TORONTO (Reuters) – The world premiere of Netflix’s Scottish drama “Outlaw King” opens the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, kicking off 10 days of movies seeking to grab attention in the upcoming Hollywood awards season.
Chris Pine stars as 14th century rebel Robert the Bruce in the action-packed true story of his fight to win back control of his homeland from an English occupying army.
Netflix Inc , which boycotted the Cannes festival in May because of French rules that require the streaming service to release all its films in French movie theaters, won a rare opening gala slot at Toronto with “Outlaw King” and will screen seven other movies during the Canadian festival.
Rival Amazon.com Inc has four movies at Toronto.
Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga, Viola Davis, Ryan Gosling and Michael Moore are some of the celebrities expected to walk the red carpet in Toronto, which has become a key showcase in the awards season that culminates with the Oscars on Feb. 24 next year.
The Toronto slate this year includes 254 features and 88 short films, chosen from 7,926 submissions.
Fresh from its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last week, singer Lady Gaga and actor-director Bradley Cooper bring their remake of music drama “A Star Is Born” to Toronto.
Actor-director Redford, 82, will present his final movie, crime comedy “The Old Man and the Gun,” after announcing his retirement from acting after a 50-year career.
Roberts, the latest Oscar-winning star to move into television, will present her psychological thriller “Homecoming” for Amazon.
The festival will also take on more serious issues.
“The Hate U Give” and “Monsters and Men” will look at the issue of police brutality in black communities, while “Hotel Mumbai” brings the story of the 2008 attack on a hotel in the Indian city to the big screen.
Liberal activist filmmaker Michael Moore presents his latest political documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9” about the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Donald Trump, and the 1988 presidential campaign is revisited with “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman, about the derailing of Senator Gary Hart’s White House ambitions because of accusations of an affair.
Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Shumaker