TIFF 2016

45 must-see movies at TIFF 2016 by day of the festival

TIFF may be all about movies, but it's also about timing. What you see is often determined by when you can see it. For those looking to fill their schedule, or find alternatives to films they couldn't get tickets for, I've highlighted options you should consider checking out each day of TIFF.

Here are my picks for the 45 movies you should see at TIFF 2016 by day of the festival.

September 8
Start your TIFF off right with Toni Erdmann (5:30 PM, Ryerson Theatre), which is already gaining "Best of the Year" momentum. Then check out the already ward-winning Bulgarian film, Godless (8:30, Scotiabank 14).

Be sure to also get started early with The Year of Isabelle Huppert -- who is in three TIFF films -- with Things to Come (9:15 PM, Ryerson Theatre). Finally, you could get in your first premium screening with I Am Not Madame Bovary (9:45 PM, Princess of Wales Theatre).

September 9
Documentary lovers will want to see the first screening of the Golden Bear-winning Fire at Sea (4:15 PM, Bell Lightbox 1), while those with faith in Cameron Bailey will want to check one of his top picks for the festival, Lady Macbeth (4:15 PM, Winter Garden Theatre), which will have an extended Q&A.

The first screening of Oscar contender The Birth of a Nation (8:00 PM, Winter Garden Theatre) also has an extended Q&A for those who like to hear from visiting filmmakers. Lastly, there's a premium screening for A United Kingdom (6:30 PM, Roy Thomson Hall), which has a lovely story that should prove an uplifting end to the day for some.

September 10
For those who want to be jolted awake with potentially controversial subject matter, Paul Verhoeven's Elle (9:00 AM, Bell Lightbox 1) is one way to start your day. Action junkies could also find their TIFF jolts with martial arts film Headshot (1:30 PM, Scotiabank 13).

In the evening, you can get your pure CanCon on with hockey drama Hello Destroyer (6:30, Scotiabank 3), or dabble in CanCon-lite with the premium screening of Quebecois director Philippe Falardeau's U.S. film, The Bleeder (10:00 PM, Princess of Wales Theatre).

September 11
Foreign film fans should check out the media world-set Romanian drama The Fixer (1:45 PM, Scotiabank 8), before returning to more homegrown fare with Nelly (7:00 PM. Bell Lightbox 3), the biopic about Quebecois author Nelly Arcan.

Oscar Isaac fans will want to slot in the premium screening of The Promise (9:30 PM, Roy Thomson Hall), from the director of past People's Choice Award Winner, Hotel Rwanda. For the night owls, there's the late night shenanigans of Blair Witch (11:59 PM, Ryerson Theatre). Yes, you could see it in theatres in a few weeks, but you won't get nearly as good an audience as a Midnight Madness one.


September 12

It's not often you get a chance to see a Finnish boxing movie, so don't miss The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli M채ki (4:15 PM, Scotiabank 13). If you're a poetry buff, then Terrence Davies' Emily Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion (5:15 PM, Scotiabank 1), is a must.

For those who have caught wind of the buzz surrounding La La Land (6:15 PM, Princess of Wales Theatre) then its first screening is going to be hard to pass up. Finally, Torontonians would do well to check out The Stairs (9:45 PM, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema), which shines a light not just on Regent Park, but the lives of some of its inhabitants.

September 13
A good day for some promising international cinema, so start with After the Storm (9:15 AM, Bell Lightbox 2) the latest film from Nobody Knows director, Hirokazu Kore-eda. From Japan you can then travel to the Philippines with Ma' Rosa (3:00 PM, Bell Lightbox 2), which features Cannes actress winner Jaclyn Jose.

Another Cannes winner awaits with Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman (5:45 PM, Bell Lightbox 1). Then why not end your day with something completely different: the premium screening of the Justin Timberlake concert film, JT + The Tennessee Kids (9:30 PM, Roy Thomson Hall).

September 14
If you're looking to catch up on highly buzzed movies, this is an ideal day to do so. First up, there's Jim Jarmusch's Paterson (9:00 AM, Bell Lightbox 2), with Adam Driver, which you can follow with Oscar contender, Manchester by the Sea (11:30 AM, VISA Screening Room).

Then you can never go wrong with a little Werner Herzog in your festival experience, so check out his volcano documentary, Into the Inferno (6:15 PM Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema). Or, if you prefer docs that will make your skin crawl, you can always go with Morgan Spurlock's Rats (7:30pm, Scotiabank 1).

September 15
TIFF allows the chance to sample movies from countries we might not otherwise be able to see. So get a little taste of Iceland's cinema with the thriller, The Oath (9:15 AM, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema). Then move on to Canadian master Deepa Mehta and Anatomy of Violence (3:30 PM, Bell Lightbox 1) though you may want to take a deep breath before seeing it.

Another option could be South Korean crime drama, Asura: The City of Madness (2:30 PM, Ryerson Theatre). Lastly, Vanessa Redgrave or Rooney Mara fans will want to check out the premium screening of The Secret Scripture (6:30 PM, Roy Thomson Hall) from My Left Foot director Jim Sheridan.

September 16
Daytime thrills and chills aren't always on hand at TIFF, so why not check out the sure-to-be grizzly The Autopsy of Jane Doe (12:30 PM, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema). Then shake off those chills with the no doubt heart-warming and inspiring Loving (3:15 PM, VISA Screening Room).

For those who like to see if Cannes hype is all it's made out to be, there's the festival's grand prize winner I, Daniel Blake (6:00 PM, Bell Lightbox 1) to see. Or, you could also check out something truly unique: Barakah Meets Barakah (6:45 PM, VISA Screening Room) the first ever Saudi Arabian romantic comedy.

September 17
Celebrate the last weekend of the joys of TIFF with a movie about movies: Their Finest (11:45 AM, VISA Screening Room). From there, travel to Brazil with Aquarius (3:15 PM, Isabel Bader Theatre), a movie about a woman fending off condo developers. Surely something Torontonians will relate to.

For the day's premium screening, the charming looking The Edge of Seventeen (6:30 PM, Princess of Wales Theatre) should make a nice palette cleanser for those who had heavier TIFF films to watch. Finally, if you sought out to see all of Isabelle Huppert's three films at TIFF, now's the time to see the last one: Souvenir (9:00, PM Scotiabank 10).

September 18
Asia produces some of the best genre work, so don't pass up the chance for an exciting double-bill of the Japanese ghost film Daguerrotype (12:15 PM, Bell Lightbox 2) and the South Korean espionage film The Age of Shadows (3:00 PM, Ryerson Theatre).

As always, it will be worth getting first-come, first-serve tickets to the free screening of the People's Choice Award winner (6:00 PM, Roy Thomson Hall), which will be announced in the morning. Lastly, why not end your festival with Xavier Dolan's appropriately titled It's Only the End of World (9:30 PM, Bell Lightbox 2) because let's face it: for many of us TIFF becomes our world for 10 days, one that sadly ends on the last Sunday.

Which films are you most looking forward to seeing at TIFF 2016? Let us know in the comments.

Film still from The Promise


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