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Director Bruce McDonald is “Red” mad at TIFF

Just two days after festival organizers announced that legendary director Bruce McDonald’s new film “Pontypool” would have its World Premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival in September, buzz quickly spread that the director had gone “Red.” And Hollywood is taking notice.

“Pontypool,” a psychological thriller starring character actor Stephen McHattie, (300, Seinfeld and who stars as Night Owl in Warner Bros. upcoming DC Comics The Watchmen), is the first full length Canadian feature film to be shot entirely using the new Red One 4k HD Camera and will be the first “Red” feature to ever screen at the fest.

The Red One Camera has been the centre of many heated industry debates as the leading technology that will quickly replace traditional 35mm filmmaking. No film or tape stock is required at all. Footage is instantly saved on a digital memory card.

“It wasn’t an easy decision for Bruce,” says Producer Jeffrey Coghlan, “we conducted Red and 35mm comparison tests prior to shooting and we literally couldn’t tell the difference.”

Coghlan praises Cinematographer Miroslaw Baszak (“Shake Hands With The Devil,” “Land Of The Dead”), with his uncompromised vision for making the film look so good and Red Lab Toronto for ensuring a smooth and easy workflow.

“Pontypool,” which was shot using 100% private funds, a rarity for most films, wrapped production just five weeks ago and has quickly become one of the most talked about and anticipated films of this year’s fest.

McDonald can’t wait to unveil the film at “the best and most important film festival in the world.”

Hollywood can’t wait either. The Toronto International Film Festival is famous for supporting independent filmmakers and is often where distributors acquire new titles to release.

“Suddenly everyone is calling,” says Coghlan, “from the mini distribs to a couple of major studios.”

When asked why, Coghlan responds, “It’s a real mind-blower. A scary, intelligent thriller and a real departure for Bruce who certainly delivers.”

Toronto film festival adds titles

TORONTO — Canadian director Bruce McDonald’s zombie film “Pontypool,” Warren Sonoda’s “Coopers’ Camera” and Justin Simms’ “Down to the Dirt” are among the titles locked for the Canadian lineup the Toronto International Film Festival will reveal today.

Another entry is Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness,” the Canadian/Brazil/Japanese co-production that opened the recent Cannes film festival.

McDonald’s “Pontypool,” a horror film about a deadly virus that infects a small Ontario town as locals speak, stars Stephen McHattie (“300”) and is the director’s first movie since the Ellen Page starrer “The Tracey Fragments.”

Producer Darius Films on Monday confirmed that Sonoda’s “Cooper’s Camera” and Simms’ “Down to the Dirt” also are Toronto-bound.

Quebec films considered likely to screen in Toronto include Denis Villeneuve’s “Next Floor” and David Coquard-Dassault’s “L’Ondee.”

Toronto already has reserved a slot for Atom Egoyan’s “Adoration,” which also screened in Cannes, while Paul Gross’ epic war drama “Passchendaele” will open the festival Sept. 4.

Source: Hollywood Reporter