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Citizenship

10 Films Global Citizens Should See at the Toronto International Film Festival This Year

It’s almost time for the Toronto International Film Festival — and many of this year’s highly-anticipated films are Global Citizen-approved.

On Tuesday TIFF made its first announcement about which films will be shown this year at Canada’s premier film festival, noting that this year’s list is more tightly curated than past festivals. The 42nd annual event will run from Sept. 7 to 17, and will include 14 galas and 33 special presentations, including 25 world premieres. 

“It's a moment of incredible transformation, disruption, change, challenge, so I think you'll see this reflected in the films we're showing,” said Piers Handling, chief executive and director of the film festival, at a press conference.

While the selected films are about a wide variety of subjects, one theme seems to stick out.

“One of the ideas that struck me was the whole notion of survival,” Handling said. “It seems to be a topic that a lot of people are thinking about nowadays.”

Between films showcasing strong female characters, issues of gender equality, and survival, Global Citizens have a long list of films to watch out for at TIFF this year.

1. "Battle of the Sexes"

The story of the infamous tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, "Battle of the Sexes" stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell and dives into women's rights.

2. "Mary Shelley"


Famous author Mary Shelley was inspired to write Frankenstein after spending a at a Swiss chateau. This film covers the events that led to her inspiration.


3. "Breathe"

After being paralyzed by polio, Robin Cavendish (played by Andrew Garfield) becomes an important disability advocate, determined to live and not just survive.

Take Action: Thank the Government of Canada for Their $100-Million Pledge Towards Polio Eradication

4. "First They Killed My Father"

This film is an adaptation of the Loung Ung’s memoirs of her life under the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. It is co-produced, co-written and directed by Angelina Jolie.

5. "Professor Marston & the Wonder Women"

Just months after “Wonder Woman” broke records, this film about the American psychologist who created DC’s Wonder Woman superhero will have its world premiere at TIFF.

6. "A Fantastic Woman"

This film follows a young transgender woman struggling to cope with the loss of her middle-aged lover, all the while dealing with prejudice.

Read More: Trump Announces Ban on Transgender People in Military

7. "The Breadwinner"

An animated film based on an award-winning novel by Deborah Ellis, “The Breadwinner” follows the life of an 11-year-old Afghan girl.

8. "A Season in France"

After fleeing his war-torn country, an African teacher ends up in France, where he falls in love with a woman who houses him and his family.

9. "BPM (Beats Per Minute)"

The film reflects on the AIDS crisis in the early 1990s, focusing on the activism of French ACT UP protesters.

Read More: A Major Milestone: Half of the World’s HIV Patients Are Now Receiving Treatment

10. "Long Time Running"

This film chronicles the emotional final tour of the band The Tragically Hip that touched Canadians everywhere.

More announcements are expected to be made throughout the remainder of the summer, including the festival’s opening film.