Kristoffer Borgli’s new comedy film Dream Scenario, starring Nicolas Cage with a bold hair transformation and Julianne Nicholson, has been selected to open the Toronto International Film Festival’s Platform competition program.
The film, Borgli’s follow-up to his acclaimed Cannes entry Sick of Myself, also features Dylan Baker, Kate Berlant, Michael Cera, Dylan Gelula and Tim Meadows. Dream Scenario will have its world premiere in the competitive Platform section, which showcases emerging and renowned directors bringing world premieres to Toronto.
Festival programmers praised Cage’s performance and the film’s commentary on social media culture, saying: “Cage delivers some of his finest work in this surrealist satire-comedy that takes timely, sharp observations about our viral social media world and its impact on how we interact.” The film comes from distributor A24.
Toronto has announced the full lineup of 10 world premieres competing in the festival’s Platform section, which showcases bold international cinema.
The diverse selection includes titles from India, Japan, Italy, and beyond. Italian director Ginevra Elkann, who began as assistant director on Bernardo Bertolucci’s Besieged, brings her latest film I Told You So. Other contenders include The Cell director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar’s Dear Jassi Out of India and Kei Chika-ura’s Great Absence from Japan.
The jury deciding the Platform Prize winner consists of Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Cannes award winner Nadine Labaki, and Anthony Shim, whose Riceboy Sleeps won the Platform competition last year.
The majority of films hail from outside Hollywood, allowing Toronto to avoid SAG-AFTRA strike restrictions affecting U.S. talent promotion at fall festivals. Other competition titles include Canada’s The King Tide, Spain’s The Rye Horn, Sweden’s Shame on Dry Land, and more from emerging voices worldwide.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7-17 and will announce more of its lineup in the coming weeks, after recently unveiling numerous Gala and Special Presentations selections.
It’s still uncertain whether Hollywood celebrities will attend the 48th edition of TIFF amid ongoing strikes by actors and writers’ guilds. The festival likely hopes the actors’ strike concludes by opening day on September 7. Otherwise, Toronto may see far fewer American stars gracing its red carpets this year.
However, the festival remains vital for premiering acquisition titles to film buyers, given its large informal market. U.S. films will still play a major role in connecting directors with distributors and audiences, with or without A-list talent in attendance. Additional program sections will be revealed as Toronto aims to highlight both Hollywood and international cinema.