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Toronto Film Festival 2023 Lineup Includes Alexander Payne, Richard Linklater, Anna Kendrick, George C. Wolfe and Ethan Hawke Movies

Jul 24, 2023

Ethan Hawke will bring his latest directorial effort “Wildcat,” which stars his daughter, Maya Hawke, as novelist Flannery O’Connor.

Toronto Film Festival 2023 Lineup Includes Alexander Payne, Richard Linklater, Anna Kendrick, George C. Wolfe and Ethan Hawke Movies

Two labor strikes may be upending Hollywood’s awards season and the film festivals that serve as launching pads for many Oscar contenders, but the Toronto International Film Festival signaled Monday that it still plans to showcase the best in cinema, unveiling its 2023 slate of movies.

Alexander Payne, Richard Linklater, Kore-eda Hirokazu and Justine Triet are among the auteurs who will be screening their latest works at the festival. Payne will be on hand with “The Holdovers,” a comedy set in a boarding school that reunites him with “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti, while Linklater is showing “Hitman,” an action-comedy with Glen Powell and Adria Arjona. Kore-eda and Triet will screen “Monster” and “Anatomy of a Fall,” both of which premiered at Cannes, where the latter won the Palme d’Or.

All told, the festival’s first wave of selections includes 60 films, representing 70 countries around the world. But the lineup is also notable in its lack of splashy studio premieres, like “Dune: Part 2” or the musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” a sign that some of these films may move their release dates if the actors and screenwriters strikes stretch deeper into the fall.

Movie studios are worried about opening these films if the actors who star in them are on the picket lines and can’t promote their work. Some stars are working to get waivers from SAG-AFTRA to do press for films that are independently financed or are looking for distribution. Other indie studios are just pushing ahead with their release plans, hoping that a resolution is reached before they debut their movies. The festival is taking place between Sept. 7 to Sept. 17, which is rapidly approaching, and since the guilds and the studios have yet to resume talks, it’s unclear if a deal will be hammered out by the time stars should be dusting off their passports to head up north.

That’s not to say that TIFF, as Toronto is known to the artists and executives who routinely attend it, will be devoid of major premieres (even if its red carpets are a little less celebrity-packed). Craig Gillespie’s “Dumb Money,” a dramedy about the GameStop short squeeze from Sony that stars Seth Rogen and Paul Dano, as well as several Netflix films like George C. Wolfe’s “Rustin,” David Yates’ “Pain Hustlers,” and  Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s “Nyad,” will all screen at the festival. And Apple will bring “Flora and Son,” a heart-warming musical drama from “Sing Street” filmmaker John Carney,” after buying it out of Sundance for $20 million. But many of the movies, such as “Lee” with Kate Winslet as photographer Elizabeth “Lee” Miller and the Jodie Comer survival drama “The End We Start From,” that hit the festival will arrive without a studio home. They are looking to leverage strong reviews into a sale.

The lineup also has several movies from directors best known for their work in front of the camera, including Michael Keaton (“Knox Goes Away”), Chris Pine (“Poolman”), Anna Kendrick (“Woman of the Hour”), and Viggo Mortensen (“The Dead Don’t Hurt”). Ethan Hawke will bring his latest directorial effort “Wildcat,” which stars his daughter, Maya Hawke, as novelist Flannery O’Connor.

The festival’s backers have stressed that they plan to continue with their plans and in a statement TIFF’s CEO Cameron Bailey emphasized that breadth and depth of the lineup.

“This year’s Galas & Special Presentations showcase a rich tapestry of talent, vision, and storytelling,” he said. “From thought-provoking narratives to breathtaking visuals and stories so unreal they have to be real, each work embodies the power of cinema to inspire, challenge, and move audiences. Get ready to experience an unforgettable celebration of film and a memorable and star-studded festival, showcasing the best of global cinema for film lovers in September.”

But without many movie stars, will festival-goers and media show up in the numbers they once did?

See the complete lineup below:


A Difficult Year Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache | FranceInternational Premiere

A Normal Family Hur Jin-ho | South KoreaWorld Premiere

American Fiction Cord Jefferson | USAWorld Premiere

Anatomy of a Fall Justine Triet | FranceCanadian Premiere

Close to You Dominic Savage | Canada/United KingdomWorld Premiere

Days of Happiness Chloé Robichaud | CanadaWorld Premiere

El Rapto Daniela Goggi | ArgentinaNorth American Premiere

Ezra Tony Goldwyn | USAWorld Premiere

Fingernails Christos Nikou | USAInternational Premiere

Four Daughters Kaouther Ben Hania | France/Tunisia/Germany/Saudi ArabiaNorth American Premiere

His Three Daughters Azazel Jacobs | USAWorld Premiere

Hitman Richard Linklater | USANorth American Premiere

In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon Alex Gibney | USAWorld Premiere

Kidnapped Marco Bellocchio | Italy/France/GermanyNorth American Premiere

Knox Goes Away Michael Keaton | USAWorld Premiere

La Chimera Alice Rohrwacher | Italy/France/SwitzerlandNorth American Premiere

Last Summer Catherine Breillat | FranceNorth American Premiere

Les Indésirables Ladj Ly | FranceWorld Premiere

Memory Michel Franco | USA/MexicoNorth American Premiere

Monster Kore-eda Hirokazu | JapanNorth American Premiere

Mother Couch Niclas Larsson | USAWorld Premiere

North Star Kristin Scott Thomas | United KingdomWorld Premiere

One Life James Hawes | United KingdomWorld Premiere

Pain Hustlers David Yates | USAWorld Premiere

Poolman Chris Pine | USAWorld Premiere

Reptile Grant Singer | USAWorld Premiere

Rustin George C. Wolfe | USAInternational Premiere

Seven Veils Atom Egoyan | CanadaWorld Premiere

Shoshana Michael Winterbottom | United Kingdom/ItalyWorld Premiere

Sing Sing Greg Kwedar | USAWorld Premiere

SmugglersRyoo Seung-wan | South KoreaNorth American Premiere

Swan Song Chelsea McMullan | CanadaWorld Premiere

The Beast Bertrand Bonello | France/CanadaNorth American Premiere

The Burial Maggie Betts | USAWorld Premiere

The Convert Lee Tamahori | Australia/New ZealandWorld Premiere

The Critic Anand Tucker | United KingdomWorld Premiere

The Dead Don’t Hurt Viggo Mortensen | Mexico/Canada/DenmarkWorld Premiere

The Holdovers Alexander Payne | USAInternational Premiere

The Peasants DK Welchman, Hugh Welchman | Poland/Serbia/LithuaniaWorld Premiere

The Zone of Interest Jonathan Glazer | United Kingdom/Poland/USACanadian Premiere

Together 99 Lukas Moodysson | Sweden/DenmarkWorld Premiere

Unicorns Sally El Hosaini, James Krishna Floyd | United Kingdom/USA/SwedenWorld Premiere

Uproar Paul Middleditch, Hamish Bennett | New ZealandWorld Premiere

Wicked Little Letters Thea Sharrock | United KingdomWorld Premiere

Wildcat Ethan Hawke | USAInternational Premiere

Woman of the Hour Anna Kendrick | USAWorld Premiere


Concrete Utopia Um Tae-Hwa | South KoreaNorth American Premiere

Dumb Money Craig Gillespie | USAWorld Premiere

Fair Play Chloe Domont | USAInternational Premiere

Flora and Son John Carney | Ireland/USACanadian Premiere

Hate to Love: Nickelback Leigh Brooks | CanadaWorld Premiere

Lee Ellen Kuras | United KingdomWorld Premiere

Next Goal Wins Taika Waititi | USAWorld Premiere

NYADElizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin | USAInternational Premiere

Punjab ’95 Honey Trehan | IndiaWorld Premiere

Solo Sophie Dupuis | CanadaWorld Premiere

The End We Start From Mahalia Belo | United KingdomWorld Premiere

The Movie Emperor Ning Hao | ChinaWorld Premiere

The New Boy Warwick Thornton | AustraliaNorth American Premiere

The Royal Hotel Kitty Green | Australia/United KingdomCanadian Premiere

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