2014 Toronto Film Festival Updates


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It's that time of year again as festival and awards season concurrently kick-off with what is essentially one of the largest international film festivals on the globe, the Toronto International Film Festival (or TIFF), this year celebrating its 39th year as one of the festivals where some of the noteworthy awards films will premiere.

Everything from Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker to Paul Haggis' Crash to The King's Speech and Silver Linings Playbook and others have had their debuts in Toronto in early September before going on to Oscar gold. Sure, some of them played a couple days before at the Telluride Film Festival, but that's as much or more for industry people than regular moviegoers at this point. We shouldn't forget that many of the Toronto People's Choice Award winners went on to fare just as well among Academy voters, movies like last year's winner 12 Years a Slave.

The biggest hurdle with going to TIFF is that there are often so many movies one will want to see that choices have to be made and it's impossible to see them all. This year, there are over 80 movies playing at TIFF that I want to see and only about a third (or less) of those already have distribution and release dates in place. As in past years, there will be a number of movies I only discover or find out about while at the festival.

The Toronto International Film Festival announced its first wave of Gala premieres and Special Presentations for the festival running from September 4 through 14, and as always, it's an impressive line-up that includes World Premieres of some of the more anticipated movies of the Fall movie season including new works from many filmmakers returning to the festival.

Some of the notable highlights include Denzel Washington's The Equalizer, which reunites him with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, for which Washington received an Oscar, David Dobkin's The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, Shawn Levy's dysfunctional family dramedy This is Where I Leave You, starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne and more.

Today is the final day of the Toronto International Film Festival, which has been taking place over the past 11 days, and as usual, they waited until the last day to announced the awards winners at a special luncheon with Steve McQueen's acclaimed slavery drama 12 Years a Slave receiving the festival's top honor, the Blackberry People's Choice Award.

The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival is almost over with the awards to be announced later today, but its status as a film market has been solidified by a number of acquisitions reported over the past few days as some of the festival's premieres have been scooped up by a variety of distributors.

Things may be a little slow going for the Oscar Warrior this year because just as festival season gets rolling he's potentially going to be taken out of commission by a procedure necessary for the treatment of his leukemia, but before that happens, we're going to try to get in a couple quick Oscar and awards preview columns.

First of all, it seems like a good time to take a look at the current film festival season and how important that is to get movies seen in order to get buzz going on them. Things tend to kick off even before Labor Day with the Telluride and Venice Film Festivals, followed closely by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center and then others like Chicago, Hamptons, AFI Fest and more.

With the first weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival passed and just five more days of the festival to go, CBS Films has stepped forward for the third major acquisition, picking up the U.S. distribution rights to The F Word, the new romantic comedy from Canadian filmmaker Michael Dowse (Goon) starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.

ComingSoon.net has been provided with two exclusive behind-the-scenes clips, nearly 13 minutes of footage from Hit the Lights: The Making of Metallica Through the Never, a look at what went into making the upcoming concert film Metallica Through the Never, which will be released exclusively in IMAX 3D theaters on September 27 before expanding to non-IMAX theaters on October 4.

This has been a shorter than usual Toronto International Film Festival for ComingSoon.net as we were only up in Canada for six days, but we did squeeze in 13 movies and a bunch of interviews, and for the most part, it was all great stuff with very few movies that outright stunk or made us want to run screaming from the theater. More importantly, the season's Oscar race started to come together with a number of great movies and performances that are sure to be talked about over the next few months, some of them not being released until later in the year. We'll share a number of full reviews and interviews with you over the next couple weeks, but before the festival winds down, we wanted to give you a quick recap of our thoughts on the movies we were able to catch.

Days after the movie first made waves with its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jonathan Teplitzky's The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, has debuted its first international trailer.

The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is set to kick off this coming Thursday with the Opening Night film being Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and it's looking like it's going to be an even more exciting year for Canada's premiere film festival than past years for a number of reasons.

As with many festivals, the first weekend of TIFF tends to be so full of choices in terms of movies it's become difficult for many attendees to decide on what to see, but we've selected roughly 25 movies premiering at the festival that struck our interest. Granted, it's a bit of a mixed bag between future Oscar contenders and films that may not get much attention but hopefully this can give you some idea of the diversity offered at TIFF every year.

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