'Mrs Fletcher'

Source: HBO

‘Mrs Fletcher’

World premieres of crime drama Briarpatch starring Rosario Dawson and Nicole Holofcener’s empty nest drama Mrs Fletcher are among six series to screen in Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) Primetime television line-up.

TIFF brass also announced on Thursday (Aug 15) the TIFF Industry Conference line-up, as well as the four international TIFF Rising Stars, each of whom stars in at least one of the festival’s selections this year.


Five of the Primetime series, nearly two-thirds of which are created and directed by women, will get their world premieres in the section, which marks its fifth anniversary at this year’s festival, set to run from Sept 5-15. Two episodes from each (except three for Mrs Fletcher) will screen, followed by a Q&A session with members of the show’s creative team in attendance.

US series in the line-up include HBO limited series Mrs Fletcher, based on the Tom Perrotta novel, with Holofcener among the directors, about an empty-nest mother (played by Kathryn Hahn) and her college freshman son. USA Network’s Briarpatch, with Mr. Robot creator Esmail among the executive producers, stars Dawson as a political fixer returning to her small Texas town to investigate her sister’s death. Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) is one of the directors.

And podcast-based Limetown, from Facebook Watch, with Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci, follows a journalist unravelling the mystery of the disappearance of hundreds of people at a research facility in Tennessee. Australian series Black Bitch has Rachel Griffiths (also one of the show’s creators) as a political leader looking for publicity from an horrific event.

Savages, from France, centres on an Arabic candidate for the presidency, and international premiere The Sleepers, from the Czech Republic, follows a woman and her political dissident husband after they flee communist Czechoslovakia. 

The series screening as part of the Primetime programme:

Black Bitch (Aus)
Creators: Darren Dale, Rachel Griffiths, Miranda Dear
Dir: Rachel Perkins
World premiere

Briarpatch (USA)
Creator: Andy Greenwald
Dirs: Ana Lily Amirpour, Steven Piet
World premiere

Limetown (USA)
Creators: Zack Akers, Skip Bronkie
Dir: Rebecca Thomas
World premiere

Mrs. Fletcher (USA)
Creator: Tom Perrotta
Dirs: Nicole Holofcener, Liesl Tommy
World premiere

Savages (Les Sauvages, Fr)
Creators: Rebecca Zlotowski, Sabri Louatah
Dir: Rebecca Zlotowski
World premiere

The Sleepers (Bez Vědomí, Czh Rep)
Creators: Ivan Zachariáš, Ondrej Gabriel
Dir: Ivan Zachariáš
International  premiere


The five-day 2019 TIFF Industry Conference (Sept. 6-10) kicks off with a Moguls conversation with business partners Brian Grazer and director Ron Howard, and closes with a Master Class from Brazilian auteur Fernando Meirelles (The Two Popes) in conversation with TIFF senior director of film Diana Sanchez about the realities of filmmaking in politically volatile times.

Conference highlights include a Master Class with The Farewell director Lulu Wang; an on-stage conversation with TIFF artistic director and co-head Cameron Bailey, Paolo Moretti of Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Berlinale co-director Mariette Rissenbeek, and Sundance director of programmer Kim Yutani; and a conversation led by gender parity pioneer Anna Serner.

A roster of more than 150 guest speakers includes documentarian Barbara Kopple, International Documentary Association director of programming and policy Claire Aguilar, actor and director Edward Burns, casting director Russell Boast, and Canada Media Fund president and CEO Valerie Creighton.

For the first time this year, attendees will be able to purchase conference day passes.


Cameron Bailey and fellow TIFF co-head Joana Vicente announced the line-up of international TIFF Rising Stars, each of whom stars in at least one of this year’s TIFF selections. They are Chino Darín (who stars alongside his father Ricardo Darín in Sebastian Borensztein’s Heroic Losers), Geraldine Viswanathan (Cory Finlay’s Bad Education and Minhal Baig’s Hala), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Trey Edward Shults’s Waves), and Josefine Frida (Jorunn Myklebust Syversen’s Disco.)

“These four talents – along with their Canadian counterparts – are on the verge of making big waves on the international stage,” said Bailey. “We can’t wait for Toronto audiences to witness their breakout performances at this year’s Festival.”