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News / July 24, 2018

Steve McQueen’s Latest Film Gets World Premiere at TIFF

The award-winning UK artist and filmmaker to debut Widows in Toronto in September
A still from Steve McQueen's next film <em>Widows</em>. Photo: Courtesy of TIFF. A still from Steve McQueen's next film Widows. Photo: Courtesy of TIFF.

Internationally renowned artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen is due to host the world premiere of his latest film in Canada—specifically, at the Toronto International Film Festival this September.

McQueen’s latest film, Widows, is based on a 1983 TV series about four women whose husbands are killed in a bank heist. Many will be watching Widows closely at the festival—McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, which also screened early on at an edition of TIFF, won Best Picture at the Oscars. Actors in Widows include Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall and Liam Neeson.

In addition to his filmmaking work, McQueen has still remained active and circulated in the contemporary art milieu since 12 Years a Slave. His 2017 solo exhibitions include “Steve McQueen: End Credits” at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and “Ashes” at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. His 2016 installation Remember Me, shown at Marian Goodman Gallery in Paris, consists of 88 neon pieces repeating the titular phrase in different types of writing.

Other world premieres announced for the Toronto International Film Festival this morning include If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins, whose 2016 feature Moonlight also won Best Picture at the Oscars following a TIFF debut. The world premiere of The Hate U Give, directed by George Tillman Jr. and based on the bestselling YA novel by Angie Thomas about police brutality, is also on the slate.

Another highlight is Canadian director Patricia Rozema’s MOUTHPIECE, a world premiere opening the festival. The feature film is based on a play of the same name by Toronto-based performers Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava which premiered at the Theatre Centre in Toronto in 2015 and went on to win multiple awards and be staged in Los Angeles by Jodie Foster. Nostbakken and Sadava will also perform in the film, and are co-writing. Nostbakken is an alum of the performance studies program at Concordia University.

TIFF runs September 6 to 16 in Toronto with a total of 21 world premieres. More program and premiere announcements are expected in coming weeks. Today was to be the date of a large annual press conference launching the festival, but yesterday the festival announced, following the Danforth Avenue shooting, that the press conference would be cancelled “in light of the tragedy that occurred … in Toronto and out of respect for those affected.” Press releases were emailed out instead.

Leah Sandals

Leah Sandals is a writer and editor based in Toronto. Her arts journalism has appeared in the Toronto Star, National Post and Globe and Mail, among other publications, and her creative work has been published in Prism, Room and Freefall. She can be reached via