Tag Archives: Tiff

Toronto slates environmental docus

TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival will go green in September with world premieres for Robert Kenner’s “Food, Inc.” and Dan Stone’s “At the Edge of the World,” a profile of Canadian eco-warrior Paul Watson’s fight with Japanese whaling vessels in the Antarctica Sea.

Toronto also has booked a North American premiere for German filmmaker Ben Kempas’ “Upstream Battle,” a look at a Northern California land battle by American Indians of the Hoopa tribe.

U.S.-based Kenner’s “Food, Inc.,” based on reporting by Eric Schlosser (“Fast Food Nation”) and Michael Pollan, is backed by Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, which was behind Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Of the 26 documentaries unveiled by Toronto programmers Tuesday, 14 hail from the U.S., underlining increasing equity financing and other private investment in American documentaries, according to Thom Powers, the festival’s documentary programmer.

“There’s much activity around that’s giving filmmakers bigger budgets, and allowing more production out of the U.S. than anywhere else,” Powers said.

Other U.S. docus bound for Toronto include Matthew Kaufman’s “American Swing” from Magnolia, a portrait of the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat; Matt Tyrnauer’s fashion biopic “Valentino: The Last Emperor”; and Oscar winner David Guggenheim’s “It Might Get Loud,” a celebration of the air guitar.

Toronto also booked a North American premiere for French director Agnes Varda’s “Les Plages d’Agnes” as well as world premieres for Austrian helmer Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Dakar rally film “After the Race,” Chinese filmmaker Weijun Chen’s “The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World,” and “Citizen Juling,” a film about an Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand from Ing K. Kraisak

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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

Religion satire to see the light at Toronto fest

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) – “Borat” director Larry Charles is bringing his follow-up project to the Toronto International Film Festival for its world premiere in September, organizers said Thursday.

The documentary “Religulous” follows Bill Maher on an irreverent whistle-stop world tour of religious shrines, and festival organizers expect the comedian’s take on religion to get people talking.

“The film’s a chance to laugh about the thing that we hold very sacred and that, in a way, remains a taboo in our society to question,” festival documentary programmer Thom Powers said Thursday.

“Religulous” will open in North American theaters on October 3 via Lionsgate.

Source: Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Toronto festival expands its services

TORONTO — The Toronto Intl. Film Festival sales and industry office will partner with online database reference source Cinando as part of its commitment to offer expanded services this year, it was announced Thursday.

Accredited TIFF delegates will be automatically included in the Cinando networking community, which lists companies, films, projects and rights.

“Our expanded partnership with Cinando will allow for more efficient and productive planning for buyers and sales agents at TIFF08,” fest sales and industry office director Stefan Wirthensohn said.

For the first time this year the film rights availability list and delegates guide will also be available at tiff08.ca/industry

Sales and industry headquarters returns to the centrally located Sutton Place Hotel, occupying the first and second floors.

Services include national film promotion agency desks, meeting spaces, delegate mailboxes, Internet lounge and the press and industry screening library. TIFF runs Sept. 4 – 13.

Source: Variety

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