Writer-Director Kenneth Branagh makes his most personal Film yet with the semi-autobiographical Belfast.
This deeply-affecting coming-of-age Film is set during the troubles in 1969 Belfast. It follows young Buddy (Jude Hill) as he witnesses familial hardships, cultural changes, and Northern Ireland’s Civil War. His father, Pa (Jamie Dornan), fears for his family’s life and starts making plans to move them out of Belfast. However, Buddy and his Ma (Caitríona Balfe) desire to stay in their hometown with Buddy’s grandparents (Ciarán Hinds and Judi Dench).
From the beginning, Branagh shows us the uncertainty of living in late-1960s Belfast. A street filled with laughter, children and neighbourly conversation is swiftly thrown into chaos. Branagh’s camera circles Buddy, mirroring his confusion at witnessing the mob set fire and wreak havoc on his home’s street. By telling this story from a child’s point of view, the heavy themes have an innocence to them. For example, the horrific sectarian violence is shown with the gravity it deserves. However, levity comes when Buddy speaks about the two religions and makes a funny comment about why he wants to be Catholic rather than Protestant.
Branagh and Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos make each black and white frame of Belfast breathtaking. The choice of music perfectly captures the resilience of the Northern Irish people in the face of hardship and uncertainty. Branagh’s decision to focus on one family, with each distinct member, creates an intimate and rounded view into the struggles of those who decided to leave and those who chose to stay.
The family is cast perfectly with a breakout performance from their young leader Hill. He shows Buddy’s confusion, frustration and fear at the war. Additionally, he shines as a young boy yearning for his first crush. It’s wonderful watching Hill and Hinds, who gives a delightful performance as Pop, concoct plans to get him closer to his crush. Dornan gives a charismatic performance as Pa, a man desperate to give his family safety. Balfe encapsulates Ma’s restraint to leave the only home she’s ever known while displaying worry as the war continues. And Dench gives a touching performance has the hardy matriarch, Granny.
Today is the final day most major trade publications have their pop-ups, so it’s one last hurrah for star sightings before things quiet down significantly for the remainder of TIFF ’21. Which is wonderful for us as we can take a breath finally, and focus on seeing Films.
Causing the most commotion around town were BELFAST Director/Writer Sir Kenneth Branagh and its star Jamie Dornan, who did the rounds today. They premiered the Film at Roy Thomson Hall, receiving a standing ovation. The story is said to be deeply-personal to Branagh who grew-up in the titular city during the ’60s, and Dornan is receiving accolades for his work here. So thrilled to catch Dornan and Branagh out and about at different points in the day! Dornan was so kind to stop for a snap with beanie and I, whom I brought out with me on my travels. Her first TIFF and also tomorrow is her first birthday! What better way to celebrate than by her meeting Dornan?
So happy also to get an invite from Variety Magazine and Canada Goose to check-out their lounge, which hosted several A-Listers the past few days at the Festival including Rebecca Ferguson, Jessica Chastain, Benedict Cumberbatch and more. Today we saw Dornan and Branagh in the lounge, picking-out some new outerwear. Branagh is a huge fan of Canada Goose and we heard that he still has a parka he’s been wearing for over ten years!
Can I saw how cool it was meeting Kenny G? The legendary Saxophonist helping propel Smooth Jazz to a wider audience, was in town for Director Penny Lane’s Documentary, LISTENING TO KENNY G. The Film premiered today at Scotiabank Theatre.
And last but not least, we were so happy to see stunning Jessica Chastain as she head-off to the Premiere of highly-buzzed THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, which has her portraying Evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. She was so smitten by beanie!
Totally dozing-off but will be up and at it early with a few screenings tomorrow including THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE and BELFAST! Can’t wait to share my thoughts!
Sir Kenneth Branagh directs BELFAST, which premieres at TIFF ’21. Here’s a first look at the Trailer for this November release.
Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh, BELFAST is a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy’s childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. Starring Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds, and Jude Hill.
TIFF announced earlier today additional Special Events and In Conversations as part of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. While virtual, fans globally can tune-in to chats with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Yeun, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Kristen Stewart this year.
Additional details below:
Special Events – Part 2
Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine
Before Drake and The Weeknd, there was a different set of Toronto musicians who ruled the roost. Known simply as Triumph, this rock trio dominated North American radio and mainstream charts in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and were the envy of the touring business — with even The Jacksons taking a page out of their live-show book. But despite being one of the world’s biggest rock bands, the trio split at the height of their fame and seemingly disappeared without explanation to their fans or media. Directed by Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli, produced by the Emmy-winning Banger Films in association with Revolver Films and set to a mesmerizing visual backdrop of spandex, ’80s hair, and explosive pyro, Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine reveals a deeper story about fame and the human condition as the band reunites for what might be the very last time they play music together.
Reflecting on 9/11: A day of recollection, 20 years later.
The horrific news from New York City on that bright, late-summer morning 20 years ago tore open the bubble of the Toronto International Film Festival. Everyone was shaken, but, for the hundreds of Americans and New Yorkers in Toronto for the Festival that day, the shock went deeper. TIFF staff, led by then CEO Piers Handling and Executive Director Michèle Maheux, decided immediately to pause screenings, to shut down red carpets altogether, and to help people get home to their families.
Two decades on, memory becomes more important. This year, we remember the filmmakers who have sought to tell the stories of 9/11 with insight and empathy. We remember the still-present threat of Islamophobia, including in film and television. This year, we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a day of recollection for our Festival community, including a special screening from Yard 44 and NBC News Studios, the new documentary Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11, by Bjørn Johnson and David Belton. This film explores the months following the worst terrorist attacks on the US, via recordings made in a simple video booth that captured the thoughts, feelings, and fears of more than five hundred Americans. Now, 20 years later, as the country and the world faces renewed uncertainty, Memory Box brings to the screen a collective, untold, and relevant story, presented by NBC News Studios, MSNBC Films and Peacock.
Platform Prize Jury
TIFF is also thrilled to announce the full international 2021 Platform Prize Jury. Led by Academy Award–nominated actor Riz Ahmed, the jurors include: Clio Barnard, Valerie Complex, Kazik Radwanski, and Anthony Chen.
In Conversation With…
This year’s In Conversation With… series connects audiences and film lovers around the world with some of the most talented artists working in film and television. The 2021 lineup includes award-winning actors and creators who have helped shape the discourse in the entertainment industry and who are presenting their highly-anticipated new films at the Festival. All In Conversation With… events are taking place digitally and will be accessible worldwide on the TIFF Bell Digital Talks platform.
Kenneth Branagh The Academy Award–nominated writer, director, and actor joins us to discuss his wide-ranging career in film, television, and theatre; the challenges and joys of adapting Shakespeare’s plays for the big screen; and the journey of making Belfast (2021), a Gala Presentation at this year’s Festival and his most personal film to date. Monday, September 13, 12pm EDT
Benedict Cumberbatch The TIFF Tribute Actor Award recipient and Academy Award nominee joins us to discuss his career in film, theatre, and television, and his two films at this year’s Festival: Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog and Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Sunday, September 12, 3:30pm EDT
Kristen Stewart To celebrate the fifth anniversary of TIFF’s ongoing Share Her Journey initiative in support of women in the film industry, we proudly present a conversation with the award-winning actor about her collaborations with the likes of Olivier Assayas and Kelly Reichardt, and her portrayal of Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s Spencer, a Special Event at this year’s Festival. Note: This live digital event is accessible to audiences worldwide on TIFF Bell Digital Talks for free as part of TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative, empowering and celebrating women behind and in front of the camera. Audiences can pre-register for this exclusive event here. Wednesday, September 15, 12:30pm EDT
Steven Yeun The Academy Award–nominated actor joins us to retrace his extraordinary journey from collaborations with Bong Joon-ho, Lee Chang-dong, and Lee Isaac Chung to his upcoming film, Stephen Karam’s The Humans, a Special Presentation at this year’s Festival. Sunday, September 12, 6pm EDT
Additional Visionaries speaker added to the 2021 TIFF Industry Conference lineup:
VISIONARIES Apichatpong Weerasethakul Generously supported by Anne-Marie Canning
Born in Bangkok, director Apichatpong Weerasethakul is one of the most influential and revered visual artists of this time. His incisive, visceral relationship with the moving image often draws on the ancestral myths of his country to reflect on his surroundings, from global social issues to the political concerns of modern Thailand. Join us for a conversation with the filmmaker, whose latest feature, Memoria, was one of two Jury Prize winners at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival moderated by TIFF Artistic Director & Co-Head Cameron Bailey.
TIFF 2021 Industry Selects
“These titles, hand-selected by TIFF’s Festival Programming team presented on our TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform, are sure to garner interest from buyers,’’ said Diana Sanchez, Senior Director, Film. “They reflect the Festival’s global spirit and showcase a host of new voices and international talent.”
“We’re delighted to present these director-driven and audience-engaging sales titles from around the world to international buyers who rely on our festival to help discover the best cinema from across the globe,” added Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry and Theatrical. “TIFF is thrilled to support buyers, sales agents, producers, and of course filmmakers this year with the TIFF Industry Selects distinction.”
107 Mothers Peter Kerekes | Slovakia America Latina Damiano D’Innocenzo & Fabio D’Innocenzo | Italy, France Cadejo Blanco Justin Lerner | Guatemala, USA, Mexico Carmen Valerie Buhagiar | Malta, Canada Cool Abdoul Jonas Backeland | Belgium Domingo Raúl López Echeverría | Mexico, Austria, France The Hole in the Fence Joaquín del Paso | Mexico, Poland The King of All the World Carlos Saura | Mexico, Spain La Civil Teodora Ana Mihai | Belgium, Romania, Mexico The Last Mark Reem Morsi | Canada My Night Antoinette Boulat | France Night Blooms Stephanie Joline | Canada Nightride Stephen Fingleton | UK Nr. 10 Alex van Warmerdam | Netherlands, Belgium Old Henry Potsy Ponciroli | USA Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle Arthur Harari | France, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Italy The Pink Cloud luli Gerbase | Brazil Quake Tinna Hrafnsdóttir | Iceland Reflection Valentyn Vasyanovych | Ukraine The Score Malachi Smythe | UK Shankar’s Fairies Irfana Majumdar | India A Tale of Love and Desire Leyla Bouzid | France
The 2021 Toronto International Festival takes place September 9 – 19, 2021.
Kenneth Branagh is back, following-up on the success of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Check-out the Trailer for DEATH ON THE NILE!
Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement.
Cast includes: Tom Bateman, four-time Oscar® nominee Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders and Letitia Wright.
See the Trailer:
20th Century Studios release DEATH ON THE NILEFebruary 11, 2022.
Check-out the brand-new Trailer for Disney’s ARTEMIS FOWL!
Descended from a long line of criminal masterminds, 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization—the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan—so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies. “Artemis Fowl” is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Josh McGuire, Nikesh Patel and Adrian Scarborough, with Colin Farrell and Judi Dench. Kenneth Branagh, p.g.a. and Judy Hofflund, p.g.a. are producing with Angus More Gordon and Matthew Jenkins serving as executive producers. Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl wrote the screenplay.
See the Trailer:
Disney’s Artemis Fowl is in theatres Friday, May 28, 2020.
Check-out this new Teaser for Disney‘s exciting upcoming Adventure, ARTEMIS FOWL!
Directed by Kenneth Branagh and based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, ARTEMIS FOWL follows 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
The film stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonzo Anozie, with Josh Gad, and Judi Dench.
See the Teaser:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release ARTEMIS FOWLFriday, August 9, 2018.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
Paramount Pictures Canada and Mr. Will Wong are thrilled to give Readers in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto a chance to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit!
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is ignited with Starpower starring Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh. Hearing Knightley in full-on American Accent is reason enough to watch this!
Based on the CIA analyst created by espionage master Tom Clancy, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is a blistering action thriller that follows Ryan (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”) from his quiet double-life as a veteran-turned-Wall Street executive to his all-out initiation as a hunted American agent on the trail of a massive terrorist plot in Moscow.
Ryan appears to be just another New York executive to his friends and loved ones, but his enlistment into the CIA secretly goes back years. He was brought in as a brainy Ph.D. who crunches global data – but when Ryan ferrets out a meticulously planned scheme to collapse the U.S. economy and spark global chaos, he becomes the only man with the skills to stop it. Now, he’s gone fully operational, thrust into a world of mounting suspicion, deception and deadly force. Caught between his tight-lipped handler Harper (Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner), his in-the-dark fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley) and a brilliant Russian oligarch (Kenneth Branagh), Jack must confront a new reality where no one can seem to be trusted, yet the fate of millions rests on his finding the truth. With the urgency of a lit fuse, he’s in a race to stay one step ahead of everyone around him.
Screenings take place:
Wednesday January 15, 2014 Scotiabank Theatre
Wednesday January 15, 2014 Scotiabank Theatre
Wednesday January 15, 2014 Cineplex Silver City Gloucester
The gripping Trailer below:
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Paramount Pictures release Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit on Friday, January 17, 2014.
As announced previously, Disney‘s Live-Action Adaptation of Cinderella was being developed and now production officially is underway in London at Pinewood Studios and various other locations throughout England. The v. first Still from the Film was just released and believe me, it’s Cinderella like we’ve never seen her before!
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, who already has brought the Studio much success with Thor, has nothing but praise for the Film’s two Stars. “With Lily James we have found our perfect Cinderella. She combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun and physical grace. Her Prince is being played by Richard Madden, a young actor with incredible power and charisma. He is funny, smart and sexy and a great match for Cinderella“, says Branagh in a Statement.
Cinderella also stars Cate Blanchett (Stepmother Lady Tremaine), Helen Bonham Carter (Fairy Godmother), Sophie McShera (Stepsister Drisella), Holliday Grainger (Stepsister Anastasia) and Stellan Skarsgård (Arch Grand Duke).
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures releases Cinderella on March 13, 2015.
(Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)