2016 Toronto International Film Festival: The must-watch films

2016 Toronto International Film Festival: The must-watch films


Text: Faizal Dahlawia

As Venice prepares to wind down its film festival, Toronto gears up with its own must-watch films...

The 2016 Toronto International Film Festival has officially opened, bringing with it 11 days of top quality films from around the world. From Hollywood blockbusters to musical documentaries to cultural films from the Middle East, the festival runs the whole gamut of genres. And here are the top picks...

The Magnificent Seven
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke

This marks the world premiere of one of the season's most anticipated films. The film is a remake of a '60s classic about a group of seven misfits – from bounty hunters to assassins to a tracker – led by Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) who band together to protect a town against the villain Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard).

Director: Garth Davis
Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara

Based on the true story, Lion tells the tale of Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel) who tracks down his birth parents after he was separated from them in India when he was only five. Adopted by Australian parents, he uses technology, or more specifically Google, to reunite with his family. The film is an adaptation of the book A Long Way Home.

The Bad Batch
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves

A comedy-horror-thriller set against the backdrop of a dystopian America where a love story develops in a place where cannibals reside. Saying that the film is "going to be really weird and romantic", director Ana Lily Amirpour best describes the film as 'Road Warrior meets Pretty in Pink'.

Toronto Film Festival The Bad Batch

Barakah Meets Barakah
Director: Mahmoud Sabbagh
Starring: Hisham Fageeh, Fatima AlBanawi

The highly popular film is Saudi Arabia's first romantic comedy. The movie follows the adventures of a municipal employee who falls in love with the adopted daughter of a wealthy family and how they both try to navigate a love story around the largely restrictive social norms.

Director: Mounia Akl
Starring: Yumna Marwan, Adel Chahine

The short film places the viewer in the middle of the garbage crisis in Lebanon. The evacuation process is underway but Hala refuses to follow the movement, instead choosing to hang on to whatever remains of the place she calls home.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8-18.