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Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF 15: The Apostate - Interview with Federico Veiroj

Director Federico Veiroj  Interview: Martin I. Petrov    Everyday, we have millions of choices to make, but how many of them are unaffected by societal norms or imposed by others?   In his third feature film, Spanish-Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Veiroj, depicts the story of Gonzalo, a young man who decides to apostatise. Humorous, extravagant and smart, the story takes us on a journey through Gonzalo’s life, as he is confronted with his deepest desires and feelin...

Photographic Memories: My Many Days and Nights at the Toronto International Film Festival

It's hard to believe, but this month the Toronto International Film Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Milestones like this always make for a good excuse to pause and reflect, especially for Torontonians of my generation who grew up in the 1970s and 80s. The great thing about being a film fanatic living in Toronto back then was the sheer selection of movies you could see on any day of the week. The city had a huge number of cinema screens relative to its population, equal to, if...

Toronto Honors Ingrid Bergman with August Retrospective

1915 was an especially auspicious year in terms of celebrity births, and 2015 is shaping up to be quite the year for centennial celebrations. Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf, Billy Holiday, Arthur Miller and Orson Welles are all having a resurgence in popularity this year, due at least in part to the flood of articles, books, films and conferences taking place around the world to commemorate their talent and achievements, and remind us of the complex and often controversial lives they led, in betwee...

Strong Film Sales Emerging From Toronto

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  SHAME (UK, Steve McQueen) Although it began rather slowly, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which just concluded on Sunday, saw a good degree of sales and acquisition activity, with many more deals to be announced in the coming weeks. Although it does not have an official market sidebar like Cannes or Berlin, there is a good amount of informal rubbing of shoulders between members of the international film community who were in attendance in force. According to ...

A Corrupt Cop's Inner World

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  This is Woody Harrelson’s moment. The actor, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as an incendiary army officer in 2009’s THE MESSENGER, reteams with director Israeli-born director Oren Moverman on an even more explosive drama that is tailored to his particular talent for playing characters with a short fuse. World premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, RAMPART, set in a neo-noir Los Angeles in the late 1990s, alludes to the Ramp...

TIFF It Girl: Jessica Chastain

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  You can be excused if you believe that new starlet Jessica Chastain is in every movie opening this season. The busy actress can currently be seen on the big screen in three major summer movies, including Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE, the best seller adaptation THE HELP and the espionage actioner THE DEBT. At the recent Venice Film Festival, she regally walked the red carpet along with co-star and director Al Pacino for WILDE SALOME, his meta-textual adaptation of the Oscar Wilde ...

TIFF 2011 Award Winners

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  WHERE DO WE GO NOW?  The 36th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) came to a climactic close on Sunday with the announcement of its award recipients at a reception at the Four Seasons Hotel With the Festival further solidifying its status as one of the Top Four in the world (with only Cannes, Berlin and Sundance in the running), it remains distinguished by not having a juried competition, with the exception for awards given to native Canadian films. So while th...

Finding Your Own Voice

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  Destined to be one of the most talked about American indies of the year, PARIAH is the dramatic and intimate story of a teenage girl in Brooklyn who juggles conflicting identities and risks family and friendships in a search for sexual expression. The film is the feature debut of Dee Rees, a Nashville-born writer/director, who has obviously drawn on her own personal experience as a black lesbian to find the kernel of truth of the mix of exhilaration and sheer terror of a young girl’s...

Stars Come Out In Toronto

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  One need not look up at the skies in the Canadian metropolis of Toronto to see stars. There will be as many stars at street level (make that red carpet level) as there will be in the heavens as the 2011 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival continues through this Sunday. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Salma Hayek and Viggo Mortensen will be backing a flurry of Hollywood and indie movie bows in Toronto, as will Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Ge...

Sex Sells In Toronto

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  While it is rather foolish to try to find a connecting threat amidst the hundreds of films being showcased this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, one cannot help but notice that films about sex and titillation are pervasive in the schedule and generating strong distributor interest. The first big sale of the Festival was for the drama SHAME by British artist-turned-director Steve McQueen. The film, about a sex addict, features full-frontal nudity and graphic depictions o...

Newest From Quebec Enfant Terrible

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  The Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallee first made significant waves in 2005 with his rock-infused coming-of-age film C.R.A.Z.Y., which won major prizes on the international film festival circuit and was sold to almost 50 international territories (a strong statement for a French language Canadian film). Unfortunately, its success was not matched in the United States, where it played at the New Directors/New Films festival and other prestigious events, but never got theatrically released....

Toronto Top Ten Buzz Titles

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  A DANGEROUS METHOD (David Cronenberg, Canada)  The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) enters its middle stretch this week, offering attending buyers, critics and film lovers a dizzying feast of film treats. Planning what to see is a definite must, since even at 5 films per day (my personal max), there are many that are missed. While here, one must adapt a strategy and raison d’etre……do you attend the highly buzzed titles in the largest cinemas (the ones by name dire...

Toronto Top Ten Buzz Titles

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  Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen in A DANGEROUS METHOD  The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) enters its middle stretch this week, offering attending buyers, critics and film lovers a dizzying feast of film treats. Planning what to see is a definite must, since even at 5 films per day (my personal max), there are many that are missed. While here, one must adapt a strategy and raison d’etre……do you attend the highly buzzed titles in the largest cinemas (the on...

Representing Poland at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival

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The biggest annual film event in North America kicks off September 8 as the Toronto International Film Festival celebrates its 36th year. Toronto always delivers an extravaganza of cinematic fare sufficient to overwhelm the most diehard of film fans-- or film geeks as the case may be. And this year should prove to be no exception, with (at last count) 268 features and 68 short films scheduled to be screened from 65 countries.Although the majority of media attention will be focused on red carpet ...

CANADIAN CITY TO NAME STREET AFTER RAJ KAPOOR, Toronto filmfest to host tribute to kapoor clan

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 In a welcome gesture to Indian Cinema, the City of Brampton in Ontario, Canada,  will name a street after the ultimate Showman – the late Raj Kapoor. Introducing a new street into the infrastructure of the city, when constructed it will be named, the ‘Raj Kapoor Crescent’.  The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will host a tribute to the patriarch of the Kapoor clan,  Raj Kapoor. Titled, ‘Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema’ the festival will run for six ...

Parting Glances From TIFF

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  HEARTBEATS (Xavier Dolan, Canada)  The hard truth is that even if one devotes oneself to seeing as many as 3 or 4 films per day (my usual average), that one is still only seeing less than 10% of the titles on offer at the Toronto International Film Festival, which concluded this past Sunday. Inevitably, there are those gems that one could not get to and the buzzed titles that conflicted with that Icelandic or Slovakian film that you convinced yourself that you cannot liv...

Cadillac People's Choice Awards at TIFF

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  The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is unique among A-list film festivals because it still is a non-competitive event. Unlike its other stellar festival cohorts, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian and Sundance, TIFF does not bother with the formality of competition juries and all the drama that surrounds their sometimes dubious choices. Instead, the audience determnes the winners, especially of the Cadillac People's Choice Awards, which were announced on Sunday...

Julian Schnabel: A Renaissance Man For Our Times

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  Julian Schnabel strides two different worlds like a modern-day colossus. As a painter, sculptor and photographer, he has been in the A list of fine arts culture for more than 30 years. For the past decade, he has added "filmmaker extraordinaire" to his resume, becoming one of the most talked-about and lauded film artists of his generation. Painters making films is not completely new  (Leger, Kandinsky, Dali and other early modernists did make film expressions, but they wer...

TIFF Film In Focus: MAMMA GOGO

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  When a filmmaker draws on his own experience to the extent that Icelandic director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson has done in his wonderful memory film MAMMA GOGO, the intimacy of the revelations is almost disarmingly intimate. The prolific director, probably the best known from his native country and one of the most consistent in Scandinavia cinema, takes his audience on a personal journey as the film’s protagonist, a filmmaker himself, becomes immersed in the downward spiral of his mothe...

A French Accent At TIFF

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  French filmmakers, film stars and business professionals are everywhere here at the Toronto International Film Festival, giving this year's a definite French accent. This is a long-running love story, with this city's film buffs in l'amour fou with French cinema, during TIFF and throughout the year. The Gala Presentations at the Festival, arguably the most prestigious section, boasts four French titles: LAST NIGHT, a US/French co-production by debut helmer Massy Tadjedin, with a st...

The Ladies Take Toronto

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  Nicole KidmanEllen Page           Catherine KeenerMarion CotillardUma ThurmanHelen MirrenHilary SwankNatalie Portman ...

The Brits Are Back At TIFF

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  It has been a difficult few months for the British film industry. Not only has the economic recession made the film business even more challenging, but the controversy surrounding the shuttering of the UK Film Council has been acriminious, amidst charges of economic abuse and political favoritism. Even the venerable London Film Festival, which unspools next month, losts its main corporate sponsors and had to scramble to find replacements. However, based on the bounty of British film...

Stargazing In Toronto

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Andrew GarfieldAnthony HopkinsBen AffleckCarey MulliganClint EastwoodClive OwenColin FirthDanny BoyleDavid SchwimmerDev PatelEdward NortonEllen Page ...

European Directors In TIFF Spotlight

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 Manoel De Oliveira (Portugal) The Toronto International Film Festival has always had a love affair with European cinema and this year, in its 35th anniversary year, is no different. Nearly half of the films presented here this week are European or have European co-production partners. The European Film Promotion organization is assisting nearly 50 European sales companies with their presence here in order to assist the films in finding North American distribution here. More in ...

TIFF Film In Focus: BEGINNERS

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The courage to live one's truth....that is the potent theme of BEGINNERS, an emotional drama that had its world premiere on Saturday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival. American director Mike Mills, who made an assured debut in 2005 with the festival hit THUMBSUCKER handily mixes comedy and tragedy and guides his cast of top flight actors to convincing and moving performances. Drawing on his own background as a graphic designer and artist who has exhibited extensively ...
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