TIFF Adds More Films, Including Xavier Dolan’s ‘The Death and Life of John F. Donovan’

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Toronto International Film Festival continues to add some of the most renowned filmmakers of the past few decades. On Wednesday we reported that TIFF added Denys Arcand’s new film, “The Fall of the American Empire” and 18 other features. TIFF announced additional films to their lineup yesterday afternoon, with Xavier Dolan’s next feature, “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” leading the pack.

The Death and Life of John F. DonovanTIFF announced the addition yesterday afternoon, with Dolan confirming the news later. Dolan’s latest follows a young boy (Jacob Tremblay) who begins writing letters to an American television star (Kit Harrington). Ten years after the TV star’s death, the boy looks back at the letters for understanding. The ensemble includes Natalie PortmanKathy BatesThandie NewtonSarah Gadon, Susan Sarandon and Ben Schnetzer. TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey commented on the addition.

“In only a few short years, Xavier Dolan has drawn film lovers all over the world into his personal vision. That vision and his remarkable skill as a filmmaker are on full display in his English-language debut. We are honored to premiere it in Toronto.”

Dolan continues to build up his impressive resume. His filmography is already extremely special, with “Mommy” and “It’s Only the End of the World” each taking home prizes from the Cannes Film Festival. Dolan is still a very young director at the age of 29. His first picture to go to Cannes was “I Killed My Mother” in 2009 at the age of 20. Dolan has been on the path toward superstardom and will continue to be a filmmaker to watch for years.

What do you think about Dolan’s English language debut? Can “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” make a splash at the Oscars? Let us know in the comments below. 

“The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” makes it’s World Premiere at TIFF. The festival runs from Sept. 6 to Sept. 16.