It’s almost September and that means the Toronto Film Festival, one of the world’s biggest gatherings of film stars, producers, and agents is almost upon us. The festival attracts an astounding 480, 000 attendees with over 5,000 in the film business.
This year is a particularly great year for films and with over 400 films from 83 countries, we had a tough time picking the top 5 we want to watch here at Jeridoo Productions but we managed to narrow it down.
The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan
English film fans have been awaiting the English-language debut of French-Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan for some time. Dolan has attracted incredible A-list talent that includes Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Kathy Bates, Thandie Netwon and Kit Harington who plays a washed up heartthrob movie star.
Dolan’s film started production late in 2016, and after some delay, principle photography wrapped up in 2017. The movie was then beset by post-production delays, including an announcement that Dolan would be cutting Jessica Chastain’s character, a scheming journalist, from the movie. This development created a media buzz because Chastain is a close friend of Dolan.
The Hummingbird Project
After the critically acclaimed films Two Lovers And A Bear and Eye On Juliet, director Kim Nguyen delivers a character piece with his newest movie. The Hummingbird Project stares Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård as cousins determined to land a contract to build a fiber-optic network between Kansas and New Jersey, and Salma Hayek as their former employer and current competitor.
A tragicomedy, Eisenberg plays a character determined to escape his working-class roots and follow his dreams that he doesn't realize who he might take down with him. Skarsgård, who is hardly recognizable in his performance, is a revelation. Skarsgård’s character is a genius who can't function away from his keyboard and has no social skills.
With an all-star cast and with strong performances, this film is hailed as Nguyen’s greatest work since Rebelle.
Yet another film with a stellar cast, Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche star as criminals sent into deep space in French auteur Claire Denis’ English-language debut. It’s the latest challenging role in Pattinson’s post-“Twilight” career in which he continues to surprise audiences with daring and interesting roles, constantly shunning mainstream Hollywood.
Halloween and its many sequels have been filmed to death but with this franchise reboot, it goes deeper than your typical horror film. Jamie Lee Curtis returns to fight against her tormentor Michael Myers in what was her breakout role. Produced by Blumhouse Productions, the company behind the horror break-outs “Get Out”, “Sinister”, “Paranormal Activity”, the movie will play off paranoia and Curtis’ quest for revenge as Laurie Strode.
At just young 37 years of age, Toronto documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart tragedy died scuba diving of the coast of Florida while making this compelling sequel to Sharkwater, his award-winning documentary of the illegal multi-billion-dollar shark fin industry. Stewart devoted his life to the cause of saving the world’s most feared and most beautiful sea creatures. Unfortunately up to 150 million sharks are killed each year for shark fin soup, pet food, and even beauty products which are distributed around the world. The film was compiled posthumously by award-winning editor Nick Hector from footage and notes made by Stewart before his untimely death.
To honour the Canadian diver and ensure his legacy, TIFF is staging a special world premiere screening and tribute event dedicated to the local conservationist. Sharkwater Extinction will be a bittersweet TIFF premiere without the filmmaker and environmental activist who was the driving force behind the film and its powerful message to save sharks from distinction. The follow-up hopes to instill the same love and respect of sharks that Stewart had in the audience.
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