Halloween 2021: Horror movies and supernatural thrillers in theaters on All Hallow’s Eve

October 1, 2021

by Carla Hay

There are numerous horror movies available to watch on TV, computers or mobile devices, but for Halloween 2021, there are some horror flicks and supernatural thrillers that will be released in theaters in October. Horror and supernatural movies released before October 2021 that should still be in theaters during the Halloween season include “Candyman” (rated R); “Don’t Breathe 2” (rated R); “Malignant” (rated R); “The Night House” (rated R); and “Old” (rated R).

Here are the movies that have an October 2021 release in theaters:

Information in this article is about U.S. releases.

“The Addams Family 2”

The ghoulish Addams Family returns in this sequel to 2019’s “The Addams Family.” Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon directed both movies. In “The Addams Family 2,” the family goes on a road trip, as gloomy teenager Wednesday Addams begins to question her identity after coming up with a biologically altering invention. The voice cast of the animated “The Addams Family 2” includes Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Kroll, co-director Vernon, Javon Walton, Bette Midler and Snoop Dogg. “The Addams Family 2,” which is rated PG, arrives in theaters and on VOD on October 1, 2021.


After this movie’s release was delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sci-fi horror flick “Antlers” is finally arriving in theaters. Not much has been revealed about the plot, except that it’s about a mysterious creature that goes on the loose in a small Oregon town. Directed and co-written by Scott Cooper, “Antlers” has a cast that includes Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons. “Antlers,” which is rated R, is set for release in theaters on October 29, 2021.

“The Blazing World”

Written, directed and co-starrring Carlson Young, this sci-fi horror movie is about a woman haunted by the drowning death of her twin sister and ends up in an alternate dimension. The movie also stars Udo Kier, Dermot Mulroney and Vinessa Shaw. “The Blazing World,” which is not rated, is set for release in select theaters on October 15, 2021.

“Coming Home in the Dark”

In this New Zealand film, a high school teacher, his wife and his two stepsons encounter two murderous drifters​. Directed and co-written by James Ashcroft, “Coming Home in the Dark” stars Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell, Matthias Luafutu, Billy Paratene, Frankie Paratene and Bailey Cowan. The movie, which is not rated, arrives in theaters, on digital and on VOD on October 1, 2021.


Directed and co-written by John Hsu, the Taiwanese film “Detention” is an adaptation of the video game of the same name. The story, which takes place in 1962, is about the mysterious occurrences at a high school in an oppressive society. The movie’s cast members include Gingle Wang, Fu Meng-po, Tseng Ching-hua, Cecilia Choi and Hung Chang Chu. “Detention,” which is not rated, opens in select theaters and in virtual cinemas on October 8, 2021.

“Halloween Kills”

Jamie Lee Curtis returns in her iconic role as Laurie Strode, the most famous survivor of mask-wearing serial killer Michael Myers. You already know what the movie is about: Michael Myers goes after Laurie and some other people again. David Gordon Green, who directed 2018’s “Halloween,” directed and co-wrote “Halloween Kills.” The movie, which is rated R, opens in theaters and begins streaming on Peacock on October 15, 2021.


The Icelandic movie “Lamb,” starring Noomi Rapace, is a supernatural horror film that has a lot of strangeness revolving around a lamb. “Lamb” is directed and co-written by Valdimar Jóhannsson. The movie, which is rated R, will be released in select theaters on October 8, 2021.

“Last Night in Soho”

Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie star in this supernatural thriller with retro elements. The movie is about a London fashion student who begins having strange dreams about an aspiring singer from the mid-1960s. Directed and co-written by Edgar Wright, “Last Night in Soho” also stars Matt Smith, Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp. The movie, which is rated R, arrives in theaters on October 29, 2021.

“Monster Family 2”

In this animated comedy film, the Wishbone family returns to “free Baba Yaga and Renfield from the clutches of Monster Hunter Mila Starr,” according to the movie’s official synopsis. Directed by Holger Tappe, “Monster Family 2” features a voice cast that includes Emily Watson, Daniel Ben Zenou, Jessica Brown Findlay, Emily Carey and Nick Frost and Jason Isaacs. The movie, which is rated PG, is set for release in select theaters on October 15, 2021.


In this Malaysian folk tale, which is the feature-film debut of writer/director Emir Ezwan, a family headed by a single mother is deeply affected by a stranger who has been brought into the home. This stranger is a girl who was found caked in mud by the children in the family. And this mysterious girl has an ominous prediction: The entire family will soon die. The cast of “Roh” includes Farah Ahmad, Mhia Farhana, Harith Haziq, Nam Ron, Junainah M. Lojong and Putri Syahadah Nurqaseh. “Roh” (which is not rated) is Malaysia’s official Oscar entry for consideration for the 2022 Academy Awards category of Best International Feature. The movie arrives in select theaters, on digital and VOD on October 29, 2021.

“The Secret of Sinchanee”

Directed by, written by, and starring Stephen Grayhm, “The Secret of Sinchanee” is about how an industrial tow truck driver, who has insomnia, returns to his hometown after his father’s death and finds out that his childhood home is haunted. Meanwhile, a single mother from the area has gone missing. The movie’s cast also includes Nate Boyer, Tamara Austin, Laila Lockhart Kraner, Jacob Schick and Rudy Reyes. “The Secret of Sinchanee,” which is not rated, will be released on October 8, 2021, in select theaters, digital and VOD.

“The Spine of Night”

In this animated supernatural thriller, a power-hungry young man steals knowledge from another planet and becomes a corrupt villain. Throughout the years, his misdeeds result in human suffering, and several entities try to stop him. Written and Directed by Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King, “The Spine of Night” has a voice cast that includes Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Betty Gabriel and Joe Manganiello. The movie, which is not rated, is set for release in select theaters, digital and VOD on October 29, 2021.


Written and directed by Julia Ducournau, the French film “Titane” tells a bizarre story of a 32-year-old dancer (played by Agathe Rousselle) who is a serial killer and who’s sexually attracted to automobiles. Her strange obsessions have to do with a surgical operation that she had after being in a car accident when she was 7 years old. Vincent Lindon also stars in “Titane,” which won the Palme d’Or (top prize) at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. “Titane,” which is rated R, is also France’s selection to be considered for the Best International Feature category at the 2022 Academy Awards. “Titane” arrives in theaters on October 1, 2021.


An outlaw criminal (played by Zachary Mooren) breaks into the home of an escort named Val (played by Misha Reeves), and he finds out the hard way that she’s a demon. Directed and co-written by Aaron Fradkin, “Val” (which is not rated) is set for release in select theaters on October 1, 2021, before being released on digital and VOD on October 5, 2021.

“Witch Hunt”

What if the modern-day United States made being a witch illegal and punishable by death? That’s the concept of this movie written and directed by Elle Callahan. In “Witch Hunt,” a teenager in high school (played by Gideon Adlon) disapproves of her mother (played by Elizabeth Mitchell) secretly hiding witches in their home as part of an underground smuggling network for witches. There’s also a ruthless government inspector (played by Christian Carmago) who’s on the hunt for witches. “Witch Hunt,” which is not rated, arrives in select theaters, on digital and VOD on October 1, 2021.


“Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes” (RiffTrax Live)

RiffTrax comedy stars Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett give their running commentary during the 1989 campy horror flick “Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes.” In this TV-movie (directed by Sandor Stern), priests try to defeat the evil spirit that’s taken over the notorious Amityville haunted house. The movie’s cast includes Patty Duke, Jane Wyatt and Fredric Lehne. Fathom Events will present the RiffTrax version of “Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes” in select theaters on October 21, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.


Tim Burton’s classic 1988 horror comedy tells the story of deceased young couple Adam and Barbara Maitland (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), who haunt their former home and try unsuccessfully to scare away the house’s new residents: Charles and Delia Deetz (played by Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara) and their moody teenage daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder). In desperation, the Maitlands conjur up the obnoxious ghost Betelgeuse (played by Michael Keaton) to enlist his help in terrifying the Deetz family into moving out of the house. “Beetlejuice” (which is rated PG) will have screenings at several movie-theater chains. Cinépolis will show the movie on October 13, 2021. The screenings for Alamo Drafthouse locations will vary by location.

“The Craft”

In this 1996 film, four teenage girls in high school find out that they have the power to practice witchcraft. Directed by Andrew Fleming (who co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Filardi), “The Craft” has a cast that includes Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor and Breckin Meyer. The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain is showing “The Craft” (which is rated R), with the dates varying by location. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Dracula” (1931)

The original “Dracula” movie (starring Bela Legosi and directed by Tod Browning) will be shown as a double feature with 1931’s “Frankenstein” movie (starring Boris Karloff and directed by James Whale) to celebrate the movies’ 90th anniversary. Fathom Events will present this double feature (which is not rated) in select theaters on October 2, 2021. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“The Evil Dead” (1981)

The 1981 supernatural horror film “The Evil Dead” established writer/director Sam Raimi as a filmmaker to watch. Bruce Campbell stars as Ash, who arrives at a remote cabin in the woods with his girlfriend Linda (played by Betsy Baker), his sister Cheryl (played by Ellen Sandweiss), and another couple named Scotty (played by Hal Delrich) and Shelly (played by Sarah York). When a mysterious occult book is found in the cabin, mayhem ensues. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of “The Evil Dead,” Fathom Events is bringing back the movie in select theaters, with an exclusive precorded introduction by Campbell, on October 7, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Exorcist”

The 1973 classic “The Exorcist,” directed by William Friedkin, is often ranked as the scariest horror movie of all time. In the story, Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn) is distraught when she sees her 12-year-old daughter Regan (played by Linda Blair) begin to act strangely, such as speaking in tongues. When Regan starts levitating, Chris is convinced that Regan might be possessed by the devil. Chris asks a local priest named Father Damien (played by Jason Miller) for help. He then requests to perform an exorcism, and the Catholic Church sends an exorcism expert Father Lankester Merrin (played by Max von Sydow) to assist in the exorcism. “The Exorcist,” which is rated R, received 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), and ended up winning two Oscars: Best Original Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing. The Cinépolis theater chain is showing “The Exorcist” (which is rated R) on October 23, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here. The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain is showing “The Exorcist” (which is rated R), with the dates varying by location. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Frankenstein” (1931)

The original 1931 “Frankenstein” movie (starring Boris Karloff and directed by James Whale) will be shown as a double feature with 1931’s “Dracula” (starring Bela Legosi and directed by Tod Browning) to celebrate the movies’ 90th anniversary. Fathom Events is presenting this double feature (which is not rated) in select theaters on October 2, 2021. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“Get Out”

In 2017’s “Get Out,” the horror of racism is on display when an interracial couple (played by Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams) go back to her family home so that he can meet her parents (played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). Writer/director Jordan Peele made his feature-film directorial debut and won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for “Get Out,” which also stars LaKeith Stanfield, Betty Gabriel and Lel Rel Howery. “Get Out” also received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, while Kaluuya got an Oscar nod for Best Actor. AMC Theatres will re-release “Get Out” on October 13, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Halloween” (1978)

John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is considered one of the most influential horror movies of all time, and certainly one of the top films representing the “slasher” subgenre of horror flicks. The mask-wearing, knife-wielding, mute serial killer Michael Myers has become a much-parodied and imitated horror icon, but at the time that “Halloween” was released, many of the terror-inducing elements of this movie were considered groundbreaking. The slow-burn suspense of “Halloween,” which spawned numerous inferior sequels, can be fully appreciated on the big screen, considering that most modern “slasher” movies follow a formula of someone getting killed every 15 to 20 minutes. Jamie Lee Curtis, as teenage babysitter Laurie Strode, made her movie debut in “Halloween,” one of many horror films in which she’s had a starring role, including the 2018 movie sequel of the same name and 2021’s “Halloween Kills.” Donald Pleasence also stars in the original “Halloween” as Myers’ psychiatric doctor, who doggedly tries to find his patient after Myers escapes from a psychiatric institution. The Cinépolis theater chain will have a screening of the original 1978 “Halloween” (which is rated R) on October 27, 2021. More information and ticket purchases are available here. The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain will have “Halloween” at various times and locations. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Halloween II”

In this 1981 sequel, Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and Dr. Loomis (played Donald Pleasance) return to do battle against serial killer Michael Myers, who wreaks havoc in a hospital. “Halloween II” was directed by Rick Rosenthal, in his feature-flm directorial debut. The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain will have “Halloween II,” which is rated R, at various times and locations. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Hotel Transylvania”

In the 2012 animated comedy “Hotel Transylvania” Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) runs Hotel Transyvania, where he has invited several monsters to visit. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (in his feature-film directorial debut), “Hotel Transylvania” (which is rated PG) has a voice cast that includes Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade and CeeLo Green. Alamo Drafthouse will show “Hotel Transylvania” at various times and locations. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“The Howling”

This 1981 film, directed by Joe Dante, is about a TV journalist who goes to a remote mountain resort, only to find out the resort’s residents are werewolves. “The Howling,” which is rated R, stars Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, and Robert Picardo. Alamo Drafthouse will show a 4K restoration of “The Howling” at various times and locations. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“Howl’s Moving Castle”

In this supernatural Japanese animated film from director Hayao Miyazaki, a wizard named Howl takes a quiet girl named Sophie on an adventure, but she is cursed by the Witch of the Waste and turned into a 90-year-old woman. Sophie must break the spell by going to Howl’s moving castle. The English-language voice cast includes Lauren Bacall, Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Blythe Danner, Emily Mortimer and Jean Simmons. Fathom Events is presenting “Howl’s Moving Castle,” which is rated PG, in select U.S. theaters on October 24, 25 and 28, 2021. The October 24 and 28 screenings will be dubbed in English, while the October 25 screening will be in Japanese with English subtitles. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Invisible Man” (1933)


The original 1933 “The Invisible Man” movie (starring Claude Rains and directed by James Whale) will be shown as a double feature with 1941’s “The Wolf Man” movie (starring Lon Chaney Jr. and directed by George Waggner). Fathom Events is presenting this double feature (which is not rated) in select theaters on October 30, 2021. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“Night of the Living Dead” (1968, in color)

George A. Romero’s zombie-invasion classic is often on people’s lists of the best horror movies of all time, and it’s considered the best of all the sequels, spinoffs and remakes that this original movie inspired. Filmed in black and white, 1968’s “The Night of the Living Dead” has a plot that is simple but executed to chilling effect: A group of strangers trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse try to survive an unexpected plague of zombies. Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea were among the cast of relatively unknown actors in the film. Alamo Drafthouse will present a 1986 colorized version of “Night of the Living Dead” at various times and locations. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

Serial killer Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund), who comes to life in people’s nightmares, is considered one of the all-time greatest horror movie villains. He was first introduced to the world in 1984’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” directed by Wes Craven. The movie, which also stars Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp, in one of his first film roles. The Cinemark theater chain will present “A Nightmare on Elm Street” on October 8, 2021. More information and ticket purchaes can be found here. Alamo Drafthouse will show “A Nightmare on Elm Street” at various times and locations. More information and ticket purchases are available here.


The silent film “Nosferatu,” released in 1922, was the first movie based on the “Dracula” novel. Directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck, “Nosferatu” is shown at Alamo Drafthouse locations every Halloween season, with a musical score by the Austin-based band the Invincible Czars. In 2021, “Nosferatu” will be screened at Alamo Drafthouse locations on October 29. According to Alamo Drafthouse: “The Invincible Czars have updated their soundtrack for ‘Nosferatu” in preparation to release a recording for the film’s centennial in 2022. This will be the debut of the updated score.” More information and ticket purchases can be found here.


Written, directed, produced and edited by Don Coscarelli, the 1979 supernatural horror flick “Phantasm” introduced the world to the villain The Tall Man (played by Angus Scrimm). Alamo Drafthouse will show a 4K restoration of “Phantasm” at various times and locations. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“Possession” (1981)

In the 1981 psychological horror film “Possession,” Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani portray a Berlin-based international spy and his wife, who begins acting bizarrely after she asks for a divorce. Written and directed by Andrzej Żuławski, “Possession” also stars Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent and Johanna Hofer. Alamo Drafthouse locations will show a 4K restoration of “Possession,” which is rated R. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

Do the time warp again as an audience member of the 1975 horror-comedy musical “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which is based on the stage musical “The Rocky Horror Show.” This cult-movie classic, directed by Jim Sharman, has been a late-night staple at cinemas for decades. The movie tells the story of naïve, engaged couple Brad Majors (played by Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (played by Susan Sarandon), who find themselves stranded at a mysterious mansion after their car gets a flat tire during a storm. At the mansion, they meet an eccentric bunch of people, including Dr. Frank-N-Furter (played by Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist who’s determined to make Brad and Janet lose their innocence. Screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which is rated R, usually include audience participation and sing-alongs, so don’t expect people in the theater to be quiet during the movie. The Cinépolis theater chain will exhibit “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on October 29, 2021. More information and ticket purchases are available here.


This 1996 classic film features a masked serial killer on the loose with an ultimate target: high schooler Sidney Prescott (played by Neve Campbell). The psycho also likes to call his victims before he murders them. Directed by Wes Craven, “Scream” has a cast that includes Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich and Drew Barrymore. Fathom Events is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Scream” (which is rated R) by bringing the movie back in select theaters on October 10 and October 11, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here. Alamo Drafthouse will show “Scream” on October 29, 2021. More informaton and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Shaun of the Dead”

The 2004 horror comedy “Shaun of the Dead” shows what happens when two best friends (played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) try to survive during a zombie apocalypse in England. Directed by Edgar Wright (who co-wrote the screenplay with Pegg), the movie’s cast includes Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton. Alamo Drafthouse locations will have various screenings of “Shaun of the Dead,” which is rated R. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Silence of the Lambs”

The 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs,” directed by Jonathan Demme, was the first horror movie to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. The movie tells the story of a determined police detective named Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster), who is on the hunt for a serial killer who calls himself Buffalo Bill. She enlsts the help of an imprisoned cannibal serial killer named Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins) to give her advice on how the mind of a serial killer works. “The Silence of the Lambs” also won Academy Awards for Demme (Best Director), Foster (Best Actress), Hopkins (Best Actor) and Ted Tally (Best Adapted Screenplay). To celebrate the 30th anniversary of “The Silence of the Lambs,” which is rated R, Fathom Events is having screenings of the movie in select theaters on October 17 and October 20, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Spirited Away”

Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 Japanese fantasy adventure “Spirited Away” is an Oscar-winning movie (Best Animated Feature) that tells the story of a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro Ogino who enters the spirit world after her parents are turned into pigs by a witch named Yubaba. Chihiro then works in Yubaba’s bath house to try and find a way to free her parents from the spell and get them back into the real world. To celebrate the movie’s 20th anniversary, Fathom Events is presenting “Spirited Away,” which is rated PG, in select theaters on October 3, 4 and 6, 2021. The October 3 and 6 screenings will be dubbed in English, while the October 4 screening will be in Japanese with English subtitles. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Thing” (1982)

In the original 1982 version of “The Thing,” which is rated R, 12 researchers at a remote Antarctic research station discover a deadly alien that had been buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Directed by John Carpenter, the movie’s cast includes Kurt Russell R.J. MacReady, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis and Thomas G. Waites. Alamo Drafthouse will have screenings of the 1982 version of “The Thing,” which is rated R. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.


In 2019’s “Us,” a family of four (played by Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) are menaced by four people who look identical to them. Written and directed by Jordan Peele, “Us” also stars Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. AMC Theatres will re-release “Us” on October 15, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Velvet Vampire”

A vampire (played by Celeste Yarnall) sets her sights on an amorous couple (played by Michael Blodgett and Sherry Miles) in this campy 1971 film (also known as “Cemetary Girls”), directed by Stephanie Rothman. The results are a very bloody love triangle. Alamo Drafthouse will show a restored version of “The Velvet Vampire,” which is rated R, on October 27, 2021. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Wolf Man” (1941)

The original “The Wolf Man” movie (starring Lon Chaney Jr. and directed by George Waggner) will be shown as a double feature with 1933’s “The Invisible Man” movie (starring Claude Rains and directed by James Whale). Fathom Events is presenting this double feature (which is not rated) in select theaters on October 30, 2021. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

Review: ‘Titane,’ starring Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon

September 29, 2021

by Carla Hay

Agathe Rousselle in “Titane” (Photo by Carole Bethuel/Neon)


Directed by Julia Ducournau

French with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in Paris, the horror film “Titane” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some black people) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: After getting into a car accident as a child and undergoing a mysterious surgical operation, a woman becomes a serial killer who has a sexual obsession with automobiles.

Culture Audience: “Titane” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching offbeat, artsy horror movies.

Vincent Lindon in “Titane” (Photo by Carole Bethuel/Neon)

Disturbing, compelling and occasionally comedic, the deliberately perplexing “Titane” wraps an unorthodox love story in the cloak of a grisly horror movie. “Titane” leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but it’s never boring. The emotionally damaged performances by “Titane” co-stars Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon make the film worth watching for people who are open to unconventional horror movies. Everyone else will probably be turned off by “Titane” because it has a plethora of content that’s intended to make people nauseous or queasy.

“Titane” is the second feature film from French writer/director Julia Ducournau, who clearly wants to be in the same league as well-known film provocateurs who are celebrated for making artsy movies that revel in the gruesome. Her feature-film debut was 2017’s “Raw,” a horror movie about young female cannibals who not only crave human flesh but are sexually aroused by this craving. “Titane” also interwines death and sex with an unusual obsession: the female protagonist, who is a serial killer, gets sexually aroused by automobiles.

Viewer expectations might be high for “Titane,” since the movie won the 2021 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’or, the festival’s highest prize. Ducournau is only the second female director to win this award since the festival launched in 1946. Jane Campion was the first female director to win the Palme d’Or, for her 1993 film “The Piano,” which went on to win three Oscars (including Best Original Screenplay for Campion) out of its eight Oscar nominations.

“The Piano” is the type of movie that is traditional Oscar bait. “Titane” is too much of an avant-garde film to get the type of Academy Award accolades that “The Piano” received. For all of its artsy characteristics, “Titane” is essentially a horror movie, so it’ll probably be too much of a turnoff to film snobs who hate horror movies. Even people who like horror movies might feel a little alienated by how baffling and frustrating “Titane” can be in making characters too mysterious for viewers to feel some kind of emotional connection.

“Titane” opens with a 7-year-old girl named Alexia (played by Adèle Guigue), who’s seated in the back of a car that’s being driven by her unnamed father (played by Bertrand Bonello) while cruising on a highway. Alexia is making a loud humming sound that’s similar to the sound of a revving engine. The noise is irritating to her father, who turns up the volume on the car radio. Alexia just hums louder in response.

Alexia’s father tell Alexia to stop making this noise, but she ignores him. As she gets up while the car is in motion, he reaches behind him to scold her for not wearing a seat belt. He loses control of the car, which crashes on a highway divider.

The next scene shows Alexia in a medical exam room, after she’s had a mysterious surgical operation, which is not shown in the movie. What is shown is that she now has something metallic implanted in her skull. The implant scar on the right side of the head is prominently featured in the movie as a constant reminder.

Alexia is also wearing a metal plate headset, whose purpose remains a mystery, but when she wears the headset it’s nearly impossible to move her head. The doctor in the exam room tells Alexia’s father: “Watch for any neurological signs. Motor function, coordination, diction.”

When Alexia and her father leave the hospital, she’s no longer wearing the metal plate headset. As they go outside, Alexia sees her father’s car, which is the same car that was in the accident. And she does something strange: She runs up to the car and hugs it.

The movie then fast-forwards to when Alexia is 32 years old (played by Agathe Rousselle) and working as an exotic dancer. She’s not a stripper, but she’s hired to do things like dancing sexually at parties and events while she wears revealing clothing. It’s at one of these events (an auto show inside a warehouse) that viewers first see the adult Alexia, who is tall, lanky and bristling with a “don’t mess with me” energy. She’s slightly androgynous and wears her hair up in a disheveled bun that’s held by a long black hair pin that’s about the size of a chopstick.

Alexia is one of several female dancers at this event, which has the warehouse look more like a makeshift nightclub, with cars set up as props so that the dancers can gyrate on the hoods and roofs of the cars. A security guy is shown pulling a rowdy male partygoer off a dancer in the partygoer’s attempt to grope the dancer. The security guy gruffly reminds the partygoer that the party has a “look but don’t touch” policy for how party guests can interact with the dancers.

Alexia is apparently well-known among the many of the male partygoers, who gather around as she does a sensual dance on the hood of a car. After her dance, several of her admirers surround her and ask for her autograph. Alexia is accommodating but she seems emotionally detached from getting this attention.

After the party, Alexia and the other dancers are taking a group shower in the warehouse. A pretty young woman standing next to Alexia introduces herself as Justine (Garance Marillier), who seems to want to start a friendly conversation with Alexia. However, Alexia is standoffish and doesn’t seem interested in talking to anyone.

An awkward moment comes when Alexia leans down and her hair accidentally gets caught in Justine’s nipple ring. After some uncomfortable moments when Alexia gently tries to untangle her hair from the ring, she loses patience and just yanks her hair out, which obviously causes some pain to Justine, who expresses irritation with Alexia for being so insensitive. Alexia just walks away.

Alexia clearly wants to be left alone. However, one of her male admirers has followed Alexia to her car, which is the only car that’s left in the dark parking lot. As she’s about to start the engine, he stops her and asks for her autograph, and she reluctantly obliges. This stalker, who is a total stranger to Alexia, then tells Alexia that he thinks he’s in love with her.

He asks Alexia to kiss him, and she gives him two friendly kisses on the cheek. But then, things get ugly when he forces her to kiss him on the mouth. At first she resists, but then she starts kissing him back, as she reaches for that long black hair pin. You can guess what happens next, because Alexia has a secret: She’s a serial killer.

Here’s a pattern that a lot of people won’t like about “Titane”: The movie tends to abruptly jump to a scene that will make viewers think that parts of the story are missing. After showing Justine and Alexia meeting for the first time under awkward circumstances, the next time Alexia and Justine are seen together is when they’re on a date, and they’re making out with each other like lovers. It’s an explicit scene with partial nudity. The movie never shows or tells what happened to cause Justine and Alexia to go on a date after Alexia made such a bad first impression on Justine.

The same thing happens again, when a scene abruptly shifts to Alexia in an amorous lip lock with Justine at someone else’s house. What are they doing there? How has their relationship progressed to this point? It turns out that this house is supposed to be the site of a sex party. There’s no orgy scene in the movie, but things get out of control very quickly when it comes to Alexia’s murderous impulses.

Alexia has been leading a double life where she lives at home with her parents, who don’t really ask about or meddle into whatever Alexia does in her own free time. Alexia’s father seems a little suspicious of Alexia’s secretive activities when she’s not in the house, but Alexia’s mother (played by Céline Carrère) is blissfully unaware. Alexia’s parents don’t get much screen time in the movie (less than 10 minutes), and they don’t say much (less than two minutes of dialogue), but it’s eventually revealed that Alexia has some disturbing control over them.

Through a series of circumstances that won’t be revealed in this review, Alexia disguises herself as a man for the majority of the story. She impulsively comes up with this idea while she made a hasty trip to an airport, where she goes in the bathroom to cut her hair and use medical bandages to bind her breasts. She also deliberately breaks her nose on the bathroom sink to change the appearance of her nose. Alexia’s trip to the airport was so last-minute that she only brought her backpack with her and no other luggage.

Observant viewers might ask, “Where did she find the time to get the medical bandages?” It’s a minor plot hole in the movie that could be explained by speculating that Alexia bought the bandages at the airport, although most airports don’t sell wrap-around bandages of the size that Alexia uses. Viewers of “Titane” will have to get used to scenes that have sudden shifts, with things taking place that have no previous context. For example, viewers never find out what Alexia’s life was like in the years between her car accident at 7 years old and her life at 32 years old.

Alexia’s disguise as a man involves her stealing the identity of someone named Adrien Legrand. When she’s disguised as Adrien, Alexia pretends to be mute. This identity theft ends up fooling a family member of Adrien. The victim of this scam is named Vincent (played by Vincent Lindon), a middle-aged firefighter captain. Vincent is divorced, he lives alone, and he’s another lost and damaged soul.

Vincent abuses steroids and is haunted by a personal tragedy from his past. Disguised as Adrien, Alexia ends up living with Vincent. Their relationship is very rocky at first, with Alexia/Adrien being very hostile to Vincent from the beginning, but they end up getting to know each other better. “Titane” has scenes that are meant to show homoerotic and incestuous undertones of Vincent’s intimate touching of “Adrien,” with Victor being confused by his possible sexual attraction to a man whom he thinks is a close relative.

Alexia’s murderous rampage, sexual fascination with automobiles, and theft of someone else’s identity aren’t her only secrets. She has another big secret which results in scenes that will make viewers squirm the most. This secret is why people can describe “Titane” as being a “body horror” movie. Ducournau has an interesting directing style of blending scenes that are hypnotic and dreamlike with scenes that are stark and jolting in their realism.

At the fire station, Vincent has a young protégé named Rayane (played by Laïs Salameh), who has the nickname Conscience. Shortly after “Adrien” starts living with Vincent, “Adrien” is given a job at the same firefighter station where Vincent is the captain. “Adrien” then goes through training as a firefighter and paramedic, but “Adrien” encounters some obstacles that have to do with Rayane.

Rayane becomes jealous and insecure that “Adrien” might replace him as Vincent’s favorite employee. Rayane notices that “Adrien” looks androgynous, and he has doubts about the identity of “Adrien,” so he targets “Adrien” for some bullying. Rayane also wonders if “Adrien” could be Vincent’s secret gay lover, but when Rayane mentions this speculation to co-workers, Rayane’s thoughts are immediately ridiculed.

In addition to the horror aspects of the film, “Titane” brings up a lot of incisive observations of gender roles in society, particularly what it means to be “masculine” and to be taken seriously as a man. These issues obviously come up with Alexia in disguise as Adrien, as she adjusts to working in an all-male environment. And viewers can see the obvious differences between how she is treated in life as a woman compared to how she is treated when she’s living her life as a man.

But gender issues are very much evident with Vincent, who abuses steroids (which he injects in his rear end, to hide the needle marks and bruises) because he confesses to someone that he’s afraid of looking old and weak. The drug abuse is also a manifestation of his emotional pain. Vincent is very much caught up in projecting a “macho” image to most people, so he hides his emotional pain behind this image. Over time, Alexia (as Adrien) and Vincent begin to understand that they have a lot more in common than they thought, because of their neuroses and emotional issues.

Because most of “Titane” is about the relationship between Alexia/”Adrien” and Vincent, there’s a great deal of the movie where Rousselle does not speak and has to use her facial expressions and body language to convey her character’s emotions. It’s a fascinating performance. Even in Alexia’s life under her true identity, Alexia wasn’t much of a talker.

Lindon is equally absorbing as an emotionally wounded man who has to pretend to the world that he’s strong and stable. There’s a well-acted scene soon after he meets “Adrien” where Vincent begins crying because he sees that “Adrien” can’t or won’t talk. It’s in this moment that Vincent, who is lonely and starving for human affection, begins to understand that the person who will be living with him probably won’t be talking to him at all.

It’s why “Titane” is more than a gory horror movie. Despite some flaws of abrupt shifts in the plot and not providing enough backstory for the protagonist, “Titane” is really a story about human connections and how people deal with their inner pain. With “Titane,” Ducournau has delivered a memorable film that can not only show humanity at its cruelest, but also how compassion can be found amongst the cruelty. “Titane” is also a movie where people’s reactions to it say more about the viewers than about the characters in the movie.

Neon will release “Titane” in select U.S. cinemas on October 1, 2021.

2021 Toronto International Film Festival: winners announced

September 18, 2021


TIFF logo

Pictured in front row: Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench, Jude Hill and Lewis McAskie in “Belfast” (Photo by Rob Youngson/Focus Features)


The following is a press release from the Toronto International Film Festival:

The Toronto International Film Festival® has announced its award recipients for the 46th edition of the Festival, which concluded tonight with screenings of Zhang Yimou’s One Second at the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall.

“2021 brought an exceptional selection of films that excited Festival audiences around the world,” said Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, TIFF Co-Heads. “Our lineup showcased beloved auteurs alongside fresh voices in filmmaking, including numerous women powerhouses. TIFF welcomed guest press, industry, international stars, and directors back to the city and into cinemas. The sweeping range in cinematic storytelling from around the world is a testament to the uniqueness of the films that are being made. We’re so grateful and proud of this year’s Festival.”

Thanks to the hybrid nature of the Festival, TIFF’s Industry platform welcomed close to 4,000 industry and press professionals from around the world, both digitally and in-person. TIFF remains a site of industry activity and a key marketplace for film title sales, hosting 105 market screenings and facilitating the sales of “France,” “Silent Night,” “A Banquet,” and “Huda’s Salon,” as well as Industry Selects title “The Pink Cloud.” TIFF’s Industry Conference presented 37 digital sessions for industry and press delegates from filmmakers to advocates and funders. The Dialogues stream featured conversations with creators E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Sterlin Harjo, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and Rebeca Huntt; Visionaries welcomed Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Sahraa Karimi, Greig Fraser, Nancy Utley, and Steve Gilula; Perspectives explored narrative sovereignty with Indigenous industry leaders and hosted a discussion on dismantling toxic industry culture; and Connections highlighted conversations on funding diverse films with ARRAY and talent to watch with Telefilm. TIFF also welcomed 20 new Filmmaker Lab participants, and eight new Rising Stars, who participated in intimate development labs with programme governors and special guest speakers.

TIFF’s Satellite Screenings wrapped Monday, September 13 in the evening. TIFF’s Film Circuit partners Bell and Cineplex worked with TIFF to bring screenings to audiences across Canada, in seven cities and six provinces (Collingwood, ON; Markham, ON; Montreal, QC; Moose Jaw, SK; Prince Rupert, BC; Saint John, NB; and Summerside, PE).

Honouring the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, and serving as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser, the TIFF Tribute Awards was broadcast this evening across Canada on CTV, CTV.ca and the CTV app and streamed internationally to the rest of the world by Variety for the second straight year. The 2021 event raised funds for TIFF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion fund, Every Story, and championed a safe, community-focused, and inspiring return to cinemas. During the one-hour broadcast, two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain at the Festival with “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and “The Forgiven,” who will receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award supported by the Tory Family; and Academy Award–nominated Benedict Cumberbatch who was also at TIFF with “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” and “The Power of the Dog,” who will receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award; Academy Award–nominated French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award and brought the epic and breathtaking “Dune” to TIFF on the big screen; award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, singer, and activist Alanis Obomsawin, who will be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media supported by Participant Media, also celebrated with a retrospective and premiere of her new powerful short film “Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair”; cinematographer Ari Wegner, whose stunning work was featured in “The Power of the Dog,” who will receive the TIFF Variety Artisan Award; “Cree/Métis Night Raiders” filmmaker Danis Goulet who will receive the TIFF Emerging Talent Award, presented by L’Oréal Paris and supported by MGM; and six-time Grammy Award-winning, music legend Dionne Warwick whose documentary “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over” had a World Premiere at the Festival, will be honoured with the Special Tribute Award.

Produced by Bell Media Studios, with etalk’s Tyrone Edwards and Chloe Wilde returning as hosts, the third annual awards show opened with an introduction from Sigourney Weaver and special tributes were presented by Shamier Anderson, Kirsten Dunst, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Ferreira, Gladys Knight, Phillip Lewitski, L’Oréal Paris brand ambassador Eva Longoria, David Oyelowo, Michael Showalter, and Kiefer Sutherland. Starting on Sunday, September 19, the TIFF Tribute Awards will be available to view on Crave.

New this year, the highly anticipated winners of the TIFF People’s Choice Award and Platform Jury Prize were announced live during the awards broadcast, just moments ago. Academy Award–nominated actor Riz Ahmed, head of the jury for the 2021 Platform Prize, announced the prize winner for that competition, and the 2021 People’s Choice Award winner was announced by TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente.


Arawinda Kirana and Asmara Abigail in “Yuni” (Photo courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival)

Named after Jia Zhang-ke’s trailblazing second feature, Platform is the Toronto International Film Festival’s competitive programme championing bold directorial visions. Now in its sixth year, Platform is curated by TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head Cameron Bailey. The Platform Prize Jury members for 2021 are Riz Ahmed (Jury President), Clio Barnard, Anthony Chen, Kazik Radwanski, and Valerie Complex.

The Platform jury provided this statement: “The jury was moved by a film that brings a fresh, intimate perspective to a coming-of-age story, marked by a subtle structure, delicate framing, and lush cinematography. For drawing us into a unique inner world too rarely seen on screen, the 2021 Platform Prize goes to Yuni, directed by Kamila Andini.”

An honourable mention from the Platform Prize Jury goes to Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), dir. Jenna Cato Bass.


Judi Dench, Jude Hill and Ciarán Hinds in “Belfast” (Photo by Rob Youngson/Focus Features)

For the 44th year, the People’s Choice Awards distinguish the audience’s top title at the Festival as voted by the viewing public. Audiences watching films at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre, the Ontario Place Cinesphere IMAX Theatre, the Visa Skyline Drive-In, the RBC Lakeside Drive-In, the West Island Open Air Cinema, and at home via digital screenings on the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox platform voted online. All films in TIFF’s Official Selection that screened both in-person and on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox were eligible.

The TIFF 2021 People’s Choice Award winner is: “Belfast,” dir. Kenneth Branagh. The first runner-up is “Scarborough,” dirs. Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson. The second runner-up is “The Power of the Dog,” dir. Jane Campion.

A scene from “The Rescue” (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Films)

The TIFF 2021 People’s Choice Documentary Award winner is “The Rescue,” dirs. E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The first runner-up is Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, dirs. Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner. The second runner-up is Flee, dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen.

Agathe Rousselle in “Titane” (Photo by Carole Bethuel/Neon)

The TIFF 2021 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award winner is “Titane,” dir. Julia Ducournau. The first runner-up is “You Are Not My Mother,” dir. Kate Dolan. The second runner-up is “DASHCAM,” dir. Rob Savage.


Pictured clockwise, from left to right: Anna Claire Beitel, Essence Fox and Liam Diaz in “Scarborough” (Photo courtesy of Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund)

Presented by the Shawn Mendes Foundation, the 2021 Changemaker Award is awarded to a Festival film that tackles issues of social change, and comes with a $10,000 cash prize. The winning film was selected by TIFF’s Next Wave Committee, a group of young film lovers who recognize cinema’s power to transform the world. The Shawn Mendes Foundation will also be making an annual contribution in support of TIFF Next Wave, helping TIFF deliver key initiatives to elevate young voices. The jurors for the Changemaker Award are members of TIFF’s Next Wave Committee: Norah Daudi, Sia Mehta, Saharla Ugas, Julia Yoo, Lina Zhang, Charles Liu, Naiya Forrester, Honora Murphy, Dev Desai, Elli Tripp, Michelle Kofia, and David Rhomberg.

The 2021 Changemaker Award is presented to “Scarborough,” dirs. Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson. Shasha Nakhai developed Scarborough at TIFF Industry in 2019 as an inaugural TIFF Talent Accelerator filmmaker.

TIFF’s Next Wave Committee provided this statement: “This film is etched on my heart. Scarborough is an utterly captivating and earth-shattering story of three intertwined families who are no strangers to hardship. Through the charms of misfits and unlikely heroes, directors Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson pose big social questions while framing them in a real and affirming story of resilience, community, and love. Written and directed with power and grace, this film truly feels like home.”

Directors Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson offered this statement: “Thank you to TIFF for giving this film a platform. It has been a really long and challenging road to get here, and we are so grateful to the TIFF Next Wave Committee and the Shawn Mendes Foundation for this award. We’re happy folks are coming away from the film feeling moved, seen, and affirmed, with a renewed commitment to community — and what we hope is a renewed commitment to resisting the forces that seek to erase, fracture, and monetize community. We are excited to bring this film to wider audiences after the Festival, and especially looking forward to using it as a tool to support the front-line work already being done on the myriad issues that it tackles.”


Canada Goose embraces diversity in all its forms and definitions, including technique and passion that transports storytelling to the screen. This year, Canada Goose presents the Amplify Voices Awards to the three best feature films by under-represented filmmakers. All feature films in Official Selection by emerging BIPOC filmmakers and Canadian filmmakers were eligible for these awards, and the three winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each, made possible by Canada Goose.

The three Amplify Voices Awards presented by Canada Goose winners are:

A scene from “Ste. Anne” (Photo courtesy of Exovedate Productions)

Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: “Ste. Anne,” dir. Rhayne Vermette
Jury’s statement: “Rhayne Vermette’s debut feature shows us a unique vision that makes full use of all the tools of filmmaking to lure us into its emotional topography. Deeply personal yet inviting, Ste. Anne is true cinematic art made in a setting that’s often missing from the landscape of Canadian film.”

Special Mention: “Scarborough,” dirs. Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson
Jury’s statement: “With a strong sense of place, Scarborough tells a heartfelt story about community that charms with great performances from its actors, both young and old.”

Yasmin Warsame and Omar Abdi in “The Grave Digger’s Wife” (Photo courtesy of Orange Studio)

Amplify Voices Award: “The Gravedigger’s Wife,” dir. Khadar Ayderus Ahmed
Jury’s statement: “At once specific to Somali culture and universally recognizable, The Gravedigger’s Wife tells a deeply romantic tale that’s both emotionally and visually textured. With Omar Abdi as its magnetic lead, Guled’s journey captivates from the first scene to the final frame.”

A scene from “A Night of Knowing Nothing” (Photo courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival)

Amplify Voices Award: “A Night of Knowing Nothing,” dir. Payal Kapadia
Jury’s statement: “Payal Kapadia’s unique documentary balances the personal and political with a surprising snapshot of her home country. Shocking at times, but also sweeping in its beauty, A Night of Knowing Nothing is a first feature that already demonstrates her strong voice as a filmmaker.”

The 2021 jurors for the Amplify Voices Awards presented by Canada Goose are Yung Chang, Calvin Thomas, Kaniehtiio Horn, Hugh Gibson, and Aisha Jamal.


A scene from “Displaced” (Photo courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival)

The 2021 IMDbPro Short Cuts Awards are for Best Film, Best Canadian Film, and the Share Her Journey Award for best film by a woman. Each winning film will receive a bursary of $10,000 CAD and a one-year membership to IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, to help them continue achieving success in their careers. These awards build on IMDbPro’s nearly 20-year history of empowering entertainment professionals to discover new talent and projects, and on its ongoing commitment to supporting and collaboratively working with organizations that create greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the entertainment industry, including TIFF’s Share Her Journey campaign.

The winners of the three awards are:

IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Film: “Displaced,” dir. Samir Karahoda
Jury’s statement: “Standing out in a strong selection of films, Samir Karahoda’s Displaced captivated us with its unique look, locations, and characters that all brought to life the quixotic yet enduring dedication to a sport — and a country — that is hard to articulate, even to one’s self.”

Honourable Mention: “Trumpets in the Sky,” dir. Rakan Mayasi

IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film: “Angakusajaujuq – The Shaman’s Apprentice,” dir. Zacharias Kunuk

Jury’s statement: “’Zacharias Kunuk’s Angakusajaujuq – The Shaman’s Apprentice’ is an enthralling stop-motion that encapsulates an array of textures, sound, and nuanced expressions that collectively invite you into the apprentice’s journey in learning traditional knowledge and caring for community while confronting your own fears. You can’t help but feel the questions asked of the apprentice are for us all to consider: Who are you? What have you learned?”

Honourable Mention: “Nuisance Bear,” dirs. Jack Weisman, Gabriela Osio Vanden

IMDbPro Short Cuts Share Her Journey Award: “ASTEL,” dir. Ramata-Toulaye Sy
Jury’s statement: “Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s ASTEL moved us with its powerful storytelling, beautiful shots, and a captivating lead performance that explores the complex nuances of womanhood, patriarchy, and coming of age when you least expect it.”

Honourable mention: “Love, Dad,” dir. Diana Cam Van Nguyen

The 2021 jurors for the IMDbPro Short Cuts Awards are filmmakers Sudeep Sharma, Tiffany Hsiung, and Nicole Delaney.

Today the Toronto International Film Festival, alongside the International Federation of Film
Critics (FIPRESCI) and the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC), announced award winners for work screened at TIFF 2021.


“We are thrilled to announce that ‘Anatolian Leopard’ has received the 2021 FIPRESCI Jury Award,” said Diana Sanchez, Senior Director, Film, TIFF. “Every year we are amazed at the creativity and audaciousness of the filmmakers in our line-up. ‘Anatolian Leopard,’ directed by Emre Kayiş, is no exception.”

Hatice Aslan in “Anatolian Leopard” (Photo courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival)

This year’s FIPRESCI jury members include: Andrew Kendall, Esin Kücüktepepinar, Caspar Salmon, Gilbert Seah, and Teresa Vena.

The 2021 FIPRESCI jury released the following statement: “In a perfectly controlled comedy of manners, ‘Anatolian Leopard’ takes the temperature of a country torn between the old ways and modernity – not to say between honour and corruption – while offering up a melancholy portrait of a man at odds with his surroundings. Emre Kayiş shows great formal accomplishment in this measured and thoughtful film, which stood out from the competition for its singular tone and worldview.”


Saleh Bakri and Nadine Labaki in “Costa Brava, Lebanon” (Photo courtesy of MK2 Films)

The 2021 NETPAC jury members include: Gemma Cubero del Barrio, Isabelle Glachant and Elhum Shakerifar. TIFF is delighted to announce that the 2021 NETPAC Jury has selected “Costa Brava, Lebanon,” directed by Mounia Aklas this year’s NETPAC winner. The jury released this statement, “’Costa Brava, Lebanon’ – an exquisite intergenerational family story – is an ode to sustainable futures by visionary new talent, Mounia Akl from her precious and troubled country.”

Please visit tiff.net for more information.


This fall, TIFF Bell Lightbox reopens its doors to audiences for year-round programming with a full roster of new titles, Festival hits, and beloved favourites. TIFF programming will restart with the Festival Midnight Madness body-horror smash hit “Titane,” from director Julia Ducournau (“Raw”). “Titane” begins screening October 1 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Starting October 14, TIFF also invites audiences to enjoy Welcome Back, TIFF Cinematheque’s lineup of big-screen favourites — including Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy,” Jane Campion’s “The Portrait of a Lady,” Spike Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich,” and Claire Denis’ “Beau Travail.”

Following a highly anticipated Special Event Festival screening of “Dune,” TIFF Cinematheque presents The Uncanny Vision of Denis Villeneuve, an in-cinema programme of the filmmaker’s earlier works (Arrival, Enemy, August 32nd on Earth), as well as films selected by Villeneuve that have inspired him throughout his career (David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “Le Mystère Picasso”). The Uncanny Vision of Denis Villeneuve begins October 15.

Rounding out the Fall Season in-cinema lineup is In Case You Missed It, a selection of acclaimed titles from recent Festivals, starting on October 6. Audiences who may have missed their chance the first time around will now have the opportunity to have the full theatrical experience for titles like Kazik Radwanski’s “Anne at 13,000 ft,” Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari,” and Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” winner of TIFF 2020’s People’s Choice Award. Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks.

TIFF is also pleased to announce that digital offerings will continue for film lovers across the country. TIFF patrons across Canada can experience Ann Shin’s A.rtificial I.mmortality, David Lowery’s The Green Knight and Heidi Ewing’s I Carry You With Me, among other titles, from the comfort of their homes via digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.

COVID-19 health and safety measures will continue as TIFF Bell Lightbox reopens for year-round operation. As of September 22, audience members and visitors entering TIFF Bell Lightbox will be required to show proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks remain mandatory throughout the building, including in cinema. Additional details are available at tiff.net/covid-19.

Learn more about the Every Story fund at tiff.net/everystory

The 46th Toronto International Film Festival ran September 9–18, 2021.

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2021 Cannes Film Festival: ‘Titane’ wins Palme d’Or; complete list of winners

Cannes Festival logo

July 17, 2021

The 74th annual Cannes Film Festival (which took place in Cannes, France) has announced its award winners. The event took place from July 6 to July 17, 2021, with the prize winners announced on July 17, 2021. The awards were voted for by appointed juries.


PALME D’OR (Best Picture)

TITANE directed by Julia Ducournau

The award was presented by Sharon Stone and Spike Lee.



GHAHREMAN (A Hero) directed by Asghar Farhadi

 HYTTI N°6 (Compartment N°6) directed by Juho Kuosmanen

The award was presented by the American director Oliver Stone.


Leos Carax for ANNETTE

The award was presented by Italian actress and director Valeria Golino.


directed by Justin Kurzel

The award was presented by French actress Adèle Exarchopoulos.


Renate Reinsve in VERDENS VERSTE MENNESKE (The Worst Person in the World)
directed by Joachim Trier

The award was presented by South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun.


MEMORIA directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

HA’BERECH (Ahed’s Knee) directed by Nadav Lapid

The award was presented by British actor Rosamund Pike.


Hamaguchi Ryusuke & Takamasa Oe for DRIVE MY CAR

The award was presented by British director and screenwriter Andrea Arnold.



RAZZHIMAYA KULAKI (Unclenching the Fists)

directed by Kira Kovalenko



directed by Valdimar Johannsson



directed by Teodora Ana Mihai



directed by Sebastian Meise


BONNE MÈRE (Good Mother)

directed by Hafsia Herzi


NOCHE DE FUEGO (Prayers for the Stolen)

directed by Tatiana Huezo


MURINA directed by Antoneta Alamat KUSIJANOVIĆ unveiled in the frame of LA QUINZAINE DES RÉALISATEURS

The Caméra d’or was presented by Mélanie Thierry, President of the Jury of this First Film Selection.



TIAN XIA WU YA (All the Crows in the World) directed by Tang Yi


CÉU DE AGOSTO (August Sky) directed by Jasmin Tenucci



L’ENFANT SALAMANDRE (The Salamander Child)

directed by Théo Degen Insas, Belgium



directed by Yoon Daewoen, Korea National University of Arts, South Korea



directed by Carina-Gabriela Dașoveanu, UNATC “I. L. CARAGIALE”, Romania


directed by Rodrigo Ribeyro, Academia Internacional de Cinema, Brazil



Vladislav OPELIANTS (Russia), Chief Director of Photography, PETROV’S FLU, by Kirill Serebrenniko


Armance DURIX, Head Sound Engineeer MI IUBITA, MON AMOUR, by Noémie Merlant.

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