TIFF 2015: Wrestling, Horse-Racing, Cycling and Boxing

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) begins tomorrow and excitement is abuzz about the inevitable rush of stars, screenings and parties. While celebrity featured films are what draw crowds, film buffs will always have vast options at TIFF as it consistently puts together a comprehensive program. Below are a few standout films featuring sport that may very well be in contention for awards here and elsewhere (all film summaries are courtesy of TIFF.net):

Gala Presentation: THE PROGRAM – Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) directs Ben Foster in this thriller about disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal and downfall.

Masters Presentation: BLEAK STREET LA CALLE DE LA AMARGURA – Mexican maestro Arturo Ripstein (Deep Crimson) directs this true-crime story about the bizarre 2009 murders of dwarf wrestling brothers Alberto and Alejandro Jiménez.

TIFF Docs Presentation: DARK HORSE – Filmmaker Louise Osmond follows the story of a group of friends and neighbours in a small Welsh town who pool their modest resources to invest in a racehorse they dub Dream Alliance, and soon find themselves breaking social barriers by competing against some of the wealthiest horse owners in the UK.

Contemporary World Cinema Presentation: KOZA – This subtle fusion of documentary and fiction follows a young Roma boxer as he embarks on a tragicomic return to the ring in order to pay for his girlfriend’s abortion.

Trailers for the above can be viewed on their respective TIFF.net pages, which I have linked to their titles. While tickets to TIFF tend to be pricey, the more “unusual” or “foreign” the film, the more worthwhile in seeing it as films like that tend to disappear post-festival. Happy watching!