This year’s lineup features North American series Mrs. Fletcher, Limetown, and Briarpatch and international titles Black Bitch, Savages, and The Sleepers, from storytellers unpacking the personal and political strife of their characters

TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival® Primetime programme is set to shine in 2019, with six compelling and thought-provoking television series from around the world — including works from France, the US, Czech Republic, and Australia. Marking its fifth anniversary, the programme showcases series created by Tom Perrotta, Rebecca Zlotowski, Sabri Louatah, Andy Greenwald, Sam Esmail, Rachel Griffiths, Miranda Dear, Darren Dale, Ivan Zachariáš, Zack Akers, and Skip Bronkie. Shaping these creators’ visions on screen are talented directors Ana Lily Amirpour, Steven Piet, Nicole Holofcener, Liesl Tommy, Rebecca Thomas, and Rachel Perkins. 64% of episodes to be screened are created and directed by women and five of the six series will make their World Premieres at TIFF. Adding to the experience, each Primetime screening will be followed by an extended onstage Q&A with members of the creative team in attendance.

Geoff Macnaughton, Lead Programmer of Primetime and Director of Industry, places his stamp firmly on the programme in his first year at the helm. “Episodic television continues to push the cinematic envelope in terms of how stories are presented and consumed by audiences,” he said. “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to spotlight some of the finest global storytellers working in the industry today. Each series embodies why audiences find the medium so compelling, while each screening will be an event that provides a unique
opportunity to discover a new series with the creators who made it.”

Primetime’s US titles follow female leads on very different journeys. HBO and Crave’s Mrs. Fletcher, starring Kathryn Hahn, is a dual coming-of-age story chronicling the personal and sexual journeys of Eve Fletcher, an empty-nest mother, and her college freshman son. This limited series is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta. USA Network’s Briarpatch follows a political fixer (Rosario Dawson) returning to her small Texas town to investigate her sister’s death. Based on the hit podcast of the same name, Facebook Watch’s Limetown, starring Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci, follows an American Public Radio host and journalist as she unravels the mystery behind the disappearance of over 300 people at a research facility in Tennessee.

Politically-charged themes are explored in Primetime’s lineup of episodic dramas from around the globe. In Australia’s gripping series Black Bitch, a horrific event thrusts a local Indigenous politician (Deborah Mailman) into the national limelight, while the Prime Minister (Rachel Griffiths) sees a publicity gold mine for her party. French drama Savages centres on an Arabic candidate for the presidency who sees his ambitions threatened
by a perfect storm of religious, cultural, and family politics. The Sleepers follows a woman (Táňa Pauhofová) and her political dissident husband after they flee 1977 communist Czechoslovakia.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.

Series screening as part of the Primetime programme include:

Black Bitch | Australia, 2 episodes
Creators: Darren Dale, Rachel Griffiths, Miranda Dear
Director: Rachel Perkins
World Premiere

Briarpatch | USA, 2 episodes
Creator: Andy Greenwald
Directors: Ana Lily Amirpour, Steven Piet
World Premiere

Limetown | USA, 2 episodes
Creators: Zack Akers, Skip Bronkie
Director: Rebecca Thomas
World Premiere

Mrs. Fletcher | USA, 3 episodes
Creator: Tom Perrotta
Directors: Nicole Holofcener, Liesl Tommy
World Premiere

Savages (Les Sauvages) | France, 2 episodes
Creators: Rebecca Zlotowski, Sabri Louatah
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
World Premiere

The Sleepers (Bez vědomí) | Czech Republic, 2 episodes
Creators: Ivan Zachariáš, Ondrej Gabriel
Director: Ivan Zachariáš
Czech Republic
International Premiere

For series synopses, cast lists, images, and more information, see tiff.net/primetime.

Festival tickets go on sale September 2 at 10am (TIFF Member pre-sale August 31, 10am–4pm). Buy tickets online at tiff.net, by phone at 416.599.2033 or 1.888.258.8433, or in person at a box office. See box office locations and hours at tiff.net/tickets.

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About TIFF
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors
including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L’Oréal Paris, and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and the City of Toronto.