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Julieta, by Pedro Almodóvar
Julieta, by Pedro Almodóvar

The Toronto International Film Festival today announced the selections for the 2016 Masters program. This year’s lineup features the latest bold, exciting and moving works from masters of contemporary cinema from around the world, including Pedro Almodóvar, Wim Wenders, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Hong Sang-soo, and many others.

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2016.

Films screening as part of the Masters programme include:

After the Storm Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan North American Premiere
During a long restless night as they wait out a typhoon, a divorced man struggles to regain his estranged family’s trust, in the latest film from celebrated Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Afterimage (Powidoki) Andrzej Wajda, Poland World Premiere
Nonagenarian director Andrzej Wajda returns with a passionate biopic about the Polish avant-garde artist Władysław Strzemiński, who battled Stalinist orthodoxy and his own physical impairments to advance his progressive ideas about art. Starring Boguslaw Linda.

The Bait (Tope) Buddhadeb Dasgupta, India World Premiere
Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s latest work is woven from three stories about a nomadic girl who is a street circus performer, a cranky postman who decides to live in a tree, and a royal descendant thriving on his long lost glories, in this exploration of how people are used as bait.

The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez (Les Beaux Jours d’Aranjuez) Wim Wenders, France/Germany North American Premiere
Wim Wenders adapts long-time collaborator Peter Handke’s play for this engrossing two-handed (and 3D) conversation piece, in which the dialogue between a man and a woman elicits a reverie on love, freedom, and beauty.

Certain Women Kelly Reichardt, USA Canadian Premiere
The lives of three women intersect in small town America. Laura is a lawyer summoned to reason with her client during a hostage situation. Gina is building her family a home where she is eager to claim a bit of history. And Jamie suddenly longs for more than her simple life when Beth passes through town. Starring Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, James LeGros, Jared Harris, Lily Gladstone, and Rene Auberjonois.

Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) Gianfranco Rosi, Italy/France Canadian Premiere
Twelve-year-old Samuele lives on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. But Lampedusa is not an idyllic island setting. It is the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees hoping to make a new life in Europe. Glimpse into the daily lives of the island’s inhabitants as Samuele explores the land and attempts to master the sea.

Graduation (Bacalaureat) Cristian Mungiu, Romania Canadian Premiere
On the day before her final exams, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now her father, Romeo, has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter.

Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France/Chad North American Premiere
(Hissein Habré, une tragédie tchadienne)
When former Chadian dictator Hissein Habré was arrested in Senegal in 2013, it marked the end of a long fight for the survivors of his regime. Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, accompanied by the Chairman of the Association of the Victims of the Hissein Habré Regime, meets the survivors of the tragedy who still bear the horrific scars on their bodies and in their souls. Through their courage and determination, the victims accomplish an unprecedented feat in the history of Africa — bringing a head of state to trial.

J: Beyond Flamenco (JOTA) Carlos Saura, Spain World Premiere
Experience the joy and strength of the Spanish dance and music called la Jota. As with flamenco, tango, and fados, Jota has evolved from traditional folkdance to new artistic dimensions. With his own personal style, director Carlos Saura continues to distill the magic and explore the boundaries of art in its purest state.

Julieta Pedro Almodóvar, Spain North American Premiere
Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar adapts three stories from Canadian Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro for this time-tripping tale about the relationship and eventual rupture between a Madrid teacher and her beloved daughter. As the mother struggles to survive uncertainty, the film explores fate, guilt complexes, and the unfathomable mysteries that lead us to abandon the people we love, erasing them from our lives as if they had never meant anything, as if they had never existed.

Land of the Gods (Dev Bhoomi) Goran Paskaljević, India/Serbia World Premiere
After a long exile, Rahul returns to his village in the Himalayas. It causes commotion amongst the villagers, who have never forgiven him for his sins in the past. He must face the isolated world full of old prejudices, gender inequalities, and caste-based injustices.

Ma’ Rosa Brillante Ma Mendoza, Philippines North American Premiere
To make ends meet for her family, Ma’ Rosa sells drugs as a side business from the small convenience store she owns with her husband in a poor Manila neighborhood. When the couple is arrested, Ma’ Rosa and her four children are ready to do anything to secure their freedom from the corrupt police. Starring Jaclyn Jose, winner of the Best Actress Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The Net (Geumul) Kim Ki-duk, South Korea North American Premiere
In the new film from provocative Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, a poor North Korean fisherman finds himself an accidental defector, and is groomed to be a spy by an ambitious South Korean military officer.

Never Ever (À jamais) Benoît Jacquot, France/Portugal North American Premiere
A prolific filmmaker and a much younger woman meet, fall instantly in love, and hastily marry. Months later, he dies in a motorcycle accident and his wife is left alone in a big secluded house by the sea to experience the manifestations of grief and mourning. Starring Mathieu Amalric, Julia Roy, Jeanne Balibar, and Victoria Guerra.

Once Again (Pinneyum) Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India International Premiere
In his first feature film in eight years, director Adoor Gopalakrishnan explores love and relationships as an extended family gets drawn into the vortex of a crime, not realizing how it will change their lives forever.

Personal Shopper Olivier Assayas, France North American Premiere
Kristen Stewart reunites with director Olivier Assayas for this artful ghost story about a young woman trying to reconnect with the spirit of her departed brother.

A Quiet Passion Terence Davies, United Kingdom/Belgium North American Premiere
Cynthia Nixon stars as the legendary poet Emily Dickinson in this luminous biopic.

Safari Ulrich Seidl, Austria American Premiere
Documentary filmmaker Ulrich Seidl explores the world of trophy hunting in the wild expanses of Africa, where bushbucks, impalas, zebras, gnus and other creatures graze by the thousands. German and Austrian tourists drive through the bush and lie in wait, to stalk their prey. A vacation movie about killing and human nature.

Sieranevada Cristi Puiu, Romania North American Premiere
Somewhere in Bucharest, a 40-year-old doctor attends his father’s wake, which turns into a full-on family brawl. Forced to face his fears and his past, and obliged to reconsider his place in the family, the man is left with no choice but to tell his version of the truth.

Sweet Dreams (Fai bei sogni) Marco Bellocchio, Italy North American Premiere
Italian master Marco Bellocchio adapts the popular biographical novel by Massimo Gramellini, about an accomplished journalist haunted by the memory of his mother who died mysteriously during his childhood.

The Unknown Girl (La Fille inconnue) Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium/France North American Premiere
Jenny, a young GP, feels responsible for not having answered the door of her practice to a young girl who is found dead shortly afterwards. From the moment she learns from the police that they have no way of identifying her, Jenny has only one goal: to discover the name of the young girl so that she will not be buried anonymously — so that she will not disappear as if she had never lived.

Yourself and Yours (Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot) Hong Sang-soo, South Korea World Premiere
Painter Youngsoo and his girlfriend Minjung navigate the twists and turns of a modern romance with arguing, hearsay, mistaken identity, and infidelity in Hong Sang-soo’s latest work.

Previously announced Canadian titles in the Masters programme include Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence and Alanis Obomsawin’s We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice.

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