Category Archives: #TIFF

La La Land at front of Oscar pack after win at Toronto

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Donald Clarke



Don’t get too upset. The six-month-long Oscar season will go to sleep for a spell after the Toronto International Film Festival tidies away the bunting. But the loudest of the opening trumpets is sounded with the People’s Choice Award at that festival. There was a time when the gong had little bearing on the Oscars, but, over the last decade, it has pointed to certain success at the awards that matter. Twelve months ago, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room began its march to glory — one big win for Brie Larson and nominations in best picture and director — with a triumph by Lake Ontario. Since 2008, only one film has won (Nadine Labaki’s Where do We Go Now) without receiving a nomination for best picture. Three of the Toronto winners in that time have converted into the Oscar itself.

It thus seemed likely that, rather than some leisurely outhouse puzzler, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land — a musical that has been Oscar favourite ever since opening Venice — would be the honoured picture. So, it has proved. The runners up were crowd-pleasers that, if nothing else, will figure in the conversation until nomination day in January: Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe and Garth Davis’s Lion. (The Academy will be delighted that, after the #oscarssowhite embarrassment and the Birth of a Nation fiasco, both films focus on people of colour.) The many Ben Wheatley fans who were a bit disappointed by High Rise will be happy to hear that his thriller Free Fire won the People’s Choice for Midnight Madness.

There were no triumphs for the Irish at this year’s Toronto. But there have been decent reviews for Gerard Barrett’s Brain on Fire and Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name. The best notices among the domestic premieres seem to have been for John Butler’s Handsome Devil. We now move on towards the Guild Awards in the winter with Awards appetite whetted (if that’s what you like).

If you’re interested, I have a tenner on Lion to win best picture at 25/1. No, I haven’t seen the picture, but it’s already come in to 20/1. So, I feel like a genius.


People’s Choice Award: “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle

People’s Choice Award For Documentary: “I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck

People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness: “Free Fire,” Ben Wheatley

Platform Prize: “Jackie,” Pablo Larrian

Platform Prize, Special Mention: “Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait,” Khyentse Norbu

Best Canadian Feature Film: “Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves,” Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie

Best Canadian First Feature Film: “Old Stone,” Johnny Ma

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section: “I Am Not Madame Bovary,” Feng Xiaogang

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section: “Kati Kati,” Mbithi Masya

Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award: “Jeffrey,” Yanillys Perez

NETPAC Award For World or International Asian Film Premiere: “In Between,” Maysaloun Hamoud

Best Short Film: “Imago,” Ribay Gutierrez

Best Canadian Short Film: “Mutants,” Alexandre Dostie


TIFF 2016: Woody Harrelson in One More Biopic of LBJ—This Time a Good One

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By George Prentice

Beneath a mound of makeup and fake proboscis, Woody Harrelson performs the hell out of Lyndon Baines Johnson in LBJ, yet another dramatization of the 36th president of the United States.

The subject of President Johnson has been well trod. There have been four magnificent books written on LBJ by Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Caro; the Tony Award-winning 2012 Broadway play All the Way by Robert Schennkan; and the 2016 HBO adaptation of the play, which will most certainly win its star, Bryan Cranston, another Emmy Award this Sunday.

Now comes director Rob Reiner’s LBJ, which has yet to set a release date in North America but made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“You got your show horses and you got your workhorses,” LBJ says to an aide early in the film, referring to then-President John F. Kennedy’s popularity versus his vice president’s respectability. “And when the field needs plowin’, you need the right one leavin’ the barn.”

LBJ chronicles Johnson’s reluctance to accept the vice presidency from JFK, followed by his taking of the reins in the shadow of the latter’s assassination. Harrelson plays the irascible yet sly Texan as a tough SOB who still obsessed over not being liked.

“I could walk on the Potomac River and the next day’s headlines would say, ‘Johnson can’t swim,'” he complains.

Expectations were low for the film. Reiner has had his share of hits (When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men), but he’s had more misses of late (Being Charlie, Rumor Has it, The Story of Us). Considering Reiner also directed the widely-popular 1995 film The American President, this is territory he’s comfortable with—and it shows.

Harrelson, whose dramatic turns increase with every project (one recent highlight being HBO’s True Detective), mines his own Texas roots to uncover subtleties in LBJ than many other actors haven’t been able to deliver. For that reason alone, LBJ is worth seeing and goes a long way to making it Reiner’s best film since The American President.



29th TIFF Lineup for Special Screening Section and Reveal its Festival Trailer

The 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is just around the corner!
TIFF is pleased to announce the full lineup for the Special Screening Section. It presents high-profile films, both Japanese and international films and we are expecting to welcome many glamorous guests to the Opening Carpet and stage appearances!


Special Screening Section  Lineup


*Screening schedule will be announced on the 29th TIFF official website ( in mid-October.


Seto Surya wins INTERFILM Award at Venice

Nepali film Seto Surya (White Sun) directed by Deepak Rauniyar was premiered in the Orizzonti section — an international competition — at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival to much appreciation on September 6.


*Video and photos are courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema


It has also won 6th INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue under Collateral Awards of the 73rd Venice Film Festival.

“From a shortlist of finally three films the INTERFILM Jury at the 73rd International Film Festival Venice has chosen the winner of the 6th INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue.

The jury decided for the Nepalisian film Seta Surya (White Sun) by Deepak Rauniyar which was screened in the Orizzonti section of the festival,” the website of the Award writes.

Seta Surya Director, Deepak Rauniyar. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)

“It is obviously a moment of joy to be receiving an award at one of the world’s oldest and biggest film festivals of the world. We all are happy,” director Rauniyar expressed to The Himalayan Times via a Facebook interview. Sadly, he wasn’t there to receive the award.

Highway was his first feature film and it also became “the first feature of Nepal to premiere in a major international film festival. Now, White Sun has taken us to another level”.

He has had a deep belief that “Nepali films like other films can be distributed and screened across the audience of the world.

I would be jubilant that day when our films will be distributed easily like other films reach us. My belief has been firm after White Sun was screened at two big film festivals in a gap of four days and the response we got.”

After Venice Film Festival, White Sun had a North American premiere at Toronto International Film Festival on September 10. The 87-minute-film is a story after the country’s civil war.

It features Dayahang Rai, Asha Magrati, Rabindra Singh Baniya, Sumi Malla and Amrit Pariyar among others.

With the win, lead actor Rai feels that “the country and Nepali films have garnered respect”. When the film was well received at the premiere at Venice with a long applause in a hall of more than 1,200 audience, he is on cloud nine.

He shared, “I felt that this is the success for what I have worked till now!” He had also not expected that people would be interested in a Nepali film.

The Festival ran from August 31 to September 10. INTERFILM is the international network for dialogue between church and film promoting the appreciation of cinema’s artistic, spiritual and social significance in the church and calls attention to the relevance of church, theology and religion for cinema.

As festivals are critical for the activities of INTERFILM, it participates in festivals like Venice and award prizes to outstanding films.


Portman’s Jackie Kennedy film to get Oscar season release

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jake Coyle


TORONTO (AP) — The Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, has been acquired by Fox Searchlight, which plans to push the film directly into the Oscar season.

Searchlight announced the acquisition early Tuesday shortly after the Pablo Larrain-directed film played at the Toronto International Film Festival. Though the market has been quiet in Toronto, Jackie has been the most hotly pursued film since its Venice Film Festival debut last week. The film cuts between the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy and other moments in the first lady’s life.

Natalie Portman as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in Pablo Larrain’s Jackie. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)

Fox Searchlight will release the movie Dec. 9, and it’s widely expected to catapult Portman into the best-actress Oscar race. Fox’s specialty division is an awards season regular that has ushered many films into the Academy Awards, including best-picture winners “12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman,” as well as Portman’s own “Black Swan,” which won her best actress.

Searchlight’s other fall release, Nate Parker’s Nat Turner slave revolt drama “The Birth of a Nation,” had been seen as the studio’s horse in this year’s Oscar race. But that film’s awards hopes have been badly damaged by a rape accusation from Parker’s past. In Toronto, Parker deflected questions about the case in a press conference.

“Pablo Larrain’s Jackie is a daring, one-of-a-kind cinematic portrayal of a beloved icon,” said Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula.

Movies aren’t often acquired in Toronto and so quickly put into theaters. Usually they open sometime the following year. But Fox Searchlight has managed it before; in 2008, it picked up Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” and led it to Oscar nods for both Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei.

*Featured photo: Actress Natalie Portman arriving for the premiere of the film ‘Planetarium’ during the 73rd Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. (Photo credit: Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)


Toronto: Natalie Portman Biopic ‘Jackie’ Nabbed by Fox Searchlight

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Tatiana Siegel

Fox Searchlight has acquired U.S. rights to Jackie, which sees Natalie Portman star as former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

In an otherwise sleepy Toronto market, the deal marks the first significant sale of a finished film. Searchlight will release the historical drama on Dec. 9, giving it a prime awards-season birth.

Jackie, directed by Pablo Larraín, takes place in the days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, focusing on Theodore H. White’s Life magazine interview with the widow at Hyannis Port.

Noah Oppenheim wrote the original script, which won best screenplay at this year’s Venice  Film Festival.

“Pablo Larraín’s Jackie is a daring, one-of-a-kind cinematic portrayal of a beloved icon,” said Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley. “Led by an indelible performance from Natalie Portman and supported by a richly talented ensemble of actors and artists, the film is one we are thrilled to bring to audiences later this year.”.

Larraín will now have two potential awards-season contenders this year, as The Orchard will be pushing his Neruda, which is also playing at the Toronto Film Festival, in the foreign-language category.

Added Larraín: “[Searchlight’s] movies have been an important influence on me as a filmmaker, and it is a personal achievement for me to have them bring this very special story of a beautiful, sophisticated and mysterious woman to the world. Jackie was the most unknown of the known women of the 20th century.”

Darren Aronofsky produced Jackie along with Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell, Scott Franklin and Ari Handel. Pete Shilaimon, Jennifer Monroe, Jayne Hong, Wei Han, Lin Qi, Josh Stern executive produced.

The film made its North American premiere in the Platform section of the festival.

Searchlight had first and last rights to negotiate on the film, which was repped by CAA.


See what Natalie, Noah Oppenhiem and Pablo Larrain have to say about Jackie:


*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Stehphanie Branchu


TIFF Showcases American Classics from UCLA Film & Television Archive

The 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is pleased to announce this year’s special program, “Film Treasures from UCLA Film & Television Archive,” which will screen rare restorations from UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Following the “Film Treasures from the Museum of Modern Art” program in 2014 and “Orson Welles: The Known and the Unknown” program in 2015, TIFF will present yet another Special Program featuring American classics. This year we have partnered with the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles, located right next to Hollywood and known for its many world-renowned film alumni. The UCLA Film & Television Archive will bring to Tokyo the restored My Darling Clementine (1946) by John Ford, The Connection (1961) by Shirley Clarke and other American classics dating from the silent era up to the 1980s.

Tentatively scheduled for October 25 (Tue) through November 6 (Sun)
The venue will be closed on Monday, October 31.
Venue: National Film Center Cinema 1

Hosted by: Tokyo International Film Festival/ National Film Center, the National Museum of Modern Art,Tokyo/ Motion Picture Association/ Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association
Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 10.00.37 PM


©1946 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Renewed
©1974 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE: 35mm restored “special version” print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and American Movie Classics.”

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 10.01.49 PM


Courtesy of Milestone Films
THE CONNECTION: 35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation.

#ANIME NEWS: Top directors Hosoda and Iwai to take center stage at #TIFF

June 9, 2016 at 11:00 JST

Animated works by director Mamoru Hosoda are to be showcased in the Animation Focus program at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), which will run from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.

The festival’s 2016 edition will also shine a spotlight on leading film director Shunji Iwai, who will provide the theme for the Japan Now section, which focuses on outstanding Japanese filmmakers.

Having celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, the TIFF, which was launched in 1985, is widely known as one of the leading film festivals held in Asia. In recent years, the festival has been putting extra emphasis on promoting Japanese culture trends including anime.

In 2014, the TIFF featured “Evangelion” anime creator Hideaki Anno in the Animation Focus program under the title of “The World of Hideaki Anno.” The festival also covered the “Mobile Suit Gundam” robot anime franchise last year.

Known for many hit anime films such as “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Summer Wars” and “The Boy and the Beast,” Hosoda will be the third anime creator to be featured in the Animation Focus program.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.08.27 PM

“The Boy and the Beast” ((c) 2015 The Boy and the Beast Film Partners)

In addition to screening his recent films, the TIFF will also showcase Hosoda’s early works including “One Piece” and “Digimon Adventure” to offer a retrospective look at his career and wide-ranging creative expertise.

The Japan Now section deals with filmmakers most worthy of promoting internationally at the moment.

Known for “Love Letter,” his latest movie “A Bride for Rip Van Winkle” and other critically acclaimed films, Iwai is popular at home and abroad, particularly in Asia. He drew international attention with his animated feature film effort “Hana and Alice,” in 2015.

His artistic abilities will be brought to light in the program.

Details of the TIFF will be updated at its official website at (


To learn more about the latest developments in Japanese anime, visit the official site of Anime Anime (

(Sourced and translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.)

29th #TIFF to Celebrate Two Iconic Directors

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is pleased to announce that it will be highlighting the work of two iconic directors: Mamoru HOSODA and Shunji IWAI at the 29th TIFF, running October 25 – November 3, 2016.


This year’s Animation Focus will shine a spotlight on Mamoru HOSODA, the brilliantly inventive director whose Summer Wars (09) and Wolf Children (12) were local and international hits, and whose latest masterpiece, The Boy and the Beast (15), became the highest-grossing local film at the Japanese box office in 2015, as well as being distributed in nearly 50 territories overseas. Hosoda’s universal themes and storytelling genius have attracted all-age audiences worldwide and his devoted fan base continues to expand with each exhilarating new release.


In TIFF’s Japan Now section, following his recent experiences in Hollywood and in animation, the Director in Focus will be internationally acclaimed creator Shunji IWAI, whose groundbreaking style and youth-focused vision are known as the “Iwai Aesthetic.” From Love Letter (95), which put him on the world stage, through the enduringly acclaimed All About Lily Chou-Chou (01) and Hana and Alice (04), to his latest masterpiece, A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (16), Iwai’s films have continued to be in a class all their own, each a mesmerizing work of transcendent power, applauded across the globe by fans and critics alike.

The 29th TIFF will take place from October 25 – November 3, 2016 at Roppongi Hills and other venues in Tokyo.

(Source: Press release provided by TIFF Public Relations Division)

The 29th #TIFF will join the Cannes Film Festival 2016

Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) and its affiliated business market TIFFCOM will participate in the 69th Cannes Film Festival to promote the TIFF to industry people from around the world.
The 29th TIFF will be held from October 25 to November 3, 2016 for 10 days in Tokyo, Japan.

For meeting request in Cannes or any inquiries about the 29th TIFF, please contact Ms.Azusa KENJO at

■ Japan Booth (Organized by UNIJAPAN/JETRO)
Opening date & time; May 11th – 20th, 9:00am-6:00pm
Venue; Palais Stand number; Palais 01 –Booth 23.01
-Participants from UNIJAPAN
Yuko YAMADA (Ms.), Kenta FUDESAKA (Mr.) E-mail:

■ 4 Japanese films are invited to the 69th Cannes  Film Festival!
– Un Certain Regard

After The Storm by KORE-EDA Hirokazu





– Cannes Classics
Momotarô, Umi no shinpei (Momotaro, Sacred Sailors) by SEO Mitsuyo
Ugetsu monogatari (Ugetsu) by MIZOGUCHI Kenji

Submit Your Film to the 29th TIFF!

We are now accepting entries to the 29th TIFF Competition. Applications for submitting films are now being accepted on the official TIFF website (Deadline: July 8, 2016). For a summary of the regulations for the Competition 2016, please visit the TIFF website;, or contact us by e-mail at TIFF looks forward to a larger number of submissions from around the world.

(Source: TIFF Public Relations Division)