Stephen Chbosky’s DEAR EVAN HANSEN to Open TIFF 2021

Ben Platt stars in Dear Evan Hansen, the movie based on the award-winning Broadway phenomenon.

Based on the award-winning Broadway phenomenon, Stephen Chbosky’s DEAR EVAN HANSEN will open the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

TIFF announced the first selections in the Gala and Special Presentation programs and its Closing Night film, Zhang Yimou’s One Second.

This year, TIFF also added the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto to its screening venues for the Festival’s first five days.

Ben Platt (as Evan) and Nik Dodani (as Jared Kleinman) star in Dear Evan Hansen movie, premiering at this year’s TIFF on Sept. 9, 2021

TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente announced today that the feature-film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen will open this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

The Opening Night Gala Presentation for the 46th Toronto International Film Festival® is on Thursday, September 9 at Roy Thomson Hall where the Stephen Chbosky film will be screened.  Additional screenings of DEAR EVAN HANSEN will take place at the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, at the RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place, and digitally on the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox platform.

Directed by Stephen Chbosky, DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the story of a high-school senior with a debilitating anxiety disorder whose private letter to himself as part of a therapy exercise lands in the hands of a fellow classmate, with tragic consequences. The incident propels Evan on a journey of self-discovery that leads him toward belonging and acceptance, not only among the people who love him but also by Evan himself. Starring Tony winner Ben Platt as Evan, along with Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, and Nik Dodani, Dear Evan Hansen features songs from the original Broadway sensation.

“There was no question that DEAR EVAN HANSEN was the ideal film to launch the Festival this year,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “This film is ultimately about healing, forgiveness, and reaffirms how connected and essential we all are to one another. We couldn’t think of a more important idea to celebrate this year as we come together once again to share the power and joy of cinema in theatres together.”

“As TIFF resumed this year in the wake of a pandemic that marked and changed all of our lives, we felt it was important to open this year’s Festival with a film that connects to our shared humanity and that reminds us how deeply we need one another, need to be seen by one another, especially in times of loneliness and despair,” stated Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF.

“DEAR EVAN HANSEN is a film about allowing ourselves to be found, and giving ourselves permission to be our true, authentic selves,” said Stephen Chbosky. “After a year and a half of isolation, so many of us are finding our way back to each other. So, now more than ever, I am honored that the Toronto International Film Festival has chosen DEAR EVAN HANSEN to open this year’s Festival. We could not have asked for a more ideal festival, or audience, or moment to premiere our film.”

The 46th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9–18, 2021.

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