The 36th Toronto International Film Festival today announced its free programming which includes screenings of the World Premiere of Mark Cousins’ epic 15-hour documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey; Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s This is Not a Film – a day-in-the-life portrait of filmmaker Jafar Panahi, under house arrest in Iran; and the screening of the winner of the 2011 Cadillac People’s Choice Award. Also open to audiences free of charge is a City to City Panel of filmmakers and programmers exploring the emerging film scene in Buenos Aires as well as a special discussion to accompany the Future Projections installation James Franco and Gus Van Sant: Memories of Idaho.
“The free Festival programming we are presenting honours the Festival’s tradition of celebrating filmmakers and film. Among them the important work of Cousins, Panahi and Mirtahmasb will offer audiences a window into the history and current situation of artists and cinema around the world,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “We are happy to be able to offer this access to special screenings and discussions to Festival audiences.”
Free Programming includes:
This is not a Film Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Iran (Toronto Premiere)
Sentenced to six years in prison and banned from writing and making films for 20 years by the Islamic Republic Court in Tehran, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi waited for the verdict of his court appeal for months. Through the depiction of a day in his life while he’s on house arrest, Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (a documentary filmmaker and former assistant director) offer audiences an overview of the current situation of Iranian cinema.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey Mark Cousins, United Kingdom (World Premiere)
Filmed on four continents over six years, this epic 15-hour documentary tells the story of innovation in the movies based on the acclaimed book of the same title by Mark Cousins. Featuring exclusive interviews with legendary filmmakers like Stanley Donen and Abbas Kiarostami, The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a passionate, cinematic journey across 11 decades of cinema, and a thousand films. The film will be screened first in five instalments of three hours each, every morning at 10am from Monday, September 12 to Friday, September 16. On the Festival’s final weekend the film will be screened again: eight hours on Saturday, September 17 and seven hours on Sunday, September 18.
Cadillac People’s Choice Award Winner screening
Once the ballots have been counted, and the winner revealed, the fan favourite film of the Festival will screen on the last day of the Festival – Sunday, September 18 – at Ryerson Theatre. The winner will be announced that morning.
City to City Panel
Filmmakers whose works are featured in the Festival’s City to City spotlight on Buenos Aires, Festival programmers and industry professionals join together for a lively and interactive discussion of the emerging film scene in Buenos Aires.
A special discussion to accompany James Franco and Gus Van Sant’s Memories of Idaho (1991; 2010 and 2011)
Saturday, September 10 in TIFF Bell Lightbox
In 1991, Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho and its central performance by River Phoenix had an enormous cultural impact, not least on a budding young actor named James Franco (127 Hours, James Dean). Now Franco has collaborated with Van Sant to create Memories of Idaho, a meditation on the seminal film in multiple parts. At the work’s core are two new films, projected sequentially, in a darkened, generic space. The first film, My Own Private River, is a feature-length chronological reassemblage of excised scenes and alternate takes from the original shoot, radically foregrounding Phoenix. The second film, Idaho, comes from one of three scripts Van Sant used to create the original film, its Super-8 texture meant to be a “ghost” of his original conception. Van Sant contributes ghosts of his own, large-format photographs of actual Portland street hustlers who appeared in, and provided inspiration and source material for, the film. Presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox Atrium, 350 King Street West. September 8 to 18. (*One of the film elements of “Memories of Idaho,” My Own Private River, was previously shown at Gagosian Gallery Los Angeles, February 26 to April 9, 2011.)
Tickets for This is Not a Film, The Story of Film, the Cadillac People’s Choice Award winner and City to City panel will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from the relevant venue box office two hours prior to start of the screening.
Admittance to the Memories of Idaho discussion will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited.
The Festival’s Official Film Schedule was released today. It is available at the Festival Box Office and by visiting tiff.net/festival. Copies will also be distributed in The Grid on Thursday, August 25. Thursday’s issue of the Toronto Star will contain a 24-page section on the Festival and includes the full film schedule.
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation, Major Sponsor and official bank RBC, Major Sponsor BlackBerry and Visa†. For more information, visit tiff.net.
Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC and BlackBerry, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and the City of Toronto.