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TIFF kicks off 2023 Festival lineup with latest from Taika Waititi, Next Goal Wins

Making its World Premiere at TIFF, the soccer comedy marks the director’s return to the Festival

TIFF announced today that Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, a soccer comedy directed and co-written by the New Zealand filmmaker, will make its World Premiere at the 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (September 7–17).

“We’re thrilled to welcome Taika back to the Festival and share his audacious take on the most popular sport in the world,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF. “Next Goal Wins is perfect for TIFF fans of the beautiful game looking for their football fill until the 2026 World Cup arrives.”

The TIFF Ebert Director Award recipient was last at the Festival in 2019 with the World Premiere of Jojo Rabbit. The film went on to win the TIFF People’s Choice Award and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Next Goal Wins stars Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, David Fane, Rachel House, Beulah Koale, Uli Latukefu, Semu Filipo, Lehi Falepapalangi, with Will Arnett and Elisabeth Moss. The heartfelt sports comedy is based on the 2014 documentary of the same name and follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around. Next Goal Wins is a Searchlight Pictures film. 

More Festival details will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for TIFF 2023 go on-sale to TIFF Members by level beginning on August 18. For more details visit The full Festival schedule will be released in August.

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