Toronto International Film Festival announces Mavericks, Dialogues, additional Real to Reel titles and Industry Programmes


Peter Berg, Sir Michael Caine, Barry Levinson, Chris Rock and Frederick Wiseman take the stage to share anecdotes and discuss their latest works

Toronto – The 34th Toronto International Film Festival announces the complete lineup for Mavericks, which puts audiences in the same room as headline-making leaders from the world of film, and beyond, for unforgettable conversations on their latest projects. This year’s programme will place the spotlight on the world of performing arts, sports and African American hairstyles, among other topics, and those in attendance will include director Peter Berg, critically acclaimed actor Sir Michael Caine, Academy Award®-winning director Barry Levinson, comedian Chris Rock and legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman.


Barry Levinson Presents The Band That Wouldn't Die

Barry Levinson has covered a lot of ground in his film career – from Southeast Asia in Good Morning, Vietnam to Las Vegas in Rain Man – but he always comes back to Baltimore. In this session, Levinson will present the world premiere of his latest work set in Baltimore, The Band That Wouldn’t Die, an hour-long documentary produced for ESPN Film’s 30 for 30 project, about a marching band that kept hope alive for the city’s football fans.

An Afternoon with Chris Rock

Chris Rock brings his comic insights to this Mavericks conversation, sitting down for an interview to highlight his new documentary, Good Hair (part of this year’s Festival), and branching out in spontaneous directions. Rock is never short on opinions. In Good Hair he focuses on the commerce and creativity behind African American hairstyles, unpacking a lot of cultural baggage that all of us carry, whether our hair is straight or curly.

La Danse – Le Ballet de l’Opera de Paris

In this veritable feast of a Mavericks session, documentary master Frederick Wiseman (Public Housing, Ballet, Titicut Follies) will present the North American premiere of his 160-minute film La Danse, followed by an extended conversation about this new work and his career. In La Danse, Wiseman allows us to observe multiple corners of the Paris Opera Ballet, from rehearsal studios to costume rooms to administrative offices. We get extensive access to choreographers as they work with dancers in both classical and modern styles. You needn’t be a dance aficionado to marvel at the beauty and athleticism on display.

Peter Berg Presents Kings Ransom

Peter Berg presents the world premiere of Kings Ransom, produced for ESPN Film’s 30 for 30 project. The hour-long documentary explores how Wayne Gretzky’s move from Canada to Los Angeles changed the game of hockey. For fans, it’s a must-see. But even those unfamiliar with the sport can connect to the universal themes and will be dazzled by the archival clips of Gretzky’s mastery on ice. The resulting work tells a powerful story of family, money, national pride and opportunities lost and gained. Afterwards, Berg will sit down for an extended discussion of the film and his friendship with Gretzky.

In Conversation with… Michael Caine

Sir Michael Caine has described himself as an Everyman. But not every man can match his achievements. In this Mavericks conversation, we’ll get a generous helping of the raconteur’s talents. The discussion will range freely around his distinguished career, including his latest film, Harry Brown, which premieres at this year’s Festival.


Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival announces four presentations in Dialogues: Talking with Pictures, the Festival’s critically acclaimed film series curated by renowned directors or film artists. This year, Ted Kotcheff, Neil Jordan, Joe Dante and Sook-Yin Lee will present films that have inspired them or have marked a significant period in their careers. Ticket packages for the Festival are now available for purchase by cash, debit or Visa†. Purchase online at tiff.net/thefestival, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM (10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed weekends and holidays) or in person at the Festival Box Office at Nathan Phillips Square (10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week), located at 100 Queen Street West, in the white tent, west of the square.

Ted Kotcheff’s Wake in Fright (a.k.a. Outback) developed a reputation as Australia’s lost masterpiece. After an extensive search that lasted years, the original film materials were finally located in a Pittsburgh vault in 2002, one week before their incineration. Following its screening in the retrospective programme at the Cannes Film Festival this past May, the North American premiere of the fully digitally restored film will be presented at the Festival by Ted Kotcheff. Brutal, uncompromising and stunning, Wake in Fright tells the story of John Grant, a young teacher whose overnight stay in a rough outback mining town extends to a five-day nightmarish odyssey of drinking, gambling, hunting and more drinking, plunging him toward his own destruction. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1971, the film remains as fresh and relevant today as it was nearly forty years ago. “I loved the outback, with its unearthly colours and shapes, and this new digital print reveals colours and patterns I never saw in the original photochemical print of 1971. You will see the outback now as it actually is,” said Ted Kotcheff.

Neil Jordan’s first two films, Angel and The Company of Wolves, made a stunning impact and carved his way to become one of Ireland's most celebrated directors. The Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and novelist returns to the Festival with the world premiere of his latest film, Ondine, and to present The White Sheik, Federico Fellini’s solo directorial debut. Featuring a wonderful score by Nino Rota, this charming and farcical romantic comedy by Fellini offers an affectionate and satirical look at romantic illusions as it follows newlyweds Ivan and Wanda on the least romantic honeymoon in history. Discussing this film in relation to Fellini’s subsequent work, Neil Jordan said: “You can see the hints of what would come later bursting through like an eruption from another film entirely. Another universe, almost. Which is why, the first time I saw The White Sheik, I kind of fell in love with it.”

Veteran American director Joe Dante gained acclaim with Piranha (1978), whose executive producer was the legendary Roger Corman, and with The Howling (1981). Both films were scripted by John Sayles. Later on, Dante’s Gremlins (1984), a dark comedic horror film produced by Steven Spielberg, delighted and thrilled audiences of all ages. Dante’s in-joke movie references pervade his extensive film career, which includes Innerspace, Matinee, Small Soldiers and his latest film, in 3-D, The Hole, which makes its North American premiere at the Festival this year. As part of Dialogues, Dante will present a screening of Norman McLeod’s It’s a Gift, considered by critics and fans to be one of W.C. Fields’s finest films. The film showcases Fields’s adroitness as a physical comedian in this laugh-out-loud story of a henpecked New Jersey grocer with plans to use an inheritance to buy an orange grove in California. “When I was in college, the great W.C. Fields was venerated as a comedian equal to the Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy. His puncturing of pomposity and love of intoxicants endeared him to the anti-establishment youth culture,” said Joe Dante.

Gifted Canadian musician, actress, filmmaker, television host and producer, Sook-Yin Lee has the world premiere of her debut feature, Year of the Carnivore, at this year’s Festival. For Dialogues, Lee will present a screening of Jane Campion’s first theatrical feature, Sweetie, a strikingly original and darkly comic work that centres on a dysfunctional pair of contrasting sisters. Using unusual colour, framing, angles and perspectives, Campion crafts an engaging and visually intriguing film that refuses to romanticize or sanitize mental illness. “What I so appreciate about Sweetie is Jane Campion’s singular and authentic voice, her determination to bring all of her characters to life with humanity,” said Sook-Yin Lee.


Portrait of an inspiring 97-year-old, panorama of modern China, the lives of Saharawi refugees, insights on autism and a Disney comeback story

Toronto – The 34th Toronto International Film Festival adds five new documentaries to its Real to Reel schedule. New topics include a Ruth Gruber bio, a multi-faceted look at modern China, a controversial exploration into the world of the Saharawi refugees, a probing study on autism and the story of Disney’s re-emergence as an animation powerhouse. Details for previously announced documentaries can be found at tiff.net under Films & Schedules.

These titles join today’s announcement about the Doc Conference and Doc Roundtables, which are part of the Industry Programme and dedicated to exploring the latest thinking in documentary financing, distribution, ethics and other topics. Documentary fans are reminded that on tiff.net/blogs, the Festival’s Doc Blog is now offering visitors exciting details and comprehensive information regarding this year’s inspired non-fiction films, and will feature contributions from programmers and filmmakers alike.

Ticket packages for the Festival are now available for purchase by cash, debit or Visa. Purchase online at tiff.net/thefestival, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM (10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed weekends and holidays) or in person at the Festival Box Office at Nathan Phillips Square (10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week), located at 100 Queen Street West, in the white tent, west of the square. The Festival runs from September 10 to 19, 2009.


Ahead of Time Bob Richman, USA

World Premiere

This directorial debut from acclaimed cinematographer Bob Richman (The September Issue, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) creates a vivid portrait of Ruth Gruber. From the time she became the world’s youngest Ph.D. in 1931 at age 20 to her pivotal news coverage of the refugees aboard Exodus 1947, this energetic and inspiring 97-year-old has repeatedly defied tradition through her fearlessness and love of adventure.

Once Upon a Time Proletarian: 12 Tales of a Country Guo Xiaolu, China

North America Premiere

A subjective anatomy of contemporary China in the post-Marxist era, this is a dark, poetic depiction of people from different backgrounds, living in modern China. Twelve chapters explore the country’s current social and political landscape, from which emerge stories of loss and yearning. This is the latest documentary from director Guo Xiaolu, who recently was awarded the Golden Leopard Grand Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival for She, A Chinese.

Stolen Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw, Australia

International Premiere

Filmmakers Ayala and Fallshaw set out to learn more about the Saharawi refugees who have been living in Algerian camps for more than 30 years. While focusing on a family reunion, the filmmakers uncovered allegations of modern slavery that set them on a journey they could never have imagined. The moral quandaries within the film have stirred significant controversy since its debut at the Sydney Film Festival.

The Sunshine Boy Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Iceland

World Premiere

This is a moving, compassionate portrayal of a mother’s desperate quest to understand autism, the perplexing condition that controls her son. By taking a journey through different countries and cultures, the film deals with autism in a deeply comprehensive way and considers it on a global scope.

Waking Sleeping Beauty Don Hahn, USA

World Premiere

This isn’t a fairy tale, but rather the true story of how the Disney animation team went from stagnation in the mid-1980s to a startling rebirth with a staggering output of hits – Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and more – over a ten year period. Director Don Hahn, who was a key contributor on many of these works, brings an insider’s perspective to the film.

Real to Reel is made possible through the generous sponsorship of A&E IndieFilms.


Toronto Industry Programmes at the 34th Toronto International Film Festival spotlights documentary filmmaking through two initiatives: the newly formed Doc Conference, a full day of panels devoted to the specific challenges and opportunities for documentary financing, distribution and ethics; and the returning Doc Roundtables, which create a rare chance for filmmakers to meet with industry leaders for an informal networking session. For more information on these and all other industry programmes visit tiff.net/industry/programmes. The Festival runs from September 10-19, 2009.

These are tumultuous times,” said TIFF doc programmer Thom Powers. “We want to empower doc makers with fresh thinking about how to get their films made and seen.”


Sunday, September 13, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: University of Toronto’s Victoria College (93 Charles Street West, behind the Isabel Bader Theatre), Room # 323.

*One day passes for the Doc Conference are available for $75. For more information visit tiff.net/industry/programmes/docconference.

Among the highlights of the Doc Conference:

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: LIESL COPLAND. Working with the Global Finance & Distribution group at the William Morris Endeavor agency, Copland has a unique view on emerging players and partnerships. In this presentation, she will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of new distribution models, with a focus on documentary. Prior to working for WME, Copland held positions as the head of Red Envelope Entertainment (the original content division at Netflix) and a film sales consultant at Cinetic Media.

PETER BRODERICK'S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: As a distribution strategist who has consulted with hundreds of filmmakers around the world, Broderick has helped pioneer cutting-edge distribution models. In this session, he will lay out new hybrid distribution guidelines that independents should consider before negotiating distribution deals. These guidelines will enable filmmakers to maximize revenues and audience by splitting rights and selling directly. Broderick will illustrate with case studies of films that have succeeded by putting these principles into action.

NEW REPORT ON DOCUMENTARY ETHICS: Patricia Aufderheide will host a panel unveiling a new report on Documentary Ethics, conducted by the Center for Social Media. Aufderheide previously co-authored a ground-breaking study on the practices of Fair Use in documentary film. Now her team brings the same rigor to examining the ethical challenges of documentary, in the hopes of fostering greater attention to these issues.

FINANCING IN TOUGH TIMES: This stellar panel spans many different ways of getting money, including Dan Cogan of Impact Partners on private philanthropy; Lois Vossen of ITVS on grants; and director Franny Armstrong of The Age of Stupid on how her team raised $1.3 million dollars largely from web donations.


Monday, September 14 through to Wednesday, September 16; Twice Daily sessions from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Match Club (5th Elementt Restaurant, 1055 Bay Street)

Now in its fourth year, TIFF's Doc Roundtables create a rare chance for filmmakers to meet with industry leaders for an informal networking session. This year, industry participants include representatives from Sony Pictures Classics, HBO, Films Transit, Submarine Entertainment, SnagFilms, Zeitgeist Films, IFC Films, Emerging Pictures, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Lorber Media, and more.


Toronto Industry Programmes at the 34th Toronto International Film Festival® continue to develop and support the Canadian film industry via innovative networking and career-development programmes. The Festival introduces new programmes this year such as the Master Class with Atom Egoyan, an intimate discussion with one of the industry’s most celebrated directors and Short Cuts Canada Roundtables, an informal networking opportunity for filmmakers and producers with films in this year’s Short Cuts Canada programme.

Celebrating its tenth year at the Festival, returning programme Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! is a live pitch competition with a $10,000 CAD prize to assist with project development. In its sixth year, Talent Lab welcomes 25 emerging filmmakers to build networks in a creative environment with some of the most esteemed filmmakers and artists in the world. Filmmakers and producers will be able to network at Match Club, the hub for all Sales & Industry and Guest Relations Office delegates. Other returning Industry Programmes include Meet With…, International Financing Forum and the CFTPA Producer’s Award. For more information on Industry Programmes’ dynamic lineup at this year’s Festival, running September 10 to 19, 2009, please visit tiff.net/industry or contact us at iio@tiff.net.


This Master Class is an intimate discussion with one of the industry’s most widely respected filmmakers. Auteur Atom Egoyan occupies a distinct position within Canadian filmmaking – his unequivocal authorial vision and inimitable style are sustained throughout a body of work that includes Next of Kin (1984), Family Viewing (1987), Speaking Parts (1989), The Adjuster (1991), Calendar (1993), Exotica (1994), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), Felicia’s Journey (1999), Krapp’s Last Tape (2000), Ararat (2002), Where the Truth Lies (2005), Adoration (2008) and Chloe (2009). Egoyan’s films appeal to national and international audiences alike and have met with wide critical acclaim and commercial success.

Tom McSorley, Executive Director of the Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa, will interview Egoyan live on stage. McSorley teaches film at Carleton University and is the film critic for the Ottawa Morning show on CBC Radio One. He is the editor of Rivers of Time: The Films of Philip Hoffman (2008) and is co-editor of Self Portraits: The Cinemas of Canada since Telefilm (2006) and Life Without Death: The Cinema of Frank Cole (2009). McSorley’s latest book, Atom Egoyan’s The Adjuster, will be released this fall through University of Toronto Press and available for purchase at select Festival box office locations. Master Class with Atom Egoyan will take place Tuesday, September 15, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Varsity Cinemas. A cocktail will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., location TBA.


Short Cuts Canada Roundtables is an informal networking opportunity for directors and producers with a film in the 2009 Short Cuts Canada programme. The event celebrates these filmmakers and introduces them to key industry delegates including short film distributors, broadcasters, festival programmers and funders, via rotating roundtable discussions. Short Cuts Canada Roundtables will take place Thursday, September 17 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Match Club (5th Elementt restaurant). By invitation only.


Match Club is a meeting space and lounge, the hub for all Sales & Industry and Guest Relations Office delegates, and the nexus for the international and Canadian film industries. International consultants are available on-site to help set up meetings and offer assistance as required. Held within Match Club are daily Meet With... events that provide the opportunity to attend an intimate and informal session on the hottest topics in today’s film industry. Please note that seating is limited and reservations are not accepted. Match Club is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday, September 10, to Thursday, September 17, at 5th Elementt restaurant (1033 Bay Street), located just north of the Sutton Place Hotel. Match Club is open to all Sales & Industry pass holders as well as all Guest pass holders. For more information, please contact iio@tiff.net.

This year’s Match Club consultants are Nancy Collett, Peter Belsito, Strategic Planner, sydneysbuzz.blogspot.com; Matt Toner, President, Zeros 2 Heroes Media; and Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, Creative Director, Zeros 2 Heroes Media.


Meet With... is a series of informal and intimate information sessions on the hottest topics in today’s film industry. The sessions provide attendees with a unique opportunity to gain insight into the fundamentals of the business and craft of filmmaking from seasoned industry professionals. Meet With... is open to all Sales & Industry and Guest Relations Pass holders and runs from Friday, September 11 through to Thursday, September 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Match Club (5th Elementt Restaurant, 1033 Bay Street).

Meet With…topics will include feature comedy writing; digital distribution; DIY Web 2.0; what filmmakers and producers should know about the convergence of the film and videogame industries; an interview with a special selection of Variety’s Top 10 Producers to Watch; and the state of international film festivals. Meet With… guest speakers include Christine Aylward, Co-founder & CEO, MakingOf, Inc.; John Cooper, Director, Sundance Film Festival; Matt Dentler, Head of Programming and Marketing, Cinetic Media; John

Galway, President, Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund; Paul Gertz, Executive Producer, Network Entertainment; Nathon Gunn, CEO, Social Game Universe; Sydney Levine, Strategic Planner, sydneysbuzz.blogspot.com; Jared Moshe, President, Sidetrack Films;

Michael Regina, Founder, TheOneRing.net; Kevin Shortt, Lead Scriptwriter – Story Design, Avatar; Ubisoft; Matt Toner, President, Zeros 2 Heroes Media; and Ryan Werner, VP Marketing, IFC Films.


Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! celebrates its tenth anniversary at the Festival, offering aspiring filmmakers a start to their feature-film careers. In a live pitch environment, six participant teams have six minutes to pitch their feature-film idea to an audience of over 250 industry professionals. The winner will be selected by a jury of international industry experts. The prize is $10,000CAD to assist with costs related to project development. It will be hosted by Ennis Esmer, who starred in Young People Fucking (TIFF 2007) and plays Oz on CTV’s hit drama The Listener.

This year’s Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! finalists are The Banquet, Gloria Ui Young Kim; Cry, Havoc, Sami Khan and Christian Magalhaes; Fit To Print, Daniel Perlmutter; The Livingstons, Andrew Malabre, Stuart McIntyre and Paul Matthews, Manitouwabi, Jeff Kopas; and Super Zeroes, Shane Belcourt and Duane Murray. Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! will take place on Tuesday, September 15, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Sutton Place Hotel, Stop 33 (955 Bay Street). Open to Sales & Industry and Guest pass holders.


Talent Lab is a four-day intensive programme that offers artistic-development opportunities to emerging filmmakers. The programme provides participant filmmakers the opportunity to build networks in a creative environment and to learn from some of the most esteemed filmmakers and artists in the world.

Don McKellar (Last Night, Childstar, Blindness), one of the most prominent figures on the Canadian film scene, returns as one of four Talent Lab governors who mentor the participants, guiding them through sessions with guest speakers. Confirmed 2009 Talent Lab guests include: actor Tilda Swinton (I Am Love, The Limits of Control, Michael Clayton), cinematographer Christopher Doyle (Ondine, The Limits of Control, Paranoid Park), director Niki Caro (The Vintner’s Luck, North Country, Whale Rider), director Atom Egoyan (Chloe, Adoration, The Sweet Hereafter), director/producer Ivan Reitman (Chloe, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie, Ghostbusters), and producer Christine Vachon (Cracks, I’m Not There, Boys Don’t Cry).

Congratulations to the 2009 Talent Lab Participants:

Trevor Anderson, Denise Blinn, Annie Bradley, Britt Crowley, Jamie M. Dagg, Sonya Di Rienzo, Stephen Dunn, Walter Forsyth, Sarah Galea-Davis, Gloria Ui Young Kim, Michelle Latimer, Elizabeth Lazebnik, Ayelen Liberona, Paul Matthews, Daniel Montgomery, Kazik Radwanski, Svet Rouskov, Daniel Schachter, Tamara Scherbak, Martin Smith, Katarina Soukup, Greg Spottiswood, Jane Tattersall, Ana Valine, David Widdicombe.

10 Talent Lab alumni and 4 Talent Lab 2009 participants have written, directed or produced films in the Festival’s official 2009 selection:

Alumni: 5 Dysfunctional People in a Car, directed by Pat Mills; 75 El Camino, directed by Sami Khan; The Armoire, directed by Jamie Travis; Big Head, written and co-produced by Kris Elgstrand; Cole, produced by Jason James; Crackie, directed, written and produced by Sherry White; Karaoke, directed by Chris Chong Chan Fui; On a Lonely Drive, directed by Igor Drljaca; Sixty Seconds of Regret, directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly; and Year of the Carnivore, directed and written by Sook-Yin Lee.

2009 Participants: The Island, directed by Trevor Anderson; Out in that Deep Blue Sea, directed by Kazik Radwanski and produced by Daniel Montgomery; and The Translator, directed by Sonya Di Rienzo.


The Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) Producer’s Award acknowledges the vision and entrepreneurship of an independent Canadian producer with a Canadian feature at the Festival. Last year’s recipient, producer Rob Merilees will chair the 2009 jury and award a Canadian producer a $10,000CAD cash prize. The CFTPA Producer’s Award Presentation is held on Thursday, September 10, at 4:00 p.m. at the Match Club (5th Elementt restaurant, 1033 Bay Street).

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