Opening Night + More

We are thrilled to announce our Opening Night Film LIVING on October 7, our Centerpiece Film THE SON, our Breakthrough Artist Stephanie Hsu, and A Conversation With… Martin McDonagh, whose film THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN will also screen in the Spotlight section.

Browse the entire HIFF30 Film Guide.

Opening Night Film:

Director: Oliver Hermanus
Friday, October 7, 2022
In this elegant reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s beloved classic IKIRU, BAFTA Award® winner Bill Nighy delivers a remarkable performance as Mr. Williams, a dedicated civil servant living in post-WWII London who receives an earth-shattering diagnosis, forcing him to take stock of his lonely existence. In the hopes of answering life’s most important questions, he sets out on a series of adventures, determined to find some fulfillment before time runs out. Magnificently scripted by Kazuo Ishiguro (Nobel Prize-winning author of The Remains of The Day and Never Let Me Go), and exquisitely helmed by Oliver Hermanus, LIVING is the story of an ordinary man who, at the eleventh hour, makes a supreme effort to turn his life into something wonderful. The film also stars Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, and Tom Burke. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Centerpiece Film: THE SON

East Coast Premiere
Director: Florian Zeller

THE SON is a searing portrait of today’s mental health crisis, as viewed through the lens of a fractured American family. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas (Zen McGrath) is struggling to cope after his parents’ divorce, leaving his mother Kate (Laura Dern) and father Peter (Hugh Jackman) at a loss. Although Peter tries to provide for his son in ways his own father (Anthony Hopkins) never did, he fails to see what’s right in front of him. With career-defining performances and razor-sharp storytelling, acclaimed novelist and playwright Florian Zeller (THE FATHER) crafts the second installment of his planned trilogy with authenticity and compassion. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Photo: Jonny Marlow

Breakthrough Artist:
Stephanie Hsu

The HIFF Breakthrough Artist Award honors emerging talent within the arts, highlighting their rising career and outstanding work on stage and screen. Throughout its history, HIFF has had a strong focus on young talent, highlighting dynamic actors each year.

This year, the festival is honoring Stephanie Hsu with the 2022 Breakthrough Artist Award. Hsu is known for her breakout performance in A24’s EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, as well as her role as Mei in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, for which Hsu and the cast ​​were awarded the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. More recently, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was nominated for the 2022 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Hsu began her career in the arts on Broadway, where she played Karen the Computer in SpongeBob The Musical, and Christine Canigula in Be More Chill, the latter of which earned Hsu nominations for a Lucille Lortel Award and a Drama Desk Award in the category of Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. Be More Chill was also nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award and a Drama Desk Award for Best New Musical.

Previous recipients of the HIFF Breakthrough Artist Award include Emily Blunt, Brie Larson, Adam Driver, Jessica Chastain, Mahershala Ali, Riz Ahmed, Alicia Vikander, Lupita Nyong’o, Emma Stone, Elisabeth Moss, Rooney Mara, Oscar Isaac, Aldis Hodge, and Lulu Wang.

Photo: Euan Kerr (Minnesota Public Radio)

A Conversation With…
Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh is a playwright and filmmaker born in London to Irish parents in 1970. His plays include The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Lonesome West, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Pillowman, and Hangmen, all of which have played in both the West End and on Broadway and have now been performed in over 40 countries and translated into more than 30 languages.

He has won several awards, including an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), two Olivier Awards for Best New Play (The Pillowman, Hangmen), an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (SIX SHOOTER), two BAFTA Awards for Best Original Screenplay (IN BRUGES; THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI), a BAFTA Award for Best Film (THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI), and a BAFTA Award for Best British Film (THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI). McDonagh also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture – Drama (THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI), and was nominated for Best Director (THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI). He has received two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay (IN BRUGES, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI).

His new film THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN is screening in the Spotlight section (see below).


Director: Martin McDonagh
In a 1920s fictitious town off the coast of west Ireland, Colm (Brendan Gleeson) abruptly ends his lifelong friendship with Padraic (Colin Farrell) without an explanation. Unable to accept it, Padraic goes to great lengths to get their relationship back on track. When his attempts are met with hostility, the situation escalates, with shocking consequences for everyone involved. Farrell, Gleeson and Academy Award®-winning director Martin McDonagh (THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING, MISSOURI; IN BRUGES) reunite for THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, a wild, riotous tale full of McDonagh’s signature blend of poignant interpersonal drama and explosive dark comedy. A Searchlight Pictures release.