Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Michael McGowan. McGowan's previous films Saint Ralph and One Week also played at TIFF to great success.
Both Handling and Bailey wore white hockey jerseys with the festival logo "tiff." They introduced director McGowan who spoke and then introduced some of his cast, including the newcomer Noah Reid who is the film's lead actor. Then a clip from the movie was played for the assembled guests and media.
There had been some concern that the opening night film last year was not a Canadian film, but the British film Creation. A dispute between the festival and distributors interfered with the festival's ability to make the decisions in good time. This year there is no such dispute but unfortunately, opening night coincides with the first day of Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) and so many Jewish people will not yet be attending. As a result, the film Barney's Version which many felt was a natural fit for opening night will not premiere until a few days later on the Sunday. Barney's Version is based on the beloved novel by Mordecai Richler, and has many Jewish cast and crew including producer Robert Lantos, and actors such as Dustin Hoffman.
With Score: A Hockey Musical, the festival has found an excellent alternative opening film. Hockey is of course a national pastime, and the film features cameos from the hockey world such as Walter Gretzky and Theo Fleury. The film also stars many musicians including Olivia Newton-John, Marc Jordan, Nelly Furtado, Hawksley Workman and John McDermott.
“I can't think of a better way to kick off our 35th anniversary Festival than with Score: A Hockey Musical,” said Bailey. “It continues our tradition of launching the very best in Canadian filmmaking -- although in 35 years this is our first musical romance about hockey. Plan for a fun night on September 9.”
Score: A Hockey Musical will be released theatrically on Oct. 22.