Stealth Louis C.K. movie to make world premiere at Toronto Film Festival


For much of his career, Louis C.K. has gone his own way, creating idiosyncratic material and controlling nearly every aspect of the process.

He’s at it again.

C.K. has quietly shot a black-and-white movie titled “I Love You, Daddy” and will unveil it at the Toronto International Film Festival, organizers are expected to announce Tuesday morning. It’s one of dozens of titles the Canadian gathering is disclosing as part of its last major round of programming announcements ahead of the festival, which opens Sept. 7 with tennis film “Borg/McEnroe.”

Among the notables from Tuesday’s slate will be a slew of fact-based films: Peter Landesman’s Watergate lookback “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House;” “Chappaquiddick,” in which “Tracks” director John Curran examines the infamous Ted Kennedy incident with Jason Clarke as the blueblood senator; and Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut “Molly’s Game,” about so-called “Poker Princess” Molly Bloom.


“It’s a story of sexism and misogyny, and what women needed to do to become successful in that world — the masks they needed to wear,” star Jessica Chastain recently told The Times.

Other world premieres anticipated for Tuesday’s announcement include Dominic Cooke’s period romance “On Chesil Beach,” in which “Atonement’ star Saoirse Ronan again anchors an Ian McEwan adaptation, and “Unicorn Store,” a fantasy-tinged dramedy that marks Brie Larson’s directorial debut. Larson, who also stars, will continue a trend of actors behind the camera of TIFF movies.

But when it comes to performers sitting in the director’s chair, it’s the announcement of a new C.K. film that perhaps is most surprising. The comedian’s new movie was shot quietly in New York earlier this year and attracted little attention from the Hollywood trades. Its distribution status is unclear.

What is known: “I Love You, Daddy,” also set in New York, centers on Glen Topher, a successful television producer and writer, and his daughter China.

C.K., known for his successful Web series and specials, went old-school with the movie, not only presenting it in black-and-white but shooting it in 35 mm. Chloe Grace Moretz stars as China; Charlie Day, John Malkovich, Edie Falco and Pamela Adlon help round out the ensemble.

“Daddy” marks C.K.’s return to directing a feature film for the first time in more than 15 years. The comedian’s 2001 blaxploitation spoof “Pootie Tang” was infamous for its edit-room battles between C.K. and studio Paramount. The director later would make comments disavowing the film.


C.K. has nibbled around the feature world in recent years, taking supporting roles in movies such as “Trumbo” and “American Hustle.” The comedian, whose FX show “Louie” has been on hiatus since 2015, also has a history of dropping new content unexpectedly. His cult-favorite Web drama “Horace and Pete,” for instance, arrived on his site without warning last year.

In other sections, TIFF’s TV lineup is expected to include “The Deuce,” the much-anticipated David Simon and George Pelecanos HBO series that will premiere on the network in September. The festival will screen the first two episodes, after the debut was shown at the newly created Split Screens Festival in New York in June. James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal star in the show, a porn-industry period tale set in 1970’s New York.

Also set for the TV section are the first four episodes of Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan’s Starz anthology series “The Girlfriend Experience” and the first two episodes of the supernatural show “Dark,” Netflix’s first original German production.

Film festivals have grappled with what kind of TV — and how much of it — to include on its slates. TIFF, Sundance, Tribeca and other gatherings all have launched TV sections in recent years, and even Cannes showcased “Twin Peaks” and “Top of the Lake” at its recent edition.

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