TIFF & 9/11 20 Years Later: Indie Film Industry Recalls The Worst Day Of Our Lives

Josh Braun
And what I also remember is there were taxi drivers had just stopped in the street, rolled down their windows and turned up the radio really loud so we can try to hear what was going on. At that moment, you’re not moving. We didn’t know it was going to be 3000, but you knew it was going to be a lot. The media didn’t necessarily know either, and they were just recoding this. We were far enough away, but people who were much closer to the site, who were running, stopped when they came up to us, feeling that they were safe. And then, unfortunately, we started to see the people jumping [from the buildings]. I mean, easily 50, maybe more. That was gut wrenching. And then the towers came down and you knew, that a lot of people didn’t make it. There was mass confusion. There were a lot of them.
It didn’t take long for Handling and his team to feel that continuing was the right thing to do.
We had a ton of movies, but most of them had played, so that wasn’t a problem. You know, Elvis Mitchell had been arrested, as a suspected terrorist, in the lobby of one of the hotels. You are hearing all these stories, then and later. There’s talk of, you know, studio people are renting a plane to go back to L.A. You can’t get out. Chaos is ruling. My first reaction is, I got to get out of here. I got to get home. And then, you find out the border is closed. I got a wife and kids there, in Jersey.
Robert Newman
Guillermo del Toro
I never saw the elephant, and I never saw even one dancing boy. My family was going to fly for the big gala premiere that night, and then everything got canceled. Everything came to a sort of numb standstill, and we all, all these wonderful great talents of the world, in Intercontinental, kind of dazed and sitting together and thinking, how do we get home? I'm Michael Ondaatje. And then all the actors and directors, who were in this press, big sort of thing, came up, and at that moment, watched the second plane hit. He was in a nearly delirious state. It was like…and I had really odd and wonderful, like, moment like Aamir Khan, the big superstar in India, just like walking into my room and not knowing what to do. I remember that we had this very…people were very grateful to be together at this dinner. I love you.' Because they were all literally all coming out of my film, at that moment. Without the film, and without the elephant. That’s what the elephant was arranged for, and I used to joke and say, you know, bring out the dancing boys! We were in our hotel rooms, and I remember no one closed their doors. The distributor was really into making it a big event because of the Golden Lion. Michael Ondaatje, whom I did not know, but loved his work, had just seen the movie and came to find me because he was just exalted about this film, and he said, 'Oh, my God, I just want to introduce myself. We had booked a great restaurant, an Indian restaurant, the whole restaurant was taken for the party after the premiere. What I was told was at 9:45, they had loved the film, and came out of the theater dancing, only to find that the world had changed forever. I don’t think he knew, because he was very excited, really overcome in a joyous way. Then the movies got canceled, but they chose to, I don’t know who chose, but we chose to leave the dinner, because people were all there, and had to get…and the feeling was, just to be together. I never actually saw the elephant. Have they bombed London? This motley crew…Richard Harris, being the lovely Richard Harris, staggered out from one of the rooms and said, is London safe?
While we’d seen the unspeakable cruelty that some people are capable of, I got to spend the rest of that week seeing the majesty and artistry that great filmmakers bring to this world. Surrounded by people who love and support film. I went with Atom Egoyan to see Michael Haneke’s Piano Teacher, Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mama Tambien, Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone, Danny Boyle’s Strumpet and Vacuuming Completely Naked In Paradise, Mike Figgis’ Hotel, Jean Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie. A lot gets written about the economics of the theatrical experience, but as a devoted film lover, the act of seeing a movie in a crowded theater with other people, never felt so important and life affirming as it did that week." I was born and raised in Brooklyn, I went to NYU, worked for years at Miramax and lived in the Village for years, a mile and a half from the World Trade Center, this was not an abstraction for me. I spent the week seeing extraordinary films. For me, seeing great cinema in that collective experience with others is our equivalent of going to a church, a temple or a mosque. Outside of being with my family, my wife Cindy had given birth to our third daughter Jenna just a few months earlier, there’s no place I would rather have been than the Toronto Film Festival. "I was supposed to fly back that night to take my daughter to see Madonna at the Staples Center, and the planes were grounded and I stayed a week. But I was and am still grateful to the festival.
My wife was pregnant with our first child, and nobody knew it at that point. I said, you can't walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. She was like, no, I've been walking. And then she figured out how to get on the subway and get home from there. But you couldn’t reach anyone because the cell service was packed, and she started to walk home and when I finally connected with her around noon, she's like, I'm getting close to the Lower East Side and I'm going to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. You wouldn’t be able to see anything. We live over the Brooklyn Bridge, so, my wife was a schoolteacher, was a speech pathologist, at an elementary school on the Upper East Side, so I knew that she was safe. I said, have you looked at a television at all? It's completely dark smoke. Linde: Once we figured out what happened and we saw the images on TV, everything was about, how do we get home, because everyone had families.
We’re at the theater, and people are coming in. It was mind blowing; your stomach was like leaving your body in a roller coaster when the towers came down because you wouldn’t even have imagined that could happen. People are in there, and I called over to David, who says, come over to my hotel room. They used to allow those little planes to fly up and down the Hudson, and my brain just went to, oh, it must have been one of those, maybe the pilot passed out. It was a jetliner, and I was like, whoa. Basner: We had just sold Buffalo Soldiers to Miramax the night before, and we woke up the next morning, and we had like a press and industry screening at one of the theaters at 8:30 am. I’m walking there, and people I saw said, hey, did you hear that a plane flew into one of the twin towers? We're making our list to see who's at the screening, and now everyone is saying it, and then at some point, someone says, it wasn’t a little plane. So, the movie is about to start. You can't believe what's going on here, and then we sat in his hotel room and we watched the second plane, and then we watched the towers come down.
Elvis Mitchell
But it just was a really beautiful evening, this welcome balm…I think people just wanted to take a breath and live again. It's a very light film, and lightness just worked in that moment. "Serendipity was kind of my love letter to New York, and 9/11 happened a few days before the originally planned premiere. We were all extremely worried about the insensitivity of it, but Harvey [Weinstein] was determined to go ahead. Of course that was postponed, but it was the first film to hold a premiere in the city of New York, after 9/11. I remember his speech, quoting Churchill and saying, the best defense is to live well, and that was a very, very different context.
The thing that haunts me most till this day was seeing the people jumping. The courage in that, making the most awful of choices and determining how your life was going to end." Because they either was going to get burned to death or they’re going to jump and it’s just horrific.
"I was in Toronto, and had a flight back to New York 9 a.m. I was supposed to go to the airport with a friend, who ended up on that flight and got diverted to Nova Scotia. on September 11. The World Trade Center has been destroyed, and World War III is happening, with planes still in the air, and crashing into other places. I found out when I walked into our office and one my colleagues was crying. I figured, worst case scenario, I’ll watch a few more movies and go back tomorrow. I still have the ticket somewhere. I woke up and an inner voice said, don’t get on that plane and I canceled my flight. I went into an 8:45 screening, came out 90 minutes later, and the world had completely changed. Which I’d never done before in my life.
The British director was scheduled to be in Toronto for what became his breakthrough film, but never got to make the trip.
The co-president of Roadside Attractions was a UTA agent at TIFF 2001.
Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. "Rena Ronson and I were in Toronto with our slate of films, and I was having breakfast that morning with Joe Drake when we both started getting these messages, and looking at each other going, oh, my God. Then we left to call our families, and all of us there in Toronto began a five-day odyssey of insanity.
"The thing I was concerned about was Harvey wanted to remove the Twin Towers in one of the skyline shots. I wish we’d left the buildings in. People criticized it for playing safe and it being the wrong kind of action, and I regret it. I never actually made it to Toronto." I think he was right in terms of the timing of the premiere, because the evening was a lovely communal sigh of relief. We digitally pushed them into the nest, in the skyline shot, and I always regretted that. I wanted to keep them. The thing that I wish I hadn’t done was given in.
Operating as a directing team at the time, the Hughes Brothers were poised to launch their Jack the Ripper film From Hell with Johnny Depp on 9/11.
What if there was also going to be attacks that weren't with airplanes? That was the scary part of this, right. All communications were shot. There were other planes in the air, and one that went down in Pennsylvania and one that hit the Pentagon. There was nothing you could do. I couldn’t get hold of our staffers in Toronto, because the cell towers were on the top of the World Trade Center. I was going back and forth to New York all the time, but my wife and son were in LA, so I definitely wanted to get back to them, and that of course, took a few days, right. How many more are coming? It was really scary. I went back to the hotel room and called people from a hard line. Because okay, those two buildings just got hit. You know, keep a close watch on the news, because who knows if there's going to be more attacks. You know, I mean, the only good news about that is, the people who are already in the building, of course knew and had to leave, and others who were headed downtown…they put blockades at Canal Street, and it eventually became Houston Street, so they kind of, obviously word spread really fast, so, people knew what it was, and it was just, go home, be safe, and take care of your families. Finally, they opened up the airport in Philadelphia, and I got a rental and drove down there, but I think it was several days later. Blackberries, because at the time we had Blackberries, those didn’t work wither. What if there is going to be a bomb on one of the bridges or something.
I mean, unbelievable stories and there were Americans trying to get back to the States, some to New York. I can’t remember if people did private planes because those were grounded pretty quickly, but some people with resources just grabbed a limo and said, to hell with this. David Lynch was here, and I remember having dinner with David probably a day or two after, and there was talk of him and a whole group of Angelinos renting a bus and going across the border. I think Glenn Close hired a limo and just drove across the border. The hotels were amazing. I mean, obviously, there were a lot of people who were supposed to be arriving who didn’t, but their crisis management for that day was absolutely awesome. We’re just going to get a limo, and we’re going to drive to New York. I remember running into Glenn Close when she was just about to pile into the limousine that she had rented, and I said where are you going, and she said I’m going to New York. There were no hotel rooms for them plus there were guests from all around the world flying in. They were landing in Labrador. There were guests at the airport who’d checked out of their hotels and couldn’t get on the flights, and they had to come back into the city. Obviously, we’re not going to get a flight. You know, after a while, they were landing in Newfoundland. And they did. A lot of Americans were trying to get back to the States and a lot of Europeans, a lot of my French friends.
Because I had seen a screening of Mulholland and I’m a Lynch fan and I was just disturbed because I didn’t understand what was going on. We used the kid card. Even though I loved Lost Highway and I didn’t understand what’s going on either, but I loved it anyway. We have kids, you know, we need to get back. I just did not. We started complaining to 20th Century Fox, like, hey, we have kids. So, you know, I was staying at the penthouse and then me and my brother were a little freaked out about, like, how do we get back?
Mira Nair
The India-born director of Kama Sutra was poised for a big breakout with Monsoon Wedding, premiering on 9/11.
David Linde & Glen Basner
She came back and her arms were all, you know, cut up from digging around and finding her dad. I’d left my car there when I flew there, and went home. So many people were stuck there, who like me just wanted to get home to family. She just kind of left town after that happened. I drove around Lake Ontario and there were a million trucks lined up, but the car lane was just me, and I drove to the border and the guy looked at me and he saw the stick, and I just said, go Leafs, and the guy just waved me through, and I start driving home. But her father was alive. There was somebody on our staff who had their father, he made a phone call from the stairwell, and you know, and then she didn’t hear from him but they knew, sort of where he was, and her and her brothers, who were all firemen, went down there and found him. He was home at six o’ clock, they didn’t tell anybody, and she left her job and moved to San Francisco. It got really late and I crashed in Syracuse, and I got into the Avis rent-a-car place in Newark airport, and people were pulling in from all over the country in rent-a-cars. I mean, a miraculous story that, you know, they just weren’t talking about it.
There was this massive sense of, how do you process what you are seeing? At that point, everybody began to gather and to try to get a sense of what was going on. Linde: I was in my hotel room and my wife called me. Then it was the Pentagon. And first it was New York City. I’m the father of two small children and my wife is in New York City, and this is a catastrophe that we know very little about but it’s happening to my family and I’m not there. She said, turn on the television. What should I be doing? We had two small children and they went to school about two blocks away from our apartment. And there was this huge sort of vacuum of knowing where you stood, right.
Braun is co-president of Submarine.
Mark Gill
It was horrifying. We were in negotiations with Sony Classics, I was talking to Michael Barker the whole time, while he was trying to figure out how to get his team home, and I’m trying to get the deal closed. But it was mostly very scary. There were some funny moments, by the way. One of the rumors that was floating around was that Pauly Shore was getting a tour bus and could take people if they wanted to go with him. I hosted a dinner three nights later for all the clients that were in town, so that at least we could all get together, and be together, have some human interaction with each other, and again, try to comfort each other through this ghastly situation. The one in particular I recalled, the Matthew McConaughey film, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing.
and was on the way to the editing room for Blade 2, which was in postproduction. I arrived to the editing room and everyone was destroyed. It put it all in perspective. I said, we’re shutting the room, we’re not working. I think we didn’t return for a week. To this day, I don’t complain about The Devil’s Backbone coming out at the time it did. When a world-changing event comes along, like the one we’ve all just been through, going to a movie theater to me is a very healing experience. A movie not doing well as the world was healing, it was not the end of the world. "The movie showed September 9 or 10. And two days later, careers didn’t matter. Go home. The audience was not there for a movie about war, and orphans and all that, but I was very thankful that it was a reminder for me, coming back from Toronto, it could have been a very different story. You’re out again, throwing yourself into the current of the river again, with other people. It’s like going to a cinema concert and some people heal through a comedy, and others through an action film. The world took a 180-degree turn. The movie showed, and the next morning, I had a moment with Elvis Mitchell, who said, that is a great movie. It’s going to be a game changer for you. But it’s all part of a healing process.” /> I got out the day before, literally landed in L.A.
Now an independent producer, Elwes headed indie film for WMA at the time.
Then I went to my favorite hockey store called Just Hockey, and I got a Crown Maple Leafs jersey, and a hockey stick, and put the hockey stick in the backseat of my car. One of my hockey buddies told me this is where to rent a car. I called up my hockey buddies and I said, I need to get out of here. I found a car mill place that had American plates, U.S. plates, and so I went outside. My buddy told me that on the other side of Lake Ontario is an Indian reservation that a lot of truckers go through, and you probably could have a good shot to get out there.
Before the press conference, I had to phone the…there were two gala films that night. They had to get a hold of Mira, and same with the French. Mira Nair had Monsoon Wedding, and the French had a film with Jeanne Moreau, Samsara. I phoned the distributor of Mira’s film, and they had huge plans, they were going to make a great big procession outside Roy Thomson Hall for the gala, with an elephant and everything, so they had to call all that stuff off. That was a big deal. Of course, they freaked out as soon as I phoned them and said we are cancelling everything today, but they fully understood.
Cassian Elwes
United 93 was headed for DC when courageous passengers confronted the terrorists and the plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Suddenly, the film festival became inconsequential in the wake of an imaginable terrorist attack on the United States; American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m. The 2001 Toronto Film Festival was at its midpoint on a clear and sunny Tuesday morning, when American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m., followed by United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. All of the passengers on all of the planes were killed, along with many others, including 3,000 when the World Trade Center towers collapsed.
I come to TIFF every year, and am usually so busy that September 11 comes and goes, and I feel guilty for not having spent the day thinking about what for many was the worst day of our lives. On the 20th anniversary of that horrible day, I asked some who were here or on their way, to share their memories of a chaotic week that followed an unimaginable terrorist attack.
So, then we had the press conference and of course, the question came up immediately as we knew it would…what are you going to do for the rest of the festival? We were in our own bubble but we were hearing things, of course. At that point in time, we just said to them, we don’t know right now, but we will be making an announcement shortly. Their families were in New York. Many of my friends were New Yorkers. As soon as the press conference was over, we regrouped. They were stranded here. We set up television sets, we had a company that came on board which provided counseling because they were a sponsor of the festival.
I put my hands on top of my head and very, very slowly, in the calmest voice, brought the temperature down. And I heard the awful sound of guns clearing holsters. "I didn't have any issue with border crossing. I was talking to friends, including the late Dusty Cohl, the co-founder of TIFF, and Barry Avrich, when we were suddenly surrounded by those very same police, who pushed past my friends — all of whom were white — said 'there have been reports of a large black man robbing people at ATM machines.' I did what just about any Black person would do, which was to slowly drop my hands by my side, in plain sight of the police. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the police giving an unhoused man a hard time. make eye contact with the police. Satisfied, the cops trundled off and as they did, one of them, who was the size of a linebacker, patted me on the shoulder and said, 'Hey, you're not even large.' Who then got angry and started screaming. What happened was that five days after 9/11, the Sunday of TIFF closing ceremonies, I was standing outside the Hyatt where the awards had taken place. And I asked, 'Yes, officers, how may I help you?' At which point, all of my white friends went crazy: 'How dare you stop him?!' 'He's been here with us for the past few hours!' 'He's the film critic for the New York Times!' I turned to my well meaning friends to explain it didn't matter who I worked for, realizing as I did so, I made the cardinal mistake of breaking eye contact with the cops.
Nobody knew if this was the start of a war. I mean it was very strange, everyone wandering the streets, lost, or drinking in bars. The airports were shut. The director, Nicole Holofcener, had two very small children back in LA who were twins. So, we were part of this group. It was before we had our son, so it was less an issue for us. Was it an accident? I remember it took 48 hours. [Roadside co-president] Eric d’Arbeloff and I were together then, and he was producer of this movie Lovely and Amazing that was in the festival. I don’t recall who organized it, but we drove back to Los Angeles in a rented rock and roll tour bus. Eric was concerned about trying to help her to get home to her kids. It was pre hardcore cell phone era, so everybody wasn’t glued to their phones as they would be now. We drove straight, everybody obsessed about getting home. "I was in a screening of The Safety of Objects. I was there through Friday, and the tension ratcheted up each day. The one thing I recall about the ride was, someone had DVDs of Sex and the City, I think because Nicole had directed episodes and we watched them all." I came out at 10:15, there was a monitor in the lobby and three or four people gathered around it, everyone riveted and not sure what it all meant. It had beds for overnight travel.
Over and out. That was the far trickier press conference, because we didn’t the know the mood and felt we had to read the correct mood. It was…a sign of resistance in a way. We decided not to cancel the festival, but we cancelled every party, all the red carpets. So, those are the two big decisions we had to confront. We took all of the sponsorship stuff, all of the thank yous. Showing the film. "We started to plan for the second press conference, which we held early afternoon like about three o clock. It couldn’t be a party anymore. We canceled all of the sponsor introductions because we had visual material on screen. After the second press conference, the press was really supportive of the decisions we made. We took the celebratory aspect out of the festival entirely. And what form would the festival take? I think we caught that mood really well.” We did film introductions, but we just introduced the film maker, and I don’t think there was any other politicians or anything like that on stage. Was the right thing to cancel the rest of the festival to honor the people that were killed in the tower? It was, terrorists cannot stop what we’re doing, both in terms of daily life but also artistically, because otherwise they would have won. Or should we continue the festival, with the argument being that the terrorists didn’t have the power to shut down our daily lives. It was just festival programmers introducing film makers. They wanted the festival to continue, but not in the same form.
Linde: This was the first time in many people’s lives, of really being in a situation where there was no toolkit. As owners, James [Schamus], Ted [Hope] and I had to think about these people we struggled to communicate with, and the message was basically some version of, everybody get the hell out of there and go home. So there were two reactions from me. And then you have to think about your family. Good Machine was on was it the corner of Varick and Canal with gigantic picture windows, on the north side that’s facing the Trade Center. So, we actually had people at work who were you know watching the whole thing, about 16 blocks away. Phones began to go out, though we were lucky being able to communicate because BlackBerrys had that direct messaging system and I could reach my wife that way. Then you saw the second one hit and it was clear this was some version of an attack. You try to contextualize what it was that you were going to do, and I knew in my case I was going to get back to my family. At first, nobody knew what kind of plane had hit the tower, whether or not it was a commercial airliner.
The collective unity of solving this problem was where humanity looks its best; there were a few incidents that I won’t mention where you get the opposite, but very few of those. He drove from somewhere, maybe Gander, or Halifax, where a lot of planes got grounded. That was who Peter was; rented a car and suddenly Peter Fonda shows up at his screening, for Christ’s sake, and we didn’t know. You always know when guests arrive, we had an efficient system, but in this case there were understandable breakdowns. And Peter just showed up. Everyone just pulled together. I remember Peter Fonda was coming from Venice where he had a film, and I can’t remember where Peter landed, but he ended up in Toronto eventually. Everyone was just so incredibly supportive, and supportive of the festival, supportive of me, supportive of our top team, and everything we were trying to solve and deal with.
With all planes grounded for days, filmmakers, execs and dealmakers in Toronto scrambled to find their way back home to their families; some filmmakers flying in for premieres of their films saw their planes grounded in places like Newfoundland. And TIFF organizers were faced with a decision of whether to cancel or finish the festival.
We went to bed saying, tomorrow is From Hell day, because we would be doing all that press. The studio was really excited, because there were massive projections on what this film was going to do, and we were all excited. Someone said something, and I said, well, barring a national catastrophe, it sounds like we'll be doing good. It played for a lot of critics and Roger Ebert was there and we got early word he really loved the film. Allen Hughes: Our movie was getting buzz out of Venice, and we were headed into Toronto feeling it was make or break as far as the perception of the film. We were like, this our moment, and I remember when the studio gave us this projection of what the movie was going to open at and what it was going to do. We had been off the radar a bit except our small documentary film American Pimp.
The public continued to go. When you’re in that zone like that, an automatic pilot takes over, and while you’ve never been trained for it, we had an amazing team. The whole tone of the festival was unlike any other I’d ever seen, extremely somber. My mind started to move that way fairly rapidly after the first day or two. We were concerned about all kinds of things, behind the scenes, as the managers of the festival. We started to think about what was this going to mean financially to us, like our corporate sponsors? Were they going to support us? The festival team was just phenomenal. We held a minute of silence for everyone, and then the show resumed.
We made it to the city, dropped people off and were able to drop off the vans to Hertz or Avis, I can’t remember which. And the next morning, we started driving. And my recollection is that when we got to the border at Niagara Falls. And we were like, oh, no, not at all. We came in over the George Washington Bridge, and the roads were empty. We found two passenger vans, and we went there and they said to us, you’re not driving these to the United States, are you? There weren’t a lot of cars, and they just waved us through. But we ended up in a caravan, me, Glen Basner, Anne Carey, Ted, Amy Kaufman, Anthony Bregman, a couple others. Linde: The planes are grounded. The roads were pretty empty. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to drive from Toronto to New York, and I would imagine renting a vehicle would’ve been pretty tough to do at that.
Basner: It was a 10-hour drive from Toronto back to New York City. We flew through the border, and the thing I remember most was, you’re getting closer to New York City, and the nervousness increases. This is your home and this traumatic thing had happened. No traffic. And then you saw the smoke coming from the city…
A place of resistance. This was their premiere, and when I walked in, the place was packed. I remember walking over to introduce that. It was respectful. I get shivers as I talk about it now because I haven’t remembered it for so many years, and it was just one of those…it was somber. Is this going to be like completely empty, when Mira’s going to be there with her actors? The streets were empty, and the people I saw in the streets, none of us were looking at each other, gazes averted, and I remember saying to myself, is anyone going to be in the cinema? From the hotel it was about a half-mile walk. It was an incredibly emotional moment. “I think the next day there was a repeat screening scheduled of Mira’s film. There wasn’t one empty seat. There was a real need for people to get together, not to be alone in their houses and apartments, but to actually congregate and share this shock, this moment, because none of us could fully…even the following day we hadn’t fully absorbed it, the sheer magnitude and the numbers…the number of dead, I don’t think we knew at that point in time. A place where the community would gather. That’s the way we had organized the festival is the gala of the evening before repeated at like 9:30 in the morning at the big Uptown, which is a big 900-seat cinema. Jammed to the rafters. Of course, everyone was devastated, but they were there to see a film and celebrate culture, and celebrate what culture and film could do as a sign of resistance.
I got back to Los Angeles and a colleague of mine, Ben Silverman, you know, who went on to be a big television guy, called me up and said, there’s these two young filmmakers called Jules and Geodeon Naudet, and they’d been calling the agency in London because they didn’t know anybody in California. I wasn’t sure what to do, and then I went back to the agency and talked to Jim Wiatt, and he ended up working out something with all the networks to show it simultaneously, with the proceeds to benefit the victims, and the firefighters, and all of that. I went over to their apartment in Marina del Rey, and literally sat there as they played it on their big-screen television, and I just started crying hysterically. They knew a friend of a friend, and they’d been calling saying they needed to talk to you. I call them and they said we were out making a documentary in Manhattan that day, and said, we've got the only footage of the second tower coming down. A chill went through my body, and they said, we don’t know what to do with it, but we have this footage.
Handling, longtime president/CEO of the Toronto Film Festival, found himself facing an unimaginable decision on September 11, to cancel the rest of what had been a vibrant festival, or to pause and continue, the latter of which was the choice he and his team made. They had to reorganize it, and bring in law enforcement to be sure there would not be copycat attacks at the festival.
Gill, president and CEO Solstice Studios, was president of Miramax Films in 2001, and was preparing to meet his acquisitions team in Toronto after finishing up a test screening of the Phil Noyce film The Quiet American the night before.
Sony Pictures Classics co-founder.
So, we phoned. We hung up, and then as soon as I hung up, I had a phone call from my Director of Communications, Nuria Bronfman, who now heads NATO here in Toronto. At that point, it was all becoming a little bit clearer. This was just after nine o clock. “In those days, we had offices in the hotel, I think the Four Seasons, and believe it or not, I was in my office with a friend, a colleague that actually spoke Italian, and we were trying to reach Nanni Moretti to persuade him to come to the festival with The Son’s Room. At the beginning, it was a small plane, and then the second plane hit, and then, of course, we were aware that there was something much more serious going on. It looked as if he wasn’t going to come, and I really wanted him to. We got his answering machine. I knew Nanni because we’d done a big retrospective on his work in the ‘90s in Toronto. Who said, turn on the TV, a plane has gone into the World Trade Center. We left a message.
Planning the rest of the festival involved bringing in the RCMP and the Toronto police, to work behind the scenes to bolster security. Then there were all the filmmakers whose films played right before the attack, and who were stranded.
Imagine a situation where there's so many police and fire trucks and ambulances coming from the whole Tristate area, and the sound never goes down. The other thing I remember, really vividly is, think about when you hear a police or fire or ambulance siren and it just kind of gets louder, and then it gets quieter again? It's just a constant blare, as loud as you can get. That’s what it was.
Howard Cohen
Tom Bernard 
Covered in…I didn’t even realize it. And they said, but look at you! And then the strangest thing is, I was supposed to go to Toronto that afternoon, and it became pretty obvious, the airports closed, you're not going to Toronto. I was covered in ash. Never heard anything like it. I looked down and they were entirely white. I was staying in a hotel downtown, the Mercer Hotel, and so I was pretty close by. You weren't going to get out of Manhattan. Bridges were closed, tunnels were closed. I opened the door to the hotel, I walk in, and three staff people come rushing up to me and say, are you okay? And I'm like, yeah, I'm okay. I was in shock. That was really shocking. Are you okay? Face and hair, and everything else. I had on a black suit, black coat and black pants. Eventually, after the towers had come down and you realize there's nothing you can do, and there are various NYPD folks who trying to help people along, encouraging them to go home and be safe…I walked back to my hotel.
Allen and Albert Hughes
I mean, people put up in high school gyms and all that kind of stuff…public spaces. Gander was an incredibly small community, couple thousand people. I think there were other great stories which I heard later about directors who didn’t speak English, but I’m sorry I can’t remember their names, like who landed in Gander, and they didn’t speak English. It’s an airport in the middle of nowhere in Labrador, and one of so many planes where the locals had to take care of everyone. It was phenomenal. There’s a musical done on this, Come from Away.“
"Two nights before, September 9, I was in Venice, winning the Golden Lion, and then, September 10, flew back to America, to New York, and it was a real celebration at home and then I was leaving within hours, to Toronto on a flight that left early in the morning on September 11. All the film critics were in the theater watching the first press screening of Monsoon Wedding at 8 a.m., and I was speaking to a reporter from the Toronto Star when into the room walks Juliette Lewis, who is a friend from Hysterical Blindness. She said, ‘Mira, what is happening?’ I didn’t know, and I couldn’t understand why she needed to be comforted while I was in this room talking to a critic.
And so, they said okay, give us a day, we’ll get you out. I do remember Heather Graham was in Toronto promoting From Hell and she had to fly to New York the same day. So much is like a blur. I believe it was a short ride. Next day they said, there’s a plane in Buffalo, you just have to take a car there. Albert Hughes: We just kind of put our foot down and said, we need to get out of here. Only the military was flying and then private only, in special circumstances. It didn’t feel that long at all. So the plane was full. And she was landing with her friend, looking out the window and she goes, oh, look, the World Trade Center’s on fire. And we were one of the few planes in the sky at the time as they had to shut down commercial air. So, we get on the plane and there’s all the other 20th Century Fox people who used the kid excuse, and asked us if they could get on the plane too. She could see that from her window in the plane. I don’t know how 20th Century Fox pulled that off.
Everyone was swapping stories of escape methods. I felt like the bar at the Four Seasons was like something from the Titanic. How do we get out, and also, we were trying to still do some business with the films that we had there, trying to get distribution for them. And so, the slots where the filmmakers hadn’t arrived yet and hadn’t come with their friends, were filled up re-running the films that were already shown. And so the film festival continued, which was amazing, actually, because it gave everybody something to do to try to take their minds off figuring out how to get home and to their families, and the terror that was going on. The airspace was shut down in America for five days, so, we were all stranded there. We were all sitting in there in the evenings going, what do we do?
And then we get down to the street and you look left and you see a huge plane sticking out of one of the towers. And you're like, oh, my God. I saw the second plane hit, and the gasps and the shrieks…I still remember that like it was five seconds ago. We were really close. I'd been working there for like seven years, and never had that one before. “We were in a conference room at 8 or 8:30 a.m. We were six short blocks away, maybe 600 yards. That I remember most vividly. All the buildings had been evacuated at that point, so the streets were pretty populated. at 375 Greenwich Street which is six blocks from the Trade Center. I remember when the first plane hit, all of a sudden, we were told we needed to evacuate the building immediately, that this was not a test, and to use the stairs, not the elevator. I thought there was a fire in building, at first. And then, not long after, here comes the second plane that hits the tower.
There were funerals that went on, for six months, for Wall Street guys in Monmouth County. At Cantor Fitzgerald, my buddy I play golf with, and works with my son Chris, he stayed home and played golf that day. The impact didn’t really hit you until you saw it in person. If he had gone, he would have been on the roof, where the leaders of Cantor Fitzgerald told them, let’s go up to the roof, a helicopter will save us.” Where I lived, a ton of people died, you know. To show up after it happened was a whole other point of view.
I had been out late and I kept calling the office from my hotel room and nobody was answering the phone. I called up [SPC co-founder Michael] Barker and he said, turn the TV on, and I went, holy sh*t, what the hell? I was in my room. Both planes had hit by then. I was like, what is going on?
Mitchell was film critic for the New York Times, and corrects the rumor that Tom Bernard heard in Toronto that day.
What do we do in terms of continuing the festival? I mean, we were completely focused on everything in New York and not focused at all on our own festival, and then it was oh right, okay, we’ve got to deal with the after effects here. We we were completely…what should I say…paralyzed, hypnotized, shocked. My first thought was, well, we’re running a film festival, why do we need to make a statement about what’s happened in New York? Because we were in such a state of shock, and then I suddenly realized, and she said, ‘No no, it’s about what is going to happen to the film festival.’ Of course. We watched, hypnotized by the screen, until the Towers started to come down. We switched the TV set off. Not continuing the festival? I mean, we were in a state of shock, and then Nuria came in as soon as the Towers came down and said the press is asking for a press conference, and we need to make a statement.
They cleared the foyer, entranceway, and they set up tables with seven televisions with live feeds. The next morning, the Toronto Film Festival called all the filmmakers that were there because some were showing their films already and some had not arrived yet. They asked all the filmmakers there, with a raise your hand vote, whether or not they should continue with the film festival, and the filmmakers all said, yes. It was just unbelievable. Literally, you would just hang out in the lobby because everyone was in such a stunned state, watching this endless loop of the towers coming down. We were all staying at the Four Seasons. The first thing I did was start calling, trying to find out what clients were in town, who was where at that moment, what help with whatever they needed to keep them in their hotels, and what’s happening with the movies.
One hundred percent, we made the right decisions. In hindsight, incredibly challenging but gratifying experience in the sense that we felt we did the right thing, and then managed our way successfully through the crisis without making any false steps, which was our biggest fear, to make a step that we then had to go back on because people were upset and angry with the decisions we had made. Not once did we make a step that was met with resistance or anger or pushback. Every decision we made was, in hindsight, supported by everyone. It was at the time supported by everyone, and in hindsight, I felt it was absolutely the right decision.”
She said, there's literally one car that can go over the border, and I'm going to give it to you, and so, we drove back and that's how we got back. I couldn't reach anybody. But we were stuck in Toronto for seven days. Everyone has their story of how they got back. "I am completely freaked out. But the first thing I did which was, in the midst of that craziness, I called a local rent-a-car company. So, the borders shut and then six days later when they said some of the borders along the northern part of the United States were opening, I went to the rental car company, and I was with Micah Green and a few other people. They said, we will rent you this car, but if you take it over the border, there'll be a $10,000 charge on your credit card. Other people, you know, I don't know how they all escaped, the various people, but that was my story." I just made the reservation anyway. She said, see that line over there, they’re 60 people who all want cars, and I said, I can guarantee you, I'm the only one that lives near Ground Zero, and she said give me five minutes. I know some people ended up taking the train, to Detroit or to Chicago. And I said look, I live in downtown New York, 20 blocks from Ground Zero. You have to give me a car. I made a reservation, to try to get a rental car from Toronto back to New York, and they said they only have, you know, cars that are not allowed to cross the border.
None of us really knew what was going to happen in the future, or even in the coming hours. We were going to cancel all the screenings for the rest of the day. No, we’ll shut it for the rest of the day. That was a fairly easy decision to make. We were basically shutting down the festival for the rest of the day. We were going to cancel all the parties. We had about 5 or 6 members of that team. It didn’t take a long time, and it wasn’t like there was a lot of haggling and arguing. There was initial talk about shutting down the entire festival for the rest of its run. We rapidly formed ourselves into an ad hoc crisis team, so it wasn’t chaotic. We thought that was premature, so we just made a quick decision. We said we would hold a press conference around 10:30 in the morning, so we had a short time to make decisions. The Board Chair came into the room, more as an observer. We were going to take up all the red carpets.
Dusty told me I downed the better part of a bottle of Macallan 25 year [single malt scotch], which I think I'm still paying for. Seems I tried to put my fist through a wall and crushed a couple of knuckles in the process. And he was gentleman enough to make sure I got back to my hotel lobby. When I wrote about it, the Times offered to find me a lawyer and pay for them so I could sue the Toronto Police Dept, which I declined to do." Next thing I knew, I woke up in my hotel room with a bloody, swollen left hand and a dent in the drywall. Surely, tempers were shorter than they might have normally been but that's no excuse. I worked myself into a froth and Dusty took me up to the Hyatt Rooftop bar to help me settle.
The WME agent had several films in the festival.
The Oscar-winning director of The Shape of Water brought The Devil’s Backbone to TIFF in 2001.
Peter Chelsom
We knew that life as we knew it was over. This was much more important than what little film or big film, or trivial entertainment piece we were out there for. And some of it wasn’t pretty. I'm going, oh sh*t. But it was just, as you remember, such a weird, f*cked up, surreal thing, so it was a strange vibe. And then, my brother, who's a pretty unvarnished guy, started telling people what he thought of their films. And we knew whatever we were there for, it was a wrap now. I don’t remember much detail except I think, the second or third day, monotony did start setting in, as it does, and little bickering. Allen Hughes: It became like a macabre summer camp, this room they designated for all the actors and directors to get together and just hang out. A lot of the discussion was, when are we going to be able to get the f*ck out of here? And it's just changing the tenor of worry, but mostly we were all just shook.
Editor's note: One in a series of remembrances on the 20 years since 9/11.
It didn’t open to a big number, but I remember we were so depressed and friends of our teasing us, because the movie still opened number one, but it didn’t matter. The whole market had changed, and was the last thing we were all thinking about. Allen Hughes: Before that day, the studio projections had the movie 100 million in North America. But just the fact that we were up there with a film called From Hell, and that’s all I remember was it said on our itinerary, From Hell Day, Tuesday, September 11.”
Participant CEO Linde was in Toronto as co-founder of Good Machine; FilmNation CEO Basner was there with Linde for the Gregor Jordan-directed Buffalo Soldiers, until the effort became finding a way to drive back into the U.S. to get to their families after 9/11.
Linde: It was like a version of a movie, you drive into a city at night that’s under a curfew and covered in dust with fighter jets literally screaming around, everywhere, helicopters, you know, a completely alien kind of experience. I remember St. I remember the dust, in the air and on the ground, and the feeling it’s not New York, not the one you knew. And of course, nobody was coming, because there were no survivors. I lived at 15th and 7th. Vincent’s used to have a hospital at 11th and 7th, and we were beginning to see people gather around the hospital.
Piers Handling
We were to premiere the film that day and of course, everything got canceled. Albert Hughes: I was in bed in the Four Seasons hotel and I got a call from our agent Jeff Gorin, who said, ‘turn on CNN, its World War III.’ The first tower was already smoking, and when the second plane hit, it seemed like it was running in slow motion through the sky and you just have that pain in your stomach. So, 20th Century Fox decided to get a penthouse suite just because everybody was kind of stuck and not knowing what to do. And you know I think Mulholland Drive was in that year because Naomi Watts the actress was there, David Lynch was around the festival. And Naomi Watts is sitting on the floor right next to me and I was on the couch and you know we’re introducing each other and she goes, oh, yeah, you’re the one that f*cking hates my movie. And I’m like, oh, sh*t how the f*ck does she know that, right? So, anyhow I was sitting on the couch in the penthouse and we’re all just watching TV.

Audiences Cheer ‘Jo Jo Rabbit’ But Some Aren’t Laughing, Amazon Hits The Fest Big Time, And More – Toronto

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 I sat in a corner booth with them where the discussion ranged from the value of streaming vs theatrical (brought up by Bening) ,  to the core issues brought up in this film which launches with a short window of two weeks exclusively in theatres on November 15,  before hitting Amazon's streaming service . The reception to the film could not have been better and the filmmakers including producers Steven Soderbergh and Jennifer Fox , co-star Annette Bening who brilliantly plays Feinstein,  and writer/director Scott Z. Jones on whom the film is based. He plays a Senate staffer who is enlisted by Sen Dianne Feinstein to do an investigative report looking into the CIA's post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation plan, leading to some startling revelations. Burns , along with an animated Jones,  were on a high when I caught up with them at a intimate Patria reception after the screening. Like his Marriage Story co-star Johansson, Driver also is doing double duty darting from one of his premieres to the other, but he didn't even have to leave the building after his Winter Garden afternoon Canadian premiere of Amazon Studio's searing The Report which like Marriage Story also got a standing ovation but this time for its real life subject Daniel A.
And if that wasn't enough Sunday night also brought the fun annual film nerd IMDb dinner at Figo led as always by founder Col Needham, and that indispensible archive is of course owned by, you guessed it, Amazon. Director Tom Harper, Producer Todd Lieberman, and stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were all here for that. Amazon Studios topper Jennifer Salke navigated her way through both , and earlier at Patria where she was clearly thrilled by the response to two of her first films since taking over the job. After the Patria reception everyone traipsed over to the Bisha Hotel for dueling Amazon Studios receptions  including a second one for The Report ,  and one for the big scale family adventure epic, The Aeronauts which landed at the Roy Thomson Hall for its TIFF launch straight from Telluride's world premiere last weekend and received a four minute standing ovation. It was a unique set up as there was one entrance for The Report's party to the right , and for Aeronauts to the left with a set of stairs separating the two.
Waititi feels ignorance and arrogance must be attacked in ways that will grab attention and that is what he told the sold out audience after the applause died down for the Q&A. This film is undeniably from the director of the wonderful New Zealand 2016 indie The Hunt For The Wilderpeople which also centered on a unique  and memorable kid (in that case played by Julian Dennison)  , and Waititi really knows how to get gems of performances from his young players. We have to keep remembering and keep finding new and  inventive ways of telling the same story, and keep teaching ourselves and our children lessons on how to move forward and unified with love into the future,"  he said. "I think it is important to keep telling these stories again and again. Jo Jo Rabbit however is stolen lock , stock and barrel by its key cast of young actors including the irresistible Davis, Thomason,  and scene stealer Archie Yates as Jo Jo's friend Yorki.   Of course the adults in this are not bad either including Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson , Alfie Allen, Rebel Wilson , and Stephen Merchant. Let the debate begin, but in a world where naziism and its beliefs are creeping back into the public spotlight, you cannot have enough Jo Jo Rabbits in my opinion.
 
Some Disney execs joined Searchlight toppers for the anticipated launch of the movie which had pretty much been kept under wraps. Fox Searchlight co-chairman Steve Gilula was obviously pleased with the reaction, and said the studio plans to platform it slowly beginning October 18th  to build to what he thinks could turn into a significant box office success. He says they are aware that it have some detractors, but  TIFF's response has to be encouraging. Taika Waititi's Jo Jo Rabbit had its World Premiere last night at the Toronto International Film Festival, and though it will certainly have its naysayers due to a controversial approach to its subject matter which features a comical Adolf Hitler character among other things, the movie was rapturously received with a raucous standing ovation by the first night crowd who seemed to eat it up. Early critic reviews are more divided on Rotten Tomatoes, split just about down the middle. The crowd reaction however justifies distributor Fox Searchlight and Disney's decision to debut it at TIFF in front of a more urban/cosmopolitan city audience where they thought it would be an audience pleaser (at least THIS audience), and that strategy certainly seemed to work at the Princess Of Wales theatre last night, followed by a party at Arcane which was so crowded a few guests looked exhausted just trying to navigate from one side of the room to the other.
The Senator would prefer to do the work itself and lets others judge it however they get to see it. She said she has met her before , but not for this project and the star likes it that way. I asked the producers if Feinstein has even seen the film (which originally premiered at Sundance in January) but the answer came back an affirmative 'no'. Tonight Soderbergh and Burns will be at it again , as they also have multiple movies here and will be at the North American premiere of  the politically-charged comedy , The Laundromat which I will get to see for the first time as it comes directly from Venice. Soderbergh piped in that it also is just a tight 94 minutes , something to be thankful for in a festival full of very long movies. Burns told me I will see a completely different side of his work in this movie. This film will put a much bigger focus on this particular report,  a lot more than most Senate Intelligence Committee reports every get and that is a very good thing. I asked Bening , also doing double duty here at TIFF with another new film Hope Gap in which she's superb, if she had met with Feinstein before shooting the role.
Based on a book called "Caging Skies",  the film is set during World War 2 and centers on a young awkward Nazi kid (Roman Griffin Davis) who finds his family is hiding a Jewish girl  (Thomasin Mckenzie). Some people will obviously be disturbed by the comical approach and not find the funny in it and most films dealing with the subject are on the serious side, but from Chaplin's The Great Dictator to TV's POW camp sitcom Hogan's Heroes to even the "Springtime For Hitler " production number in The Producers  comedy has been used to make a point in this arena , and it often works as this film does. Jo Jo also has an imaginary friend who happens to be Hitler , played by the director himself , who pops in and out of the picture which Waititi will hope is outrageous and different enough to spark conversation , get young people engaged, and remind people of the horrendous hate-filled atmosphere of that period and what it led to.
Next stop for this film determined to hit every festival  it seems is New York. The audience gave the filmmakers and cast a standing ovation when they came out for the Q&A. Her much-acclaimed  Netflix film Marriage Story  got pretty much the same response in Toronto that it did at Venice and Telluride, which is to say great at its sold out Canadian debut at the Winter Garden Theatre where Netflix claims some tickets were reselling for $300 (!)  on secondary ticket websites (can you do that here?)   As happened in Telluride when I saw it  , Laura Dern's memorable monologue toward the end stopped the show with applause , as did the musical number "Being Alive "  which Adam Driver croons in its entirety,  an off-the-wall unexpected moment that is part of what makes Noah Baumbach's very personal story so unique and fun. Johansson had to do the neat trick of maneuvering between competing premieres (a constant problem at TIFF which has up to 8 red carpet unveilings a day ,  probably more).

Bening, Sarandon, ‘David Copperfield’, And More Oscar Contenders Lining Up At TIFF But For 2020(!) – Toronto

Sarandon, already an Oscar winner and multiple nominee, has found a role originated in a European version that could win her future awards recognition, a la what another Oscar winner, Julianne Moore, is hoping for this year, with two English adaptations of foreign films, Gloria Bell and After The Wedding. Millenium made the movie, which is for sale here. Although Friday night's TIFF premieres were loaded with current awards plays for Just Mercy, Parasite, Pain And Glory etc, I caught instead three acquisition titles featuring three superb performances by actresses that could join Bening and Manville as an early entrant into next year's arena. Tops in that regard is Susan Sarandon, terrific as a woman afflicted in the increasingly dire stages of ALS who has gathered her family for one final weekend before embarking on an assisted suicide, in Roger Michell's English language adaptation of the Danish film Silent Heart. Two of them were roles in which the main female lead is dying, always catnip for Oscar voters. Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska play her grown daughters in the dysfunctional family drama that takes lots of turns, but ultimately is a poignant movie about dying with our dignity intact. Sam Neill and Lindsay Duncan both are excellent in an overall fine cast.
You can tell just by visiting Searchlight's hospitality suite at the Fairmont that the emphasis for them is on this year's awards crop, as posters for Terrence Malick's Cannes competition entry, A Hidden Life, and its two upcoming TIFF World Premieres, Jo Jo Rabbit and Lucy In The Sky, are prominent as pundits and critics pick up their tickets. But Copperfield is nowhere in sight, at least from what I could see. Searchlight has to be thrilled with the opening night response, though, and knows they already have a solid contender for 2020. But Fox Searchlight let loose with a delightful and smart 2020 release, The Personal Life Of David Copperfield, from past Oscar- nominated (In The Loop) and Emmy-winning (Veep) writer /director Armando Iannucci, who delivers a real crowd-pleaser and handsome take of Charles Dicken's favorite novel of his own, "David Copperfield," and he brings so much humor to it, with truly diverse casting, starting with an irresistible Dev Patel in the lead, that I would expect to see this as perhaps even a stronger Oscar-friendly film than perhaps even the three movies premiering here that make up Searchlight's first Oscar season under the Disney banner. The film also opens the London Film Festival next month. Thursday night's group of TIFF openers brought no movies that will likely figure big in Oscar season this year.
Told in non-linear style, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite has fashioned a sometimes-funny, often harrowing and depressing, but very well-acted tearjerker in which Johnson co-stars with Casey Affleck as her overwhelmed husband, and Jason Segel as the friend who comes to help both in their most pressing hours, days, weeks, and months of need. The other "dying " performance comes from Dakota Johnson, delivering her best screen work to date in a true story, The Friend, in which she plays a 34-year-old wife and mother with terminal cancer.
Thus, since I have seen so many of this year's crop either at Cannes, Telluride, or various early screenings in L.A., I can also get started on next year here at TIFF, one of my favorite things to do. Of course, some of them have to get distribution first, and then the right release date next year, to be primed for the ever-competitive Oscar race. It is never too early, right? There are numerous films on tap that premiered yesterday here, or will be coming up shortly, and in that crop, I am spotting an enormous amount of potential. Although most so-called Oscar pundits are solely focused on the films that hit the Fall film festival circuit which are buzzed to be 2019 Oscar contenders, there is an alternate track at the Toronto International Film Festival where you can also fill up on potential 2020 hopefuls.
It is heartwarming, funny, sad, and life affirming. If this movie doesn't get snapped up immediately , I have no faith in the movie business anymore.” /> My favorite of the trio for sale that I saw yesterday here was a British feel-good movie that brings The Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo back to strong form with Military Wives, a crowd-pleaser in every way about a group of wives of men shipped off to war who form their own choir and end up performing at the Festival of Remembrance at Prince Albert Hall. The song they sing is an original that could well figure in the Best Song Oscar race — easily. Stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan lead a female ensemble that wins us over, and the great thing is it is all based on a true story (and British series called The Choir: Military Wives) that has now spread across the globe with similar groups.
Bleecker Street has the affecting two-hander Ordinary Love here, starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville as a long-time married couple whose world is turned upside down when Manville's character is diagnosed with breast cancer. I understand the plan is to launch this next year as well, and if so, Manville is an instant 2020 contender for a remarkable and devastatingly honest performance that could win her a second Oscar nomination in whatever year it is released.
Bening also may not want to confuse matters, as I think she is a strong contender for a Best Supporting Actress nomination this year for her understated and stunning turn as Sen. Like the wildly different divorce comedy, Marriage Story, playing here next week, this one could also be called that name, because it is a "marriage story" that cuts to the core. Dianne Feinstein in Amazon Studios powerful The Report. Although, I suppose, they could alter the release plan based on last night's reaction at the premiere, this is likely to pop sometime in 2020, and so I am betting Bening is a strong contender there with one of her best performances ever as a wife in denial over the state of her longtime marriage to an unhappy Nighy, who springs some surprising news at an inopportune moment. In some ways, it reminds me of the way The Wife played here a couple of years ago, then was held for release last year by Sony Pictures Classics once they picked it up. Glenn Close won SAG and Golden Globe awards, plus an Oscar nod, so the strategy clearly worked in not immediately trying to cash in on TIFF exposure and rush into awards season. A four-time nominee, she is high on the overdue list, and this year, or next year, or some year, it will be her turn, if there is any justice. Roadside Attractions got a head start Friday night with the terrific new drama Hope Gap, which contains brilliant performances from Annette Bening and Bill Nighy in screenwriter William Nicholson's directorial debut, and a very fine one it is.

Toronto Opening-Night Film ‘Once Were Brothers’ Acquired By Magnolia Pictures

Based mostly on Robertson’s 2017 memoir Testimony, the pic is being billed as a part-confessional, cautionary, and sometimes humorous tale of the lead singer's young life and the evolution of the band. It featured rare archival footage and interviews with friends and collaborators including Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Peter Gabriel, David Geffen and Ronnie Hawkins.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, Daniel Roher's documentary that is set to launch the Toronto Film Festival tonight. Magnolia is planning a theatrical release for early in 2020.
Magnolia's head of international sales Lorna Lee Torres and international sales manager Marie Zeniter will now launch international sales at TIFF, with all overseas rights available excluding Canada, where it will premiere as a Crave Original.
“Daniel Roher has fashioned a stirring tribute to a great American ensemble.” “Being a longtime fan of The Band, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band still held many surprises and information I didn't know,”  Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said in a release Thursday announcing the deal.
Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the documentary tells the story of the seminal rock group that went from backing up Bob Dylan to becoming one of the most influential of its era.
TIFF runs through September 15.” />

Justin Timberlake To Star In Fisher Stevens’ SK Global Drama Feature ‘Palmer’

Palmer, written by Cheryl Guerriero, follows a former college football phenomenon named Eddie Palmer (Timberlake) who, after a stint in prison, returns to his hometown to get his life back on track. There, he faces not only lingering conflicts from his past but also a much more surprising challenge as he finds himself suddenly in charge of a unique young boy who has been abandoned by his wayward mother.
and which grossed $238 million worldwide; the dramatic Hindi-language Netflix series Delhi Crime which has been renewed for a second season; and the critically acclaimed Oscar nominated western Hell or High Water starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine. SK Global’s past projects include the Golden Globe nominated international hit Crazy Rich Asians, released by Warner Bros.
Stevens is repped by CAA. Timberlake is repped by WME and LBI Entertainment. Guerriero is managed by Heroes and Villains Entertainment.” />
Penotti and Corwin stated, “Justin and Fisher bring a resonant perspective to this emotional story. It is both timely and ultimately a hopeful, entertaining story about the resilience and power of human kindness.”
Justin Timberlake is set to star in Fisher Stevens' upcoming drama feature Palmer for SK Global, which will begin production this fall.
Additionally, Timberlake has appeared in a number of features including the Coen Brother’s Inside Llewyn Davis,  Clint Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve, and David Fincher's The Social Network. Timberlake recently wrapped production on the upcoming DreamWorks animated feature Trolls World Tour, a sequel to the breakout success Trolls which grossed over $346 worldwide and earned Timberlake a Best Original Song Oscar nomination for his chart-topping hit, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”. Trolls World Tour opens on April 17, 2020.
He can next be seen in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch next year. on Nov. Stevens also directed the Leonardo DiCaprio produced documentary Before the Flood and the Emmy-nominated documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Stevens is starring in HBO’s 5-time Emmy nominated series Succession. He won an Academy Award in 2010 for producing the groundbreaking documentary The Cove. Stevens is currently at TIFF with his doc And We Go Green which he co-directed with Malcolm Venville and follows Formula E circuit professional drivers with eco-friendly cars, who race for victory across ten cities. Stevens is also co-starring in Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn which is also playing TIFF and opening via Warner Bros. 1.
Sidney Kimmel and Daniel Nadler will also produce. Academy Award-winning producer Charles B. Wessler (Green Book) will produce alongside SK Global co-CEOs John Penotti and Charlie Corwin. SK Global and Nadler will co-finance the film, the script of which appeared on the 2016 Blacklist.

‘Outlaw King’ Filmmaker David Mackenzie Trims Netflix Epic By 20 Minutes Post Toronto Premiere

"I'm sure if I had the appetite, I could do a three-part mini-series as there's lots of characters, lots of history, but the name of the game is to make an entertaining narrative-driven film with great performances; you have to whittle down, it's a hard game especially when there's so much history to put in," says the director. The filmmaker shot the pic from the end of August through November last year using three to four cameras. Squeezing Robert the Bruce's life into a theatrical narrative had its challenges; the script co-written by Mark Bomback, Bathsheba Doran, David Harrower, James MacInnes, and Mackenzie. His initial cut of the film was around four hours.
9, Mackenzie says: "It was entirely my decision." In regards to re-cutting Outlaw King, which streams on Netflix and has a qualifying awards theatrical run on Nov.
Some minor characters fell by the wayside, but none of which played a significant part in the feature. So that audiences, specifically those who already watched the film, can see it with fresh eyes, Mackenzie is keeping mum in regards to what he specifically cut other than to say that there were "some complete sequences that I felt weren't helping the story move along" in the first act and early part of the third act. "The play-ability is better now and the access to the characters," says Mackenzie. The end result is a cut at around 117 minutes which the director feels moves the movie along.
It has a different sense since it's under two hours, but it's still very much an epic."” /> Says Mackenzie about the new cut of Outlaw King: "It's worth another look, and I encourage critics who saw it and didn't connect with it to see it again.
EXCLUSIVE: David Mackenzie has heard the people.
The pic takes place during the course of a riveting period of Bruce's life between 1304 to 1307 whereby he squared off with Edward I, the English sovereign, and unified a splintered Scotland. A passion project for the Hell or High Water Scottish-director, Outlaw King tells the story about Scottish King Robert the Bruce (played by Chris Pine reteaming with Mackenzie post HOHW), William Wallace's successor (of Braveheart fame), who went from being the wealthiest man in the Highlands to being a murderer to being made King to being an outlaw to slowly winning back the crown.
One small part of the movie — 12 frames — which is remaining fully intact is Pine's full frontal nudity scene which the glossy media had a heyday with following Outlaw King's premiere.
"I can't understand why people get worked about that," says Mackenzie, "I made ten films and most of them had male frontal nudity; it's a bathing scene and people do tend to get out of the bath without clothes."
Mackenzie didn't need to read those reviews to know what the overall response was to Outlaw King.
Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds made its world premiere at Cannes in 2009 with the director adding one sequence he shot prior to its August theatrical release. After Sheridan's Wind River made a world premiere at Sundance in January 2017, he trimmed four minutes from it prior to Cannes last year and won Best Director in Un Certain Regard for his final version with the pic becoming one of the highest grossing prestige film releases with $33.8M stateside. A film being re-cut following a major global film festival premiere isn't uncommon and such platforms are often used for testing.
With Outlaw King we didn't have time to settle as we wanted to get into the fall festivals," says the filmmaker. Hell or High Water from CBS/Lionsgate went on to be nominated for three Golden Globes (drama, Jeff Bridges supporting actor and Taylor Sheridan's screenplay) as well as four Oscars noms (best picture, editing, Bridges in supporting and screenplay). Mackenzie's western Hell or High Water didn't undergo any changes after making a splash at Cannes in 2016. "But if changes were needed, I would have certainly done them if I felt things were not quite working. The thing about that film is that we finished it three months before Cannes and there was time for the dust to settle.
The day after the TIFF premiere, Mackenzie along with one of the pic's producers Gillian Berrie, notified the Netflix production exec on the film, Sarah Bowen, they were taking Outlaw King back to the editing bay. "Three days (after the festival) later I was back editing," says Mackenzie.
Coming away from the opening night TIFF premiere of his Netflix epic Outlaw King, the filmmaker has cut 20 minutes from the movie before its Oct. 17 debut at the London Film Festival, spurred by the Toronto audience response.
"I'm sensitive to the way they felt." "I could feel what the audience was like in the theater," says the filmmaker about their discomfort.
4, two days before the pic's opening night at Roy Thomson Hall. After being in post-production since January, Mackenzie, in an effort to get the pic out in the fall film festival season, rushed the pic to TIFF, literally delivering a wet cut on Sept. Critics weren't kind to Outlaw King out of TIFF largely taking issue with the pic's 137-minute pace especially as it headed toward its explosive climactic battle scene.

‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls’ Waking Up To $24M+ Alarm; Counterprogramming Hits Snooze – Saturday Update

$1.8M (-29%)
$5M (-43%)
2, 2016 frame with $28.8M. House's production cost is far cheaper than Miss Peregrine, an estimated $40M to $110M. House is above Sony's Goosebumps which drew $600K at 2,567 theaters on its Thursday night before notching a $23.6M weekend win in mid-October 2015. House is also under Goosebumps' $55M pricetag before P&A. House is expected to be in the same $20M+ opening neighborhood as those movies with a $20M-$22M take from 3,592 locations. Thursday's take is under such spooky family pics like Fox's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, another kids book feature adaptation like House, which earned $1.2M on its Thursday before winning the Sept 30-Oct. Note, kids are still in school, so the play for House will be largely from Saturday and Sunday matinees.
$39.7M
$9.4M (-48%)
3
NL
On Screen Engine/ComScore's PostTrak, The House drew 44% general audience, 19% parents and 37% kids. The audience gave it three-and-a-half stars overall. Those under 25 led the way at 28%, followed by 26% females under 25, females over 25 at 25%, and men over 25 at 21% — essentially evenly spread, which is a distributor's hope in turnout.
8
2
$579K (-45%)
$24.6M
$7.8M
Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 earned $23.9M in its opening weekend at 868 venues, but understand that was due to its massive P&A from Lionsgate and IFC; though Briarcliff took out national TV ads for 11/9, they've kept their P&A ~$10M. Only 9% under 25 showed up. Furthermore, 9/11 had a great taboo groundswell to spur blue state audiences: It was the doc that was so dicey, so Bush-bin Laden confidential, Disney didn't want Miramax to release it. Next to Life Itself and Assassination Nation, 11/9 has a better chance of sticking around in a faithful handful of theaters in subsequent weeks thanks to any awards attention it gets, as well as older adult audiences who catch these films later than sooner in their runs. Biggest demos here were 52% men over 25 and 39% women over 25. Simply put, Briarcliff's Fahrenheit 11/9 went too wide at 1,719 theaters, and that's why its opening is so low. BoxOfficeMojo shows that there's only been 7 docs to opening between 1,000 to 2,000 theaters, and most of them are Disney nature docs. Each has created business for the other, thanks to in-theater trailering on the previous release. Top that buzz off with its Palme d'Or win at the Cannes Film Festival; the only doc to take the top prize on the Palais. RBG ($14M), Won't You Be My Neighbor ($22.6M), and Three Identical Strangers ($12M). This is the widest debut ever for a Michael Moore doc, and the reason why Briarcliff went wide was to get the filmmaker's anti-Trump message out to the widest possible audience before Election Day. The only hope here for 11/9 –and note audiences love it with a solid A CinemaScore and four-and-a-half stars on PostTrak while critics enjoyed it at 80% certified fresh–is that it's living in a rich holdover marketplace for documentary films, i.e. The pic isn't just booked in the big cities, but small towns, which typically have to wait weeks on end for a Moore movie to hit town. A limited platform release would have done the same trick, buzz-wise, and avoided any lackluster ticket sales in regards to its wide break.
3-day (-%)
BRI
AMZ
A Simple Favor
But through the first 18 days of the month, September is faring quite well with $413M, 7% ahead of the same running period in 2016 (which finaled at $587.9M) and pacing behind September 2017 by 8%. Universal's Kevin Hart-Tiffany Haddish PG-13 comedy Night School could push the month's ticket sales even higher as the pic is tracking for a $25M-$34M opening next weekend. Now the September box office will not reach the all-time record of last September's $698.5M record, of which Warner Bros.' It repped 41%. If this month maintains its current pace, it could wind up being the second-best September ever at $629M.
STX
$10.5M (-34%)
5
Its predecessor, Predators from July 2010, ran into Christopher Nolan's Inception in its second weekend and saw a 72% tumble to $7M. 20th Century Fox's The Predator in its second weekend will ease to about $7M-$9M in its second weekend after a No. 1 take of $24.6M. 2 take of $9M-$10M. That Blake Lively-Anna Kendrick movie is likely to beat the monster for a No. Early industry reports show that on Thursday The Predator was neck-in-neck with Lionsgate's Paul Feig comedy noir A Simple Favor drawing $1.24M a piece. The sixthquel from Shane Black grossed $31.7M in its first week.
Peppermint
3
7
2,504
3,592
Praises social RelishMix, "There are numerous positives in this partnership. Those wide releases that opened in late August were set back at the B.O. (read Happy Time Murders), since late night and AM talk shows were on summer break. Second, many cast members were not activated to this point – including Jack Black. "The longtime comic actor has been less active on his official feeds, and more visible in special clips cut for the film, like behind the scenes on FilmIsNow and special magic tricks made for the DreamworksTV audience," reports RelishMix. This is a great example of an effort other studios could easily replicate in their own campaigns." Black is the social media star of the film, counting 10M across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That wasn't a problem here with the House cast getting face time on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen. First of all, the campaign reaches the core audience of the film, which is often those who read the original material. Finally, other cast members who are not officially on social media, like Cate Blanchett, were able to participate, too.
Also, Jack Black certainly has his fans, and they’re happy to see the comedian in this role. In regards to the success of House, the third weekend in September has organically been built to serve family and teenage audiences. Universal and Amblin met the demo head on, with an IP that media monitor RelishMix says has "lots of fans chiming" on social media, "with memories of the books from childhood, and they're excited to see the movie adaptation. And, like other family/live action films, House definitely has that 'moment' that has people talking, in this case, the slimy, gross pumpkins." Overall, CinemaScore is a B+, which is the same as Miss Peregrine, but below Goosebumps' 'A' grade. Read: it's a place where such movies as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs ($30.3M), The Maze Runner ($32.5M), and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ($30.3M) have launched to solid business, even though it's not a time when many schools are off (ComScore reports only 2% K-12 are currently off).
The Nun and The Predator are occupying ranks 3 and 4, with, respectively, $9.4M and $8M, and that's hipster pocket change that indie Assassination Nation does not have (plus it has a middling RT score of 65% fresh). The Nun looks to hit $100M by tomorrow. Much of that has to do with the fact that there's plenty of solid holdovers standing in these new pics' paths. 2, driven by 70% females, with an estimated $10.5M, easing only 34%, for a 10-day total by Sunday of $32.7M. Lionsgate's noir comedy A Simple Favor is No.
 
$24.6M 
20th
film
$1M
This Sam Levinson-directed pic is coming in at $1M. Again, blame The Nun and The Predator for chiefly standing in the way of this indie pic's business. A digital campaign was largely executed. While Assassination Nation aims to be daring in its modern day Salem witch trial colliding with Internet hacking, critics such as Amy Nicholson for Variety feel that the teenage satire is an "immature screed" and more of a "Molotov cocktail thrown at a hazy target" in its arresting of sexism, fragile male egos, etc. Neon/AGBO's Assassination Nation was aiming to make a microbudget play (both companies shelled out $10M for global rights out of Sundance) in the vein of Blumhouse's BLT releases, but typically success comes with those movies with a $3M-$5M opening, zeroing in on a specific demo. A wide release was promised versus a platform like The Orchard's hip Sundance pick-up American Animals (which with MoviePass as its partner pushed stateside ticket sales to $2.8M in the end). They weren't wowed with a two-and-a-half stars and 60% overall positive on PostTrak, with a very low 39% definite recommend. NEON enjoyed the edginess of the pic; that's why they bought it for theatrical. The pic played largely to adults, not the under-25 set, with men over 25 showing up at 32%, followed by females over 25 at 29%.
1
1
$2.1M
Meanwhile, the weekend's fresh counter-programming –Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 ($2.8M), Amazon's Life Itself ($2.1M), and NEON/AGBO's Assassination Nation ($1M)–is going down the tubes.
dis.
$3.3M (-45%)
rank
7
4TH UPDATE, WRITETHRU SATURDAY AM: With demos Spooky kids movies still work at the box office, with Amblin Entertainment/Universal's The House With a Clock in its Walls looking at an estimated $7.8M Friday and $24.6M opening weekend.
19
2,802 (-583)
3
Story follows a 10-year-old who goes to live with his uncle whose house has a mysterious tick-tocking heart. House is based on the children’s book written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle actor Jack Black stars alongside Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. But his new town’s sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead. Director Eli Roth is stepping out of his hardcore genre zone here to helm House.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnZGSsEFBQR/?taken-by=housewithaclock
1
2
4
LG
$32.7M
$159.2M
9
Also opening this weekend is Neon/AGBO's Sundance acquistion of the teen action comedy Assassination Nation which is looking to post around $3.5M; Thursday night previews are estimated around $120K. All pics held Thursday night previews.” /> Amazon has This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman's drama weepy Life Itself, which hasn't won over critics with a 12% Rotten score, is expected to earn $4M-$5M; the ensemble pic which stars Oscar Isaac, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Wide, Annette Bening among others earned $100K. Tom Ortenberg's Briarcliff Entertainment has the Michael Moore doc Fahrenheit 11/9 going wide at 1,719 venues with industry projections seeing $5M-$6M and posted $275K last night.
S8/Sony
thumb
$1.48M (-57%)
$30.3M
1ST UPDATE, 7:29AM: Amblin Entertainment's The House With a Clock in its Walls from Universal drew $840K from 2,700 locations on Thursday night.
$6.3M (-27%)
$2.9M (-51%)
$2.8M
$2.1M (-45%)
$2.4M (-77%)
But no, this one is playing it straight." Turnout here was 54% females over 25, followed by 30% guys over 25. rights acquisition Life Itself to its box office grave (former Amazon motion pictures boss Jason Ropell beat out Paramount and Universal for Life Itself rights, the latter studio a sister to NBC which airs director Dan Fogelman's hit Emmy-winning series This Is Us). If you're a tearjerker movie, you're as good as dead at the box office, no thanks to film critics who don't buy into any Kleenex sentiment for such fare. That translates into bad RT scores of 13% Rotten and sends Amazon's $10M-U.S. Time's Stephanie Zacharek slams, "So perversely jaw-dropping in its attempts to extort feelings out of us that it could almost be a black comedy. A low 47% definite recommend here. Part of the sour message that critics are transmitting about Life Itself is, 'Why head to the movies when you can watch this This Is Us multi-generational family melodrama on TV on Tuesday night?' Like Will Smith's Collateral Beauty, Life Itself isn't a movie that was built for critics, but general moviegoers, evident in its positive test screenings, five-minute standing ovation at TIFF (that happens at Cannes, not TIFF), and the B+ CinemaScore, which isn't too shabby (PostTrak audiences like it far less at two-and-a-half stars). Fogelman in the press blamed white male critics for the bad word of mouth on Life Itself, but there were many top female critics who didn't go for this movie. Once again, the weepy melodrama film is exhibit A in how RT scores impact certain types of films at the domestic box office.
$140.3M
$753K
2,609
6
The house…
The Predator
21-23 wEEKEND B.O. FOR SEPT.
Two of the best-reviewed specialty releases of the weekend, Annapurna's Joaquin Phoenix-John C. rights to the Wash Westmoreland movie for mid-seven-figures out of Park City, UT as Deadline exclusively reported. Bleecker Street and 30WEST snapped up U.S. Reilly western comedy The Sisters Brothers (82% certified fresh RT) and Bleecker Street's Colette (92% certified fresh) have the best theater averages, respectively with an estimated $30K and $41K. Sisters Brothers, which launched at Venice and then played Deauville and TIFF, is looking at $120K at four NY and LA sites, while Colette, which world-premiered at Sundance back in January and recently played TIFF, is making $164K at four NY and LA venues.
WB
2
fri
total
The Nun
$3.7M (-38%)
1,719
2,680 (-300)
2
2,003 (-848)
3,707 (-169)
Not bad for a pic which cost $40M, 63% cheaper than Tim Burton's $110M Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, another haunted kids book feature adaptation from two autumns ago.
fahrenheit 11/9
6
$2.8M
wk
$1M (-38%)
$2.1M  
Life Itself
Crazy Rich Asians
$100M
To lure audiences into the movie theater this weekend, Universal leveraged Jack Black's star wattage with family crowds in the wake of the enormous success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($404.5M domestic), with the actor participating in a bulk of custom content, such as the final episode of Funny Or Die’s “IMDB ME,” as well as an appearance on Rhett & Link. 6, reading from the original The House With a Clock in its Walls. Along with the rest of the cast, Black participated in National Read A Book Day Sept.
AM/Uni
White Boy Rick
3,102
1
$17.4M
screens (chg)
The Meg
$8M (-67%)
WB
4,070 (+33)

‘The Predator’ Raids ‘The Nun’s Collection Basket With $25M Opening – Midday Box Office

1st Update, Friday 7:11AM: 20th Century Fox's reboot of The Predator grossed $2.5M last night in Thursday previews which started at 7PM.
That's lower than the $4.2M previews made by Ridley Scott's R-rated Alien: Covenant from May 2017, which went on to a $36M opening, and just under the $3.4M made by Kingsman: The Golden Circle which continued on to a $39M three-day. Tracking has forecasted that The Predator has a shot at No. 1 with $25M-$30M. As we mentioned earlier, Hurricane Florence nor the sex offender controversy that dogged Predator last week at TIFF will be a stumbling factor at the B.O.
 ” />
More CGI, the hiring of Iron Man 3's Black as director and the ensemble cast which includes Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key and more versus the Robert Rodriguez thrifty produced Predators at $38M. Once overseas is counted — and Predators saw close to 60% of its $127.2M WW from foreign, I hear this $88M version will be fine. Why is it more expensive?
Predators finaled at $52M stateside, $127.2M worldwide. One saggy part of The Predator is that his Rotten Tomatoes at 35% Rotten is well below Predators 65% fresh. The best opening for a Predator movie belongs to its Alien crossover, Alien vs. Predator which debuted to $38.2M and legged out to $80.2M. This Predator cost more at an estimated $88M. The previous version of Predator in 2010 entitled Predators and produced by Robert Rodriguez for $38M (before P&A) posted a $10.4M opening day, and $24.7M weekend.
2nd Update, Friday Midday: The Predator is walking toward an estimated $25M opening at this point in time, a three-day sum just a few bucks ahead of 20th Century Fox's 2010 version Predators which debuted to $24.7M and a C+ CinemaScore. The Shane Black directed R-rated sci-fi pic will see $10M today, which of course includes those $2.5M previews from last night.
Despite having no official Instagram account, White Boy Rock star Matthew McConaughey has 7.5M followers between Twitter and Facebook, and he's been sharing a lot of Rick materials. He’s appeared twice on Kimmel – the first to debut the trailer, and recently this week, too – and he’s also visible in TIFF clips and interviews. McConaughey is joined by executive producer Darren Aronofsky (400K Followers TW/IG) and co-stars like RJ Cyler, too.
He brings his 11.3M Fans/Followers to the promotion." Studio 8/Sony's White Boy Rick is heading toward $10M. While not activated early on in the campaign, recently he has been actively promoting his new album – and his new movie, Rick. Social media analyst Relish Mix says that Rap star YG "is the social star of White Boy Rick.
More analysis later.
Before P&A, the Blake Lively-Anna Kendrick black comedy cost a little over $20M. Between Lively and Kendrick they have a social media reach that's close to 50M per RelishMix across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and they've been tubthumping. Lionsgate's A Simple Favor we hear is overindexing with an estimated $6.5M-$7M and an opening between $16M-$18M.


1. She is expected to come in around $25M in weekend, but many are giving the edge to The Predator for No. Next to regular films in release, The Predator inched out New Line's The Nun yesterday which earned $2.2M, -12% from Wednesday for a week's take of $66.8M, still a record in The Conjuring universe, besting the first 2013 film's $61.7M seven day run.
Other comps here: BlacKkKlansman posted a $650K Thursday before its $10.8M opening (that pic is now up to $44.6M stateside off a 95% certified fresh RT score and A- CinemaScore) and Detroit did $525K before earning a lackluster $7.1M opening. While critics are divided on this pic, hopefully the increased positive sentiment will push this $30M budget movie (before tax credits) past its $8M-$10M weekend projection. 26 to Aug. Sony moved this one around the calendar from Jan. The RT score has improved on White Boy Rick to 61% fresh (it was previously in the Rotten realm). 17 to finally this weekend. Studio 8/Sony's White Boy Rick earned $575K last night from 2,176 locations that began at 7PM. A TIFF launch likely had plenty to do with the Matthew McConaughey gritty crime pic finding a place in September in a tee-up for awards season.
To date there's been 75M video views across social platforms. teaser trailer, kicking off A Simple Favor's campaign. Lionsgate launched their campaign and debuted their first teaser trailer on May 2 with a novel ‘Missing Person’ social media stunt, where Lively seemingly deleted her Instagram account, removed all posting history, unfollowed every one of her friends including husband Ryan Reynolds and went 'missing' from her 23M followers. The viral reaction yielded hundreds of millions of social media impressions, Lively resurfaced a day later, when she and Kendrick dropped the #WhatHappenedToEmily?
A Simple Favor will widen to 3,102 locations today. The film, which did not play the film festival circuit like Predator at TIFF and White Boy Rick at Telluride and TIFF, has the best reviews of the studio wide entries this weekend at 84% fresh. The Anna Kendrick-Black Lively pic is expected to file in the mid teens. Lionsgate's Paul Feig's dark comedy A Simple Favor earned $900K at 2,400 theaters. Next to recent femme-demo pics in their previews, A Simple Favor is higher than last weekend's Peppermint ($800K Thursday, $4.6M Friday, and $13.4M opening) from STX and just under their Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty ($1M Thursday, $6.2M opening day, $16M three-day).
New Line's The Nun will take second with $18M-$20M, -65% which is a typical fall for a horror pic in weekend 2. On the high-end, she'll be at $86.8M by the end of all church services on Sunday.

‘Gwen’ Director William McGregor On Shooting In Floods, 75 mph Winds & Blizzards – Toronto Studio

Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” /> Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne.
See more from McGregor and Worthington-Cox in the video above.
It’s her coming of age story really.” “Gwen is a project that’s been evolving over the last eight years,” McGregor explained when he came by the Deadline studio with his young star. “It came out of a short film I made, called Who’s Afraid Of The Water Sprite, as a student. Starring Eleanor Worthington-Cox, his feature debut Gwen landed in the Discovery section, where it drew praise for its bold fusion of classic period drama with subtle genre elements sometimes known as “folk horror”. Britain’s William McGregor came to Toronto carrying the torch brought by William Oldroyd in 2016 with Lady Macbeth and last year by Michael Pearce with Beast. It’s a kind of dark, pastoral, Thomas Hardy-esque, landscape-driven narrative about a young girl growing up in difficult circumstances.
And, in meeting Eleanor, I realized she had that ability to take that character on that journey. Speaking highly of Worthington-Cox, a rising new star with a screen presence not unlike The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy, McGregor explained what he was looking for in the casting process. “With a character like Gwen,” he said, “you need someone who is able to start out on a journey with sort of innocence and wide-eyed hope and then have the ability to take that on and see this person go through so much that their character totally shifts. And also to put up with all the modern wind and rain and cold conditions of shooting a film.”
That’s putting it mildly: the shoot was repeatedly interrupted by freak weather conditions, including flooding, 75mph winds and blizzards. “We shot on location in Snowdonia [in northwest Wales] in November and December,” McGregor noted, “so any complaints we have about the weather are entirely our own fault.”

Sebastián Lelio On ‘Gloria Bell’, His English-Language Remake Of His 2013 Breakout Hit ‘Gloria’ – Toronto Studio

“I think I found lots of reasons to revisit this material,” he enthused, “almost like it was a play—you give another chance to the material, and you find whatever is universal, and find a new vehicle for that, you try to make it resonate with the current times and … make it work in a different culture. I think all of those challenges were really maybe frightening at the beginning, but later they became exciting, and then to have the chance to work with Julianne and John, with the rest of the cast, was just such a privilege.” Asked whether he’d been reluctant to go back to Gloria for a second time, Lelio revealed that he actually felt the opposite.
“It was such a thrill and an honor for me to get to participate in the story of this woman’s life, that is so intimately observed.” She laughed.
Acclaimed foreign movies usually go on from TIFF to be remade by American studios—they rarely arrive as English-language indie remakes. Making a quick return to TIFF after last year’s Disobedience, Lelio brought his stars Julianne Moore and John Turturro to the Deadline studio for a chat. Yet in the case of Gloria Bell, an intimate study of a middle-aged divorcee, not only is the film a Los Angeles-set retelling of a 2013 arthouse hit—Berlin Jury Prize winner Gloria—it was directed by the same helmer, Chile’s Sebastián Lelio.
Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” />
Hear more from the conversation by clicking on the video above.
He was living in Berlin, and I happened to be in Paris. He said to me that he was under the impression that I didn’t want anything to do with the movie, and that’s when he said to me, ‘Well, I know that you don’t want to do Gloria. I said, ‘I said I would only do it if you directed it.’ And then he said, ‘Well, I would only do it if you were in it.’ So we were like, ‘Well, I guess we’re doing it!’” Similarly, Moore revealed that such a seemingly perfectly cast project had almost collapsed, due to a misunderstanding. [He came to meet me and] we had this really, really long conversation. “Honestly, I was such an admirer of Sebastián and of the original Gloria that I really wanted to meet him and just talk to him and get to know him a little bit,” she said, “ because he is such an extraordinary filmmaker.

Jeremy Saulnier Takes The Fifth On Genre-Defying Netflix Thriller ‘Hold The Dark’ – Toronto Studio

After his new film skipped Cannes and Venice, admirers of Jeremy Saulnier’s work were delighted to get a rare chance to see the Netflix-funded Hold the Dark on the big screen before it debuts on the streaming platform next month. But although there was plenty to discuss, Saulnier preferred to keep away from spoilers when he came to the Deadline studio with cast members Alexander Skarsgård, Jeffrey Wright and Riley Keough. Adapted from William Giraldi’s 2014 novel by regular Saulnier collaborator Macon Blair, Hold the Dark is still recognizably the work of the talent behind indie hits Blue Ruin and Green Room.
“I play the father of the boy,” he said. “He’s [been] overseas in a desert war, it could be Afghanistan or Iraq, and he finds out his son is missing. Initially, they think he was taken by wolves, but that might not be the case. So, for him, it’s about relentlessly trying to find whoever did it.” Skarsgård stepped in to talk about his character. His journey is just to avenge his son’s death, or disappearance.
Explaining the basics, Saulnier told us: “It’s about a retired naturalist, Russell Core [played by Jeffrey Wright], who’s summoned to this remote village on the outskirts of Alaska by a young mother, played by Riley, whose son was presumably taken by wolves. It’s happened before in the village; her son is missing, and Core is on a mission to help her and possibly find the wolf that took her son. It takes all kinds of odd turns and twists—it’s this amazing hybrid of western, crime thriller, and existential, chamber drama.”
But Skarsgård offered one last clue. More than that, no one was willing to say. But there’s a line in the book that I love and [that] I think kind of sums up the movie, in a way. It’s this: ‘The dead don’t haunt the living, the living haunt themselves.’” “I don’t want to steer people,” he said, “or tell them what to take out of it.
Find out more about Hold the Dark by clicking on the video above.
Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” />

Nicole Kidman On Dodging A Shooter For Karyn Kusama’s Gritty Cop Thriller ‘Destroyer’ – Toronto Studio

Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” />
The way in which you enter the room, the way in which you’re always on guard, all of those things that are second nature to somebody who is working to protect themselves or working as a policeman or detective or policewoman.” “I needed to know how to fire them, I needed to know how to load them—I just needed to have them [around me] as though I’d lived with them my whole life. I live in Tennessee, so it was easy for me to be able to go to the range and work with the guns. And then there was a lot of research in terms of what it meant to be a cop. “I did a lot of training for learning how to use semiautomatics and pistols and everything,” she said. To prepare for the role, Kidman noted that she had a lot of work to do before shooting even started.
Click on the link above to hear more of the conversation.
“Several years, actually. “My husband and his writing partner, Matt Manfredi, had been talking about this script for a couple of years,” she recalled. We work together as kind of creative partners, and when I read the script I just felt like I hadn’t seen that character before, and I was really excited to kind of dive in with her.” Kusama, who is married to screenwriter Phil Hay, explained that she didn’t have to look too far for the script in the first place.
It’s such a huge, sprawling Pandora’s box of a city—and we opened it up and got into the corners.” “We all did,” said Kusama. “We went all over the city.
Her small role as a feisty mother in Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased inspired spontaneous applause at that film’s premiere on Tuesday, but it will be as jaded LAPD officer Erin Bell in Karyn Kusama’s dark thriller Destroyer that the actress will more likely strike a chord with Academy voters. Kidman was her usual smiling, upbeat self when she arrived at the Deadline studio to discuss the film, in which a policewoman finds herself haunted by the aftermath of a traumatic undercover operation from her past, but she is almost unrecognizable onscreen as the hard-nosed Bell. Nicole Kidman came to TIFF in two very different guises this year.
I mean, we were [actually] in these locations. Shooting on location proved to be an important factor in creating the film’s atmosphere (“We were in some hot neighborhoods, I think is how you would put it,” said Kusama dryly). I saw a side of LA I’d probably never seen.” So many times now you’re green-screening things. “We got shut down one night because there was a shooter,” said Kidman, “and that was great for the authenticity of what we were doing.

Anthony Maras Opens ‘Hotel Mumbai’ For Business: “It’s A Story Of Tremendous Sacrifice” – Toronto Studio

And I think in this [dark] time, with everything that's going on in the world [today], an example was set by the staff and the guests of the Taj by coming together to survive in the face of sheer adversity.” “I didn't know it at first,” he said, “but as we got further into the script, and then definitely into the making of the film, I began to see it as a bit of a microcosm of the wider world. Though the film captures the horrors of the day’s events, the violence isn’t what interests Maras.
“This is a story about a tremendous sacrifice that many people made in order to help their fellow man and woman,” he said. “I was just taken aback from the first time I ever heard of these tales—extraordinary tales of heroism and sacrifice that saw people coming together across all different sorts of divisions that would usually divide people, and they came together in a pretty incredible way to survive this onslaught.” When he visited the Deadline studio, first-time director Anthony Maras described his film as a story of hope.
Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” /> Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne.
Find out more about Hotel Mumbai by clicking on the link above.
Most people remember the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, which ended with a bloody siege at the city’s exclusive Taj Hotel. But what many may not realize is that some of the hotel staff deliberately put themselves at risk in order to protect the hotel’s residents, adding new poignancy to their mantra, “The guest is God.” It is this scenario that forms the basis of Hotel Mumbai, which stars Armie Hammer and Dev Patel as two men caught up in the violence from different worlds: Hammer plays a wealthy US tourist, Patel a struggling Indian waiter.

Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 – Day 4 – Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Hilary Swank, Aaron Taylor-Johnson & More

Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” /> Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 is presented by eOne.
Stay tuned for more photo galleries and video interviews from the Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018.
Click on the photo above to launch the gallery. Deadline's studio at the Toronto International Film Festival kicked off Day 4 by hosting fest-goers such as Nicole Kidman of Destroyer; Keira Knightley of Colette; Hilary Swank of What They Had; Aaron Taylor-Johnson of A Million Little Pieces; and many more.

‘What They Had’ Director & Cast Speak On The Film’s Multi-Generational Coming-Of-Age Story – Toronto Studio

What They Had opens in limited theaters October 12.
She added, "then having to come of an age where you are letting go of your whole life and your whole love affair. It’s all a process of life just letting go."
Chomko stopped by Deadline's TIFF studio and talked about how she set out to "create something where all these three generations are coming of an age."
She continued, "I think there’s always this place where you're having to — and it's all about letting go — having to parent your parents, co-parenting with your sibling, and obviously coming-of-age in a more conventional sense."
It follows Bridget (Swank) as she returns home to Chicago at the urging of her estranged brother (Shannon) to deal with her ailing mother (Danner) and her father’s (Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together. The siblings are forced back together to make some difficult decisions about their parents’ future.
Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” /> Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne.
Written and directed by Elizabeth Chomko, the film stars Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster, Taissa Farmiga, and Josh Lucas. After premiering at Sundance earlier this year, Bleecker Street's family drama, What They Had made its way to the Toronto Film Festival for its international premiere screening.
Joining Chomko in the studio were Shannon, Forster, Farmiga, and Swank, who spoke about why she felt vulnerable in her role.
Check out the rest of the interview to see what Chomko had to say about female representation behind the camera.
"I was playing a woman who was struggling with decisions that she made and decisions she didn't make for herself and trusting her instinct and knowing her self-worth," shared Swank. "All these things that I think encapsulate a person and especially a woman."

‘The Predator’ Won’t Be Stopped By Hurricane Florence, Or Controversy, At Box Office

In the wake of buzzy promo blitzes at CinemaCon and San Diego Comic-Con, the film hit a bump in the road as it headed to TIFF last week and that was that director Shane Black cast a friend who was a registered sex offender. While studio marketing and PR executives fear this type of black ink in this day and age which can throw a film's commercial trajectory off its tracks, many of those in distribution do not believe it will impact general moviegoers' decision to see the $88M-budgeted R-rated sci-fi film this weekend. "It's a matter that's in Hollywood's orbit," said one non-Fox studio executive. The convicted offender's scene with Olivia Munn was cut last week.
Black's reinvention of The Predator takes place in the backwoods of southern Georgia, where the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before. Let's see what happens with The Predator. It's up to a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor to prevent the end of the human race. Previews start tomorrow at 7pm. Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, and Yvonne Strahovski star. Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Bad reviews for The Nun didn't stop it from becoming the top opener in The Conjuring universe last weekend with $53.8M. Current Rotten Tomatoes score is 41% on The Predator, much lower than the original 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger version which earned 80% certified fresh and the 2010 reboot Nimrod Antal-directed version which notched 65% fresh. Best opening for a Predator movie belongs to its 2004 hybrid, Alien vs. Predator which debuted to $38.3M and finaled with the best domestic gross in the series at $80.2M.
Pic will hold 7PM previews at 2,220 screens before widening to 3K-plus screens on Friday. Stephanie is joined in her search by Emily's husband Sean (Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding). A Simple Favor centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town.
20th Century Fox's sixth iteration of The Predator is expected to hit its tracking range between $25M-$30M at around 4,000 locations including Imax and PLF locations.
Critics are truly split on this one with the Matthew McConaughey film's RT score at 58% Rotten. The studio looked to position this early on during awards season with bows at Telluride and TIFF. Then there's Studio 8/Sony's gritty crime noir White Boy Rick about the Detroit teenager who doubled as ace crack dealer and FBI informant during the 1980s. Previews at 7PM. An $8M-$10M start is expected at 2,500 locations.
Brian Brooks will weigh in with the specialty report later this week.” /> Pure Flix has the more faith-based approach to the Louis Zamperini story with Unbroken: Path to Redemption which is expected to make between $2M-$4M at 1,583 locations. God's Not Dead helmer Harold Cronk who directed last weekend's faith-based misfire God Bless the Broken Road ($1.3M) from Freestyle, directs again here with Unbroken.
Hopefully that will propel the adult crowd out and enable the pic to best its $12M-$15M tracking. Lionsgate's has its Paul Feig-directed black comedy A Simple Favor which has the best reviews of all the wide entries this weekend with an 83% RT score.
Even though she's already closed down 33 theaters throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, and potentially 30 more, that area's share of the domestic ticket sales won't slow the alien monster, nor New Line's The Nun (expected to gross around $25M in weekend 2, its current running total at $62.1M) or any other titles on the marquee this weekend. Another hurdle that won't trip The Predator this weekend: Hurricane Florence.

‘A Private War’ Director On How War Journalist Marie Colvin’s Story Spoke To Him – Toronto Studio

A Private War will get a limited release November 2 before expanding wide on November 16 via Aviron Pictures.
"At this time when journalism is under attack, it’s quite an important story to be told," said director Matthew Heineman speaking with Deadline about his narrative directorial feature film, A Private War, a biopic on famed American-born British war correspondent Marie Colvin.
Premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, the film, based on Marie Brenner’s 2012 Vanity Fair story Marie Colvin’s Private War, follows fearless, eyepatch-sporting reporter Marie Colvin (Pike) and her photog, Paul Conroy (Dornan), on the front lines of the most dangerous battlefields in the world.
"When she really spoke about what she was passionate about, her words were so powerful and she commanded such attention and respect that you can’t really turn away." She’s sort of an infectious person, said Pike. When researching the role, Pike said she gained an infatuation with Colvin, who died in early 2012 during a rocket attack while covering the civil war in Syria. "When you start reading about her its hard to stop.
"It spoke to me in a way that I just felt like I had to make this film," said Heineman during his turn at Deadline's TIFF studio, along with the film's stars Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan. "I felt a huge connection to Marie as someone who has been in conflict zones and covered tough situations, not to the extent as she has…it was a no-brainer for me."
Check out the rest of the interview above.
Dornan was able to consult with the real-life Paul Conroy, who was present during filming. "I was fortunate to have this constant presence of the person I'm playing which is invaluable for any actor."
Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” /> Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne.

‘The Public’s Emilio Estevez On The Crisis Faced By The American Public Library – Toronto Studio

More surreal was an incident that happened at the beginning of one day of filming, during which Williams found himself surrounded by lots of new faces who he assumed were extras. "It was humbling." The real people were leaving so that the actors could come in and portray them, and I got caught in the changing of the shifts," Williams shared. "And it hit me: These are not extras.
"If people in my family who suffer didn’t have the support of each other being in our lives, any one of us could have ended up at the public library." "Mental illness and addiction is something that’s personal to me — people in my family and myself," the actor shared. For Williams, the film's exploration of mental illness and addiction was particularly resonant.
For star Jena Malone — who appeared in studio today with Estevez (who stars in the film), along with co-stars Christian Slater and Michael Kenneth Williams — it's vitally important to tell those stories that are "on the front page of our own heart," and equally resonant on a societal level, with the help of filmmakers like Estevez, who can tell them honestly and authentically.
Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.” />
The library may not be sexy, but it is certainly important, functioning as a fascinating backdrop to explore political and social issues. "When you think about the major issues of our time — whether it’s climate change, homelessness, opioid addiction, mental illness, the dismantling of our civil and constitutional rights, racism, class division — the intersectionality of that all happens inside the public library," Estevez explained.
"Because those subjects aren’t particularly sexy." Setting out in the development of The Public, his latest feature, Emilio Estevez knew he faced an uphill battle — particularly in terms of financing. "Obviously when you’re talking to studios and independent companies about making a film about the library, and about mental illness and homelessness, you can just watch their eyes glaze over," the writer/director told Deadline today.
With the real world account of former Salt Lake City library Chip Ward in mind, Estevez brought on board a star-studded cast for a fictional account of this story, which sees the homeless stage an "Occupy" sit-in at the library — the space that serves as their only home — during an extreme weather event. Inspired by a 2007 article in the Los Angeles Times, The Public depicts the devolution of the American public library as an institution, in a time when libraries have become "de facto homeless shelters," with librarians forced to play the part of social workers. While the homeless perspective is given due respect, the perspectives of librarians, administrators, and local Cincinnati political operatives are also taken into account.
Williams noted the surreal conditions of the shoot, which involved shooting every night from 7 PM to 7 AM — when the public library in use was closed. There was no running back to your trailer," he explained. "We were locked in the library with each other for 12 hours and that set a tone. "We got to really understand what it feels like to have only that [space] to depend on for most of your day."
For more from our conversation, watch the video above.

‘Boy Erased’ Helmer Joel Edgerton On How The Film “Doesn’t Demonize Religion” – Toronto Studio

"I really do invite them to do that because the one thing the movie doesn’t do is demonize ideology. It doesn't demonize religion. "The people who really need to see it are the people who hold opinions that can really be shifted, said Edgerton. It certainly doesn’t through God under a bus," he continued
During his stop at Deadline's TIFF studio, Edgerton talked about wanting to "share the movie with as many people as possible" who still believe in this conversion practice.
"It offers an empathic point of view of the people running intuitions like that. I don’t think people wake up in the morning and go ‘right I’m going to mess up some more kids.'"
Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee. Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne.
It felt like a good fit." "From his work in Loving where the was really in favor of marriage equality, I already knew he was an ally. "At every point during the drafting of the scrip,t Joel would share the version with me. It just seemed like this man was obsessed with telling this story," said Conley.
Based on the 2016 memoir Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley, the film, starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, as well as Edgerton, screened at Toronto Film Festival before its November 2 theatrical release via Focus Features. Joel Edgerton is marking his second directorial outing with Boy Erased, which follows a son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is forced into attending a gay conversion therapy program.
 
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Conley was also present during the sit-down and spoke on why Edgerton was the right director to tell his story.

‘Skin’ Director On His Connection To The Film’s Story Of Redemption – Toronto Studio

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He continued, "My grandfather told me about how he started to forgive the second and third generation of Germans and forgiveness is something that we really cherish in our family, it's a value he gave us. So I felt a lot of forgiveness to Bryon."
"Because I grew up in Israel with grandfather stories about the Holocaust and about Nazism and the whole fascism that he went through. For me to see to see someone who went through it in another way, a different way, and this journey that this guy made touched me."
Skin is the true-life story of reformed white-supremacist Bryon Widner (played by Jamie Bell) a young man raised by skinheads, for whom turning his back on hatred and violence meant undergoing painful and expensive operations to remove the tattoos that signified his terrible past life — a process only possible with the support of a Black activist.
Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii Love, Love Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.
Based on his short of the same name, writer/director Guy Nattiv talked to Deadline about how Bryon's story hit close to him.
See the full interview above.
The film, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, also stars Danielle Macdonald and Bill Camp, both of whom accompanied Nattiv's at Deadline's TIFF studio, as well as Mike Colter and Vera Farmiga.