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Toronto FF Dailies

Toronto Film Festival Moves Downtown

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  The 2010 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the most important events of the film calendar, is readying for a major move to downtown Toronto from its previous digs in the swanky Yorkville section. The new action is set on Queen Street and King Street West, a vital area of theaters, restaurants, bars and, not coincidentally, the newly opened TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Festival's main hq and the site of the Festival's year-round programs. While this does repre...

Toronto Film Festival Closed With Awards Announcements

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The Toronto International Film Festival came to a close today with the announcements of various awards. Although Toronto does not have an official competition section (positioning itself as a "public festival"), positive critical praise, strong industry reaction and awards from the discerning Toronto public are important components for the life of the films that have risen to the top at this important event. With ceremonies held at the Awards Reception at the Intercontinental Hotel on the waterf...

A Festival of Discoveries

  Sunday, September 14-------For the first time in the past few years, the Toronto International Film Festival will be best remembered for its discoveries, rather than the bigger-budget entries that graced the Galas. Many of those films were critical and industry disappointments (including The Burning Plain, The Third Man, Miracle of St. Anna, The Brothers Bloom, Pride And Glory, The Duchess and several others). Of course, they delivered the necessary stardust that has now become de rigeu...

Toronto People's Choice Award to Slumdog Millionaire

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The Toronto International Film Festival came to a close Saturday with the announcements of various awards. Although Toronto does not have an official competition section (positioning itself as a "public festival"), positive critical praise, strong industry reaction and awards from the discerning Toronto public are important components for the life of the films that have risen to the top at this important event. With ceremonies held at the Awards Reception at the Intercontinental Hotel on the wat...

Toronto Film Festival Closes With Awards Announcements

 Saturday, September 13------The Toronto International Film Festival came to a close today with the announcements of various awards. Although Toronto does not have an official competition section (positioning itself as a "public festival"), positive critical praise, strong industry reaction and awards from the discerning Toronto public are important components for the life of the films that have risen to the top at this important event. With ceremonies held at the Awards Reception at ...

Little Oscar Buzz At Toronto This Year

 Friday, September 12--------This year, Oscar didn't come to Toronto. Since the Academy Awards calendar was shortened in 2003, Toronto loomed large as the place to premiere Oscar contenders for the end-of-year awards season.In the past few years, films such as Atonement, No Country For Old Men and Last King of Scotland began their Oscar trajectories in Toronto.  Many of the Galas here, which have contained some past awards successes, have been poorly received (including The Burning Plain, T...

Che Finds A Home With IFC Films

Friday, September 12-------Che, the 4 1/2 hour epic on the life of revolutionary Che Guevera, has been acquired for all North American rights by IFC Films. The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film's lead Benicio del Toro won the Best Actor prize. It screened this past week at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be screening next at the New York Film Festival. Che gives IFC Films a strong contender for end-of-the-ye...

A Toronto Memory Of 9-11

Thursday, September 11--------For those of us whose memories of the events of 9-11 coincided with the Toronto International Film Festival, there are moments that forever link those great metropolitan cities. I was indeed in Toronto for my final days of the Festival in 2001.I can remember the exact moment when I first heard about a plane crashing into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I was in a taxicab with my colleague Malo Girod de l'Ain (whose company M21 Editions hosts both this ...

Remembering September 11, 2001

Thursday, September 11--------For those of us whose memories of the events of 9-11 coincided with the Toronto International Film Festival, there are moments that forever link those great metropolitan cities. I was indeed in Toronto for my final days of the Festival in 2001.I can remember the exact moment when I first heard about a plane crashing into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I was in a taxicab with my colleague Malo Girod de l'Ain (whose company M21 Editions hosts both this ...

Film In Focus: ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO

 Wednesday, September 10-------Only in America could a disheveled, overweight mumbler become a bonafide movie star. Seth Rogen, the pudgy star of the current hit Pineapple Express, as well as other box office sensations Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad, may have found the director of his dreams in indie bad boy Kevin Smith (the auteur of such slacker hits as Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dazed And Confused and  Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back).The Weinstein Company, run by the brothers ...

British Films Make A Mark In Toronto

Wednesday, September 10-----After a very quiet Cannes for the British film industry, there are 25 British films (a mix of shorts, documentaries and features) being presented in Toronto this week. The films range from the big-budget (Saul Dibb's The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and Richard Eyre's tale of l'amour fou The Other Man, starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Antonio Banderas) to the aggressively independent (including Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle, Is There Anybody There? by ...

Film In Focus: EVERY LITTLE STEP

 Monday, September 8------OK, true confessions time.....I have been a lifelong musical theater enthusiast and even a bit of a "Broadway baby", so a documentary that charts the birth and revival of a landmark piece of musical theater is right up my show biz alley. In the delightful and surprisingly emotional documentary Every Little Step,  co-directors James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo have preserved the genesis and historical significance of the landmark musical A Chorus Line. The mus...

TIFF Market Watch

Tuesday, September 9-------"It's the quietest Toronto Film Festival that I can remember", one prominent distributor commented to me yesterday. But despite the indie sector being in a cautious mood, a number of Toronto films have announced major distribution deals.Less than 24 hours after it won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Darren Aronofsky's drama The Wrestler has been picked up for U.S. distribution by Fox Searchlight, the specialty division of 20th Century Fox (the...

Goodbye Solo Wins Venice FIPRESCI Prize

 Monday, September 8--------Goodbye Solo, the latest film from New York writer/director Ramin Bahrani, has won the prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival, which just concluded this past weekend. The film makes its North American debut this evening at the Toronto International Film Festival.I caught the press screening of the film yesterday, and I will go out on a limb and say that this is one of the best and most emotionally deep films of the Festival. Mixi...

Toronto Party Hopping, Part Deux

 Monday, September 8------I know, I know.....in my last piece I stated that a high-minded journalist like myself was more interested in seeing films than going to parties, but on Sunday evening, as I did the evening before, I found myself party hopping yet again. It is difficult to resist.....publicists for the films or the party venues lavish you with invitations, entice you with all the food you can gobble up and all the liquor you can consume. And you say to yourself....well, it's all about ...

TIFF Press Conference: RELIGULOUS

Monday, September 8-------Controversial television comedian Bill Maher must be saying hallelujahs for the equally controversial candidacy of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate. In one fell swoop, Palin's entry into the race has brought up the subject of religion in a presidential campaign (yet again) and made it a topic of concern and, to some, outrage in the American popular imagination. So, the October release of Religulous, a comedic journey by the acerbic comedian into...

TIFF Press Conference: RELIGULOUS

Monday, September 8-------Controversial television comedian Bill Maher must be saying hallelujahs for the equally controversial candidacy of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate. In one fell swoop, Palin's entry into the race has brought up the subject of religion in a presidential campaign (yet again) and made it a topic of concern and, to some, outrage in the American popular imagination. So, the October release of Religulous, a comedic journey by the acerbic comedian into...

Toronto Film Festival Party Hopping

 Sunday, September 7------Let me make this one point perfectly clear.....I come to a film festival to see films, network with professionals, experience the host city and then (and only then) do the party circuit. While I am as much of a fan of passed hors d'oeuvres as any sane person can be, I don't think of festivals as one long party romp. But on the occasional evening I do give into temptation and do a roundelay of party events, to see and be seen, to feed and be fed, to drink and to be drun...

Canadian Film Centre Holds Its Annual Toronto BBQ

 Sunday, September 7-------Although low clouds hover over Toronto this morning, the sun should be out by later this afternoon when the Canadian Film Centre hosts its annual CFC BBQ, a Toronto highlight for local and visiting filmmakers and professionals.Held on the picturesque grounds of Windfields Estate about 20 miles outside of town, the CFC and its founder director Norman Jewison will be welcoming a who's who of Canadian and international filmmaking talent, as CFC celebrates its 20th annive...

Babelgum Online Film Festival Announcement In Toronto

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Babelgum, the independent web tv platform, hosted a brunch reception in the sky lounge atop the Sutton Place Hotel yesterday, announcing plans for the second edition  of the Babelgum Online Film Festival and showcasing some of the short film winners from its first round. Babelgum is a free internet television platform that combines full-screen video quality of traditional television with the interactive capabilities of the internet, offering programming-on-demand of unique content to a global a...

Has Che Found A Home In The US?

Sunday, September 7--------Has Che, the 4 hour plus biopic of revolutionary Che Guevera, finally found a U.S. distributor? The film, directed by Stephen Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro, left the Cannes Film Festival with no takers. Aside from the serious subject matter, one of the difficulties was Soderbergh's insistence on releasing the film in two parts, with six months in between....a huge gamble.Word comes from Lou Lumenick, senior film critic for the New York Post that Magnol...

Toronto Film Festival Facts And Figures

Saturday, September 6-------The facts and figures of this year's  Toronto International Film Festival go something like this: 312 films from 64 countries, including 249 feature-length films, 76 per cent of which are world, international or North American premieres, and 61 of which are feature directorial debuts. Aside from close to 1500 international members of the press and the film industry, the Festival is also welcoming over 500 international stars and special guests on the red carpet. T...

IFC Films Have Seven On Toronto Slate

 Saturday, September 6------Coming off of a shopping spree of acquisitions at the Cannes Film Festival, New York-based specialty distributor IFC Films is screening an unprecedented seven films at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. With most US distributors in retrenchment mode (or some being shuttered completely), IFC's day-and-date release of films in theaters and via Video On Demand has given them the financial clout to fill the need for an expanding pipeline of new product.That...

TIFF Market Watch: SERBIS

Friday, September 5--------One of the first announcements of a US distribution deal was made today, on the first day of full out screenings here at the Toronto International Film Festival. Regent Releasing, a leading independent U.S. distributor, announcedthat it has acquired North American distribution rights to Serbis (Service), the new film from acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza.  Regent acquired the film from international sales agent Fortissimo Films and will distribute Ser...

Spotlight On Canadian Films

 Thursday, September 4-------Following the lead of the selection of a Canadian film to open the Festival this evening (the World War I epic Passchendale by Paul Gross), the Toronto International Film Festival has laced all of its program strands with some highly anticipated local films. This is not only critical for the Toronto audiences but for the cadre of international film buyers and programmers who have descended on the city to discover, among other things, the next Canadian film gem.Five ...

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