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10 Films to Watch at TIFF 2021

Ten Films to Watch At TIFF 2021

admin   September 12, 2021

Belfast

United Kingdom, 2021
English, 97 minutes

Director
Kenneth Branagh

Cast
Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Morgan, Jude Hill

Cinematography
Haris Zambarloukos

Editing
Úna Ní Dhonghaíle

Producers
Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas

Production Company
TKBC

Production Designer
Jim Clay

Screenplay
Kenneth Branagh

Sound
Simon Chase, James Mather, Denise Yarde

Writer-director Kenneth Branagh has described Belfast as his most personal film to date. It indeed is. Belfast, a black-and-white drama set in the late 1960s, is about a boy and his close-knit working-class family getting by in turbulent Northern Ireland. While young Jude Hill plays the lead, Dame Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe and Ciaran Hinds play his parents and grandparents. Branagh, one of the world’s most versatile actors, rewinds to his childhood and presents an affecting, delicate portrait of life amid the tumult of the period seen through the eyes of a child discovering music and other forms of self-expression. Belfast is being seen as a film with tremendous Oscar potential.     

Spencer

United Kingdom, Germany, 2021
English, 111 minutes

Director
Pablo Larraín

Cast
Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, Sean Harris

Cinematography
Claire Mathon

Editing
Sebastián Sepúlveda

Executive Producers
Tom Quinn, Jeff Deutchman, Christina Zisa, Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman, Ryan Heller

Producers
Juan De Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Paul Webster, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski

Production Companies
Komplizen Film, Fabula Pictures, Shoebox Films

Production Designer
Guy Hendrix Dyas

Screenplay
Steven Knight

Original Score
Jonny Greenwood

Talking of the Oscars, one actor who is definitely going to be in the awards season mix is Kristen Stewart. She plays Princess Diana in Pablo Larrain’s Spencer, which pans out over one a Christmas weekend at the humongous Sandringham Estate. The three days out in the country off the Norfolk coast marks a major turning point for one of the most famous women in the world. The Princess of Wales takes a decision that liberates her from the life she had chosen and the price she had to pay over the years for being in the public glare day in and day out. For Stewart, it is a role of a lifetime. She nails it.    

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

United Kingdom, 2021
English, 111 minutes

Director
Will Sharpe

Cast
Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Andrea Riseborough, Toby Jones

Cinematography
Erik Alexander Wilson

Editing
Selina Macarthur

Executive Producers
Ron Halpern, Didier Lupfer, Dan MacRae, Julia Oh, Ollie Madden, Daniel Battsek, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Stephenson

Producers
Guy Heeley, Ed Clarke, Adam Ackland, Leah Clarke

Production Companies
STUDIOCANAL, Shoebox Films, SunnyMarch, Film4, Amazon Studios

Production Designer
Suzie Davies

Screenplay
Simon Stephenson, Will Sharpe

Sound
Rashad Hall-Heinz, Richard Straker

Original Score
Arthur Sharpe

International Sales Agent
STUDIOCANAL

In Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, Benedict Cumberbatch (who is also in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog) plays the eccentric Victorian-era British artist Louis Wain, best known for his surreal paintings of cats. In his advancing years, Wain, a skilled artist who had to support his widowed mother and five younger sisters, grappled with schizophrenia and was confined to mental institutions. Sharpe, who has also co-written the film, gives Cumberbatch all the room he needs to flesh out a vivid figure of great depth and range. He captures the upheavals of Wain’s life with aplomb. The actor brings alive a dynamic life marked by unsettling ups and downs and Sharpe’s directing technique keeps pace with the principal character’s emotional and psychological vicissitudes.      

Benediction

United Kingdom, 2021
English, 137 minutes

Director
Terence Davies

Cast
Jack Lowden, Peter Capaldi, Gemma Jones, Ben Daniels, Kate Phillips, Simon Russell Beale, Jeremy Irvine, Geraldine James

Cinematography
Nicola Daley

Editing
Alex Mackie

Executive Producers
Paul Ashton, Margarethe Baillou, Norman Merry, Lizzie Francke, Rose Garnett, Jim Mooney, John Taylor, Walli Ullah, Jack Lowden, Peter Hampden

Producer
Michael Elliott

Production Company
EMU Films

Production Designer
Andy Harris

Screenplay
Terence Davies

Sound
Stephen Griffiths, Andy Shelley, Adam Fletcher

International Sales Agent
Bankside Films

Terence Davis, one of Britain’s most accomplished filmmakers, delivers a biographical drama that goes way beyond the limits of the genre. This drama about the life of 20th century English poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon mixes sustained solemnity with an immersive visual palette and impressionistic narrative devices. The younger Sassoon, who was decorated as a soldier but raised conscientious objections to the idea of war, is played by Jack Lowden, while the older avatar is portrayed by Peter Capaldi. Davies’ exquisite exploration of heroism and trauma relies more on storytelling that puts what is going in the mind of the protagonist ahead of what is happening around him.           

Huda’s Salon

Palestine, Egypt, Netherlands, Qatar, 2021
Arabic, 91 minutes

Director
Hany Abu-Assad

Cast
Ali Suliman, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Manal Awad

Cinematography
Ehab Assal, Peter Flinckenberg

Editing
Eyas Salman

Executive Producers
Emilie Georges, Mathieu Delaunay

Producers
Amira Diab, Mohamed Hefzy, Hany Abu-Assad

Production Companies
H&A Productions, Film Clinic, MAD Solutions, Lagoonie Film Production, Key Film, Cocoon FIlms

Production Designer
Nael Kanj

Screenplay
Hany Abu-Assad

Sound
Ibrahim Zaher, Mark Glynne, Tom Bijnen

Original Score
Jeffrey Van Rossum

International Sales Agent
Memento Films International

Oscar-nominated Palestinian writer-director Hany Abu-Assad’s Huda’s Salon is inspired by true events. Shot in Nazareth and Bethlehem in the middle of the pandemic through several disruptions, the film is about a woman whose visit to her West Bank hair salon turns into a nightmare when the owner blackmails her and seeks to paint her into a corner. Huda’s Salon examines the repercussions of occupation on individuals coping with daily challenges in a hostile environment. The film is cast in the mould of a gripping thriller that probes betrayal and danger precipitated by the pressures of constantly living on the edge.

The Power of the Dog

Australia, New Zealand, 2021
English, 127 minutes

Director
Jane Campion

Cast
Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Genevieve Lemon, Keith Carradine, Frances Conroy

Cinematography
Ari Wegner

Editing
Peter Sciberras

Executive Producers
Simon Gillis, Rose Garnett, John Woodward

Producers
Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Roger Frappier

Production Companies
See-Saw Films, Bad Girl Creek, Max Films International, Brightstar, New Zealand Film Commission, Cross City Films, BBC Films

Production Designer
Grant Major

Screenplay
Jane Campion

Sound
Robert Mackenzie

Original Score
Jonny Greenwood

International Sales Agent
Cross City Films

Jane Campion returns to the big screen with her first feature since 2009’s Bright Star. The Power of the Dog, an adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, also marks a return to the style and substance of her Oscar and Palme d’Or-winning The Piano. The Power of the Dog is the story of two brothers on a ranch in 192os Montana. Their already fraught relationship is thrown into further disarray when one of them marries a widowed single mother. Benedict Cumberbatch delivers another Oscar-worthy performance as a foul-tempered cowboy with too many unresolved issues for him to be at ease with the world around him. And, of course, Campion is back at the peak of her prowess.       

The Mad Women’s Ball

France, 2021
French, 121 minutes

Director
Mélanie Laurent

Cast
Lou de Laâge, Mélanie Laurent, Emmanuelle Bercot, Benjamin Voisin, Cédric Khan, Lomane De Dietrich, Christophe Montenez, Grégoire Bonnet

Cinematography
Nicolas Karakatsanis

Editing
Anny Danché

Producers
Alain Goldman, Axelle Boucaï

Production Company
Légende Films

Production Designer
Stanislas Reydellet

Screenplay
Mélanie Laurent, Chris Deslandes

Sound
Cyril Moisson, Alexis Place, Cyril Holtz

Original Score
Asaf Avidan

Prolific French actor and director Melanie Laurent brings Victoria Mas’s novel Le bal des folles. World premiering at TIFF, The Mad Women’s Ball is about a 19th century Frenchwoman who is wrongly sent to a mental asylum. She plans to escape from her ordeal with the help of one of the nurses at the institution. The film has Lou de Laage in the lead role as a young, independent woman. The story is from over a hundred year ago and it deals with the birth of psychiatry. Its unflinching exploration of misogyny gives the film contemporary resonance while reminding the audience of the abuses that women have had to face at the hands of those who claim to be healers in a lopsided system that thrives on power and oppression.         

The Survivor

United States of America, Canada, Hungary, 2021
English, German, 129 minutes

Director
Barry Levinson

Cast
Ben Foster, Vicky Krieps, Billy Magnussen, Peter Sarsgaard, John Leguizamo, Danny DeVito, Dar Zuzovsky, Saro Emirze

Cinematography
George Steel

Editing
Douglas Crise

Executive Producers
Joel Greenberg, Ben Foster, Danny DeVito, Steven Thibault, Ashley Levinson, Anjay Nagpal, Ron McLeod, Jason Cloth, Richard McConnell, David Gendron, Ali Jazayeri

Producers
Matti Leshem, Aaron L. Gilbert, Barry Levinson, Jason Sosnoff, Scott Pardo

Production Companies
BRON Studios, New Mandate Films

Production Designer
Miljen ‘Kreka’ Kljaković

Screenplay
Justine Juel Gillmer

Sound
Lon Bender

Original Score
Hans Zimmer

International Sales Agents
Endeavor Content, BRON Releasing

Another of the many biopics in the TIFF 2021 selection, Barry Levinson’s The Survivor dramatizes the life and times of Harry Haft, an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor who boxed with fellow prisoners simply in order to survive another day. The loser of every bout would be shot while the winner would live to fight another opponent. Haft went on to have a brief but eventful career as a pugilist in post-war Germany and then as a light heavyweight boxer in the US in the late 1940s. Ben Foster infuses the role with disquieting intensity as he brings alive a bruised and battered man who would not give up on life no matter what. The Survivor is as much about American masculinity as a celebration of one man’s will to live against all odds.

The Forgiven

United Kingdom, 2021
English, Arabic, Tamazight, French, 117 minutes

Director
John Michael McDonagh

Cast
Ralph Fiennes, Jessica Chastain, Matt Smith, Saïd Taghmaoui, Christopher Abbott, Ismael Kanater, Caleb Landry Jones, Mourad Zaoui, Abbey Lee, Alex Jennings, Marie-Josée Croze

Cinematography
Larry Smith

Editing
Elizabeth Eves, Chris Gill

Executive Producers
Norman Merry, Peter Hampden, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Jack Heller, Scott Veltri, Kimberly Fox, Donald Povieng, Ollie Madden, Daniel Battsek, Lawrence Osborne

Producers
Elizabeth Eves, John Michael McDonagh, Trevor Matthews, Nick Gordon

Production Companies
House of Un-American Activities, Brookstreet Pictures

Production Designer
Willem Smit

Screenplay
John Michael McDonagh

Sound
Ivor Talbot, Robert Flanagan

Original Score
Lorne Balfe

International Sales Agent
MadRiver Pictures

British filmmaker John Michael McDonagh directs Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain (also in The Eyes of Tammy Faye) in The Forgiven, an adaptation of the Lawrence Osborne novel of the same name. It tells the story of a about-to-divorce couple on their way to a lavish weekend party in Morocco. They accidentally kill a man. It sets off a chain of events that reveals the workings of a privileged class too trapped in their ivory towers to see how damaging their insensitivity and sense of entitlement can be – to themselves and to those they ride roughshod over. A trenchant critique of bourgeois lives enlivened by a clutch of wonderful performances.      

A Banquet

United Kingdom, 2021
English, 97 minutes

Director
Ruth Paxton

Cast
Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes, Kaine Zajaz, Lindsay Duncan

Cinematography
David Liddell

Editing
Mátyás Fekete

Executive Producers
Deepak Nayar, Jeremy Baxter, Justin Bull, Patrick Fischer, Richard Kondal

Producers
Leonora Darby, Mark Lane, Nik Bower, James Harris, Laure Vaysse

Production Companies
Tea Shop Productions, Riverstone Pictures, Rep Productions 8 Limited

Production Designer
Sofia Stocco

Screenplay
Justin Bull

Sound
Alex Outhwaite

Original Score
CJ Mirra

International Sales Agent
Hanway Films

The only film by a first-time director on this list of recommendations, Ruth Paxton’s TIFF Discover title is a psychological horror drama built around three generations of women. A widowed mother is put through severe psychological stress when her teenage daughter announces that, following a flash of enlightenment, she feels that her body is no longer her own. Initially, the mother is inclined to dismiss her announcement as a sign of youthful rebellion or a momentary meltdown. As her new-found faith quickly strengthens its grip on her, the girl stops eating. The strange phenomenon compels her mother to look inwards in search of answers. This stunning debut film from the UK heralds the arrival of a promising female director.


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Embracing Cinema Through Screens of all Sizes

admin   September 21, 2020

TIFF’s industry platform welcomed 3,926 international professionals digitally this year, and remains a force for market activity with strong deals continuing to be made

“TIFF 2020 was a year we won’t soon forget,” said Cameron Bailey, TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head. “Over the last 10 days, we have experienced community in the truest sense. The pandemic hit TIFF hard and we responded by going back to our original inspiration — to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience and transform the way people see the world through film. We heeded the urgent calls for greater representation of under-represented voices. And we watched as audiences embraced cinema’s ability to transport them through screens of all sizes by joining us online from all over this country — something that we would never have seen in previous years. TIFF delivered on its promise to provide Festival-goers and the industry with impactful programming. We are very proud of what the TIFF team accomplished.”

“The films and talent featured in this year’s Festival have left us inspired and moved,” said Joana Vicente, TIFF Executive Director and Co-Head. ”In a time where the very future of our beloved art form was in question due to cinema and production shutdowns and film festival cancellations, we have seen a tenacity of spirit. We’re heartened by the support and generosity from TIFF’s loyal sponsors, donors, members, and public audiences who encouraged us to deliver a reimagined Festival. We’re grateful for the industry delegates and press corps who championed TIFF’s decision to go ahead with the Festival. We are excited by the fact that 46% of the films screened this year were either directed, co-directed or created by women. We are inspired by the generosity of the industry, who gave their time to be present — virtually — in support of the Festival. And, finally, we are genuinely moved by the commitment of all TIFF’s stakeholders who helped us deliver the TIFF Tribute Awards to Canadian and international audiences.

TIFF’s industry platform welcomed 3,926 international professionals digitally this year, and remains a force for market activity with strong deals continuing to be made. The following films were sold at TIFF 2020: Another Round, Bruised, Good Joe Bell, MLK/FBI, Night of the Kings, One Night in Miami… , Pieces of a Woman, Shadow In The Cloud, Shiva Baby and Summer of 85, with many other sales continuing to be negotiated for films in and out of selection.

TIFF’s Industry Conference presented 35 digital sessions, including Master Classes with Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, Luca Guadagnino, Ted Hope, and dream hampton. The Dialogues stream featured conversations with directors Radha Blank, Stella Meghie, and Lulu Wang; writers Tracy Oliver, Cord Jefferson, and Leslye Headland; Primetime directors Derek Cianfrance and Lenny Abrahamson; and documentarians Sam Pollard and Shola Lynch.

Additionally, Perspectives sessions included “Narrative Sovereignty” with TIFF Tribute Award honouree Tracey Deer, and “From Micro to Macro: How Data Can Drive Anti-Racist Action in Film and Television.” Popular Microsessions encouraged conversations in “Reclaiming Our Time, Stories and Screens for Under-represented Canadian Creators” and “Harnessing Media to Make Positive Social Change,” to name just a few, and Spotlights featured countries such as Russia, India Israel, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The Conference also offered two special industry events: “Aaron Sorkin on The Trial of the Chicago 7 ”, and “Women on the Rise: 2020 TIFF Rising Stars, a panel presented by OLG.”

Talent development also remains at the forefront of TIFF’s commitment to the industry. The Filmmaker Lab provided emerging directors with an immersive learning experience. This year, 20 directors were selected to participate — 10 from Canada and 10 from around the world. The Lab, designed to be inspirational, brought filmmakers into contact with some of the finest creative talent in the world and was supported by Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the RBC Female Creator Initiative, Anne-Marie Canning, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) with Filmmaker Lab Fellowships generously supported by Hudson’s Bay Foundation, Canada Goose and TIFF’s Share Her Journey campaign. For 2020 the HFPA selected three of our Filmmaker Lab participants for their three-week residency programme: Maha Al-Saati (Saudi Arabia), Álvaro Gago Díaz (Spain), and Jeff Wong (Canada).

In order to acknowledge the heroes working to keep people safe during the global health crisis, TIFF presented a special screening of Concrete Cowboy to 500 invited frontline workers on Monday, September 14. The screening was held on TIFF’s online film platform, Bell Digital Cinema, and sponsored by Fasken.

TIFF partnered with Toronto area hospitals Sinai Health, Toronto General, St. Michael’s, and St. Joseph’s (Unity); long-term care facilities Baycrest Hospital, Homes First, and South Riverdale Community Health Centre; and mental health care partners CAMH (PHP, ENCORE, Gifts of Light), CMHA, Real Canadian Superstore, and the TTC in order to facilitate outreach to 500 frontline workers in the Greater Toronto Area. Many of these partners work closely with TIFF year-round as part of our Mental Health Outreach programme, which supports individuals on their path to wellness by harnessing the unique power of film to unlock imagination and encourage curiosity.

For the first time ever, TIFF’s leading fundraiser, the TIFF Tribute Awards, was broadcast across Canada on CTV and ctv.ca, and streamed internationally to the rest of the world by Variety. During the one-hour broadcast, Academy Award–winning actress Kate Winslet and Academy Award–winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins each received a TIFF Tribute Actor Award ; Nomadland director Chloé Zhao was awarded the TIFF Ebert Director Award; Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Mira Nair was honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media; Grammy Award– winning composer Terence Blanchard, whose work was featured in this year’s films Bruised and One Night In Miami… , received the TIFF Variety Artisan Award; and Beans director Tracey Deer was awarded the TIFF Emerging Talent Award.


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TIFF: The Show and Business Goes on

admin   September 2, 2020

‘In a time of disruption, professionals from around the world still look for occasions to come together, share innovative ideas, buy and sell content, and find creative ways to collectively forge ahead towards a safer, healthier,and inclusive future,’ says Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry & Theatrical, giving details about this year’s TIFF Industry.

How has the TIFF Industry shaped this year?

We made an early decision to go fully digital for TIFF Industry. We could still engage with the global delegates. We could still engage with them versus working through travel restrictions and things like that. So, we have our online screening platform for press and industry screenings. We have a mix of what we’re calling this year, industry select titles, which are a collection of hot sale titles from around the world, that will be shown to buyers and anyone interested in acquiring content. And they will also have private screening. So similar to the Marche, there’ll be a handful of select private screenings, where people can watch them.

Tell us about the TIFF Industry Conference this year…

The five-day event, taking place September 10–14 during the Festival, will inspire and incite discussions for creative and business entrepreneurship. The Conference is an inspiring professional development opportunity for delegates to experience high-profile speakers, intimate conversations, provocative panel discussions, and user-friendly presentations designed to help build resourceful, innovative, and financially sustainable business practices.

We have a really strong conference lineup. We have around 34 different sessions. They are big names in the industry. We have some of the greatest speakers who are really changing the industry in a significant way. And then, we have these more targeted sessions called microsessions and national spotlights that will really focus on very specific subject matters that the audiences will find interesting.

This is a pivotal moment in recognizing the unsung heroes, whose work will pave the way to a more sustainable and equitable industry. This year’s Industry Conference will be a catalyst for change, examining new trends and championing diversity, racial equality, and gender parity. Talent Development continues to be a cornerstone of TIFF’s year-round work and we are exceptionally proud of the programme we’ve curated for the participants, and are excited to see them grow.

What are the tools deployed by TIFF Industry?

There are three kinds of tools that we are using for TIFF Press & Industry access. We are using Shift 72 for our screening platform. We are suing Cinando’s Match & Meet App as a networking tool for professional business meetings. Industry Talk is run by Paragon. Delegates will be able to navigate TIFF digital spaces through these tools.

Are there any physical events for TIFF Industry? Will there be live audience for Industry talks?

We don’t have any in-person physical industry events. Everything will be digital. And everyone across the world, will have multiple ways to see it. So for instance, if a conference conversation goes live digitally, noon Eastern Standard Time, then anyone outside of that timezone either can watch it within their own time zone and if their timezone is in off hours or when they’re sleeping, they can catch up on that conference talk the next morning.

In a time of disruption, professionals from around the world still look for occasions to come together, share innovative ideas, buy and sell content, and find creative ways to collectively forge ahead towards a safer, healthier,and inclusive future. This year, delegates can expect to find community, connection, inspiration, and talent — the foundation that will serve as the way forward. All Industry engagement and opportunities will be online, including business and talent development and its Industry Conference.

What has been the delegate registration feedback?

We expect that it would be the same numbers, with a similar per centage of participation in previous years. We are happy that a large number of industry delegates are engaging with us.

What about participation from National Pavilions and Agencies?

Instead of the TIFF Industry Centre this year, all national agencies have been given the option to have a spotlight on our digital platform. Essentially, it’s a curated page to highlight their content, their films, co-production initiatives, locales and services. We have 20 to 25 countries in the National Pavilion. They will have a footprint on our Industry platform. They can be engaged through Cinando’s Meet & Match App for meetings.


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Navigating Toronto Film Festival and Industry

admin   September 2, 2020

Here are tips on getting the best out of 45th edition of Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 10-19). With over 50 films in the 2020 selection, 34 conference sessions, TIFF Industry Online will provide accredited press and industry access to all of the necessary tools for success at TIFF

PERFECT PLANNING
The complete film and conference programming schedule is online at www.tiff.net. If you plan out your schedule properly it is possible to see all 50 films in selections this year. You have to plan and map out your schedule the way you would ordinarily do so at the physical festival. Pretend that you’re actually flying and getting a hotel room and just diving right in to the festival and devote as much time as you can. Press and industry screenings on the TIFF digital platform will be accessible within a 48-hour window to allow them to be viewed wherever delegates are in the world. All films will play for a full 48-hour window so you can watch at your convenience. The platform will be based on Shift72’s technology with strict security measures.

‘PASS’ MARK
You still have time to register for TIFF Industry Online. Film professionals can participate digitally in this year’s festival by registering for one of two pass options, depending on their professional needs: the Digital Pro Pass is designed for distributors, exhibitors, sales agents, talent agents, producers, and writer-directors, while the new Digital Talks Pass is ideal for new filmmakers, actors, students, and scholars.

TIFF, which usually discovers and shows the path to the best of award seasons including Oscars, will have a lineup of 50 new feature films, five programmes of short films, as well as interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

NOT JUST ABOUT FILMS…
TIFF 2020 is programmed in a way that you have room to cover everything during the festival period. In between films, you can also attend various industry conference events, masterclasses and live in conversation discussions. So, you have to really plan well and make sure to stick to the schedule.

FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
TIFF festival selection features represent a diverse selection of the highest-quality films from around the globe. Films on offer will reflect first-rate international cinema, documentaries, and Canadian creativity. The strong representation of women, Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour among TIFF’s selection reflects the organization’s continuing commitment to normalizing gender parity and racial equality for future generations.

TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE
The HBO, Spike Lee-directed filmed version of David Byrne’s Broadway theatrical concert ‘American Utopia’ will be the opening night presentation of the 45th Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.
American filmmaker Spike Lee masterfully directs a transformative experience, as the show raises political injustice, revealing how audiences can come together during challenging times through the power of entertainment.

SOCIAL DISTANCING
If you are in Toronto and lucky enough to enter enter TIFF Bell lightbox, you will have to wear masks when you moving around public spaces or restroom.  Once you’re seated for the screening, you can take the mask off. Social distancing is must and limited number of people will be allowed in enclosed spaces, like a restroom at a time.

MATCH & MEET
If you are an industry badge holder, you can connect in a virtual space with professionals from all over the world via Cinando’s networking app Match & Meet. With integrating video calling, you can easily connect and do meetings. Match & Meet will help find your perfect professional match. Registered delegates will receive an invitation with instructions on how to join after your confirmation email.

VIRTUAL REALITY
The entire TIFF Industry related activity will be virtual this year. But you can do everything as if you were are the Hyatt Industry Centre. Explore TIFF’s National Agency Spotlights on the platform homepage and see content from the various territories just waiting to be discovered. These dedicated shelves will be home to titles both in and out of selection, in addition to conference programming.

WHAT’S IN STORE
National Promotional Agencies will have a footprint on our platform to showcase completed productions and co-productions, as well as new initiatives and talent, through curated Spotlight talks available to all registered professionals.

BY THE NUMBERS

TIFF 2020 received 6876 film submissions this year.

6038 were international and 838 from Canada

In TIFF 2020, 43% of films are directed by women


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Roskino to Host Russian Virtual Digital Content Market from June 8

admin   May 1, 2020

ROSKINO, the Russian film body dedicated to promoting Russia’s motion picture art around the world, has announced they will be hosting the first national digital market to connect buyers, producers and distributors from around the world to showcase the diverse range of Russian content both completed and in post-production. The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition will run from June 8 and aims to bring together the film industry and build relationships, facilitate business and share experiences.

The pioneering event is being designed to include live presentations and pitches, a screening room with over 150 hours of films, series and animations both finished and in production, real-time meetings, international panel discussions, a dedicated co-production and co-development section and a unique showcase of concerts and performances celebrating Russian culture.

The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition has been modelled on the success of the inaugural Key Buyers Event which was hosted in Moscow last October. The offline event attracted buyers and commissioners acquiring content for over 60 territories and screened over 120 Russian films, TV series and animation projects. In addition, participants were able to learn more about film and TV production in Russia which offers generous financial incentives, world-class facilities and location diversity.

The event will present over 150 hours of films, series, animation and documentaries from leading Russian companies. Those confirmed to partake include National Media Group, Russia Television, Radio holdings, NTV Broadcasting and TV channels Friday, TV-3 and Super. A range of production and distribution companies participating include Central Partnership; Planeta Inform Group of Companies; Art Pictures Distribution; Art Pictures Studio; Mars Media Entertainment; Bazelevs; Yellow, Black and White Group; CTB Film Company and PREMIER Studios. Also involved are SVOD platforms Start and more.tv, alongside Animation companies such as Soyuzmultfilm, Wizart, Riki Group and many more.

Evgenia Markova, CEO of Roskino explained: “It’s challenging for Roskino to organize such an event in one month, but we are keen on using the current situation to the benefit of all sides involved. The event will be a destination for international buyers to access a wide range of Russian content encompassing all genres both for the big and small screen. Russian organizations will have a dedicated platform they so need at the moment to present their slates and strengthen global partnerships. Russia remains a united industry, that’s why it’s crucial to present it as such on a single platform, entirely devoted to national content. We hope this initiative will generate interest in the latest compelling content coming out of Russia and support the local industry.”

Crucial to the continued growth of the Russian film and creative industries during these challenging times, the initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development.

Maxim Ksenzov, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, explained: “It’s our priority to support the national industry, especially now – when the global community is struggling to find a way out of the crisis. With production suspended and cinemas closed, export is one of the few fields available to keep the industry thriving. Last year, we supported the Key Buyers Event, and we are confident this event will be of major interest to global companies.”

Alexey Fursin, Head of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development added: “It was imperative we joined forces to support this initiative, as Moscow is the heart of the creative industries in Russia. The majority of productions, distributors and media holdings are Moscow-based and many of them have become or aim to become export-oriented. It is important for us to support their international effort – as the crucial investment in our creative economy sector continues to flourish despite the crisis.”

The major Russian producers have welcomed the event.

Art Pictures founder, producer and film director Fedor Bondarchuk explained: “Our work continues despite the restrictions enforced by quarantine – production is suspended, but we keep developing new projects and selling new titles. For example, we are now negotiating on ‘Sputnik’ which was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival. The film will be distributed by IFC Midnight in the USA later this year, as well as released in the UK and Australia. We are also finalizing sales for ‘Invasion’ and working on further deals for ‘Ice-2,’ which has already been shown in the UK, USA, France and Switzerland. A platform like the Russian Virtual Market is key to enable us to keep up the pace and present our best titles to international partners, now and in future.”

Vadim Vereshchagin, CEO of Central Partnership, agreed: “We had a very successful experience with the first Key Buyers Event in Moscow, and we rely on the new digital format next month. We are going to present exclusive content to the global community with a focus on building new partnerships with VOD platforms.”

Russian producer and film director Timur Bekmambetov explains now is the time to work with new technologies and bring more innovation to the industry.

“The Russian industry needs technological and infrastructure solutions that allow content creators to promote content abroad quickly. Transition to online will help to make the necessary leap and work more efficiently within global markets.”

The full programme will be announced in the coming weeks.


IFFI Golden Jubilee Edition

admin   February 22, 2020

Packed into the nine-day festival were 200- odd films from 76 countries, which offered cineastes a wide sampling of last year’s most lauded works, besides a slew of landmark films of historical worth from across the world.

The 50th edition of Asia’s oldest international film festival was a major success. Packed into the nine-day festival were 200- odd films from 76 countries, which offered cineastes a wide sampling of last year’s most lauded works, besides a slew of landmark films of historical worth from across the world.

The best of contemporary world cinema apart, IFFI 2019 brought to film fans in Goa an impressive array of films from the past, including a package of nine previous winners of the Golden Peacock, the festival’s top trophy that now comes with a cash prize of over $55,000.

The Golden Peacock retrospective included the 1963 winner, Changes in the Village, directed by Lester James Peries, who is regarded as the father of Sri Lankan cinema. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan (2014) was also in the segment along with James Ivory’s The Bostonians (1984), Miklos Jancso’s Hungarian Rhapsody (1979), Samira Makhmalbaf’s At Five in the Afternoon (2003) and Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Tulpan (2008). The sole Indian film in the selection of Golden Peacock winners was the Bengali film MonerManush (2010), directed by Goutam Ghose.

A bunch of equally fancied names were part of IFFI’s Festival Kaleidoscope, which showcased films that earned critical accolades. Led by Bong Joonho’s Palme d’Or winner Parasite, this section includes several other titles that premiered in Cannes: Mati Diop’s Atlantique, Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe and Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

Another commemorative segment aimed at underlining the special status of the 50th edition of IFFI was a retrospective of Oscar- winning films. Entries in this section ranged from Casablanca, Gone With the Wind and Ben-Hur to The Godfather, Forrest Gump and The Silence of the Lambs. All About Eve, The Best Years of Our Lives, Lawrence of Arabia and The Sound of Music completed the line-up of Oscar winners.

All eyes were also on the ‘filmmaker in focus’ Takashi Miike, a Ken Loach mini-retrospective, two restored Indian classics (RitwikGhatak’s Titas Ekti Nadir Naam and Uday Shankar’s Kalpana) plus Master Frames and Festival Kaleidoscope, sections devoted to films hailed in Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto.

Six films were screened as part of the Takashi Miike retrospective. The package included the relatively mellow The Bird People of China. The other Miikefilms in IFFI are Audition (1999), with which the maverick Japanese director known for his no-holds-barred depiction of violence and sexual excess began to acquire international fame; Ichi the Killer, a manga adaptation that is still banned in several countries; the yakuza thriller Dead or Alive; the samurai film 13 Assassins; and First Love, which played in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight this year.

The 50th IFFI competition had assembled 15 films that gave the fivemember jury headed by John Bailey, veteran Hollywood cinematographer and former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, plenty to choose from. As for the composition of the jury, IFFI had rarely got it better than it has done this time. As president of the main competition
jury, Bailey worked with four top-flight filmmakers: Scotland’s Lynne Ramsay, France’s Robin Campillo, China’s Zhang Yang and India’s Ramesh Sippy.

The competition line-up included two Indian titles: Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu and Anant Mahadevan’s Mai Ghat Crime No. 103/2005. Among the other films in the IFFI 2019 competition were Pema Tseden’s rural- Tibet set Chinese production Balloon, Ali Aydin’s Turkish entry Chronology, Swiss filmmaker Blaise Harrison’s first fiction feature Particles, Brazilian actor Wagner Moura’s historical epic Marighella, Indonesian director Yosep AnggiNoen’s The Science of Fictions and the Slovenian film Stories from the Chestnut Woods, directed by Gregor Bozic.

World Panorama also had the Canadian film Coda, directed by Claude Lalonde. Master Frames brought together 19 films by directors such as Pedro Almodovar (Pain and Glory), Olivier Assayas (Wasp Network), Hirokazu Kore-eda (The Truth, Roy Andersson (About Endlessness), Costa Gavras (Adults in the Room), Roman Polanski (An Officer and a Boy, Goran Paskaljevic (Despite the Fog), Werner Herzog (Family Romance LLC), Atom Egoyan (Guest of Honour).

Russia was the focus country at IFFI. Speaking on the joint production of films and cultural exchange through films, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said that such efforts will bring the spirit of India and Russia together. Head of Russian delegation at IFFI and Editor in Chief of Kinoreporter Maria Lameshev said that there was a great interest for Russian films among Indian people. She added that according to the coproduction agreement, 40 percent of budget of the film would be given back by the Ministry of Culture.

The 2019 edition of the Open Forum organised by the Federation of the Film Societies of India opened with the pertinent topic: Focus on IFFI @50: Flash Back and Moving Forward. The session was inaugurated by Chaitanya Prasad, Festival Director, ADG, Directorate of Film Festival (DFF), Kiran Shantaram, President, Federation of Film Societies of India, AK Bir, Filmmaker and Chairman of Technical Committee, IFFI 2019, Alexey Govorukhin, Executive Producer, Kinoreporter Magazine, Russia and Marianne Borgo, actress from France.


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NFDC Invites Applications for Production of Films in Indian Languages; Deadline September 8, 2019

admin   August 1, 2019

National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC), the central agency established in 1975 to encourage high quality Indian cinema, has invited applications for production of films in various Indian languages. The deadline is September 8, 2019.

“NFDC produces & co-produces feature films that reflect the diversity in Indian Cinema, under the scheme titled “Production of films in various Indian languages” of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Under the said Scheme, NFDC produces & co-produces films under its extant guidelines for film production, whereby it encourages debutant filmmakers by undertaking 100% production of their first feature film and co-production of good quality films in partnership with private players both from India and abroad,” said NFDC in its notification.

With more than 300 films in 21 Indian languages, many of which have earned wide acclaim and won national and international awards, NFDC’s architecture aims towards creating domestic and global appreciation of the cinemas of India. While its recent catalogue boasts of films like The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra, Qissa by Anup Singh, The Good Road by Gyan Correa, its old catalogue includes films such as Gandhi by Richard Attenborough, Salaam Bombay by Mira Nair, Train to Pakistan by Pamela Rooks, Duvidha by Mani Kaul, Ek Din Achanak by Mrinal Sen, Agantuk by Satyajit Ray amongst others.

Only the first feature film of the applicant director is eligible under the 100% Production scheme of the corporation. NFDC will undertake the production of the film and will also have all rights over the film and the story/script in perpetuity.

The length of the feature film should be between 90 to 120 minutes including credit title. Application should be submitted in duplicate in the printed or in electronic
format.

In case of co-production, co-producer’s share of investment must be presented to NFDC before signing the co-production agreement post final approval of the project. The applicant (Director/Producer) must furnish an undertaking from the bank where the funds are placed by the Co-Producer with instructions to release funds as and when required by NFDC.

NFDC aims at fostering excellence in cinema and promoting the diversity of its culture by supporting and encouraging films made in various Indian languages through productions.

For more details, log on to http://www.nfdcindia.com


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IFFI Calls for Entry for Indian Panorama in 50th Edition

admin   August 1, 2019

Directorate of Film Festival has initiated the process for receiving entries for Indian Panorama Section of the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held from November 20-28, 2019 in Goa, with some changes in the regulations.

The last date for submission of On- Line applications is 10 August, 2019 and the last date for receipt of the stamped and signed hard copy of the submitted online application form along with the requisite material is 22 August, 2019.

Indian Panorama is a significant component of the International Film Festival of India, organised by the Directorate of Film Festival under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, which features the best Indian Films of the year.

The aim of the Indian Panorama, organised by the Directorate is to select feature and non-feature films of cinematic, thematic and aesthetic excellence, for the promotion of film art through the non-profit screening of these films in:

  • International Film Festivals in India and abroad
  • Indian Film Weeks held under Bilateral Cultural Exchange Programmes and Specialized Indian Film Festivals outside cultural exchange protocols.
  • Special Indian Panorama Festivals in India

The Indian Panorama will have the following sections ~ Feature films and Non-feature films

A maximum of 26 Feature films and 21 Non-Feature films (including the Best Feature and Best Non-Feature films from 66th National Film Awards, 2018), distinguished by cinematic, thematic and aesthetic excellence selected in accordance with the conditions and procedure laid down below will feature in the Indian Panorama 2019 at 50th International Film Festival of India.

Out of 26 feature films selected in Indian Panorama, two films will be recommended for the competition section of International Film Festival of India 2019. Debut film(s) of a Director selected for Indian Panorama 2019 will also be considered for the Centenary Award for the Best Debut Film of a Director proposed to be given at the 50th International Film Festival of India. The award carries Rs 10 lakh and a silver peacock. Maximum of two such films will be considered for this award.


Shooting Locales in India – Rajasthan

admin   July 31, 2019

This princely state is the top choice for royal tales. With its imposing palaces and forts, the cities of Rajasthan might very well pass off as international destinations, thanks to its foreign tourists. Rajasthan is also the most widely captured on cinema. The state has been a favoured location with both Indian and international filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar and more! But the stories of Hawa Mahal, Mount Abu and the haunted forts in Alwar are still awaiting to be told on celluloid

Incentives offered by Rajasthan

  • Incentives in Rajasthan are granted under Rajasthan Film Shooting (Amendment) Regulations, 2016.
  • Films that are 75% shot in Rajasthan and have been given “U” certificates, get a 100% exemption from entertainment tax

for one year.

  • New cinema halls and drive-in theatres have been exempted from entertainment tax for three years – 75% in the first year, 50% in the second year and 25% in the third year.
  • “U” certificate Rajasthani films shot in Rajasthan are eligible for Rs.10 lakh incentives, while films with “U/A” certificate are eligible for Rs. 5 lakh incentive
  • State government has waived of processing charges (Rs. 15,000/- day), security deposit (Rs. 0.50 million per week) and application charges (Rs. 1,000).

Initiatives taken

  • The state government has streamlined the process of granting speedy shooting permissions
  • In 2013, the state government had issued Film Shooting Regulations for setting up a single-window clearance system under the tourism department to issue timebound permission within 15 days of receiving the application.
  • In 2016, Film Shooting Regulation was amended, wherein different fees such as application, processing, security deposit, etc. were waived off.
  • The authorities concerned will have to reply within four days if no reply is received it will be assumed that they have given their consent.
  • Under the Film Shooting Regulations (amended), the district collectors, superintendent of police and head of departments are the Nodal Officers to issue permissions within the prescribed time.
  • The government is working on developing online integrated application form containing requirements for all government departments.
  • Organisation of film events and festivals like Rajasthan Film Festival (RFF), Rajasthan International Film Festival and Jaipur International Film Festival.

Shooting Locales

Jaipur

Udaipur

Sawai Madhopur

Jodhpur

Amer Palace

Kota, among many others

For More Information Contact
Pradeep Kumar Borar,
Director, Tourism Department of Tourism, Govt. of Rajasthan
Tel: 0141-5155100


Shooting Locales in India – Jharkhand

admin   July 31, 2019

Jharkhand is a nature lover’s paradise. It is home to countless waterfalls — Hundru Falls, Lodh Falls and Johna Falls. The State’s locales include forests, hills, valleys, waterfalls, wildlife, history, culture, charming towns and vibrant cities

Incentives offered by Jharkhand

  • If a film director, film is directed/shot in the state in which all the actors are from Jharkhand then the remuneration amount to be given to the actors is Rs. 50 lakhs only, whichever is less will be given as additional grant.
  • The films made in Jharkhandi languages given grant of maximum of 50 percent of the total costing, and films made in hindi, bangla, oriya and other languages granted 25 percent maximum of the total costing.
  • If any film is shot/directed by any director in the state in which the main five actors are from Jharkhand, then the remuneration amount to be given to the actors for the given film or Rs. 25 lakhs, whichever is less will be given as additional grant.
  • The documentary and feature film of minimum time duration of 30 minutes and 1 hour respectively if shot more than half days of the total days of shooting in Jharkhand then the grant limit is Rs. 1 crore. And, if 2/3rd shooting of such films is done in the state then they are eligible for a grant of maximum amount of Rs. 2 crores.
  • If after the film is shot and processing of the films is done in state, then the grant of 50% costs of the processing or maximum Rs. 50 lakhs is provided.
  • If any investor opens a film training institute in big cities of Jharkhand (excluding the film city) then 50% cost or maximum Rs. 50 lakhs is provided.
  • If any film director, by making/shooting of the film promotes tourist places of the state and culture which helps to form specific identity of the state outside the state, then film is granted a maximum of Rs. 50 lakhs.
  • Entertainment tax exemption on films made or acquired by Children Film Society, National Award winner, best Indian film in international festival, documentary films produced by Central government’s Film Division, family welfare films, objective/value based films made by state or central government.

Initiatives taken

  • Single table system for the successful implementation of film policy and to provide better facilities to the people associated with films.
  • Setting up of state level Film Development Council for discussing long term strategies to attract investments for the films and monitor the implementation of film policy.
  • Setting up of state film unit to feature minor/academic films made in Jharkhand in theatres and for implementation of film policy.
  • Security arrangements for film production.
  • A film shooting wing would be set up under police department to provide VIP security to film makers.

Shooting Locales

Ranchi

Deogarh

Barkakana

Ramgarh

Dassam Falls

Jamshedpur

Hazaribagh

Giridih, among many others

For More Information Contact
Sd. Rashid Akhtar,
Nodal officer Cum Assistant Director, JFDCL and I&PRD, GoJ
Tel: 7004700270
Email: connect.jfdcl@gmail.com
State Website: http://www.jharkhand.gov.in/state-agency