September is the month of the 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the 2017 edition has its own assortment of quality movies that may or not transition to your local movie theatre.
TIFF runs from Sept. 7 – Sept. 17 this year.
As a former TIFF volunteer, the experience of soaking in the atmosphere of a movie premiere at the second biggest and prestigious festival in the world (next to Cannes) is akin to swirling around a sparkling glass of your favourite champagne.
First the bad news. Unlike previous years, the amount of raw martial arts movies on the slate appears to be lower this year. A lot lower. Yes, there are sports movies and documentaries, but in researching for this guide, I didn’t come across any obvious Warrior, Southpaw, or Kingdom-like flicks. Leave a comment if you see one, and I’ll consider adding it to this guide.
But, as always, there are some pictures that will likely resonate with fight fans and in digging deeper, I found some movies that I think many mixed martial arts fans would enjoy.
So, here we go:
STARRING: SVERRIR GUDNASON, SHIA LABEOUF, STELLAN SKARSGARD
DIRECTOR: JANUS METZ
PREMIERES: THURSDAY SEPT. 7 @ 1:00 PM ET
Shia LaBouef seems to be perfectly cast as a young John McEnroe and tennis is one of the sports which is relatable to MMA. It’s you, your racket and the tennis ball against your opponent. To be the best is only attainable by beating the best, with the mental aspects of the game just as important, if not moreso than the physical.
So it’s interesting to see the film’s look back at the Bjorn Borg/John McEnroe rivalry (think Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz as a rough analogy) and how that 1980 Wimbledon Finals match played out.
STARRING: VINCE CARTER, DRAKE, DAVID STERN, TRACY MCGRADY, MICHELLE CARTER-SCOTT
DIRECTOR: SEAN MAYNARD
PREMIERES: THURSDAY, SEPT. 7 @ 2:45 PM ET
MMA fans know who Vince Carter. He’s arguably the great dunker of all time and wowed the NBA with his basketball skills for many years as a member of the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets.
Executive-produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, The Carter Effect documentary takes a look at the impact of “Vinsanity” and the complicated relationship over the years between Toronto and No. 15.
STARRING: MARSHA TIMOTHY, DEA PANENDRA, YOGA PRATAMA, EGI FEDLY
DIRECTOR: MOULY SURYA
PREMIERES: THURSDAY, SEPT. 7 @ 6:45 PM ET
Marlina is the first Indonesian film to appear at Cannes in the past 12 years. It is at TIFF as well and one of the first things of notice is the film’s exquisite cinematography. This is the movie to bring your significant other to and enjoy the popcorn.
STARRING: DENZEL WASHINGTON, COLIN FARRELL
DIRECTOR DAN GILROY
PREMIERES: SUNDAY, SEPT. 10 @ 9:00PM ET
A Denzel Washington film brings a certain authenticity to it. You know you’re going to get an entertaining film, with some action in a style that only Denzel can deliver. He is the Randy Couture of actors, plus director Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) is at the helm, so this one should be a no-brainer. This was originally titled “Inner City,” and will make its world premiere at TIFF.
Click here to browse the entire 2017 TIFF roundup.
Enjoy the films!