The 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, taking place September 10–19, is tailored to fit the moment, with physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences, and industry talks. This year’s selection comprises a lineup of 50 new feature films, five programs of short films, as well as interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

“Bandar Band” by Iranian filmmaker Manijeh Hekmat and “180 Degree Rule” by Farnush Samadi will be competing in the Toronto International Film Festival this year, the organizers have announced.

Samadi is the director of “Gaze”, a short film that has been acclaimed at numerous international film events. 

Hekmat is director of the controversial 2002 drama “Women’s Prison” and 2018 “Old Road”.

Her “Bandar Band” is about some Iranian women singers who are going to enter an unofficial competition in a coffee shop in Tehran. 

Pregnant Mahla along with the other members of Bandar Band, her husband, and one of their closest friends, starts her journey to Tehran from a southern province just when they have lost all they had in the flood. 

They still keep their hopes alive, however, every road they take leads to a dead-end in a flood-stricken land. They intend to go to Tehran, but they wonder if it is just another turn around a vicious circle.

Spike Lee’s “David Byrne’s American Utopia” will open the festival this year.

Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland”, Francis Lee’s “Ammonite”, Vinterberg’s “Another Round,” Ricky Staub’s “Concrete Cowboy” and Mexican-Canadian director Nicolas Pereda’s “Fauna” are among the films selected to screen in the festival.

Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “Good Joe Bell,” Suzanne Lindon’s “Spring Blossom” and Naomi Kawase’s “True Mothers” are also included.

This year is comprised of 46 percent women directors, up from 36 percent last year, and more films looking for distribution.