Rounding out the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival lineup are the audience-pleasing In Conversation With… series, and unique and inspiring Special Events. Packed with emotion and cultural significance, these events will offer audiences a wide range of experiences. Also announced today is TIFF’s Platform Prize Jury for 2021 and TIFF Industry Selects, a curated selection of 22 global films beyond the Official Selection that are available for sale at this year’s Festival.
“Each year TIFF’s Special Events and In Conversation With… sections come to life with unexpected surprises and moments,” said Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, Co-Heads, TIFF. “Audiences who attend these events are always left with a truly unforgettable memory.”
Special Events – Part 2
Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine
Before Drake and The Weeknd, there was a different set of Toronto musicians who ruled the roost. Known simply as Triumph, this rock trio dominated North American radio and mainstream charts in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and were the envy of the touring business — with even The Jacksons taking a page out of their live-show book. But despite being one of the world’s biggest rock bands, the trio split at the height of their fame and seemingly disappeared without explanation to their fans or media. Directed by Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli, produced by the Emmy-winning Banger Films in association with Revolver Films and set to a mesmerizing visual backdrop of spandex, ’80s hair, and explosive pyro, Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine reveals a deeper story about fame and the human condition as the band reunites for what might be the very last time they play music together.
Reflecting on 9/11: A day of recollection, 20 years later.
The horrific news from New York City on that bright, late-summer morning 20 years ago tore open the bubble of the Toronto International Film Festival. Everyone was shaken, but, for the hundreds of Americans and New Yorkers in Toronto for the Festival that day, the shock went deeper. TIFF staff, led by then CEO Piers Handling and Executive Director Michèle Maheux, decided immediately to pause screenings, to shut down red carpets altogether, and to help people get home to their families.
Two decades on, memory becomes more important. This year, we remember the filmmakers who have sought to tell the stories of 9/11 with insight and empathy. We remember the still-present threat of Islamophobia, including in film and television. This year, we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a day of recollection for our Festival community, including a special screening from Yard 44 and NBC News Studios, the new documentary Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11, by Bjørn Johnson and David Belton. This film explores the months following the worst terrorist attacks on the US, via recordings made in a simple video booth that captured the thoughts, feelings, and fears of more than five hundred Americans. Now, 20 years later, as the country and the world faces renewed uncertainty, Memory Box brings to the screen a collective, untold, and relevant story, presented by NBC News Studios, MSNBC Films and Peacock.
Platform Prize Jury
TIFF is also thrilled to announce the full international 2021 Platform Prize Jury. Led by Academy Award–nominated actor Riz Ahmed, the jurors include: Clio Barnard, Valerie Complex, Kazik Radwanski, and Anthony Chen.
In Conversation With…
This year’s In Conversation With… series connects audiences and film lovers around the world with some of the most talented artists working in film and television. The 2021 lineup includes award-winning actors and creators who have helped shape the discourse in the entertainment industry and who are presenting their highly-anticipated new films at the Festival. All In Conversation With… events are taking place digitally and will be accessible worldwide on the TIFF Bell Digital Talks platform.
The Academy Award–nominated writer, director, and actor joins us to discuss his wide-ranging career in film, television, and theatre; the challenges and joys of adapting Shakespeare’s plays for the big screen; and the journey of making Belfast (2021), a Gala Presentation at this year’s Festival and his most personal film to date.
Monday, September 13, 12pm EDT
The TIFF Tribute Actor Award recipient and Academy Award nominee joins us to discuss his career in film, theatre, and television, and his two films at this year’s Festival: Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog and Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.
Sunday, September 12, 3:30pm EDT
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of TIFF’s ongoing Share Her Journey initiative in support of women in the film industry, we proudly present a conversation with the award-winning actor about her collaborations with the likes of Olivier Assayas and Kelly Reichardt, and her portrayal of Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s Spencer, a Special Event at this year’s Festival. Note: This live digital event is accessible to audiences worldwide on TIFF Bell Digital Talks for free as part of TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative, empowering and celebrating women behind and in front of the camera. Audiences can pre-register for this exclusive event here.
Wednesday, September 15, 12:30pm EDT
The Academy Award–nominated actor joins us to retrace his extraordinary journey from collaborations with Bong Joon-ho, Lee Chang-dong, and Lee Isaac Chung to his upcoming film, Stephen Karam’s The Humans, a Special Presentation at this year’s Festival.
Sunday, September 12, 6pm EDT
Additional Visionaries speaker added to the 2021 TIFF Industry Conference lineup:
VISIONARIES Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Generously supported by Anne-Marie Canning
Born in Bangkok, director Apichatpong Weerasethakul is one of the most influential and revered visual artists of this time. His incisive, visceral relationship with the moving image often draws on the ancestral myths of his country to reflect on his surroundings, from global social issues to the political concerns of modern Thailand. Join us for a conversation with the filmmaker, whose latest feature, Memoria, was one of two Jury Prize winners at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival moderated by TIFF Artistic Director & Co-Head Cameron Bailey.
TIFF 2021 Industry Selects
“These titles, hand-selected by TIFF’s Festival Programming team presented on our TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform, are sure to garner interest from buyers,’’ said Diana Sanchez, Senior Director, Film. “They reflect the Festival’s global spirit and showcase a host of new voices and international talent.”
“We’re delighted to present these director-driven and audience-engaging sales titles from around the world to international buyers who rely on our festival to help discover the best cinema from across the globe,” added Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry and Theatrical. “TIFF is thrilled to support buyers, sales agents, producers, and of course filmmakers this year with the TIFF Industry Selects distinction.”
107 Mothers Peter Kerekes | Slovakia
America Latina Damiano D’Innocenzo & Fabio D’Innocenzo | Italy, France
Cadejo Blanco Justin Lerner | Guatemala, USA, Mexico
Carmen Valerie Buhagiar | Malta, Canada
Cool Abdoul Jonas Backeland | Belgium
Domingo Raúl López Echeverría | Mexico, Austria, France
The Hole in the Fence Joaquín del Paso | Mexico, Poland
The King of All the World Carlos Saura | Mexico, Spain
La Civil Teodora Ana Mihai | Belgium, Romania, Mexico
The Last Mark Reem Morsi | Canada
My Night Antoinette Boulat | France
Night Blooms Stephanie Joline | Canada
Nightride Stephen Fingleton | UK
Nr. 10 Alex van Warmerdam | Netherlands, Belgium
Old Henry Potsy Ponciroli | USA
Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle Arthur Harari | France, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Italy
The Pink Cloud luli Gerbase | Brazil
Quake Tinna Hrafnsdóttir | Iceland
Reflection Valentyn Vasyanovych | Ukraine
The Score Malachi Smyth | UK
Shankar’s Fairies Irfana Majumdar | India
A Tale of Love and Desire Leyla Bouzid | France
The Government of Canada opened its borders for non-essential travel from American citizens and permanent residents on August 9, 2021 and plans to open to citizens of any country on September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, and that visitors have been fully vaccinated with Government of Canada–approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD) at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Those meeting these requirements can travel to Canada without having to quarantine, including the elimination of the three-night hotel quarantine policy. As of August 22, 73.7% of Canada’s eligible population is fully vaccinated, one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Toronto boasts one of the highest percentages of fully vaccinated citizens in North America with 74.9% of the eligible population completed as of the same date.
As a result of the opening of the border and increased capacities in cinemas in Ontario, TIFF has added to its list of venues to accommodate a number of additional in-person Public and Press & Industry screenings. TIFF Festival venues include: TIFF Bell Lightbox and marquee venues the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall, Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, and the Cinesphere IMAX Theatre at Ontario Place, plus outdoor screening venues at Ontario Place Festival Village, including the Visa Skyline Drive-In, the RBC Lakeside Drive-In, and the West Island Open Air Cinema. Press & Industry screenings will be held at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto and TIFF Bell Lightbox. Public in-person screenings will have limited press and industry access.
Beginning on September 9, 2021, Festival staff, audience members and visitors entering TIFF Festival venues from September 9 to 18 will be required to show either proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to entering any TIFF venue. This protocol does not extend to the Visa Skyline Drive-In and RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place where audiences will be in their cars. Previously announced COVID safety measures and detailed protocols and procedures for Public, Talent, Studios, Stakeholders and other TIFF attendees can be found at tiff.net/covid-19.
Additionally, digital Public screenings will be programmed on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox for the accessibility of Festival-goers but are limited to Canadian audiences. The TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform will host digital Press & Industry screenings, as well as the TIFF Industry Selects market for industry buyers. Films available to press and industry on TIFF Digital Cinema Pro will be accessible to delegates worldwide; however, some exceptions may occur where the film rights holders have not authorized an online screening in selected regions. The TIFF Bell Digital Talks platform will host a variety of Public and Press & Industry talks, including the In Conversation With… talks series, the Industry Conference, and Press Conferences.
TIFF continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the Festival, with its number-one priority being the health and well-being of both Festival filmgoers and residents of the community. To help ensure the safest possible experience, TIFF has once again partnered with Medcan, a global health care leader providing medical expertise, consultation, and health inspiration to achieve its mission to help people “Live Well, For Life.” Based on the pillars of evidence-based care, exceptional client service, and the latest in technology, Medcan’s team of over 90 physicians supports employee health care across the continuum of health, including its “Safe at Work System,” which helps organizations navigate the pandemic.