TIFF guest list spans Rushdie to Clooney
Posted: Aug 23, 2011 1:56 PM ET
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2011 6:58 PM ET
Icons from the worlds of music, film, literature and performance have joined the perennially star-studded guest list for the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, organizers announced Tuesday.
Neil Young, Francis Ford Coppola, Salman Rushdie and Christopher Plummer are among the celebrated figures slated to visit Toronto in September as part of TIFF's Mavericks program, which sees notable artists share insights about recent projects.
Young will join director Jonathan Demme in presenting and discussing about Neil Young Journeys, the final instalment of the filmmaker's documentary series about the rock legend, while TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey will moderate a discussion with veteran filmmaker Coppola, who is also bringing his latest feature — Twixt — to Toronto.
Rushdie will take the stage alongside Canadian director Deepa Mehta to offer a sneak peek of the forthcoming film adaptation of his Booker-winning novel Midnight's Children, which completed shooting in Sri Lanka this summer.
"This is sort of a lovely sneak preview," TIFF director Piers Handling told CBC on Tuesday.
"This will be a conversation between the two of them about the challenges of adaptation, the challenges of taking a classic and turning it into a film [and] what it is for a filmmaker to deal with a living author as well."Neil Young, left, will join filmmaker Jonathan Demme in Toronto to discuss the latter's film Neil Young Journeys, a final instalment in his documentary trilogy about the rock legend. Jack Plunkett/Associated Press
The strong Mavericks lineup will also feature sessions showcasing actress Tilda Swinton, documentarian Albert Maysles, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, Cairo-based filmmakers discussing the Egyptian protests and a look back at the last 20 years of indie film studio Sony Pictures Classics.
Additional titles announced Tuesday for TIFF's Masters, Discovery and Real to Reel programs bring the festival's total 2011 tally to 336 films (268 feature-length and 68 shorts) from 65 different countries around the globe.
"The range of people and the range of films we're going to be able to bring to the audience is what excites me," said TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey.
Galaxy of stars
With about two weeks to go before opening night, organizers also revealed on Tuesday the lengthy list of celebrities expected to descend on Toronto for TIFF.
Aside from Toronto-based Mehta, Canadian filmmakers introducing new titles at TIFF include Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo 2), David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz) and Mike Clattenburg (Afghan Luke).
Madonna is expected to be in town with her film W.E., while returning filmmakers include Werner Herzog (Into The Abyss), Wim Wenders (Pina) and Morgan Spurlock (Comic-Con: Episode IV - A Fan's Hope).
Stars of international cinema — including Catherine Deneuve, Antonio Banderas, Willem Dafoe, Gael Garcia Bernal, Akshay Kumar, Geoffrey Rush and Michelle Yeoh — will share red carpet duty at TIFF with Hollywood heavyweights like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Jane Fonda, Jon Hamm, Ryan Gosling and Salma Hayek.
Music documentaries are also a running theme, Handling acknowledged.
"It's been a theme for the last number of years for me and some of the festival programmers," he said. "It's been fascinating to watch [docs about] so many of these great rock bands we used to listen to as kids."
Joining Demme's Neil Young Journeys this year are the previously announced Pearl Jam Twenty (Cameron Crowe) and opening night U2 portrait From the Sky Down (Davis Guggenheim). Both Young and the two bands will be in Toronto, while Paul McCartney has recorded a special introduction for Maysles' The Love We Make, a chronicle of the post-9/11 memorial concert held by the former Beatle in October 2001.
The 36th annual Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 8-18.
- Horror tale Haunting Melissa targets app audiences by Jessica Wong May. 16, 2013 4:40 PM If you're seeking the weather, the news or a pic of what your buddy had for lunch, there are apps for that. What about an original, Hollywood-calibre ghost story from a producer of The Ring and Mulholland Drive? Now, there's an app for that, too. Haunting Melissa ventures into the burgeoning realm of digital storytelling as a traditional ghost story with a modern twist -- namely a tale that unfolds through an iOS app.
Top News Headlines
- Senate to debate expense audits amid greater scrutiny
- The expenses scandal is dominating the first Senate session since the audits on senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau were released and it was revealed Duffy's questionable expenses were repaid by a personal cheque from the prime minister's chief of staff. Follow our live blog. more »
- Search for deadly Oklahoma tornado survivors nears end
- The search for survivors and bodies following the most powerful type of tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb that levelled a school and killed at least nine children on Monday is almost over. more »
- Deadly Oklahoma tornado confirmed as most powerful type
- Emergency workers neared the end of their search Tuesday afternoon for survivors in Moore, Okla., following a deadly tornado that weather officials said was now classified among the most powerful type of twister. more »
- Only 1 set of human remains found at Millard farm, police say
- Hamilton police have confirmed that they are dealing with only a single set of human remains at the Waterloo region farm of Dellen Millard. more »
- Rob Ford faces more calls to address crack allegations
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford went back to work after a holiday weekend, but he kept his mouth shut about an alleged video that two published reports say shows him smoking what appears to be a crack pipe. more »
Latest Arts & Entertainment News Headlines
- J.K. Rowling-annotated Harry Potter sells for $234K
- A first edition of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with the author's scribbles about the Hogwart's coat of arms and other details of the wizarding universe sold for £150,000 ($234,000 Cdn) at a charity auction in London today. more »
- Microsoft unveils Xbox One
- The company unveiled the Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment. It will go on sale later this year. more »
- Sheepdogs treat Victoria Day crowd to concert
- It was party time on Saskatoon's Broadway Avenue Monday afternoon, with native sons The Sheepdogs taking to the stage. more »
- David Sedaris finds humour in the everyday
- American writer and humorist David Sedaris manages to find humour in the perversity of everyday life. more »
- Pete Townshend on The Who's "Tommy" May. 21, 2013 2:32 PM
- Juvenile inmates benefiting from Russian literature May. 21, 2013 4:13 PM A juvenile correctional facility in Virginia has seen the behavioural benefits of encouraging their inmates to read the works of classic Russian writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.