TIFF Announces Industry Conference Plans

The Toronto International Film Festival’s development, business, and networking initiatives are set to return fully in-person, with the Festival welcoming international professionals back to Toronto this September. This year’s five-day Industry Conference will be held at the Glenn Gould Studio September 9–13, while the Industry Centre returns to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Festival Village. TIFF is creating industry incentives for professionals to gather at its year-round home, TIFF Bell Lightbox, for targeted development sessions and impactful rooftop events.

“We are so excited to welcome the international film and television communities back to Toronto this September to celebrate the craft and its creators, build towards more sustainable business practices, and help develop original, distinct, and diverse voices that deserve to be championed,” said Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry and Theatrical, TIFF. “Although we had many successes delivering hybrid digital/in-person Industry initiatives over the last two years, including a record-breaking year in film sales, we are thrilled to return to in-person business and networking.”

Under the direction of TIFF’s new Chief Programming Officer, Anita Lee, this year’s Industry Conference is programmed and developed by Geoff Macnaughton and Jane Kim, Industry Programming Producer, and managed by Julla Shanghavi, Manager, Industry Conference.

The 2022 Industry Conference comprises six distinct programmes. Visionaries offers inspirational keynotes from distinguished industry leaders who are forging innovative new paths creatively and in business. Dialogues features rich and lively discussions on craft among creators, including directors, writers, and showrunners. Perspectives presents timely and thought-provoking conversations with a wide range of expert panellists, who will speak on various aspects of the current state and the future of the industry. Connections is geared toward emerging and mid-career filmmakers, providing them the opportunity to interact directly with industry leaders and acquire practical insight that will help fuel their projects and expand their understanding of the industry. Microsessions are curated discussions that showcase new technologies and new ways of doing business, while TIFF’s Spotlights stream highlights global talent, incentives, co-production opportunities, and pitching sessions. TIFF’s Industry Conference is supported by Major Supporters Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, and media partners including The Hollywood ReporterVariety, and Screen International.

Some of the topics and speakers confirmed to date include a rare onstage Visionaries conversation with MUBI Founder & CEO Efe Cakarel, who will discuss the impact of the company as a streamer, curator, publisher, distributor, producer, and, most importantly, cinema lover. Jason Ryle, TIFF International Programmer, Indigenous Cinema, will guest program a Perspectives session on Narrative Sovereignty; and Nuria Bronfman, Executive Director of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada, will guest program a Perspectives session on The State of Global Film Exhibition.This timely session brings together exhibition experts who look beyond post-pandemic recovery and explore new ways to strengthen the cinema-going experience as well as continue to what they do best: transform the way we see films together.

Also supporting the Industry Conference programming this year are Thom Powers, TIFF International Programmer, Documentaries, who will invite the international documentary community back to TIFF through insightful conversations from leading doc filmmakers. Jason Anderson, TIFF International Programmer, Short Cuts, will program two Connections sessions focusing on short films and first features.

TIFF will continue to support emerging film creators from under-represented communities through its pass-gifting initiative, now in its third year. The initiative provides burgeoning diverse talents and up-and-coming professionals with access to the Festival’s Industry Conference, Press & Industry screenings, and networking tools to expand their careers and make connections for future opportunities. Last year, this initiative supported over 240 emerging filmmakers in collaboration with supporting partners and community organizations from across North America.

Press & Industry delegates are invited to follow @TIFF_Industry on Twitter for the latest announcements, updates, and live tweets from the Industry Conference, Press Conferences, and the Festival. Join the conversation to connect with other delegates, stimulate conversation, and amplify important discussions.

Further details on TIFF Industry programmes and Talent Development initiatives will follow throughout the summer.

Online registration for TIFF’s Industry Conference is now open through August 26. To learn more about passes and price points, visit www.tiff.net/industry-accreditation/.

Godfather star James Caan Dies at 82

American actor James Caan, who rose to fame for his portrayal of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, has died aged 82.

With a career spanning decades as a Hollywood leading man and iconic figure he was nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy and four Golden Globes.

Caan’s family thanked fans on Thursday for an “outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences”.

The New York native was married four times and leaves behind five children.

Bronx born Caan initially planned on pursuing a career as an American Football player. But his path in life changed after befriending Director Francis Ford Coppola whilst at university together. The pair joined forces in 1972 to adapt Mario Puzo’s The Godfather in what would become one of the true undisputed landmark masterpieces of modern cinema.

For his performance as hot heated crime family scion Sonny Corleone, Caan himself received an academy award nomination for best supporting actor.

Beyond that iconic role Caan will also be fondly remembered for countless classic films including Misery and Christmas family favourite Elf.

London Action Festival Announces New Events

The London Action Festival, which runs from 28th-31st July, continues to add to an impressive array of unique events to its inaugural line up with a further six not-to-be-missed events announced today:

“Con Air” a Special 25th Anniversary Screening of the classic action thriller directed by Simon West and starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich. Written by Scott Rosenberg and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun Maverick), the film centers on a prison break aboard a Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System aircraft, nicknamed “Con Air”. It features Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Dave Chappelle, Rachel Ticotin, Danny Trejo, and Monica Potter. A must see for all Nicolas Cage’s aficionados and devotees of action cinema as its best. The screening is followed by a Q & A with Simon West.

“The Car Chasers” is a look at key moments of action design in Film and TV from some of the best stunt performers who specialize in being both fast and furious when it comes to cars on screen. We’ll look at the Top #5 Car Chases of all time as chosen by global followers of Den of Geek, the leading news service devoted to all things genre. The panel will include stunt drivers and performers Steph Carey (No Time To Die, Morbius), Lloyd Bass (The King’s Man, F9: The Fast Saga) and Rick English (The Batman, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) who together have over 450 Film & TV credits between them.

“Don’t Try This At Home!” – How To Become A Stunt Professional” is a free to attend bonus event from the London Action Festival presented in association with the British Stunt Register, the world’s leading and largest association of stunt professionals.

With over 45 years experience, they provide the Film & TV industry with Stunt Performers & Stunt Co-ordinators with all the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge that are demanded by stunt work in the 21st century and have established their own Career Grade Scheme. Do you have what it takes? Come along and hear from the professionals who are on and run the Register about how you can explore a career in one of the most exciting professions in the Entertainment industry.

“The World in Action” looks at Asian Cinema with Hong Kong as its traditional epicentre and the huge influence it has had on global Action Cinema. We assemble a group of experts to explore the films and filmmakers that have had the most impact and delighted audiences the world over.

Speakers include: Joey Ansah (actor, director and martial artist best known for his roles in The Old Guard, and The Bourne Ultimatum (where in the role of Desh Bouksani, his set-piece fight scene between himself and Matt Damon is regarded as one of the best ever filmed) and directing the hit YouTube short film Street Fighter: Legacy, followed by two acclaimed TV series, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist and Street Fighter: Resurrection.; Mike Fury (journalist and author of the acclaimed book series, “Life of Action” speaking to world-class actors, filmmakers and stunt people making some of the most highly regarded films of their kind); and Jude Poyer – whose passion for martial arts in cinema took him to Hong Kong aged 18 where had the chance to work with Jackie Chan & Jet Li. Back in London for more than a decade, Jude is now a sought after 2nd unit director, action designer, and stunt coordinator. In 2021 Jude worked as action designer & stunt coordinator for the forthcoming Netflix movie Havoc, starring Tom Hardy. This marked his third collaboration with noted action film director Gareth Evans (The Raid) following their acclaimed work on the SKY/HBO series Gangs of London.

“The Legend Of Drunken Master (aka Drunken Master II)” was selected by the British Film Institute (BFI) as one of the 10 best action movies of all time. This special presentation of one of Jackie Chan’s biggest hits is a rare screening of the original, uncut Hong Kong version in Cantonese with English subtitles in a new restoration from Warner Bros. The battles sequences incorporate five different fighting styles, including Shaolin Kung Fu, Taekwondo and Drunken boxing. The climactic seven-minute fight, directed by Chan himself took four months to film. This follow-up to one of his breakthrough roles set box-office records when it premiered in Asia.

“What’s The Score?” explores just how significant the work of the Composer along with other music team members are in bringing action to life and the techniques of scoring for Film & TV. This unique workshop offers an insight on creativity in the field including Steven Price (Academy and Emmy Award-winning composer known for groundbreaking score for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, a key collaborator with Director Edgar Wright on Last Night In SohoThe World’s EndScott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Baby Driver and whose debut score was for Joe Cornish’s 2011 feature Attack The Block). Other details to be announced.
The London Action Festival, which runs from 28-31 July, is a first-of-its-kind celebration of one of the most globally produced and commercially successful genres of Film and TV will launch in London with a major 4-day celebration this Summer. Ticketing and full information can be found at: www.londonactionfestival.com

Den of Geek, the world’s leading information media company dedicated to all things genre, will be the Senior Media Sponsor for the event.

Picturehouse Central, right in the heart of London’s West End, will be home for the festival over its main weekend with additional events taking place at other major venues in Central London.

Further details on special panels, screenings, guests, and surprise events will be announced in the coming days.

For ticket packages and to find out more about The London Action Festival, please visit www.londonactionfestival.com – Individual tickets will be on sale soon from www.picturehouses.com/londonactionfestival

Brother Gets TIFF World Premiere

TIFF has officially confirmed that Clement Virgo’s film Brother will make its festival debut with a World Premiere at the 47th edition of the Festival.

Adapted for the screen by Virgo from David Chariandy’s prize-winning novel of the same name, Brother is the story of Francis and Michael, sons of Caribbean immigrants maturing into young men amidst Toronto’s pulsing 1990′s hip-hop scene.  A mystery unfolds when escalating tensions set off a series of events which changes the course of the brothers’ lives forever.

Brother stars Lamar Johnson (The Hate U Give), Aaron Pierre (Underground Railroad), Kiana Madeira (Fear Street) and Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us). The film is produced by recently announced member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, Damon D’Oliveira, as well as Virgo, of Conquering Lion Pictures, along with Aeschylus Poulos and Sonya Di Rienzo of Hawkeye Pictures. Executive producers are Aaron L. Gilbert and Steven Thibault of BRON and Laurie May and Noah Segal of Elevation Pictures.The film will be distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures and BRON Releasing will manage the sale in other territories.

Knives Out Sequel Gets TIFF World Premiere

TIFF is thrilled to announce that Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will make its festival debut with a world premiere at the 47th edition of the Festival.

In the follow-up to Rian Johnson’s 2019 Knives Out, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, Detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece to peel back the layers of a mystery involving a new cast of colorful suspects. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery stars Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline with Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista. Written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced alongside his partner Ram Bergman under their T-Street banner, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a Netflix film.