Sometimes timing is everything. If you look at past schedules for the Toronto International Film Festival you’ll notice a few things; which films get multiple showings and when and where they show can be the right jumping off point for Oscar talk and TIFF’s most valuable player, their People’s Choice Award. Last year The Weinstein Company‘s The Imitation Game won the People’s Choice Award after playing FOUR times at the festival. That film went on to score eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and winning Best Adapted Screenplay for Graham Moore. In 2013, the award went to the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave, and previous TIFF People’s Choice award winners have included American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire and Silver Linings Playbook.
This year Focus Features‘ The Danish Girl and Warner Bros‘ Our Brand Is Crisis have two prime slots at the 2000-seat Princess of Wales theater on Friday and Saturday nights. This is no small deal and by no mistake. Both films, in the Special Presentation section of TIFF, are being lifted above the fray by their respective studios as major Oscar frontrunners. That both films star previous lead acting Oscar winners (and one from a Best Director winner) only helps. The Danish Girl alone is screening total of FIVE times. Coming for that People’s Choice Award for real.
Not to be outdone, other films have found prime time slots at the festival this year in other venues that are also high profile. Sony Pictures Classics‘ I Saw the Light will be at the Ryerson on the first Friday night. Youth, Truth and Trumbo all have premium spots on the first Saturday at the Elgin/Winter Garden Theaters, Black Mass (also from Warner Bros) gets a Princess of Wales spot in the festival’s second weekend, Universal‘s Legend, starring Tom Hardy, gets two good spots; at the Roy Thomson Hall on the first Saturday and the Princess of Wales on the second Saturday.
The Danish Girl will be released November 27 from Focus Features and Our Brand Is Crisis will be released by Warner Bros on October 30th.
Here’s the link of the full schedule for TIFF but as you know, changes will be abound so keep checking back.