Taika-fever hits Toronto today as the New Zealand filmmaker prepares to premiere his hotly anticipated new movie before receiving a prestigious award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Around lunchtime (Sunday night, Canadian time), Waititi will host the world premiere of Jojo Rabbit. The movie, which he wrote, directed and stars in, has been described as an "anti-hate satire", and follows a 10-year-old boy in World War II Germany whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler. The movie is based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens.

The star-studded cast also includes Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen and rising young Kiwi star Thomasin McKenzie.

Waititi stars as the dictator.

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The movie is his first since the celebrated success of his Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok, which pulled in $854million (NZ $1.33 billion) at the worldwide box office.

We'll have to wait a little longer to see the movie as Jojo Rabbit doesn't open here until Thursday, October 24.

Sam Rockwell, Taika Waititi, and Roman Griffin Davis in Jojo Rabbit
Sam Rockwell, Taika Waititi, and Roman Griffin Davis in Jojo Rabbit

That's only the first part of Waititi's triumphant two-day stay in Toronoto. Tomorrow he will be honoured at a Tribute Gala awards event where he will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award.

According to TIFF, the award "recognises and honours a distinguished filmmaker for their outstanding contribution to cinema.".

Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, and Roman Griffin Davis in Jojo Rabbit
Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, and Roman Griffin Davis in Jojo Rabbit

"Taika Waititi is one of the most innovative, bold, and exciting filmmakers working in the industry right now," Joana Vicente the Festival's co-head said, "TIFF is thrilled to honour his extraordinary talent."

The Herald will be reporting from Toronto throughout the festival.