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Our 25 Most-Anticipated Fall 2016 Festival Premieres

Written by on August 29, 2016 


After highlighting 50 titles confirmed to arrive this fall, we now turn our attention to the festival-bound films either without distribution or awaiting a release date. Looking over Venice International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and New York Film Festival titles, we’ve rounded up 25 movies — most of which we’ll be checking out over the next few weeks — that we can’t wait to see.

Check out our 25 most-anticipated festival premieres below, and let us know what you’re most looking forward to.

The Age of Shadows (Kim Ji-woon)

Age of Shadows 4

Returning to South Korea after his foray into Hollywood action with the Arnold Schwarzenegger-led The Last Stand, Kim Ji-woon‘s next feature is The Age of Shadows, which marks WB’s first-ever produced feature in the country. Led by Song Kang-ho (Snowpiercer, The Host), this ’20s-set thriller follows the Heroic Corps, an anti-Japanese independence organization that existed under the Japanese colonial period in South Korea. It’s set to premiere at Venice and stop by TIFF, and the intense trailer’s gorgeous production design has us hoping we’ll see it picked up sooner rather than later. – Jordan R.

The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour)

The Bad Batch

Since Ana Lily Amirpour burst onto the scene with her bold, minimalist Iranian vampire western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, we’ve kept an eye out for her follow-up, and the details so far certainly don’t disappoint. But really, what more can you say about a film described as a Texas-set “post-apocalyptic cannibal love story” with a “dope soundtrack,” especially when it stars the likes of Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey, and Keanu Reeves? With its mind-boggling concept and stellar cast, The Bad Batch should have no problem attracting attention. – Amanda W.

Brimstone (Martin Koolhoven)


Thanks to the announcement of the Venice and Toronto line-ups, here’s one film that recently entered our radar and we can’t wait to see. Starring Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Kit Harington, and Carice van Houten, Brimstone follows a woman in a frontier community who goes on the run after being haunted by a pastor. Setting up quite a tension-filled story, hopefully this, alongside The Witch, makes for one of the better religious-tinged thrillers of 2016. – Jordan R.

Buster’s Mal Heart (Sarah Adina Smith)

Busters Mal Heart

After leaving an all-too-brief impression in The Master, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, and Short Term 12, Rami Malek is finally getting his well-deserved due on television. He’s also found time to take part in a few features, one being the curious Buster’s Mal Heart. Following a mountain man who is on the run and attempting to recall why, its placement in TIFF’s Vanguard section has us thinking this could be something quite unexpected. – Jordan R.

City of Tiny Lights (Pete Travis)

City of Tiny Lights

If you didn’t see his break-out role in one of the century’s best comediesFour Lions, then we imagine Riz Ahmed first landed on your radar as the doomed assistant to Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. Along with his high-profile performances in The Night Of, Rogue One, and Jason Bourne this year, one of the two TIFF films he has is the starring vehicle City of Tiny Lights. Directed by Dredd‘s Pete Travis, it follows Ahmed as a London detective who gets entangled in a missing-girl case as a complex web of lies bubble up. It sounds like the perfect case for Bill Camp’s Dennis Box.  – Jordan R.

Colossal (Nacho Vigalondo)


Timecrimes director Nacho Vigalondo is back this year with the Anne Hathaway-led sci-fi film Colossal, which also includes the impressive mix of Dan Stevens, Jason Sudeikis, Tim Blake Nelson, and Austin Stowell. It follows a woman who moves back to her hometown after losing her job and boyfriend in New York, then discovers that she is somehow strangely connected to a giant creature that has materialized over Seoul and is wreaking havoc on the city. Vigalondo has excelled in being able to work with any premise he offers up, and this looks like to be his most exciting yet in both scope and dramatic caliber. – Jordan R.

Free Fire (Ben Wheatley)

Free Fire

Following up High-RiseBen Wheatley is back with an action thriller about an arms deal gone wrong in 1978 Boston. Details so far are enticing — besides boasting an executive producer credit from Martin Scorsese, the film also showcases Room star Brie Larson in a major role, and an eclectic cast featuring Noah Taylor, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, and Wheatley regular Michael Smiley. The helmer’s promised a stylish, hard-boiled crime movie, and considering his past efforts with writing partner Amy Jump, Free Fire should make for a satisfyingly dark, violent offering. It’s set to premiere at TIFF, and A24 will release the film in 2017. – Amanda W.

I Am Not Madame Bovary (Feng Xiaogang)

I Am Not Madame Bovary 1

We were sold on Feng Ziaogang‘s I Am Not Madame Bovary based on its teaser trailer, which largely features beautiful paintings before moving into even more gorgeous imagery with a peculiar circular aspect ratio. Stunning cinematography aside, the plot itself has us intrigued, following a café proprietor who is attempting to get retribution in a decade-long fight for divorce. – Jordan R.

Into the Inferno (Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer)

Into the Inferno

We just got a new Werner Herzog documentary, and another is coming to Telluride and TIFF. After diving into the world of the Internet, he’s going into the next-most treacherous place on earth: volcanoes. Co-directed by volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer — no relation to Herzog’s filmmaking colleague, Joshua Oppenheimer — the documentary takes them across the world as they explore the most dangerous volcanoes on earth. Expect the existential pondering to be particularly fiery. – Jordan R.

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