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Thompson on Hollywood

Toronto Preview: Mavericks and Doc Speakers, and a New Studio Ghibli Doc

More and more, film festivals are relying on more than film programming to lure audiences. The expansive Toronto International Film Festival is no exception. This year's Mavericks lineup of eight speakers in a Q & A format is high profile indeed. Perhaps to make up for world premiering "Wild" at Telluride, producer-star Reese Witherspoon will do a conversation about that dilm and "The Good Lie."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2014 2:25 PM
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Ex-Focus Features Exec Launches Bleecker Street Distribution Company

In advance of the Toronto International Film Festival, Andrew Karpen, former Co-CEO of Focus Features, is launching new distribution company Bleecker Street to be based in New York City. Bleecker CEO Karpen will scout new films at this year’s TIFF; he plans release 3-5 pictures in 2015 and more as time goes on. Karpen looks to fill the specialty market void left when Peter Schlessel took over Universal indie label Focus Features with a more genre-focus in mind.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment

After TIFF Debut, Hong Kong/New York Actioner 'Revenge of the Green Dragons' to Go to DirectTV before A24 Release (TRAILER)

Talk about mean streets. A24 and DirecTV are partnering to release English-language Hong Kong/New York action film "Revenge of the Green Dragons," a true story directed by Andrew Lau & Andrew Loo and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, who won an Academy Award for "The Departed," a remake of Lau’s "Infernal Affairs."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2014 3:18 PM
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Toronto Fest Adds to Sprawling Program: Highlights

The Toronto International Film Festival is adding scads of movies to its sprawling 11-day program of 300-plus selections which launches September 4 with the world premiere of David Dobkin’s “The Judge," starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. It's a lot to absorb: we list the individual Wavelengths, Cinematheque and director Cameron Bailey's Spotlight on Seoul programs below; Indiewire breaks down the full seven-part program here; and we highlight a few titles that pop out.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2014 4:14 PM
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How Roadside Attractions Made Hit of 'Most Wanted Man,' Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Web is Changing the Movie Business

Roadside Attractions' Howard Cohen Talks 'A Most Wanted Man,' Philip Seymour Hoffman, fall film festivals, theaters vs. VOD and the indie future.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2014 2:37 PM
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Toronto Film Fest Doc Preview, from Oscar Hopefuls to Likely Buys (Midnight Madness, Vanguard Lineups)

The Toronto International Film Festival always premieres a lineup of strong docs, some of which will be in this year's awards conversation. Programmer Thom Powers takes us through the selection.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2014 4:45 PM
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Robert Downey, Jr. Starrer 'The Judge' Takes Toronto Opening Night

One of the high-profile fall films has found an appropriate berth. David Dobkin’s "The Judge" (Warner Bros.) will open the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, September 4. It stars Robert Downey, Jr. as a powerful city lawyer who returns home when his estranged father (Robert Duvall), the town’s judge, is suspected of murder.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 25, 2014 11:48 AM
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Toronto Film Festival Global Summit Draws Michael Moore, Douglas Trumbull

The Toronto International Film Festival is rounding up some 180 speakers from 80 countries for its annual industry conference and global summit (September 5 to 11). The headliner is cinema technology visionary Douglas Trumbull ("2001: A Space Odyssey"), the opening keynote speaker for the annual Asian Film Summit (September 9) is Legendary East’s Peter Loehr.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 23, 2014 4:50 PM
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FIRST LOOK: Toronto Best Actress Candidate Jessica Chastain Stars in Liv Ullmann's 'Miss Julie' (TRAILER)

Now that the dust is settling around the recent flurry of fall film festival announcements, one promising entry is a Toronto world premiere: Norwegian actress-writer-director Liv Ullmann's adaptation of Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s 1888 classic "Miss Julie." The film starring Jessica Chastain ("Zero Dark Thirty"), Colin Farrell ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Samantha Morton ("A.I.") seeks a North American distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2014 4:25 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Toronto World Premieres: What Did They Get?

When Piers Handling, CEO and Director of the Toronto International Film Festival and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF announced the new rules for 2014's fall lineup--no world premieres at Telluride if you want a first opening weekend gala slot--they may not have realized that they were setting themselves up with the media.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2014 12:45 PM
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  • 8 Comments

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