Now in their 34th year, the FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS took place in Santa Monica this past weekend, celebrating the achievement in Independent Film over the past year. Taking top honours was Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, winning Best Feature. The Adaptation of the Novel by James Baldwin also was awarded Best Director and Supporting Actress, Regina King who the next day, would win an Oscar for the same performance.
As is consistent with most of this Awards Season, we’ve seen a split in the recognition of Films and the Spirit Awards were on-trend. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? and SUSPIRIA received two awards each, the former winning for Best Supporting Actor, Richard E. Grant and Best Screenplay, Jeff Whitty and Nicole Holofcener. Grant shared some inspiring words about his experience playing Jack Hock, himself having seen several of his friends die victims of HIV. He dedicated his award in memory of those who passed away as a result of the disease.
The Cast of SUSPIRIA received the prestigious Robert Altman Award, honouring its Female Ensemble including Chloë Grace-Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Dakota Johnson and more. Its Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom also was awarded for her work.
Hosted by Aubrey Plaza, the audience were treated to her expletive-filled dead-pan humour where several including Netflix nor even THE FAVOURITE Director Yorgos Lanthimos (equating the sound of his name to a Harry Potter spell, “You just shout Yorgos Lanthimos and someone gets fingered in a corset!”) were safe from her jokes. Kidding aside, she points out that 60% of Director nominees at the Spirit Awards this year were women, stating “Don’t get too excited, in this case 60% just means three women, but calling it 60% makes it sound way scarier to your uncles.”. On the growing phenomenon of Films getting digital releases over theatrical, she says, “I truly believe people should see movies how they’re meant to seen in the theatres.”.
Plaza‘s amazing Opening Monologue
Not only did Best Actress winner Glenn Close rule at the Awards, she and her adorable Havanese dog Pip charmed on the Blue Carpet, she dressed in a shimmery pink lamé suit, before getting her own private dinner hosted by Chanel at STK. Pip also attended.
The Cast of Suspiria also ruled the Blue Carpet with Mother Suspiriorum herself, Dakota Johnson, leading the charge and giving her time generously to fans who queued on the sand for a chance to see the stars.
See some of our Snaps:
Glenn Close x Pip
Barry Jenkins and “If Beale Street Could Talk” Team
Josh Hamilton, Elsie Fisher x Bo Burnham
Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth and the ladies of Suspiria
Chloë Grace Moretz x Riley Keough
Ray Romano x Mark Duplass
Yalitza Aparicio x Javier Bardem
Taraji P. Henson x Shangela
You also cannot miss Shangela’s daring performance
Carey Mulligan x Zoe Kazan
Jeff Witty x Nicole Holofcener
Richard E. Grant
Alfonso Cuarón with Thomasin McKenzie
Complete list of winners here.
We attended together with our friends at Hollywood Suite, the exclusive broadcaster of the Spirit Awards and will never forget this amazing journey. Their Cam Maitland did an awesome job interviewing talent on the Blue Carpet which will air at later points. You can subscribe via your television provider at $6 per month, plus basic cable. Hollywoodsuite.com.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Photos taken on the Nikon D3400.
The 91st annual Academy Awards took place tonight at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Taking top honours was GREEN BOOK winning Best Picture, a total three Oscars. The TIFF ’18 People’s Choice Award winner directed by Peter Farrelly, also received Best Original Screenplay.
Bohemian Rhapsody took home the most Oscars this evening, victorious in Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Film Editing. Rami Malek won Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody bringing the Biopic’s win tally to four. Olivia Colman took home Best Actress for her work in The Favourite, springing a mild upset. Supporting Actor went to Mahershala Ali who nabbed his second award in the category for Green Book. Regina King won Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. Directing went to ROMA Helmer Alfonso Cuarón, whose lifetime total at the Awards now is at ten.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper stole the show with a touching performance of Shallow from A Star is Born before the audience. The song later went on to win Original Song, accepted by Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.
Despite being host-less this year, the show got an introduction from a trio of funnywomen in Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, preceded by a medley of hits from Queen, fronted by Adam Lambert.
Toronto’s Domee Shi won Animated Short for Pixar‘s BAO which played before INCREDIBLES 2 in its theatrical run.
Some winning looks a this evening included: Gemma Chan in Valentino
Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen
Michelle Yeoh in Elie Saab
Regina King in Oscar de la Renta
Bradley Cooper in Tom Ford
Glenn Close in Carolina Herrera
Melissa McCarthy in Brandon Maxwell
Click here for a complete list of winners.
(Photo credit: Getty Images/ABC)
As Awards Season kicks into high gear, the 2018 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards were held tonight, honouring the year’s best in Cinema as decided by that esteemed Association. Taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel, the site of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association‘s InStyle Magazine Bash at TIFF, Film Critics and industry celebrated what was a stellar year both critically and commercially in Film, seeing a record $11.8 billion grossed at the Box Office in North America last year.
Honoured tonight were the best in Canadian and International Cinema with previous winner Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier’s ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH winning the Association’s Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. Given a hefty prize of $100k, the Duo decided spontaneously to split the money with runners-up MAISON DU BONHEUR Director Sofia Bohdanowicz and AVA Director Sadaf Forough, whom also received $5,000 from Rogers Communications.
Other winners announced tonight include Director Molly McGlynn who won the $10,000 Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize for an Emerging Artist for her debut, MARY GOES ROUND which premiered at TIFF ’18 to raves.
Native Canadian Trailblazer Tantoo Cardinal also was awarded the $50,000 Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award for her achievements in Canadian Cinema, presented by fellow First Nations Actress Tanaya Beatty (The Twilight Saga). Cardinal chose to donate the funds to First Nations Filmmaker Darlene Naponse, who directed FALLS AROUND HER in which Cardinal stars.
Director Morgan Neville was given the $5,000 RBC Allan King Documentary Film Award for Mr. Rogers Pic, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?.
Genevieve Citron was named recipient of the inaugural TFCA Emerging Critic Award, a $1,000 prize.
Announced earlier were double Golden Globe-winning ROMA for Best Picture and Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), plus Ethan Hawke for Best Actor in First Reformed and Olivia Colman for Best Actress in The Favourite. Regina King won Best Supporting Actress for her work in If Beale Street Could Talk, doubling-up with her Golden Globes success this past weekend and Steve Yeun won Best Supporting Actor for his work in Best Foreign-Language Film winner, BURNING.
More winners here.
TIFF Creative Director Cameron Bailey filled hosting duties this year and Presenters included Don McKellar, Traci Melchor, Rick Mercer and more.
It was our first time ever attending the TFCA Awards, courtesy of our friends at Hollywood Suite and GAB Communications, and we are so honoured to celebrated with our peers and idols.
See some Snaps:
Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier
Some faces of the TFCA including President Peter Howell and Vice President/Secretary Johanna Schneller
Our hardworking friends in the Film industry get a night out!
Our friends at GAB Communications and Hollywood Suite:
All photos taken on the NIKON D3400.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Diversity and inclusion were front and center at this year’s 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, taking place at the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom. Hosted by Andy Samberg and now two-time Golden Globe winner, Ottawa-born Actress Sandra Oh, the Awards more than ever before saw representation. Oh who won Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama for Killing Eve, took a moment early in the broadcast, fighting back tears to say, “I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change. And I’m not fooling myself. I’m not fooling myself. Next year can be different, it probably will be, but right now, this moment is real.”.
Peter Farrelly’s GREEN BOOK which won the People’s Choice Award at TIFF ‘ 18, landed on-top tripling-up with wins for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie) and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Mahershala Ali).
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY scored a surprise upset winning Best Motion Picture – Drama and also Rami Malek winning Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his portrayal of Queen Frontman Freddie Mercury.
Glenn Close won her third Golden Globe Award for her work in THE WIFE, garnering her Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
The evening saw ROMA shine, winning two Awards including Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón) and Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language. The groundbreaking Netflix release which premiered at TIFF ’18, further solidifies the streaming giant’s presence Awards Season and will represent Mexico at the Academy Awards next month.
In the Television categories, AMERICAN CRIME STORY: THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE and THE KOMINSKY METHOD came out on-top with two wins apiece. The former won Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Darren Criss) and Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. The latter won Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy (Michael Douglas) and Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. This marks Douglas’ sixth Golden Globe Award and in 2004 he was given the Cecil B DeMille Award
Jeff Bridges was honoured with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for this contributions to the world of Entertainment and earlier in the evening Funnywoman Carol Burnett was honoured with an eponymous award also for her trailblazing achievements and accomplishments.
Some of the evening’s most memorable looks included Lady Gaga in a Valentino nod to Judy Garland and Tiffany & Co. jewelry, Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) in Valentino, Julia Roberts in a Stella McCartney pantsuit and newcomer Kiki Layne in Dior.
Complete list of Winners here.
The Academy Awards take place Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)
It’s hard to believe another year’s passed by! 2018 certainly was a stand-out year for Cinema and Team Mr. Will true to tradition, share with you their best of 2018. If you haven’t seen some of these, it’s time to start adding to your Must-See Lists this winter!
AMANDA GILMORE (@gilmoreamanda)
It was such a great year for Film that it’s near impossible for me to choose the Top Ten. I could have easily made a Top 30 list (if it was allowed). However, I managed to squeeze in ten films, which are in alphabetical order rather than being ranked. I’ve included films from a range of genres and narratives that I’ve thought about since my first viewing.
A Star Is Born
A Quiet Place
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse
JONATHAN GODFREY (@Skot_Somers)
Ready Player One
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
A Quiet Place
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Legend of the Demon Cat
Mary Poppins Returns
As usual, my list consists of movies I saw on the Silver Screen within the calendar year. They’re organized according to release date, and are thus relieved of any hierarchy. Annihilation is the dark Sci-Fi wizardry I live for; Ready Player One is my kind of Spielberg cinema; and A Quiet Place is my top scare of 2018. Solo gave me more Star Wars; Demon Cat made this year’s TIFF magical; and First Man is the brand of brooding Drama I adore. Fantastic Beasts 2 is dope AF; Green Book is a beautiful performance piece; and Spider-Man is the Comic Movie I’ve been waiting forever for. To wrap it all up… Mary Poppins Returns! She has, and it warms my heart.
DAVID BALDWIN (@DaveMABaldwin)
2018 was an incredible year for Cinema. Full stop. If anyone tells you otherwise, they did not see enough movies. Every genre fired on all cylinders, and the mid-budget and independent scenes were filled with positively exquisite Filmmaking that will go down as some of the best of the decade. And even better than that, 2018 proved the power and importance of diversity and gender in Cinema. The number of movies I genuinely liked and loved that missed my Top Ten can attest to how outstanding a year this was. But I can say with confidence that the list of films below shook me right through to my bones whether through fear, laughter, wonder, charm, thrills, or genuine emotion. And yes, I know I cheated with including a tie — but it would be a disservice to not include all of these titles on my list.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
The Hate U Give
[tie] Can You Ever Forgive Me? / Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
GEORGE KOZERA (@PartyG)
I saw 164 movies this year. It took a long time to whittle the list down to 26 movies that I considered to be the best of 2018. This was a year that brought fantastic highs that had me gasping with wonder and admiration or so bad that they had me rolling my eyes in disbelief! Whether it was one of the most original Horror movies in a long time (A Quiet Place) or a Superhero, Comic Book movie so innovative and supremely well-acted that it validated a genre many were hoping would just go away (Black Panther). It was a banner year for documentary features, musicals and an LGBTQ movie was released for the first time ever by a major Hollywood studio (Love, Simon). Dramas were rampant with stories that touched one’s soul, though there was a lack of Comedies that were consistently funny throughout (with the exception of “Game Night”). All that said, I submit my pick for the best film of the year and the next nine movies (in alphabetical order) that moved, enthralled and will stay with me for years to come.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
Mary Poppins Returns
Three Identical Strangers
JUSTIN WALDMAN (@DubsReviews)
It is time for the annual Top Ten movies I saw that I absolutely adored and loved this year. Some are best of the year, while others are the movies I had the most fun watching this year. There have been some truly incredible movies this year, and dare I say the ‘blockbusters’ for the most part have been fine, nothing really spectacular outside of a few gems. If you haven’t seen something on this list, go out and see it. Most of these movies will appeal to the masses, enjoy yourselves. Here’s to a 2019 with some hot titles coming out over the next few weeks, Glass anyone, and next few months, US am I right? 2019 is sure to be a stellar year
Anna and the Apocalypse
A Quiet Place
Sorry to Bother You
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
Click here to read Mr. Will’s Best of 2018.
(Photo credit: Elevation Pictures/Warner Bros. Canada/VVS Films/Fox Searchlight)
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
After stops at Venice (where it won the prestigious Golden Bear) and Telluride, Oscar-winning Director Alfonso Cuarón has brought ROMA to TIFF. The Film takes place in the early 1970s, revolving around live-in maid Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) and the middle-class family she works for in Mexico City’s Roma district.
The story at the heart of ROMA is important to the Film, but it comes secondary to the feeling and nostalgia Cuarón evokes in every frame of his stunningly-beautiful Film. He wears multiple hats here, acting as Writer, Producer, Director, Editor, Cinematographer – so this is very much his Film through and through. The spectacular look he creates comes from shooting on 65mm Black and White film, giving the picture an aura of authenticity. Each scene looks like a work of art, with multiple elements working altogether at once to produce a very real portrait of life in Mexico City. While I wish ROMA was more briskly paced and had more going on (beyond the lively third act), I was too busy trying to spot everything happening on-screen to notice.
ROMA screens on Monday, September 10 at 5:30PM at Princess of Wales Theatre, and on the following days/times at TIFF Bell Lightbox: Tuesday, September 11 at 8:45AM, Wednesday, September 12 at 12:00PM, Thursday, September 13 at 11:30AM, Friday, September 14 at 9:15AM, Saturday, September 15 at 8:45 PM and Sunday, September 16 at 2:45 PM.
By Amanda Gilmore, David Baldwin + Mr. Will Wong
Running Thursday, September 6, 2018 through Sunday, September 16, 2018, the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival is just around the corner. Bringing together Film lovers from all around the world, TIFF is once again set to draw some major talent to our City and Films and their connections get a leg-up on the Awards Season trail. Year after year, the Festival has been a powerful predictor of power-players at the Oscars and this year is no different. In light of recent tragic events in Toronto, a Press Conference was decided against this year with a press release announcing this year’s first round of Films. And just like us, we know you’ll be thrilled at some of the Films to grace the screens this September in the City!
17 Galas and 30 Special Presentations were announced including 21 World Premieres and TIFF always delivers! We’re thrilled that among the hotly-buzzed Films we’ve been longing to see, A STAR IS BORN (Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper), BEAUTIFUL BOY (Timothée Chalamet, Steve Carell), LIFE ITSELF (Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac), FIRST MAN (Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy), WILDLIFE (Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan) and THE HATE U GIVE (Amandla Stenberg).
See some Trailers:
Fans can expect this to be a big year with acclaimed Filmmakers like Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Damien Chazelle (La La Land) all returning with eagerly-awaited followups. Jake Gyllenhaal also will have a high profile at the Festival with two eagerly-awaited Films in WILDLIFE and THE SISTERS BROTHERS. The same applies to Dev Patel who should be here for HOTEL MUMBAI and THE WEDDING GUEST.
Diversity, inclusion and gender equity continue to be a focus for the Festival. TIFF‘s mission to “share her journey” by giving a voice to females who are underrepresented as a whole in the filmmaking community in-front and behind the camera is more pronounced than ever. 13 of this year’s Features in fact are made by women. Learn more about TIFF’s five-year initiative here.
Some highlights from today’s TIFF ’18 announcements:
Hotly-anticipated Galas at TIFF ’18 are highlighted by BEAUTIFUL BOY starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet; and WIDOWS, Oscar-winner Steve McQueen’s follow-up to 12 Years A Slave starring Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez. The Film is written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn and is sure to be one of the biggest Films of the Festival.
Other World Premieres announced today are HIGH LIFE, the Sci-Fi Drama and English-language debut of legendary French Director Claire Denis starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Mia Goth; HUSBAND MATERIAL from prolific Indian Director Anurag Kashyap; the latest from Nicole Holofcener, THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS, starring Ben Mendelsohn and Edie Falco; the multi-generational Drama LIFE ITSELF, from This is Us Creator Dan Fogelman, starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas; THE PUBLIC, from Emilio Estevez, starring Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Wright, Gabrielle Union and Michael K. Williams; the Period Drama RED JOAN, starring Judi Dench; as well as Director George Tillman Jr.’s highly-anticipated Adaptation of THE HATE U GIVE starring Amandla Stenberg.
But that’s not all. Other hotly-anticipated Films announced today that have already or will be premiering at other festivals include Oscar-winner and TIFF darling Damien Chazelle’s FIRST MAN starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy; Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A STAR IS BORN starring Lady Gaga; Sundance hits THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Elizabeth Chomko’s WHAT THEY HAD starring Hilary Swank, Blythe Danner and Michael Shannon; Zhang Yimou’s Chinese epic SHADOW; and GALVESTON, the English feature directorial debut of Actress Mélanie Laurent, starring Ben Foster and Elle Fanning.
We are waiting with baited breath on news of this year’s Opening and Closing Night Galas.
Some of the Films in the Special Presentations Programme with the most buzz this year include IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK by Director Barry Jenkins and ROMA by Director Alfonso Cuarón.
TIFF ’18 will be showing a lot of due love for Canadian Filmmakers. The opening night Special Presentation goes to MOUTHPIECE Directed by Patricia Rozema, who was here a three years ago with her Film Into The Forest. Jason Reitman will be back again with THE FRONT RUNNER, starring Hugh Jackman. We will also be getting the latest work from Canadian Directors Kim Nguyen, with THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT, and Don McKellar, with the Adaptation to the beloved Canadian Novel Through Black Spruce.
Female empowerment is front and center at TIFF ’18. One of the biggest Films to showcase this at the Festival is Colette staring Keira Knightley. The Film is about a woman who agreed to become a Ghostwriter for her husband. After the Novel received much success, she fights for creative ownership while overcoming the societal constraints of early 20th century. There are also many Films directed by females within the Special Presentations Programme.
CANADIAN PROGRAMME (Updated: 8/1/18 4:00 PM)
Canadian World Premieres announced today include environmental conservation documentary ANTHROPOCENE from Directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky; Miranda de Pencier’s THE GRIZZLIES, a true story about Inuit youth; Barry Avrich’s Documentary PROSECUTING EVIL: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF BEN FERENCZ, chronicling the life of the last surviving Nuremberg Trial prosecutor; Akash Sherman’s Sci-Fi Drama CLARA starring Suits’ Patrick J. Adams; Jasmin Mozaffari’s FIRECRACKERS, about two young women and their attempt to leave the misogyny in their small town behind; Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein’s psychological Sci-Fi thriller FREAKS starring Emile Hirsch; Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s EDGE OF THE KNIFE, the first feature-length film made in the endangered Haida language; Darlene Naponse’s FALLS AROUND HER, starring Tantoo Cardinal as a world-famous Anishinaabe musician; Maxime Giroux’s absurdist allegory THE GREAT DARKENED DAYS; and Renée Beaulieu’s Drama LES SALOPES OR THE NATURALLY WANTON PLEASURE OF SKIN, about a wife and mother facing the consequences of her secret life.
Of the 19 feature-length titles announced today, nearly 50% are directed by women.
TIFF will additionally host the Toronto premiere of THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, directed by Oscar-winning Canadian Director Denys Arcand, and the Special Event World Premiere of SHARKWATER EXTINCTION, the final Documentary made by Rob Stewart. The late intrepid Filmmaker and Documentarian passed away early last year during filming.
See the Trailer for Sharkwater Extinction:
TIFF also announced their Rising Stars for 2018 today. Those selected stars are Devery Jacobs (Kahnawà:ke Mohawk born Actor and Filmmaker), Lamar Johnson (Gala World Premiere THE HATE U GIVE), Michaela Kurimsky (World Premiere FIRECRACKERS) and Jess Salgueiro (World Premiere and Special Presentations’ Opening Night Film MOUTHPIECE).
And in a surprise announcement at this afternoon’s Press Conference, Writer/Director Xavier Dolan‘s (currently in Toronto filming IT: CHAPTER TWO) highly-anticipated THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN was announced as a World Premiere in the Special Presentations Programme. The long awaited Film stars Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Thandie Newton, Sarah Gadon and Bella Thorne and is destined to be one of the hottest tickets at this year’s Festival.
Still no word on the Opening or Closing Night films, but some over-eager film fans may have gotten a taste of what’s to come later this month. And if the rumours are to be believed, we are in for some very exciting announcements over the next few weeks!
PLATFORM PROGRAMME (Updated: 8/8/18 11:45 AM)
The Platform Programme quite literally its namesake, a platform for Directors who are unique, bold and unafraid to tackle any subject matter. In previous years, films such as Moonlight and Sweet Country were a part of the Programme and even won the coveted Platform prize, which is worth $25,000 CAD. This year’s Programme shows no signs of slowing down and is gifting us with some risk-taking films..
Out of the 12 Films that were announce, four are directed or co-directed by women, while seven feature powerful female leading roles. Two Films featuring strong female leads that already have people talking are Destroyer and Her Smell. Destroyer is directed by Karyn Kusama and stars Nicole Kidman as a Los Angeles police detective who is forced to face her personal demons. Her Smell is the newest Film from Director Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip) and stars Elisabeth Moss as a talented but self-destructive musician.
Out of the 12 Films there are 10 having their World Premiere at this year’s Festival, which includes the opening and closing night Platform films. The Opening Night Platform selection is Donnybrook which is the fourth-feature Film for Writer-Director Tim Sutton (Dark Night). It stars Jamie Bell and Frank Grillo as two men who are determined to compete in a bare-knuckle brawl with a cash prize. The Closing Night selection is Jessica Forever which is the Feature debut for Co-Directors Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel. The Film takes place in a dystopian world where violent misfits reign supreme, but one woman and her family are fighting for peace.
DOCUMENTARIES (Updated: 8/9/18 1:30 PM)
This year TIFF is bringing 27 feature Documentaries from 19 different countries to Toronto audiences. Out of all those films, one-third of them are directed or co-directed by women. There are a few documentaries that examine the topic of women creators and the #MeToo movement. Some of the Documentaries on those topics are: the World Premiere of Alexis Bloom’s Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, which documents the Fox News Creator who was ousted for allegations of sexual harassment; the World Premiere of Tom Donahue’s This Changes Everything which is an examination of gender dynamics in Hollywood and is executive produced by Geena Davis; and Mark Cousins’ Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema which explores international cinema through the lens of women directors.
Politics is another topic getting a lot of attention in the TIFF Docs Programme. To name a few there is Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses, which focuses on the Russian President, and Errol Morris’ American Dharma, which looks at Trump’s previous strategist Steve Bannon. However, TIFF has decided to start the TIFF Docs Programme off with a bang with the World Premiere of Michael Moore’s newest Doc Fahrenheit 11/9, which is a radical and humorous look at the United States under the Trump administration.
And for those who enjoy a doc about artists you love there are some for you to check-out. The first is the World Premiere of Quincy which is co-directed by Quincy Jones’s daughter Rashida Jones and Allan Hicks. It follows the labours and legacies of the legendary Music Producer. Then there is the TIFF Docs Closing Night Film, Searching for Ingmar Bergman which is Directed by Margareth von Trotta and follows the groundbreaking Director and his impact on filmmaking.
MIDNIGHT MADNESS (Updated: 8/9/18 1:30 PM)
TIFF unleashed their Midnight Madness line-up today and it looks to be one of their strongest in years. THE PREDATOR, Writer/Director Shane Black’s star-studded reinvention of the legendary Series, will act as the Programme’s World Premiere Opening Night Film. The highly-anticipated HALLOWEEN Sequel, starring ‘Scream Queen’ Jamie Lee Curtis and written by Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and Jeff Fradley, will also see its World Premiere at TIFF ’18. Other World Premieres include Peter Strickland’s IN FABRIC, telling the tale of a cursed dress and the poor souls who come into contact with it; Kiah Roache-Turner’s Social Media-infused Horror film NEKROTRONIC starring Monica Bellucci; Henry Dunham’s all too relevant thriller THE STANDOFF AT SPARROW CREEK, regarding a neighbourhood militia’s involvement in a mass shooting; Emma Tammi’s horror on the American frontier THE WIND and Vasan Bala’s Bollywood Action-Thriller THE MAN WHO FEELS NO PAIN (the first Indian film at Midnight Madness!). Sundance hits ASSASSINATION NATION and CLIMAX, as well as Cannes favourite and Closing Night selection DIAMANTINO, will also be screening during the Programme.
GALAS, SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS + MASTERS PROGRAMME (Updated 8/14/18 3:00 PM)
Within one week, TIFF added a whopping 115 films to its slate today, including the announcements of the Opening and Closing Night Films.
David Mackenzie’s OUTLAW KING will open the Festival on Thursday, September 6. The Period Drama about the rise of 14th century Scottish hero Robert the Bruce stars Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Lady MacBeth’s Florence Pugh. The Film hails from Netflix, which alongside numerous other titles appearing at the Festival, suggests a very sharp divide between this Festival and the illustrious Cannes Film Festival, which banned such titles from competition this past May. TIFF’s Closing Night Film is JEREMIAH TERMINATOR LEROY, a true story about the enigmatic literary artist. It stars Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart. Plan your red carpet campouts accordingly.
Additional World Premiere Galas announced today include Peter Farrelly’s first Drama, GREEN BOOK, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali; as well as Thriller THE LIE, from Toronto-born Writer/Director Veena Sud, starring Peter Sarsgaard, Mireille Enos and Joey King. Some of the World Premieres announced as Special Presentations include Jonah Hill’s directorial debut MID90S; Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of A MILLION LITTLE PIECES starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Charlie Hunnam; Jeremy Saulnier’s Thriller HOLD THE DARK starring Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough and Jeffrey Wright; Max Minghella’s directorial debut TEEN SPIRIT starring Elle Fanning and Rebecca Hall; Annabel Jankel’s postwar-Drama TELL IT TO THE BEES starring Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger; and Chanya Button’s VITA & VIRGINIA starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki as Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. Other highlights include Paul Greengrass’ 22 JULY, the true story about the aftermath of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack; Nick Hamm’s DRIVEN, the star-studded true life tale about the rise and fall of John Delorean; and the International Premiere of Joel Edgerton’s highly-anticipated BOY ERASED starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Lucas Hedges.
And in the Masters section, TIFF announced 11 films including Jafar Panahi’s 3 FACES; Hong Sang-soo’s HOTEL BY THE RIVER, Paolo Sorrentino’s LORO; Mike Leigh’s PETERLOO; Jean-Luc Godard’s THE IMAGE BOOK and the North American Premiere of Jia Zhang-ke’s Thriller ASH IS PUREST WHITE.
ADDITIONAL SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (Updated 8/21/18 10:00 AM)
A couple high-profile additions to the TIFF ’18 line-up have been announced including VOX LUX from Director Brady Corbett and starring Natalie Portman as a woman overcoming a tragic childhood to a life of fame and fortune. GRETA from Director Neil Jordan is about a young woman Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her unlikely friendship with Greta (Isabelle Huppert).
TIFF’ 18 hot on the heels of CRAZY RICH ASIANS’ success, will pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of THE JOY LUCK CLUB with some of the original Cast in attendance including Kieu Chinh and Tamlyn Tomita, plus a chat moderated by Lainey Lui.
THE OFFICIAL TIFF ’18 SCHEDULE NOW IS UP HERE!
We’re thrilled also to announce that David Baldwin (@davemabaldwin), Amanda Gilmore (@gilmoreamanda) and Mr. Will for the first time ever, are doing TIFF as accredited journalists. Our Team members Siobhán Rich (@typo_eh), George Kozera (@partyg) and Justin Waldman (@dubsreviews) also will be contributing as we screen some titles in advance of the Festival as in previous years. We look forward to teaming-up together to bring you a fresh, balanced perspective highlighting the massive starpower and quality of Cinema the Festival has to offer.
More Film announcements to come soon.
Guest announcements usually come late August, so let’s start speculating, shall we?
Will we see Julia Roberts here for BEN IS BACK? Robert Redford for THE OLD MAN & THE GUN? Or how about Matthew McConaughey for WHITE BOY RICK?
TIFF ’18 Packages are on-sale now till August 13, 2018. The Schedule goes live August 21, 2018 and single public tickets are on-sale on September 3, 2018 for non-package buyers.
More info here.
(Photo credit: TIFF)
Alfonso Cuarón is back after the masterpiece known as GRAVITY, with TIFF ’18 selection ROMA!
ROMA chronicles a turbulent year in the lives of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City. Cuarón, inspired by the women from his childhood, delivers an artful ode to the matriarchy that shaped his world.
A vivid portrayal of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil, ROMA follows a young domestic worker Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) from Mixteco heritage descent and her co-worker Adela (Nancy García), also Mixteca, who work for a small family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma. Mother of four, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), copes with the extended absence of her husband, Cleo faces her own devastating news that threatens to distract her from caring for Sofia’s children, whom she loves as her own. While trying to construct a new sense of love and solidarity in a context of a social hierarchy where class and race are perversely intertwined, Cleo and Sofia quietly wrestle with changes infiltrating the family home in a country facing confrontation between a government-backed militia and student demonstrators.
See the Trailer:
Netflix Canada stream ROMA later this year.
(Photo/video credit: Netflix Canada)
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