“Causeway,” a new drama starring Jennifer Lawrence as a soldier adjusting to life after returning home to New Orleans, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Nov. 4. The streaming service also announced that “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues,” a documentary about one of the founding fathers of jazz, will hit Apple TV+ on Oct. 28.
Both films are world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the company is screening five features, the largest number of Apple Originals to debut at a single film festival. The Canada-bound Apple lineup also includes “Sidney,” a documentary about Oscar-winning actor and barrier-breaking star Sidney Poitier that is produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin; “Raymond & Ray,” which features Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as half-brothers; and “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” with Zac Efron and Russel Crowe in a new dramedy from “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly.
Apple will also use the event to shine a light on “Gutsy,” an eight-part docuseries following Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton as they honor the women artists, activists and leaders who inspire them. The two Clintons will appear as guest speakers during the festival’s Industry Conference Visionaries program.
“We’re thrilled to be debuting such a diverse spectrum of Apple Originals at this year’s festival,” said Matt Dentler, Apple’s head of features. “From documentaries about icons to dramas from Academy Award-winning filmmakers and actors, TIFF audiences are in for a treat. We look forward to giving movie lovers from around the globe a first sneak peek in Toronto.”
Apple is riding high after scoring an Oscar for Best Picture for “CODA,” so it enters awards season with a lot of momentum. The company has deep ties to TIFF, which frequently serves as the launching pad for Oscar contenders. The deal for Apple’s first-ever film festival acquisition, “The Elephant Queen,” was inked at the festival’s 2018 edition, and the company’s Oscar-nominated documentary “Wolfwalkers” had its world premiere at the festival in 2020.
Here’s a look at what Apple is bringing:
“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” pulls back the curtain on the legendary musician by using archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations. It was directed by Sacha Jenkins (“Everything’s Gonna Be All White”). The film will premiere at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sept. 8.
“Gutsy” is based on the Clintons’ acclaimed New York Times bestselling book, “The Book of Gutsy Women,” and features them in conversation with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Megan Thee Stallion, Dr. Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinem, Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. All eight parts of “Gutsy” will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Sept. 9. The series will screen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sept. 10.
“Causeway” stars and was produced by Lawrence, while Lila Neugebauer, a Broadway and TV director, makes her feature debut. The film also stars Brian Tyree Henry and is produced by A24. Prior to its global premiere on Apple TV+, “Causeway” will debut at TIFF on Sept. 10.
“Sidney” examines Sidney Poitier and his legacy as an iconic actor, filmmaker and activist at the center of Hollywood and the Civil Rights Movement. Poitier’s screen credits include such classics as “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” The documentary features candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand and Spike Lee. The film is also produced by Derik Murray, in collaboration with the Poitier family. “Sidney” will debut at Roy Thomson Hall on Sept. 10.
“Raymond & Ray” follows half-brothers Raymond and Ray who have lived in the shadow of a terrible father. They see his funeral is a chance for them to reinvent themselves. The film stars McGregor, Hawke, Maribel Verdú and Sophie Okonedo and is directed by Rodrigo Garcia (“Albert Nobbs”). “Raymond & Ray” will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Oct. 21. “Raymond & Ray” will debut at Roy Thomson Hall on Sept. 12
“The Greatest Beer Run Ever” follows Chickie Donohue (Efron) as he travels to the frontline of the Vietnam War by himself to bring his friends their favorite American beer. The experience may have started on a lark, but it forces Chickie to confront the reality of this controversial war. “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Sept. 30. The film will debut at Roy Thomson Hall on Sept. 13.
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