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Toronto FF Dailies

European Film Masters Reveal Their Latest Masterworks

 Thursday, September 13---------In a Toronto Film Festival, at over 350 films, a tale of hit or miss (how could it be anything else?), some of the most satisfying and resonant films come not from the new young turks, but from the old masters. Several of Europe's finest filmmakers have shown their latest masterworks here in the past week. It is interesting to consider that most of these films may not make a big splash in the theatrical distribution market (a far cry from some of these masters' e...

Gael Garcia Bernal Makes Directorial Debut

 Wednesday, September 13---------Mexican hearthrob Gael Garcia Bernal (AMORES PORRES, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) has made his directorial debut, which is getting it s North American premeire here at the Toronto International Film Festival (after bowing at the Cannes Film Festival). DEFICIT is a low-budget drama that focuses on class differences in Mexico. The story is an adaptation of an episode of "Ruta 32," a series that his production company Canana Films has be...

Iraq Veteran Documentary Bows On September 11th

 Tuesday, September 11----------The sixth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon provided an auspicious landscape for the debut of the new Iraq documentary BODY OF WAR here at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film tells the stirring tale of Tomas Young, a wounded Iraq war veteran who has become a powerfully effective anti-war activist. The film is co-directed by Ellen Spiro (GREETINGS FROM OUT HERE) and former talk show personality Phil Donahue., wi...

Telefilm Canada Pitch This! Winners

 Tuesday, September 11--------The winners of the Telefilm Canada Pitch This! competition have been announced. Producers Jim Goodall and Paul Lenart have been selected as the winners, with a cash award of $10,000 to go toward the development of their project., GIANTLAND, a unique animated feature, using puppetry and CGI, about two kids who fall into a sink and enter a fantasy land of giants. Telefilm Canada Pitch This! took place earlier today at the Sutton Place Hotel , where six final appl...

One Hundred Years of Chinese Hollywood (fromToronto)

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In the delightfully entertaining and historically significant new documentary HOLLYWOOD CHINESE, documentarian Arthur Dong has filled in an essential gap in the history of Hollywood.....charting the influence of Chinese and Chinese-American actors and technicians to the magic of the dream factory. The film is a quite ambitious history lesson that mixes both artistic contributions by well-known and unsung heros and heroines, while attempting to understand the basis and origin of "Asian mystique"...

Toronto Party Central

 Monday, September 10---------Toronto, like any major film festival on the circuit, is as much about the parties as it is the films. Parties are, after all, the place to meet up and schmooze, seen and be seen, and, one might argue, are the perks after a day of slogging between screening rooms. While it is physically impossible to attend every event  (or even get an invitation to them all), I try and do my share.    The US distributors give some of this town's most stellar soirees, with outs...

John Sayles Film To Open Independent Film Week in New York

Monday, September 10----------HONEYDRIPPER, the latest film from indie icon John Sayles that is having its world premiere this evening in Toronto, will be the Opening Night Film of Independent Film Week, the annual celebration of American Independent Cinema sponsored by the Independent Feature Project (IFP). The jam-packed event includes the public FILMMAKER CONFERENCE, featuring a host of fun and informative panels and screenings; the prestigious 29th IFP MARKET for industry professionals; ...

One Hundred Years of Chinese Hollywood

 Monday, September 10--------In the delightfully entertaining and historically significant new documentary HOLLYWOOD CHINESE, documentarian Arthur Dong has filled in an essential gap in the history of Hollywood.....charting  the influence of Chinese and Chinese-American actors and technicians to the magic of the dream factory. The film is a quite ambitious history lesson that mixes both artistic contributions by well-known and unsung heros and heroines, while attempting to understand the bas...

Biz Buzz: Distribution Deals Heat Up

Sunday, September 9-----Sales of Toronto International Film Festival titles are heating up, generating much excitement and hopes for other announcements in the days to come. BEFORE I FORGET (Avant Que J'Oublie), the newest film from French director Jacques Nolot, has been acquired by Strand Releasing, the specialty arthouse distributor. The film is screening in the Contemporary World Cinema section here, after world premiering at the Cannes Film Festival at the Directors Fortnight. In the film, ...

Venice Film Festival Winners Are Here In Toronto

 Sunday, September 9---------If one missed them at the Venice Film Festival, the major winners of that Festival on the Lido (announced last evening) are playing here in Toronto. As part of the roundelay that has become the Fall Festival circuit, buyers, programmers and the press can pick up on films they have missed by simply waiting for another turn of the merry-go-round. If not Venice, then Toronto. If not Toronto, then New York. If not New York, then San Sebastian.. So for those who have st...

The Fog Of The Iraq War

 Friday, September 7--------September is a month of decision for the US policy in Iraq. Next week, General Petraeus, the head army honcho supervising the "surge" of additional troops on the ground in Iraq, will make his long awaited report to the US Congress about the state of the War. As has been noted in newspapers and on television programs both in the US and around the world, the patience of the American people is at its breaking point, and politicians from both the opposition and...

Film In Focus: FUGITIVE PIECES

 Friday, September 7--------FUGITIVE PIECES, the latest film from Toronto-based filmmaker Jeremy Podeswa, had its world premiere last evening at two back-to-back gala screenings as the Opening Night attraction of the Toronto International Film Festival. Clearly a labor of love, the film is based on the award-winning international bestseller by Canadian author Anne Michaels (with the script adapted by Podeswa). The film is one of the high profile films of newly formed Maximum Films, the new dist...

Toronto FF Opens Tonight With Local Talent

 Thursday, September 6-----------The build up is finally over.....the 31st edition of the Toronto International Film Festival officially opens this evening, with the world premiere screening of FUGITIVE PIECES, the latest film from local boy Jeremy Podeswa. Based on the international best-seller by Canadian author Anne Michaels, the film will make its bow at the beautifully restored historic  Elgin Theater in downtown Toronto's theater district. Expect the cultural, political and business mukk...

Chaz Thorne Is Having His Toronto Moment

 Thursday, September 6--------From a cursory look at the films to be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens this evening, it can seem as if Hollywood is dominating the program schedule. This is far from the truth. The Festival is very international in its scope, with a high percentage of film auteurs and fledgling directors from Europe, Asia and Latin America. It is also a terrific place to check the pulse of the Canadian film scene and discover local talent.One talented ...

Romanian Film Cited As Year's Best

 Wednesday, September 5----------4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, the searing drama by Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu which won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year, has added to that triumph by being named as the Film of the Year by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). The film, which also won the FIPRESCI Prize in Cannes, is making its Canadian Premiere next week at the Toronto International Film Festival.  The film, the latest in a recent renaissance of...

Dialogues With Cinema Greats

Wednesday, September 5--------While high potency celebrities making their way on the red carpet capture the bulk of media attention here (hey Brad, take off those sun glasses, we want to see your fabulous face.....), the Festival has assembled a group of true cinema greats for a program it calls DIALOGUES: Talking With Pictures. This is the rare opportunity for film buffs (comme moi) to hear from some of the most illustrious names of the past half century in film in an intimate setting. This is ...

The Toronto Torrent

 Tuesday, September 4---------The Toronto International Film Festival doesn't officially open for another 48 hours, but already a hurricane of film talents, industryites, press and film buffs are descending onto the Ontario metropolis with a torrent that is almost audible. Coming in from Los Angeles, New York and the four corners of the globe, including the just concluded Montreal World Film Festival, and the still continuing Venice Film Festival......all eyes are on "the gateway to North...

The Toronto Torrent

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The Toronto International Film Festival doesn't officially open for another 48 hours, but already a hurricane of film talents, industryites, press and film buffs are descending onto the Ontario metropolis with a torrent that is almost audible. Coming in from Los Angeles, New York and the four corners of the globe, including the just concluded Montreal World Film Festival, and the still continuing Venice Film Festival......all eyes are on "the gateway to North America" as the frenzy, fun and fero...

EFP Supports European Film In Toronto

 Monday, September 3----------European Film Promotion (EFP), the pan-European agency of the continent's film promotion boards, again returns to the Toronto International Film Festival with a program of support for European filmmakers and sales agents. For this year's edition, 39 European films will benefit from the Film Sales Support (FSS) initiative sponsored by EFP. 26 different European sales agents and production companies are receiving support for the promotion of 39 European films in ...

Canadian Films Will Shine In Toronto

 Saturday, September 1---------The Toronto International Film Festival is a unique and dynamic opportunity for the local film industry to shine. With a Canadian film opening the proceedings this coming Thursday, the Festival offers Canadian filmmakers, distributors, producers and industryites a once-a-year opportunity to showcase their best work, meet with potential international partners and to shine a light on the latest crop of film talents for the assembled international press.   &#...

OPERATION FILMMAKER Looks Behind The Scenes

 Friday, August 31--------While the big ticket Galas sometimes seem to dominate the press coverage of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, which opens next Thursday, the program is, in fact, a diverse one that showcases a mix of auteur cinema and prolific film genres. The documentary section is among the choicest, with many films benefitting from the Toronto exposure to find mainstream theatrical careers as good, if not better, than any feature film title. One of the most anticipat...

Actor-Turned-Director Frank Whaley Premieres In Toronto

 Thursday, August 30--------Frank Whaley, an acclaimed actor best known for his work in the films SWIMMING WITH SHARKS and PULP FICTION, has been adding directorial chores to his list of credits in the past few years. With such well regarded films as JOE THE KING and THE JIMMY SHOW, Whaley is making the leap from actor to director. He continues on this journey with the Toronto premiere of his latest film, NEW YORK CITY SERENADE.The film stars Chris Klein, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jamie-Lynn Sigler,...

Toronto Festival Group Joins With Bell Canada For New Facility

 Wednesday, August 29--------The Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG) and Bell Canada held a joint press conference on Monday to announce the new name and logo of the TIFFG's home and headquarters: Bell Lightbox. The Bell Lightbox name acknowledges TIFFG's special relationship with Bell and underlines the Group's dedication to advancing the art form of the moving image. "It's with great pride that we announce the new Bell Lightbox name and logo for our home and headquarters a...

Toronto Opening Weekend Galas

 Tueday, August 28----------The Toronto International Film Festival has become a key launching pad for the careers of films in the North American market. This is even more true for films chosen for the Gala Presentations.....mainly American prestige pictures and international titles from known auteurs. Early buzz for the awards season can be created here, and with over 3000 journalists attending from all over the globe, the international aspects (and pressure) are enormous. A film can either be...

FUGITIVE PIECES To Open Film Festival Next Week

 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 (TH...

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