TIFF Books on Film goes virtual, with 6 film screenings available across Canada

The six film screenings will be accompanied by in-depth onstage conversations with authors, filmmakers and screenwriters about the challenging but rewarding process of adaptation.
A scene from the 2017 film The Death of Stalin, which is part of the 2021 Books on Film series. (Submitted by TIFF)

Toronto International Film Festival's Books on Film 2021 has kicked off. This year's program is screened digitally and available for viewers across Canada. 

The six film screenings will be accompanied by in-depth onstage conversations with authors, filmmakers and screenwriters about the challenging but rewarding process of adaptation.

"While we all wish we could watch movies in the cinema, it's been a great experience for us to move our Books on Film series to digital TIFF Bell Lightbox and make the series available nationwide," said Christoph Straub, the senior manager of TIFF Audience & Community.

Straub said moving to a digital platform has allowed greater flexibility for the audiences who can view the programs anytime according to their own schedule. 

The upcoming film screenings and talks include: 

  • May 14: Hossein Amini on The Wings of the Dove (1997)
  • May 28: Armando Iannucci on The Death of Stalin (2017)
  • June 11: Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges on Viceroy's House (2017)
  • June 25: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini on Leave No Trace (2018)

For The Wings of the Dove, screenwriter Hossein Amini will discuss his adaptation of Henry James' classic novel, which received four Oscar nominations — including best adapted screenplay and best actress for Helena Bonham Carter.

The Death of Stalin is based on the popular graphic novel by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin. Academy Award-nominated director Armando Iannucci will be revisiting his biting satire on dictatorship, politics and the decline of an empire.

Viceroy's House is a collaboration between writer-director Gurinder Chadha and writer-producer Paul Mayeda Berges. Chadha and Berges will reflect on their decades-long partnership, and the personal resonance of this historical drama about British India's partition in 1947.

The last screening of the series, Leave No Trace, is an adaptation from Peter Rock's novel My Abandonment — a father and daughter's perilous journey of self-discovery. Academy Award–nominated filmmaking duo Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini will revisit their film. 

Both screenings and Q&As for Björn Runge's adaptation of The Wife and Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly are available to view online now.

The annual series is hosted by Eleanor Wachtel, the host of literary show Writers & Company on CBC Radio. 

"We're so pleased to be able to present all of the films in the series and the interviews between Eleanor and our special guests in a fully accessible format with closed captions," Straub said.

TIFF is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world. The festival plans to return this fall with an in-person, digital hybrid model.

You can find more details about Books on Film 2021 at

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