06 сентября

TIFF 2018: Toronto International Film Festival news and movie reviews

06 сентября 2018, 16:06,

The festival is the unofficial launch of the biggest season in movies as well as the race toward the Oscars.
Every fall, right after Labor Day, one of the biggest events in the movie calendar gets underway: the Toronto International Film Festival, which most people call by its acronym, TIFF. Since it launched in 1976, the 10-day festival has become one of the largest and most prestigious in the world, propelling emerging filmmakers onto the international scene and awards hopefuls toward the big fall movie season.
The 10-day festival is the unofficial kick-off to the “prestige movie season” — which means keeping an eye on what’s buzzy at TIFF may tell you a lot about what performances and movies will be part of awards chatter later in the year. And the festival’s timing positions it as the de facto opening of awards season, a marathon of mostly serious dramas that lasts about six months, until the Oscars finally wrap it all up in late February.
Hollywood is bracing for business as usual at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival — in a business that has become wildly unpredictable in an age of streaming revolts and indie buyer breakdowns.

This year, mid-size distributors like The Weinstein Company and Global Road have been dropping like flies or eyeing bankruptcy. Netflix is generating original content at dizzying speeds and avenging its rebuke by the Cannes Film Festival, while Amazon goes back to the drawing board (and back to the want ads for a new top executive).

Disney’s Fox acquisition has dealmakers watching and waiting, while the talent just wants to sit with cool kids A24 and Neon.
In an interviews with multiple players in the indie film space, TheWrap discovered some recurring themes as buyers and sellers head north of the border for TIFF 2018:

1. Festival Aimed at Marketing, Not Sales

In addition to the festival trimming 20 percent of its film programming and retiring categories like Vanguard and City to City in 2018, many insiders see the event leaning hard into its prestige base and ignoring its role as a sales force.

“Honestly, this feels like the TIFF of old where the studios are trotting out their contenders,” one top dealmaker, who reps both filmmakers and prospective buyers, told TheWrap.

In fairness, TIFF has always been a prime kickoff event to market and promote awards contenders, though this year does not seem as loaded with high-profile discoveries like “I, Tonya” — which sold for roughly $5 million sale least year to Neon and 30West — and then landed three Oscar nominations (and a win for supporting actress Allison Janney).

Many of TIFF’s biggest titles are coming from immediate festival predecessors Venice and Telluride that have distribution in place and are vying for awards attention: Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born,” Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, Karyn Kusama and Nicole Kidman’s “Destroyer,” Robert Redford’s “The Old Man and the Gun,” Steve McQueen’s “Widows” and so on.

“We’ll sell movies there, it’s still the second most important market behind Sundance, but we have screenings at the festival that don’t necessarily serve the festival’s agenda,” the dealmaker said.
Those include finished movies not in the official lineup, which will screen around the festival for suitors and top studio executives. That includes Zac Efron’s turn as serial killer Ted Bundy in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” which Voltage Pictures is selling.

Johnny Depp’s “Richard Says Goodbye,” about a mild-mannered professor who gets a terminal diagnosis and starts living on the edge, belongs to embattled Global Road Entertainment. The company had intended to take the the film to Toronto before an end-of-summer financial meltdown that will most likely culminate in a bankruptcy filing just as TIFF begins, insiders familiar with the company told TheWrap.

The financial troubles could mean Global Road bails altogether or comes to market with even more of its completed films (including Kiernan Shipka’s “The Silence” and another troubled Depp title, “City of Lies”). A rep for Global Road had no immediate comment.

“There are fewer films to chase, but hopefully there will be a good business. Less of a selection means an easier path for us,” said another top indie sales executive.
© The Wrap

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