tiff 2021

Neon Acquires Zhang Yimou’s One Second Ahead of TIFF

Photo: Huanxi Media Group

Neon, distributor behind Palme d’Or winner Titane, has captured the North American rights to One Second by Chinese director Zhang Yimou. The film will now close the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival on September 18. Based on the novel by Yan Geling, the film, starring Zhang Yi, Liu Haocun, and Fan Wei, follows a village, including a young escaped prisoner, a sticky-fingered orphan girl, and a projectionist called Mr. Movie, trying to restore a destroyed film reel. One Second was initially set to premiere at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, but was pulled days before its premiere. According to the Berlinale, the highly anticipated film was withdrawn for “technical reasons.” Set during the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976, a sensitive subject for the ruling party, speculation that the film’s historical story line was not approved by regulators arose. The movie went through reshoots and was released in China in November 2020, grossing just $10 million. Two years later, Neon is making its North American premiere a reality.

Toronto International Film Festival unveiled its lineup on Tuesday, two weeks after declaring in-person audiences will be welcome as Canadian border restrictions loosen. Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky, will open the festival on September 9. Below, find the list of films added to the TIFF lineup so far, including those by Edgar Wright and Céline Sciamma.

Gala Presentations
Belfast, directed by Kenneth Branagh
Clifford the Big Red Dog, directed by Walt Becker
Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, directed by Will Sharpe
The Eyes of Tammy Faye, directed by Michael Showalter
Jagged, directed by Alison Klayman
Last Night in Soho, directed by Edgar Wright
The Mad Women’s Ball (Le Bal des folles), directed by Mélanie Laurent
Night Raiders, directed by Danis Goulet
One Second, directed by Zhang Yimou
The Survivor, directed by Barry Levinson

Special Presentations
Ali & Ava, directed by Clio Barnard
All My Puny Sorrows, directed by Michael McGowan
Benediction, directed by Terence Davies
Bergman Island, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
Charlotte, directed by Eric Warin, Tahir Rana
Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, directed by Dave Wooley, David Heilbroner
Drive My Car, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Encounter, directed by Michael Pearce
The Guilty, directed by Antoine Fuqua
I’m Your Man, directed by Maria Schrader
Inexorable, directed by Fabrice du Welz
Lakewood, directed by Phillip Noyce
The Middle Man, directed by Bent Hamer
Official Competition (Competencia Oficial), directed by Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat
Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades), directed by Jacques Audiard
Petite Maman, directed by Céline Sciamma
The Starling, directed by Theodore Melfi
The Story of My Wife, directed by Ildikó Enyedi
Three Floors (Tre Piani), directed by Nanni Moretti
Violet, directed by Justine Bateman
The Worst Person in the World (Verdens Verste Menneske), directed by Joachim Trier

Neon Acquires Zhang Yimou’s One Second Ahead of TIFF