'If Beale Street Could Talk,' 'The Weekend' And Several Other Black-Helmed Films Are Headed To TIFF 2018
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Festivals , Film , News

'If Beale Street Could Talk,' 'The Weekend' And Several Other Black-Helmed Films Are Headed To TIFF 2018

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the world's most significant and long-considered a launching pad for studios and production companies with awards season contenders, unveiled the first round of titles that will screen at the 43rd annual event (in the Gala and Special Presentations sections specifically), which runs from September 6—16, 2018.

Of note, given Shadow and Act's specific interests, here are films from black filmmakers and featuring black talent in prominent roles:


If Beale Street Could Talk — Directed by Barry Jenkins. Starring Stephan James, Kiki Layne, Regina King, Teyonah Parris and more.

Official TIFF description: Director Barry Jenkins’ ambitious follow-up to Moonlight adapts James Baldwin’s poignant novel about a woman fighting to free her falsely accused husband from prison before the birth of their child.

The Weekend — Directed by Stella Meghie. Starring Sasheer Zamata, Tone Bell, DeWanda Wise, Y'Lan Noel, Kim Whitley.


Official TIFF description: An acerbic comedian (Sasheer Zamata) because romantically entangled with her ex (Tone Bell), his new girlfriend (DeWanda Wise) and another guest (Y’Lan Noel) during a weekend getaway in the newest feature from Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses).

Widows — Directed by Steve McQueen. Black talent includes Viola Davis, Cynthia EriVo, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry. 

Official TIFF description: A heavyweight cast — including Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Rodriguez — propels Steve McQueen’s white-knuckle thriller (co-written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn) about four women left in a violent lurch when their criminally connected husbands are all killed.

Where Hands TouchDirected by Amma Assante. Starring Amandla Stenberg.


Official TIFF description: Amandla Stenberg stars in director Amma Asante’s (A United Kingdom) disquieting coming-of-age romance about a black German teenager who falls in love with a member of the Hitler Youth.

White Boy Rick — Directed by Yann Demange. Black talent includes YG, Jonathan Majors, RJ Cyler, Brian Tyree Henry and Taylour Paige.

Official TIFF description: Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Dern, Eddie Marsan, and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in this fact-based crime drama about a 1980s-era petty hustler who became a drug boss then FBI informant before the age of 16.

The Public — Directed by Emilio Estevez. Black talent includes Gabrielle Union, Jeffrey Wright and Michael K. Williams.

Official TIFF description: A sit-in by patrons at a public library escalates into a police standoff and a media sideshow in Emilio Estevez's arresting drama that explores issues surrounding homelessness, mental health and community featuring Estevez, Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Gabrielle Union, Christian Slater and Michael K. Williams.

The Hate U Give — Directed by George Tillman. Starring Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Common, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie, Dominique Fishback. 

Official TIFF description: A timely commentary in the Black Lives Matter era, George Tillman Jr.'s adaptation of the novel by Angie Thomas follows Starr, a promising student and cherished daughter, whose life is upended, then galvanized, when a friend is senselessly shot dead by police.

Life Itself — Directed by Dan Fogleman. Black talent includes Samuel L. Jackson.

Official TIFF description: Writer, director and producer Dan Fogelman’s (This Is Us) affecting drama about life, love and loss ambitiously set across years and continents, features an impressive ensemble cast, including Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Olivia Cooke, Mandy Patinkin and Antonio Banderas.

High LifeDirected by Clare Denis. Black talent includes Andre 3000.

Official TIFF description: Master French filmmaker Claire Denis’s long-anticipated English-language debut and provocative sci-fi drama stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth and André Benjamin as a group of criminals sent into deep space.

Monsters and MenDirected by Reinaldo Marcus Green. Starring John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Nicole Beharie, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Rob Morgan, Chante Adams. (premiered first at Sundance, our review)

Official TIFF description: When a black man is shot dead by police, three members of his community face different but severe consequences if they reveal their knowledge of the murder or the systemic corruption behind it, in writer-director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s bracing feature debut.


The full list is below. A few more announcements should come soon.

GALAS 2018

Beautiful Boy, Felix van Groeningen, USA

Galveston, Mélanie Laurent, USA

Everybody Knows, Asghar Farhadi, Spain/France/Italy

First Man, Damien Chazelle, USA

The Hate U Give, George Tillman,Jr.,USA

Hidden Man, Jiang Wen, China

High Life, Claire Denis, Germany/France/Poland/United Kingdom

Husband Material, Anurag Kashyap, India

The Kindergarten Teacher, Sara Colangelo, USA

The Land of Steady Habits, Nicole Holofcener, USA

Life Itself, Dan Fogelman, USA

The Public, Emilio Estevez, USA

Red Joan, Sir Trevor Nunn, United Kingdom

A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper, USA

Shadow, Zhang Yimou, China

What They Had, Elizabeth Chomko, USA

Widows, Steve McQueen, United Kingdom/USA


Ben is Back, Peter Hedges, USA

Burning, Lee Chang-dong, South Korea

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Marielle Heller, USA

Capernaum, Nadine Labaki, Lebanon

Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski, Poland/UnitedKingdom/France

Colette, Wash Westmoreland, United Kingdom

Dogman, Matteo Garrone, Italy/France

The Front Runner, Jason Reitman, USA

Giant Little Ones, Kwith Behrman, Canada

Girls of the Sun (Les filles du soleil), Eva Husson, France

Hotel Mumbai, Anthony Maras, Australia

The Hummingbird Project, Kim Nguyen, Canada

Maya, Mia Hansen-Løve, France

Manto, Nandita Das, India

Monsters and Men, Reinaldo Marcus Green, USA

Mouthpiece, Patricia Rozema, Canada

Non-Fiction, Olivier Assayas, France

Old Man & the Gun, David Lowery, USA

Papi Chulo, John Butler, Ireland

Roma, Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico/USA

Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan

The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard, USA/France/Romania/Spain

Sunset, László Nemes, Hungary/France

Through Black Spruce, Don McKellar, Canada

The Weekend, Stella Meghie, USA

Where Hands Touch, Amma Asante, United Kingdom

White Boy Rick, Yann Demange, USA

Wildlife, Paul Dano, USA

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