Toronto International Film Festival 2021 Opens with Dear Evan Hansen

Stephen Chbosky’s Dear Evan Hansen, based on the smash stage musical, will be the opening night gala presentation at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Organizers have announced the first selections of galas and special presentations for the 46th edition, which runs Sept. 9 to 18 with a bigger theatrical experience than last year’s pandemic-tailored showcase.

More than 100 films will screen digitally and in-person at the downtown drive-in and open-air cinemas, as well as some in-person venues, including TIFF Bell Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall.

Other films announced include:

  • Riz Ahmed-led Encounter
  • Live-action adaptation Clifford the Big Red Dog
  • Michael Showalter’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • The Electrical Life of Louis Wain starring Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Bergman Island from director Mia Hansen-Løve

TIFF says it has added Scotiabank Theatre Toronto to its screening venues for the first five days of the festival, and will also show films at the Princess of Wales Theatre and the Cinesphere theatre at Ontario Place.

Steven Levenson adapted Dear Evan Hansen from his Tony Award-winning stage show, which features Ben Platt reprising his leading role as a teenager with social anxiety disorder.

Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s One Second, about the connection between a travelling film projectionist and an escaped prisoner, will close the fest.

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