The cast of NEXT GOAL WINS. Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.
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Taika Waititi’s ‘Next Goal Wins’ is the First Title Confirmed for the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival

Today, we can announce the first movie that will be playing at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival. That title is none other than Taika Waititi‘s soccer comedy Next Goal Wins, starring Michael Fassbender. This will mark his return to TIFF after taking home the People’s Choice Award for Jojo Rabbit, en route to an Oscar win in Best Adapted Screenplay. The full lineup comes out in August, so stay tuned.

Here is the press release:

TORONTO — TIFF announced today that Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, a soccer comedy directed and co-written by the New Zealand filmmaker, will make its World Premiere at the 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (September 7–17).

“We’re thrilled to welcome Taika back to the Festival and share his audacious take on the most popular sport in the world,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF. “Next Goal Wins is perfect for TIFF fans of the beautiful game looking for their football fix until the 2024 World Cup arrives.”

The TIFF Ebert Director Award recipient was last at the Festival in 2019 with the World Premiere of Jojo Rabbit. The film went on to win the TIFF People’s Choice Award and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Next Goal Wins stars Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, David Fane, Rachel House, Beulah Koale, Uli Latukefu, Semu Filipo, Lehi Falepapalangi, with Will Arnett and Elisabeth Moss. The heartfelt sports comedy is based on the 2014 documentary of the same name, and follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around. Next Goal Wins is a Searchlight Pictures film.

More Festival details will be announced in the coming weeks. The full Festival schedule will be released inAugust.


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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

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