a man, while Oliver begins to see in Vincent something that no one else is able to: a misunderstood man with a good heart. Starring Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O'Dowd, Terrence Howard, and Jaeden Lieberher.


Foreign Body (Obce Cialo)
 Krzysztof Zanussi, Poland/Italy/Russia World Premiere
A dashing young Italian in Poland finds himself caught between two women — a novitiate nun and a ruthless corporate ladder-climber — in this lacerating vision of contemporary Poland from master filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi. Starring Riccardo Leonelli, Agnieszka Grochowska, Agata Buzek and Weronika Rosati.

Murder in Pacot (Meurtre à Pacot)
 Raoul Peck, Haiti/France/Norway World Premiere
After the terrible January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a privileged couple struggles to reinvent a life amid the rubbles of their villa in Port-au-Prince’s upscale neighborhood of Pacot. Destitute and in desperate need for money to repair their home, the couple decides to rent the remaining habitable part of the villa to Alex, a high-level foreign relief worker, who brings Jennifer, aka Andrémise, his Haitian girlfriend, a sassy and ambitious young woman. Co-written with acclaimed author Lyonel Trouillot, the powerful huis clos set in the earthquake’s urban and social ruins evokes a kind of “Haiti Year Zero”. Starring Alex Descas, Joy Olasunmibo Ogunmakin, Thibault Vinçon and Lovely Kermonde Fifi.

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari)
 Isao Takahata, Japan North American Premiere
Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo, a tiny girl grows into an exquisite young lady, raised by an old bamboo cutter and his wife. From the countryside to the grand capital city, even unseen she enthralls all who encounter her, including five noble suitors. Ultimately she must face her fate, the punishment for her crime. Based on the classic Japanese folktale, The Tale of The Bamboo Cutter, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya is the newest film from Studio Ghibli and the strikingly beautiful culmination of decades of contemplation by its director, Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata. Starring Aki Asakura, Kengo Kora, Takeo Chii and Nobuko Miyamoto.

Winter Sleep (Kis uykusu)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/France/Germany North American Premiere
Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in Central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal, with whom he has a stormy relationship, and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce. In winter as the snow begins to fall, the hotel turns into a shelter but also an inescapable place that fuels their animosities.


The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (Yume to kyôki no ohkoku)
 Mami Sunada, Japan North American Premiere
Granted unfettered access to the notoriously insular Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of one of the world’s most celebrated animation studios — the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive and influential “other director” Isao Takahata, as they rush to complete production of Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (Toronto International Film Festival 2014 official selection).

The Years of Fierro (Los años de Fierro)
 Santiago Esteinou, Mexico North American Premiere
The Years of Fierro tells the story of César Fierro, the oldest Mexican prisoner on death row in the United States. César has waited for an execution date for more than 30 years, always insisting that he is innocent. This documentary is a reflection on justice, imprisonment and brotherly love, through the eyes of César and his brother, Sergio. These two brothers hope to meet again, no matter the time or the distance.


The Voices
Marjane Satrapi, USA/Germany Canadian Premiere
This genre-bending tale centres around Jerry, a lovable but disturbed factory worker who yearns for attention from a woman in accounting. When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry’s evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path where he ultimately finds salvation. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick and Jacki Weaver.


Cut Bank
Matt Shakman, USA International Premiere
Twenty-five-year-old Dwayne McLaren, a former athlete turned auto mechanic, dreams of getting out of tiny Cut Bank, Montana — the coldest town in America. But his effort to do so sets in motion a deadly series of events that change his life and the life of the town forever.

 Danis Tanović, India/France/United Kingdom World Premiere
Devastated when he discovers the effects of the cheap, locally-made drugs he peddles for a Pakistani pharmaceuticals firm, a young salesman challenges the system and the powers that be, in this based-on-fact drama from Academy Award-winning director Danis Tanović (No Man’s Land).


 Mavericks Conversation With… Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua
Denzel Washington is one of the film world’s most prominent leading men, known best for his galvanizing portrayals of both real-life figures (Malcolm X, The Hurricane, American Gangster) and fictional characters (Philadelphia, Devil in a Blue Dress, Flight). Washington returns to the Festival starring in The Equalizer, an intense thriller that reunites him with director Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest, Shooter, Olympus Has Fallen) for the first time since their Oscar-winning collaboration on Training Day. In this Mavericks conversation, Washington and Fuqua will take the stage to discuss their own work as well as their remarkable collaborations.

Mavericks Conversation With… Juliette Binoche
From the moment Juliette Binoche stepped from stage to screen, her career has blazed with magnificent intensity. Discovered by Jean-Luc Godard, who cast her in 1985’s Je vous salue, Marie!, Binoche has been honoured for a succession of very fine and sensitive performances that have earned her the main prizes at the Berlin, Venice, and Cannes film festivals, ascending to the heights of Oscar fame when she won Best Supporting Actress for her work in The English Patient. Admired for the visionary filmmakers she has chosen to work with, and for the daring choices she has made as an actor, she’s never afraid to throw herself completely and fully into a variety of roles. As one of the most beloved and honoured actors in contemporary cinema, Binoche discusses an extraordinary career that has taken her from Godard to Godzilla, and her performance in the Festival selection Clouds of Sils Maria.

Mavericks Conversation With… Reese Witherspoon
A singular presence in Hollywood blockbusters and independent cinema alike, Reese Witherspoon specializes in defying expectations. With plenty of great characters under her belt that have seen her evolve from child star to comedic heroine (Legally Blonde) to dramatic powerhouse (Walk the Line), Witherspoon stars in two films at the Festival this year. In Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild she plays Cheryl Strayed, a woman who overcomes a series of personal tragedies by hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail; and in The Good Lie she’s an employment agency counsellor whose encounter with a trio of Sudanese refugees opens both her heart and her view of the world beyond her Kansas City home. The Academy Award®-winner will hit the stage for a special conversation on the occasion of the premieres of her highly anticipated new films.

Mavericks Conversation With… Richard Gere
Richard Gere’s long and diverse career spans from his sensational series of screen roles in the ’70s and ’80s (Looking For Mr. Goodbar, Days of Heaven, American Gigolo) to box-office hits (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, Chicago), and has seen him collaborate with heavyweight directors such Terrence Malick, Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Schrader and Robert Altman. Gere appears in the Festival in Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind — which he also produced — starring as a homeless man desperate to reconnect with his estranged daughter in one of his most vital roles yet. It’s the opposite of the slick roles with which he became associated early on, and proof of his continued commitment to risk-taking and self-reinvention. An artist disinclined to rest on his laurels, Gere takes the stage in this Mavericks session to reflect on his diverse four-decade career as movie star, sex symbol, style icon, political activist and devoted Tibetan Buddhist.

Mavericks Conversation With… Robert Duvall
In a career that has spanned over half a century, Robert Duvall has perhaps embodied more facets of the American psyche than any other single actor, appearing in some of the most iconic films ever made such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Godfather, Colors, The Apostle, M*A*S*H and Apocalypse Now, as well as in the hugely popular television series The Twilight Zone and The Fugitive. With his new film, The Judge, opening this year’s Festival, the Academy Award-winning actor and director takes the stage to discuss his extensive and fascinating body of work.

Mavericks Conversation With… Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut at this year’s Festival with his feature film Rosewater, a notable departure from his satirical comedy as host of The Daily Show. In 2009, Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, who has a distinguished career as a documentary filmmaker, was imprisoned in Iran for five months after his appearance on Stewart's show, accused of being an American spy. Bahari chronicled the experience in his book Then They Came For Me, which became the inspiration for Stewart’s Rosewater. In this Mavericks conversation, Stewart will talk about making the leap from performing television comedy to directing big-screen drama and will reflect on roles that journalism and satire occupy when they clash with authority. Bahari will join Stewart on stage.

The 50 Year Argument
Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi, USA Canadian Premiere
The world of New York intellectuals has often been memorialized in books, but rarely on film. Martin Scorsese teams up with David Tedeschi (editor on several Scorsese documentaries) to direct The 50 Year Argument, a documentary tribute to The New York Review of Books whose 50-year history saw it frequently on the frontlines of cultural and political debate. The film features a wide array of interviews with the magazine’s international contributors, all of whom exemplify the power of language to provoke, illuminate and effect change. Sitting at the helm is Bob Silvers, who has edited the magazine for its entire history, having done so alongside Barbara Epstein until her death in 2006. In this Mavericks presentation, the screening of the film will be followed by a conversation with Silvers and co-director Tedeschi.

Do I Sound Gay?
David Thorpe, USA World Premiere
In his feature-length documentary debut Do I Sound Gay?, journalist David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, confronting his anxiety about “sounding gay.” Enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers and celebrities, he quickly learns that many people — both gay and straight — often wish for a different voice. His personal journey uncovers layers of cultural baggage concerning sexuality, identity, and self-esteem, gaining frank and funny perspectives from public figures such as comedian Margaret Cho, actor George Takei, sex-advice columnist Dan Savage, fashion guru Tim Gunn, and writer David Sedaris. This Mavericks world-premiere presentation of Do I Sound Gay? is followed by a live discussion between Thorpe and Savage, whose trademark wit and insight promise a dynamic, stimulating conversation.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
 Julie Taymor, USA International Premiere
Of all Shakespeare’s plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the most phantasmagorical, with fairies, spells, and hallucinatory lovers. His flights of fancy are well matched to the talents of Julie Taymor, who turns out a production that’s visually breathtaking, funny, sexy, and darkly poetic. This immersive, inventive cinematic experience took place during Taymor’s highly acclaimed inaugural stage production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the new Polonsky Center in Brooklyn, New York in 2013. Characteristic of Taymor, the feats of visual imagination are ingenious and plentiful, but beating at the centre of the film is an emotionally moving take on the deeper human aspects of this beloved tale. Having gone from experimental theatre to rejuvenating the Broadway musical with The Lion King, Taymor repeatedly takes risks on films, from Frida and Across the Universe to Titus and The Tempest. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she displays her creative powers in their peak form. After the screening, Taymor will participate in an extended conversation about its making.

Please visit www.tiff.net for the complete list of films and for the festival schedule.
TIFF runs Sept. 4 -14 2014.

Which of the Mavericks do you hope to see?