11 films set in Asia, Europe, North America, and Central America will comprise the 2019 Masters program of the Toronto International Film Festival. The Masters lineup has titles that run the gamut, from dramatic true stories to dark comedies, from a black-and-white narrative to a documentary film, with a healthy dose of introspection and socio-political commentary throughout. The slate will bring two World Premieres to Toronto.

In Devil Between the Legs, Arturo Ripstein directs a script written by his wife, Paz Alicia Garciadiego, about a warring old couple and their maid, who eventually takes matters into her own hands. Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson will come back to the Festival with About Endlessness, a series of vignettes documenting our lack of awareness.

Trailer – Devil Between the Legs, Arturo Ripstein

American-Canadian Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin will premiere her latest documentary, Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, about the long struggle of Indigenous activists to ensure equitable access to government-funded services for First Nations children. British legend Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You presents a bittersweet tale of the gig economy in modern-day England.

Marco Bellocchio’s The Traitor is a biographical drama about Tommaso Buscetta, a mafia informant whose testimony led to the largest prosecution of the Sicilian Mafia in Italian history. To the Ends of the Earth, the latest from Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, tells the story of an introverted travel-show host on assignment in Uzbekistan.

There are five first-timers in Masters this year. A Hidden Life, a portrait of Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious Austrian who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II, will mark American director Terrence Malick’s first time attending the Festival in this category. Angela Schanelec’s I Was at Home, But… chronicles the aftermath of a 13-year-old student’s disappearance and his mysterious reappearance. Zombi Child, from France’s Bertrand Bonello, spans 55 years, jumping between 1962 Haiti and present-day Paris and dealing with the repercussions of colonialism. In The Whistlers, from Romanian New Wave director Corneliu Porumboiu, a corrupt cop travels to the Spanish island of La Gomera, home to a secret whistling language. And Elia Suleiman stars in his latest film, It Must Be Heaven, a dark comedy centred on a man who leaves Palestine only to find that his problems follow him everywhere he goes.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15, 2019.

2019 TIFF Masters program

A Hidden Life
Terrence Malick | USA/Germany
North American Premiere

About Endlessness
Roy Andersson | Sweden/Germany/Norway
North American Premiere

Devil Between the Legs (El Diablo entre las Piernas)
Arturo Ripstein | Mexico/Spain
World Premiere

I Was at Home, But… (Ich war zuhause, aber…)
Angela Schanelec | Germany/Serbia
North American Premiere

It Must Be Heaven
Elia Suleiman | France/Qatar/Germany/Canada/Palestine/Turkey
North American Premiere

Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
Alanis Obomsawin | Canada
World Premiere

Sorry We Missed You
Ken Loach | United Kingdom/France/Belgium
North American Premiere

To the Ends of the Earth (Tabi no Owari Sekai no Hajimari)
Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Japan/Uzbekistan/Qatar
North American Premiere

The Traitor
Marco Bellocchio | Italy
North American Premiere

The Whistlers
Corneliu Porumboiu | Romania/France/Germany
North American Premiere

Zombi Child
Bertrand Bonello | France
North American Premiere

Alanis Obomsawin’s Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger was previously announced.

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