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TIFF 2012: 17 galas, 45 special presentations and a lot of star power at this year’s festival

This morning, TIFF CEO Piers Handling and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey announced TIFF 2012’s opening night gala, galas and special presentations. The big surprise? Genre film Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, is opening the festival, and not Midnight’s Children as some had hoped. It appears that TIFF is continuing to have fun by “mixing things up,” evidenced by the fact that in the last two years, TIFF has opened with hockey musical Score: The Musical (2010) and U2 rock doc From The Sky Down (2011). But besides the surprising opening night gala, there’s a lot to be excited about, including the star power that could be coming through Toronto this September.

Jump to: Opening Night Gala | Galas | Special Presentations

Opening Night Gala

Looper (U.S.)
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis


A Royal Affair (Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic and Germany)
Director: Nikolai Arcel
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander

Argo (U.S.)
Director: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston

The Company You Keep (U.S.)
Director: Robert Redford
Starring: Robert Redford, Shia LaBoeuf

Dangerous Liaisons (China)
Director: Hur Jin-ho
Starring: Cecelia Cheung, Dong-gun Jang, Zhang Ziyi

English Vinglish (India)
Director: Gauri Shinde
Starring: Sridevi

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners (U.S. and France)
Director: Shola Lynch
Starring: Angela Davis

Great Expectations (U.K.)
Director: Mike Newell
Starring: Holliday Grainger, Ralph Fiennes

Hyde Park on Hudson (U.K.)
Director: Roger Michell
Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney

Inescapable (Canada)
Director: Ruba Nadda
Starring: Alexander Siddig, Marisa Tomei

Jayne Mansfield’s Car (U.S. and Russia)
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Starring: Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon

Love, Marilyn (U.S.)
Director: Liz Garbus
Featuring: Elizabeth Banks, Lindsay Lohan, Evan Rachel Wood, Ben Foster, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti, Ellen Burstyn, Adrien Brody, Marisa Tomei, Glenn Close

Midnight’s Children (Canada and U.K.)
Director: Deepa Mehta
Starring: Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (U.S.)
Director: Mira Nair
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Liev Schreiber

Silver Linings Playbook (U.S.)
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker

Thermae Romae (Japan)
Director: Hideki Takeuchi
Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Aya Ueto

Twice Born (Italy, Spain and Croatia)
Director: Sergio Castellitto
Starring: Penelope Cruz, Emile Hirsch

UPDATE: On August 14, TIFF announced three additional galas:

Song for Marion (UK)
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton

Emperor (Japan/USA)
Director: Peter Webber
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Fox

What Maisie Knew (USA)
Director: Scott McGehee and David Siegel
Starring: Joanna Vanderham, Onata Aprile, Alexander Skarsgård, Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan

Click to see the 45 special presentations at TIFF 2012 »