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Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The  44th  Toronto  International  Film  Festival  runs  September  5–15,  2019 in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, it has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar.

Showcasing more than 300 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.

Past Coverage 2014 2015 - Coverage 2016 in French   English


FUGITIVE PIECES To Open Film Festival Next Week

Fugitive PiecesFugitive Pieces 

Monday, August 27----The 32nd edition of the Toronto International Film Festival opens a week from Thursday on September 6th. While totally international in its scope, the Festival is also a prime launching pad for the newest works from the thriving Canadian film industry. One of the most anticipated films from one of the industry's most celebrated filmmakers will receive its World Premiere as a Gala Presentation. FUGITIVE PIECES, produced by Robert Lantos and directed by Jeremy Podeswa (THE FIVE SENSES), is based on the international bestselling novel by Anne Michaels. It is a powerful, poetic, and emotionally-charged drama about love, loss and redemption, with a superb cast that includes Stephen Dillane, Rade Sherbedgia, Rosamund Pike, Ayelet Zurer, Robbie Kay, Ed Stoppard, Rachelle Lefevre, and Nina Dobrev. The 5 SensesThe 5 Senses

While the Festival has showcased many of Podeswa's earlier films, this is the first to have the prestigious Opening Night slot. "From his short films to his first feature ECLIPSE to THE FIVE SENSES, the Festival is proud to have supported Jeremy's career and extraordinary talent over the years," said Noah Cowan, Festival Co-Director. "We are honored to have him open the Toronto International Film Festival with this powerful film." 

FUGITIVE PIECES tells the story of Jakob Beer (Stephen Dillane), a man whose life is haunted by his childhood experiences during the Second World War. As a child in Poland he is orphaned during wartime then saved by a compassionate, Greek archeologist. He then spends the rest of his life trying to come to terms with the losses he has endured. Through his writing, and then through the discovery of true love, Jakob is given the opportunity to free himself from the legacy of his past. Podeswa read the original novel over a decade ago and has championed its adaptation to film ever since.  “I knew about the book before it was published,” he stated in an interview in the trade journal Canadian Screenwriter. “I had heard about it and was intrigued right away, knowing Anne’s poetry already. I read it over ten years ago, when it first hit the stands–it was full of revelation, so moving and poetic, I knew it would make for a difficult adaptation to film but also loved the idea of doing it.”

Jeemy PodeswaJeemy PodeswaFor Podeswa, the draw was also a deeply personal one: the book involves the story of a Jewish lad who witnesses his family being killed during the Holocaust, and is then smuggled to relative safety in Greece. As an adult, he and his adopted family move to Canada. Podeswa’s father is a Holocaust survivor, so he says he felt an immediate emotional connection to the work. “This story moved me in a way that most books on the topic don’t. I felt a strong bond with the work from the beginning. I actually never thought I would address this family background through my work, but found myself drawn to this book.”

The film launches a 20-film Canadian Film Showcase that will bring local filmmakers, both known and yet-to-be-discovered to international attention for visiting journalists, programmers and film industry executives. "This is a remarkable year for Canadian film and FUGITIVE PIECES is a fine example of the strength of our national filmmaking talent," said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival Group. "The Festival is proud to showcase Canadian artists and their work, and provide an extraordinary opportunity where they can be launched and discovered."

FUGITIVE PIECES marks the tenth film produced by Robert Lantos to open the Festival, the others being IN PRAISE OF OLDER WOMEN (1978), JOSHUA THEN AND NOW (1985), BLACK ROBE (1991), WHALE MUSIC (1994), THE SWEET HEREAFTER (1997), FELICIA'S JOURNEY (1999), STARDOM (2000), ARARAT (2002) and BEING JULIA (2004).

Sandy Mandelberger, Toronto FF Dailies Editor

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Contributing editors: Bruno Chatelin 

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