Monday, July 31, 2017

'Borg/McEnroe' tennis drama will open Toronto Film Festival

TIFF will serve up one of the most exciting duels in sports history to kick off the 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival. The world premiere of "Borg/McEnroe" will be the Opening Night Gala film on Sept. 7 at Roy Thomson Hall.

"Borg/McEnroe" tells the story of the epic rivalry between Swedish tennis legend Bj√∂rn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and his greatest adversary, the brash American John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf), which all came to a head during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships. The movie is directed by Janus Metz and written by Ronnie Sandahl, 

"The film has a powerful tension about it that is on par with the electric energy of Toronto on opening night,” said Piers Handling, TIFF's Director and CEO. “The story of this nail-biter matchup changed the sport of tennis forever, and the outstanding performances from LaBeouf and Gudnason will be a spectacular way for festival-goers to kick things off.”

LaBeouf and Gudnason take center court in Toronto.
Added director Metz: “I am extremely honored by TIFF’s selection of 'Borg/McEnroe' as the opening film. It is a great celebration and recognition of everyone in the cast and crew who worked so hard to make this film what it is. We had very high ambitions for this project and have come such a long way together. I'm very excited that we can finally let the film out into the world, and I couldn't dream of a better way of doing this.”

Cameron Bailey, artistic director of TIFF, compared Metz's latest film to his 'Armadillo,' a gripping war documentary that took home the Critics Week Grand Prize at Cannes in 2010. "Amazingly, Metz brings that same urgent tension to 'Borg/McEnroe'," Bailey said. "The on-court scenes have the dynamism of a street battle, and the drama peels back layers from what we know about both players.

"This was more than a simple conflict pitting an icy European against an impulsive American. Audiences are in for one hell of a showdown.”

The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs from Sept. 7-17, Festival ticket packages start at $105. Purchase packages online at, by phone (416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433), or in person at TIFF Bell Lightbox until Aug. 13 while quantities last.

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