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Source: Courtesy of TIFF

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Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has made its first 2024 line-up announcements, setting world premieres for six films including Marielle Heller’s dark comedy Nightbitch starring Amy Adams, DreamWorks Animation’s The Wild Robot, and documentary Elton John: Never Too Late.

Also heading to the 49th edition of TIFF, which runs September 5-15, 2024, are Stephen King adaptation The Life Of Chuck starring Tom Hiddleston, South Korean spy thriller Harbin, and coming-of-age Indigenous basketball film Rez Ball produced by LeBron James.

R.J. Cutler and Elton John’s husband David Furnish co-direct Elton John: Never Too Late, which screens as a Gala presentation and will debut on Disney+.

Heller’s Nightbitch, about a stay-at-home mother with feral tendencies, marks the filmmaker’s follow-up to TIFF selections A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood and Can You Ever Forgive Me?. The Searchlight Pictures Special Presentation will open in the US on December 6.

Gala selection The Wild Robot directed by Chris Sanders features a voice cast led by Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal, Bill Nighy, Catherine O’Hara, and Stephenie Hsu. Universal distributes in the US on September 7.

CJ ENM’s South Korean independence historical spy thriller and Gala screening Harbin from Woo Min-ho was a major market title at the EFM in Berlin this year. Hyun Bin, Park Jeong-min, and Jo Woo-jin star.

Mike Flanagan-directed Special Presentation The Life Of Chuck from Intrepid Pictures, which examines the life of a man in reverse and shot late last year under a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement during the Hollywood actors’ strike. WME Independent represents US rights and FilmNation handles international sales.

Sydney Freeland’s Rez Ball is a Special Presentation and Netflix holds worldwide rights.

This year’s official screening venues will include TIFF Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, Glenn Gould Studio at Canadian Broadcast Centre, and Royal Alexandra Theatre.

In addition to screenings, the schedule features live post-screening Q&As, the In Conversation With… series, the five-day industry conference, and Festival Street, the annual tradition when a stretch of King Street West outside TIFF Lightbox  closes to vehicular traffic and hosts live performances, outdoor screenings, and activations over the September 5-8 opening weekend.

Starting in 2026, TIFF will launch an official market. The level of industry and market activity is expected to remain the same this year, however Screen understands there will be a significant ramping up in 2025 in preparation for the launch.

Further festival details will be announced in the coming weeks and the full schedule will be released on August 13.

Separately TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey announced the first honourees for the sixth annual TIFF Tribute Awards fundraiser on September 8 in support of TIFF’s Every Story Fund to empower diverse voices in film.

Nightbitch star Adams will receive the TIFF Tribute Performer Award, and legendary Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter David Cronenberg will collect the Norman Jewison Career Achievement Award. Actor and producer Sandra Oh will serve as the inaugural Tribute Awards honorary chair.

Bailey, noting that the awards gala had grown into a “must-attend event” after feting prior honourees like Joaquin Phoenix, Michelle Yeoh, Jessica Chastain, Chloe Zhao, Taika Waititi, and Ari Wegner, said: “We’re grateful that artists of this stature will gather in Toronto to help TIFF turn the spotlight on increasing inclusion throughout our industry.”