Aug 01, 2021
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Hollywood storm bound for Toronto film fest

Cinematic heavyweights Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Woody Allen are set to blow into town this week, the eye of the Hollywood hurricane known as the Toronto International Film Festival.

They’ll be joined by Brit director Danny Boyle, who is back with the mountain climbing drama 127 Hours after ruling the 2008 festival with eventual Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire.

Other buzz-laden films set to unspool in Toronto include Darren Aronofsky’s psychological study Black Swan, Rodrigo Cortes’ claustrophobic thriller Buried, the dystopian drama Never Let Me Go, Xavier Dolan’s romantic comedy Heartbeats, and the story of Joaquin Phoenix’s baffling attempt at a hip-hop career, I’m Still Here.

‘Could I tell you what’s going to be this year’s Slumdog? Absolutely not. I’d be a fool to try.’—Cameron Bailey, TIFF

The Toronto fest is widely seen as a launching pad to Academy Award glory, but predicting which films will break through with critics and audiences is an impossible task, says co-director Cameron Bailey.

“There are films that I fall in love with just as personal things that I’m always really into, but that’s never any indicator about what the world is going to embrace,” says Bailey.

“I never try to place bets on what is going to be successful either at the box office or with critics or with awards at the end of the year. I liked Slumdog Millionaire a lot, [but] I was certainly surprised to see it do that well. Could I tell you what’s going to be this year’s Slumdog? Absolutely not. I’d be a fool to try.”
Actress Helen Mirren, seen in New York in July, calls the Toronto festival ‘serious business.’ Actress Helen Mirren, seen in New York in July, calls the Toronto festival ‘serious business.’ (Evan Agostini/Associated Press)

Eastwood, 80, is making his first trip to the fest in 20 years with his weighty drama Hereafter. Allen will showcase his star-studded London-shot romp You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, while Redford will be here with The Conspirator, about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

The lineup is further stacked with offerings from Oscar-winning Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black, acclaimed documentarians Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, Cannes darling Javier Bardem and Quebec film giant Denis Villeneuve.

This year’s guest list approaches 500 performers and filmmakers, and includes a startling number of A-listers. Among the stars expected to grace the red carpet: Bruce Springsteen, Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, Catherine Deneuve, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell.

Mirren touts the fest as a key stop for filmmakers seeking a strong platform to launch their projects, noting that North America’s biggest movie showcase has risen in influence over the years.

Although often overshadowed by the prestige of the Venice Film Festival, which immediately precedes TIFF, and the glitz of the Cannes International Film Festival, which tends to draw the established veterans, Canada’s more populist festival is particularly well-timed as a preview to the all-important fall movie season.

“It is obviously one of the most important film festivals for the film business, no question,” Mirren said earlier this year in an interview.

“The funny thing about Cannes is it’s this big glitz and glamour, south-of-Francey thing and in the middle of that is this little nub of a serious art film festival…. So it’s very schizophrenic. But Toronto is much more serious business.”
Smaller films score spots

  ‘The reality is for these smaller films that don’t have distribution, and don’t have world sales and all that — it’s life and death. I mean if you don’t get TIFF, your film doesn’t exist.’—Ingrid Veninger, filmmaker

Vying for a sliver of the spotlight will be lesser-known filmmakers including Toronto’s Ingrid Veninger, who says scoring a spot for her tender teen drama Modra has saved the indie film from fading away completely.

“I could not sleep or eat, practically, between submitting Modra to TIFF for consideration and getting the phone call. Because you never know and you want it so badly but I’m always afraid of wanting it too much,” says Veninger, also an actor, writer, and established producer.

“The reality is for these smaller films that don’t have distribution, and don’t have world sales and all that — it’s life and death. I mean if you don’t get TIFF, your film doesn’t exist.”

First-time director Mike Goldbach rides into the fest on a wave of good buzz for his debut, Daydream Nation, a surreal coming-of-age drama set in a forested small town where an industrial fire burns incessantly, a serial killer is stalking young women and the teenagers seem permanently stoned.

The film stars Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas and Andie MacDowell and was chosen to open the Canada First! section, which celebrates new and innovative Canadian works. The 33-year-old Goldbach says he’s been waiting a long time for this moment.

“My experience with TIFF is, like, sneaking into parties,” says Goldbach, who co-wrote 2004’s Childstar.

“So it’s so great to have a legitimate reason to be here now and I’ll have a pass and it’ll be laminated.”
The late actor Maury Chaykin, pictured here at the Toronto festival in 1991, will be seen posthumously in two TIFF films: Casino Jack and Barney’s Version.The late actor Maury Chaykin, pictured here at the Toronto festival in 1991, will be seen posthumously in two TIFF films: Casino Jack and Barney’s Version. (Zoran Milich/Canadian Press)

Several films feature Canadian mainstays Maury Chaykin and Tracy Wright, who both died earlier this year. Chaykin, who passed away in July, appears in the Kevin Spacey drama Casino Jack and makes a cameo in the film adaptation of the Mordecai Richler book, Barney’s Version. Wright stars in Bruce McDonald’s rock’n’ roll film Trigger, and Daniel Cockburn’s arty thinkpiece You Are Here.

Trigger was chosen as the inaugural film for Bell Lightbox, a gleaming new building that opens Sept. 12 and will serve as the permanent home for the festival, which is marking its 35th year. The five-storey building will feature restaurants, a museum, office space, theatres and an adjoining condominium tower.
Canadian opener

The festival itself kicks off Thursday on a particularly Canadian note with the romantic comedy, Score: A Hockey Musical. The Toronto-set movie stars newcomer Noah Reid as a home-schooled hockey phenom who is catapulted to fame when he’s discovered by a local team owner.

Despite growing up in Toronto and spending much of his life preparing for the spotlight, the 24-year-old Reid admits he’s never been to the festival, even as a film fan. He laughs at the thought that his first taste will be walking the red carpet in support of his opening night gala.

“It’s one of those things where sometimes if you live in the city where all the things happen, you sometimes don’t go,” says the affable Reid, currently shooting the Syfy pilot Three Inches in Toronto with Andrea Martin and James Marsters.

“It’s kind of shameful to have never been to the Toronto film festival as a Torontonian, but at least I get to do it in a pretty splashy way.”

The Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 9 to 19.

Source: The Canadian Press

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Hollywood storm bound for Toronto film fest

Cinematic heavyweights Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Woody Allen are set to blow into town this week, the eye of the Hollywood hurricane known as the Toronto International Film Festival.

They’ll be joined by Brit director Danny Boyle, who is back with the mountain climbing drama 127 Hours after ruling the 2008 festival with eventual Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire.

Other buzz-laden films set to unspool in Toronto include Darren Aronofsky’s psychological study Black Swan, Rodrigo Cortes’ claustrophobic thriller Buried, the dystopian drama Never Let Me Go, Xavier Dolan’s romantic comedy Heartbeats, and the story of Joaquin Phoenix’s baffling attempt at a hip-hop career, I’m Still Here.

‘Could I tell you what’s going to be this year’s Slumdog? Absolutely not. I’d be a fool to try.’—Cameron Bailey, TIFF

The Toronto fest is widely seen as a launching pad to Academy Award glory, but predicting which films will break through with critics and audiences is an impossible task, says co-director Cameron Bailey.

“There are films that I fall in love with just as personal things that I’m always really into, but that’s never any indicator about what the world is going to embrace,” says Bailey.

“I never try to place bets on what is going to be successful either at the box office or with critics or with awards at the end of the year. I liked Slumdog Millionaire a lot, [but] I was certainly surprised to see it do that well. Could I tell you what’s going to be this year’s Slumdog? Absolutely not. I’d be a fool to try.”
Actress Helen Mirren, seen in New York in July, calls the Toronto festival ‘serious business.’ Actress Helen Mirren, seen in New York in July, calls the Toronto festival ‘serious business.’ (Evan Agostini/Associated Press)

Eastwood, 80, is making his first trip to the fest in 20 years with his weighty drama Hereafter. Allen will showcase his star-studded London-shot romp You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, while Redford will be here with The Conspirator, about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

The lineup is further stacked with offerings from Oscar-winning Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black, acclaimed documentarians Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, Cannes darling Javier Bardem and Quebec film giant Denis Villeneuve.

This year’s guest list approaches 500 performers and filmmakers, and includes a startling number of A-listers. Among the stars expected to grace the red carpet: Bruce Springsteen, Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, Catherine Deneuve, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell.

Mirren touts the fest as a key stop for filmmakers seeking a strong platform to launch their projects, noting that North America’s biggest movie showcase has risen in influence over the years.

Although often overshadowed by the prestige of the Venice Film Festival, which immediately precedes TIFF, and the glitz of the Cannes International Film Festival, which tends to draw the established veterans, Canada’s more populist festival is particularly well-timed as a preview to the all-important fall movie season.

“It is obviously one of the most important film festivals for the film business, no question,” Mirren said earlier this year in an interview.

“The funny thing about Cannes is it’s this big glitz and glamour, south-of-Francey thing and in the middle of that is this little nub of a serious art film festival…. So it’s very schizophrenic. But Toronto is much more serious business.”
Smaller films score spots

  ‘The reality is for these smaller films that don’t have distribution, and don’t have world sales and all that — it’s life and death. I mean if you don’t get TIFF, your film doesn’t exist.’—Ingrid Veninger, filmmaker

Vying for a sliver of the spotlight will be lesser-known filmmakers including Toronto’s Ingrid Veninger, who says scoring a spot for her tender teen drama Modra has saved the indie film from fading away completely.

“I could not sleep or eat, practically, between submitting Modra to TIFF for consideration and getting the phone call. Because you never know and you want it so badly but I’m always afraid of wanting it too much,” says Veninger, also an actor, writer, and established producer.

“The reality is for these smaller films that don’t have distribution, and don’t have world sales and all that — it’s life and death. I mean if you don’t get TIFF, your film doesn’t exist.”

First-time director Mike Goldbach rides into the fest on a wave of good buzz for his debut, Daydream Nation, a surreal coming-of-age drama set in a forested small town where an industrial fire burns incessantly, a serial killer is stalking young women and the teenagers seem permanently stoned.

The film stars Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas and Andie MacDowell and was chosen to open the Canada First! section, which celebrates new and innovative Canadian works. The 33-year-old Goldbach says he’s been waiting a long time for this moment.

“My experience with TIFF is, like, sneaking into parties,” says Goldbach, who co-wrote 2004’s Childstar.

“So it’s so great to have a legitimate reason to be here now and I’ll have a pass and it’ll be laminated.”
The late actor Maury Chaykin, pictured here at the Toronto festival in 1991, will be seen posthumously in two TIFF films: Casino Jack and Barney’s Version.The late actor Maury Chaykin, pictured here at the Toronto festival in 1991, will be seen posthumously in two TIFF films: Casino Jack and Barney’s Version. (Zoran Milich/Canadian Press)

Several films feature Canadian mainstays Maury Chaykin and Tracy Wright, who both died earlier this year. Chaykin, who passed away in July, appears in the Kevin Spacey drama Casino Jack and makes a cameo in the film adaptation of the Mordecai Richler book, Barney’s Version. Wright stars in Bruce McDonald’s rock’n’ roll film Trigger, and Daniel Cockburn’s arty thinkpiece You Are Here.

Trigger was chosen as the inaugural film for Bell Lightbox, a gleaming new building that opens Sept. 12 and will serve as the permanent home for the festival, which is marking its 35th year. The five-storey building will feature restaurants, a museum, office space, theatres and an adjoining condominium tower.
Canadian opener

The festival itself kicks off Thursday on a particularly Canadian note with the romantic comedy, Score: A Hockey Musical. The Toronto-set movie stars newcomer Noah Reid as a home-schooled hockey phenom who is catapulted to fame when he’s discovered by a local team owner.

Despite growing up in Toronto and spending much of his life preparing for the spotlight, the 24-year-old Reid admits he’s never been to the festival, even as a film fan. He laughs at the thought that his first taste will be walking the red carpet in support of his opening night gala.

“It’s one of those things where sometimes if you live in the city where all the things happen, you sometimes don’t go,” says the affable Reid, currently shooting the Syfy pilot Three Inches in Toronto with Andrea Martin and James Marsters.

“It’s kind of shameful to have never been to the Toronto film festival as a Torontonian, but at least I get to do it in a pretty splashy way.”

The Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 9 to 19.

Source: The Canadian Press

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Hollywood storm bound for Toronto film fest

Cinematic heavyweights Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Woody Allen are set to blow into town this week, the eye of the Hollywood hurricane known as the Toronto International Film Festival.

They’ll be joined by Brit director Danny Boyle, who is back with the mountain climbing drama 127 Hours after ruling the 2008 festival with eventual Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire.

Other buzz-laden films set to unspool in Toronto include Darren Aronofsky’s psychological study Black Swan, Rodrigo Cortes’ claustrophobic thriller Buried, the dystopian drama Never Let Me Go, Xavier Dolan’s romantic comedy Heartbeats, and the story of Joaquin Phoenix’s baffling attempt at a hip-hop career, I’m Still Here.

‘Could I tell you what’s going to be this year’s Slumdog? Absolutely not. I’d be a fool to try.’—Cameron Bailey, TIFF

The Toronto fest is widely seen as a launching pad to Academy Award glory, but predicting which films will break through with critics and audiences is an impossible task, says co-director Cameron Bailey.

“There are films that I fall in love with just as personal things that I’m always really into, but that’s never any indicator about what the world is going to embrace,” says Bailey.

“I never try to place bets on what is going to be successful either at the box office or with critics or with awards at the end of the year. I liked Slumdog Millionaire a lot, [but] I was certainly surprised to see it do that well. Could I tell you what’s going to be this year’s Slumdog? Absolutely not. I’d be a fool to try.”
Actress Helen Mirren, seen in New York in July, calls the Toronto festival ‘serious business.’ Actress Helen Mirren, seen in New York in July, calls the Toronto festival ‘serious business.’ (Evan Agostini/Associated Press)

Eastwood, 80, is making his first trip to the fest in 20 years with his weighty drama Hereafter. Allen will showcase his star-studded London-shot romp You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, while Redford will be here with The Conspirator, about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

The lineup is further stacked with offerings from Oscar-winning Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black, acclaimed documentarians Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, Cannes darling Javier Bardem and Quebec film giant Denis Villeneuve.

This year’s guest list approaches 500 performers and filmmakers, and includes a startling number of A-listers. Among the stars expected to grace the red carpet: Bruce Springsteen, Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, Catherine Deneuve, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell.

Mirren touts the fest as a key stop for filmmakers seeking a strong platform to launch their projects, noting that North America’s biggest movie showcase has risen in influence over the years.

Although often overshadowed by the prestige of the Venice Film Festival, which immediately precedes TIFF, and the glitz of the Cannes International Film Festival, which tends to draw the established veterans, Canada’s more populist festival is particularly well-timed as a preview to the all-important fall movie season.

“It is obviously one of the most important film festivals for the film business, no question,” Mirren said earlier this year in an interview.

“The funny thing about Cannes is it’s this big glitz and glamour, south-of-Francey thing and in the middle of that is this little nub of a serious art film festival…. So it’s very schizophrenic. But Toronto is much more serious business.”
Smaller films score spots

  ‘The reality is for these smaller films that don’t have distribution, and don’t have world sales and all that — it’s life and death. I mean if you don’t get TIFF, your film doesn’t exist.’—Ingrid Veninger, filmmaker

Vying for a sliver of the spotlight will be lesser-known filmmakers including Toronto’s Ingrid Veninger, who says scoring a spot for her tender teen drama Modra has saved the indie film from fading away completely.

“I could not sleep or eat, practically, between submitting Modra to TIFF for consideration and getting the phone call. Because you never know and you want it so badly but I’m always afraid of wanting it too much,” says Veninger, also an actor, writer, and established producer.

“The reality is for these smaller films that don’t have distribution, and don’t have world sales and all that — it’s life and death. I mean if you don’t get TIFF, your film doesn’t exist.”

First-time director Mike Goldbach rides into the fest on a wave of good buzz for his debut, Daydream Nation, a surreal coming-of-age drama set in a forested small town where an industrial fire burns incessantly, a serial killer is stalking young women and the teenagers seem permanently stoned.

The film stars Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas and Andie MacDowell and was chosen to open the Canada First! section, which celebrates new and innovative Canadian works. The 33-year-old Goldbach says he’s been waiting a long time for this moment.

“My experience with TIFF is, like, sneaking into parties,” says Goldbach, who co-wrote 2004’s Childstar.

“So it’s so great to have a legitimate reason to be here now and I’ll have a pass and it’ll be laminated.”
The late actor Maury Chaykin, pictured here at the Toronto festival in 1991, will be seen posthumously in two TIFF films: Casino Jack and Barney’s Version.The late actor Maury Chaykin, pictured here at the Toronto festival in 1991, will be seen posthumously in two TIFF films: Casino Jack and Barney’s Version. (Zoran Milich/Canadian Press)

Several films feature Canadian mainstays Maury Chaykin and Tracy Wright, who both died earlier this year. Chaykin, who passed away in July, appears in the Kevin Spacey drama Casino Jack and makes a cameo in the film adaptation of the Mordecai Richler book, Barney’s Version. Wright stars in Bruce McDonald’s rock’n’ roll film Trigger, and Daniel Cockburn’s arty thinkpiece You Are Here.

Trigger was chosen as the inaugural film for Bell Lightbox, a gleaming new building that opens Sept. 12 and will serve as the permanent home for the festival, which is marking its 35th year. The five-storey building will feature restaurants, a museum, office space, theatres and an adjoining condominium tower.
Canadian opener

The festival itself kicks off Thursday on a particularly Canadian note with the romantic comedy, Score: A Hockey Musical. The Toronto-set movie stars newcomer Noah Reid as a home-schooled hockey phenom who is catapulted to fame when he’s discovered by a local team owner.

Despite growing up in Toronto and spending much of his life preparing for the spotlight, the 24-year-old Reid admits he’s never been to the festival, even as a film fan. He laughs at the thought that his first taste will be walking the red carpet in support of his opening night gala.

“It’s one of those things where sometimes if you live in the city where all the things happen, you sometimes don’t go,” says the affable Reid, currently shooting the Syfy pilot Three Inches in Toronto with Andrea Martin and James Marsters.

“It’s kind of shameful to have never been to the Toronto film festival as a Torontonian, but at least I get to do it in a pretty splashy way.”

The Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 9 to 19.

Source: The Canadian Press

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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