We are just days away from the start of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and we are going to be treated to another fantastic programme of movies.

The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven

It doesn't seem five minutes since we were picking out the 2015 films not to miss and which movies could feature during the awards season.

And there's a whole host of terrific films that are not to be missed and we take a look at some that we are really excited about.

- The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven is the opening night movie and is set to kick the 2016 festival off in fine style. The movie is a remake of the 1960 classic, which was a remake of Seven Samurai, and marks the return of Antoine Fuqua to the director's chair.

Fuqua has brought us films such as Training Day and Olympus Has Fallen in recent years and this is his first feature since Southpaw last year. Not only does The Magnificent Seven see Fuqua back in the director's chair, it also sees the filmmaker reunite with Denzel Washington for their third film together.

The duo has already worked on Training Day and The Equalizer and I cannot wait to see them tackle the Western for the first time. Washington is set to take on the central role of Sam Chisolm and will lead an all-star cast.

Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier complete the Magnificent Seven as gambler Josh Farraday, trapper Jack Horne, assassin Billy Rocks, outlaw Vasquez, and Comanche warrior Red Harvest. Peter Sarsgaard, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, and Luke Grimes are also on board.

With the sleepy town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns - Sam Chisolm (Washington), Josh Farraday (Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Hawke), Jack Horne (D'Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Lee), Vasquez (Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

Fuqua has always been an exciting filmmaker and I cannot wait to see him put his own stamp on this well-known tale. We haven't had too many Westerns hit the big screen in 2016 but it has been great to see this genre making a comeback in recent years.

- La La Land

La La Land is a movie that is already being tipped as a potential early Oscar contender and marks the return of Damien Chazelle to the director's chair.

La La Land is only the third feature film of Chazelle's filmmaking career and his first movie since he enjoyed critical, commercial, and awards success with the fantastic Whiplash.

He really is one of the best new filmmakers around and I am already excited to see what he delivers with this new film. As well as being in the director's chair, Chazelle has also penned the film's screenplay.

La La Land is set to mix elements of comedy, drama, and musical as the filmmaker teams up with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling for the first time. The movie sees the actors take on the roles of Mia and Sebastian as they reunite for the first time since Gangster Squad in 2013.

The movie also sees Chazelle work with J.K. Simmons again - he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Whiplash. John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rothe, Tom Everett Scott, and Josh Pence complete the impressive and very talented cast list.

La La Land tells the story of Mia (Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

There's already a lot of hype building around La La Land and it is promising to be one of the standout films on the festival circuit this autumn.

- Arrival

Denis Villeneuve has already brought us movies such as Prisoners and Sicario in recent years - both of which were fantastic - and now he is back with Arrival.

Arrival sees the filmmaker tackle the science fiction genre as he turns short tale Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang into a feature film; Eric Heisserer has penned the screenplay.

We have already been treated to the first trailer for the film and it is one of the autumn movies that I am looking forward to the most. I am a big fan of sci-fi and this is going to be another edge of your seat ride.

The film sees Amy Adams take on the central role of linguist Dr. Louise Banks and is joined on the cast list by Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team -led by expert linguist Louise Banks (Adams) - is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers - and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

Villeneuve has proved he is one of the most versatile filmmakers around as he has jumped from film genre to film genre - I really cannot wait to see him take on sci-fi with Arrival.

Sci-fi has been one of the most exciting film genres in recent years with the likes of Gravity and Interstellar and Arrival is promising to be another film that you cannot afford to miss.

- The Birth of a Nation

Another earlier Oscar contender comes in the form of Birth of a Nation and it returns to the festival circuit, after premiering at the Sundance Film festival earlier this year.

The Birth of a Nation is already being hotly tipped to be in the running of Best Picture next year and sees Nate Parker make his feature film directorial debut. He has brought us shorts such as #AmeriCan and J.A.W. and I cannot wait to see him make the leap into features for the first time.

As well as being in the director's chair Parker has penned the screenplay ad will take on the central role of Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher.

Parker is joined on the cast list by Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Junior, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Gabrielle Union and Jackie Earle Haley.

Set against the antebellum South, The Birth Of A Nation follows Nat Turner (Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat's preaching to subdue unruly slaves.

As he witnesses countless atrocities - against himself and his fellow slaves - Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

The Birth of a Nation is promising to be an evocative and powerful film and looks set to be one of the early must-see films of 2017.

The Birth of a Nation won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and has Oscar contender written all over it.

- Snowden

Snowden is a movie that we have been talking about for quite some time here at FemaleFirst and it is finally set to hit the big screen later this year.

The movie tells the story of NSA employee and now wanted man, Edward Snowden. The film sees Oliver Stone back in the director's chair for another biopic film project. He has brought us the likes of W and Nixon over the years.

Stone has also teamed up Kieran Fitzgerald to pen the screenplay, which is inspired by the book The Snowden Files by Anatoly Kucherena and Luke Harding. This is the first live-action feature film for Stone since Savages back in 2012.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - who is one of the best actors around - is set to play the title role and is joined on the cast list by Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, and Tom Wilkinson - Stone really has brought together another terrific cast list.

The movie follows Snowden who leaked classified information from the NSA to The Guardian back in 2013. Some called him unpatriotic and a terrorist while other believe that he was a hero for his actions.

Snowden played a Comic-Con earlier this summer and is set to be one of the highlights of the Toronto Film Festival programme.

- Loving

Jeff Nichols is one of the busiest directors around and is set to return with his latest film Loving, which will be released in the UK in January 2017.

Nichols has brought us films such as Midnight Special and Mud in recent years and Loving is already being whispered about as a potential Oscar contender - it really would be great to see it in the mix as I love Nichols as a storyteller.

As will all of his movie projects to date, Nichols has also penned the screenplay as well as being in the director's chair.

The movie sees Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga take on the central roles of Richard and Mildred Loving. It is a second project between Nichols and Edgerton; who worked together on Midnight Special.

Michael Shannon - Nichols' long-time collaborator - Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Bill Camp, and Alano Miller complete the cast list.

Loving, celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown.

Nichols has delivered some fantastic character driven movies during his filmmaking career, and Loving looks set to continue that fine tradition.

- Manchester By The Sea

Kenneth Lonergan is back in the director's chair with his new film Manchester By The Sea and comes after You Can Count on Me and Margaret.

As well as being in the director's chair, Lonergan shows off his writing skills having penned the screenplay.

The movie sees Kyle Chandler and Casey Affleck star as they play brothers Joe and Lee Chandler. Michelle Williams, Matthew Broderick, Gretchen Mol, and Kara Hayward complete the cast list.

Manchester on the Sea marks the first time that Lonergan has teamed up with Affleck as the actor leads a great cast, which includes Michelle Williams, Gretchen Mol, Kyle Chandler, and Kara Hayward.

The movie follows Lee Chandler (Affleck) who has been named the legal guardian of his nephew after the sudden death of his older brother. Lee returns to the community where he was born and raised to take care of the teenage boy.

Affleck is one of the best character actors around and Manchester by the Sea is set to be a powerful drama about family, community, and tragedy. It looks set to be one of the movies that's not to be missed.

The movie won't hit the big screen here in the UK until the beginning of next year.

- A Monster Calls

One of the January 2017 films I am already looking forward to is A Monster Calls and it will receive its world premiere at the festival.

The first trailer for A Monster Calls promises much as J.A. Bayona returns to the director's chair with what is the third feature film of his career.

Bayona has already brought us The Orphanage and The Impossible - both of which were terrific - and this new film will mix elements of drama and fantasy.

The movie is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Patrick Ness and the author has adapted his own book into a screenplay.

Lewis MacDougal is set to take on the central role of Conor O'Malley and is joined on the cast list by Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, and Liam Neeson.

12-year-old Conor (MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother's (Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith.

Bayona is one of the most visionary filmmakers out there at the moment and I really cannot wait to see him put his own stamp on this tale.

- The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen is the movie that will close the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where it will get its world premiere.

The movie marks the feature film directorial debut for Kelly Fremon, who is best known for writing the screenplay for Post Grad back in 2009. As well as being in the director's chair, Fremon has also penned the script for The Edge of Seventeen.

Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld takes on the central role of Nadine Byrd in the coming of age drama and is joined on the cast list by Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, and Hayden Szeto.

Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Richardson).

All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.

Steinfeld is one of the most exciting young actresses around and it is great to see her back on the big screen. She really is going to be one to keep an eye on over the next couple of years.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from 8th - 18th September.


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