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The 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, (TIFF) was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This 33rd annual festival was from September 4 to September 13, 2008. The opening night gala was the World War I romantic epic Passchendaele from Canadian director Paul Gross.[1]

Contents

About the 2008 Festival

Festival is heavy on Canadian fare as well as featuring prominent indie films and worldwide and/or North American debuts including: Adoration directed by Canada's own Atom Egoyan, Appaloosa the second film from Ed Harris (who directed Pollock), Blindness from screenwriter-director, Fernando Meirelles, Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and veteran filmmaker Barbet Schroeder's Inju, la bete dans l'ombre.[2][3][4] Scheduled is The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (directed by Jodie Markell), based on a "rediscovered" Tennessee Williams screenplay. TIFF screened 312 films from 64 countries. These include 249 features, most of which were North American and/or world premieres.[5]

Neil Burger (director of The Illusionist) world premiered The Lucky Ones a character study of U.S. soldiers on an unplanned road trip, starring Tim Robbins.[5][6]

Also featured was be Me and Orson Welles helmed by American "slacker" Richard Linklater, the Spike Lee-directed World War II film, Miracle at St. Anna as well as the Jonathan Demme directed film Rachel Getting Married. Other festival highlights are screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's first film, Synecdoche, New York, a slice of experimental filmmaker James Benning's Americana RR was featured in the "Wavelengths" avant-garde showcase, the four-hour-long Stephen Soderbergh epic Che (playing in two parts), as well as The Wrestler lensed by Darren Aronofsky. The Brits are also well represented with Happy-Go-Lucky directed by Mike Leigh and Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle.[2][3][4]

Despite showing fewer films than last year, among the 249 features, 116 are premieres and 61 are first features.[5][7] Films from as many as 64 countries were screened, with more than 340,000 admissions expected.[7]

"Canadian Open Vault", which always highlights a restored Canadian film, focused on Quebec filmmaker Francois Girard's 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould made in 1993.[1]

Actors Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Benicio Del Toro, Ethan Hawke, Laura Linney and film directors Julian Schnabel, Kathryn Bigelow and Steven Soderbergh are among the celebs the festival has invited on its 500-plus guest list, thus completing its lineup.[6]

The festival closed on September 13, 2008 with the North American premiere of Stone of Destiny written and directed by Charles Martin Smith, the true story of four Glasgow university students who try to restore the 300-pound Stone of Destiny to its rightful Scotish home.[8]

With the film "Fifty dead men walking", Rose McGowan expressed support for the cause of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), with the reports of her comments being released into the media on September 11, 2008. After starring in Fifty Dead Men Walking, she was quoted as saying "I imagine had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100% have been in the IRA. My heart just broke for the cause. Violence is not to be played out daily and provide an answer to problems, but I understand it." Her comments were attacked by the original author Martin McCartlend. McCartland had general objections against the film, but approved of an out of court settlement, believed to be in the region of £20.000 (35.000 USD in summer 2008).

North American premieres

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Special presentations

Other films to be screened

Masters program

Vanguard and visions

Midnight Madness

Sprockets (family fare)

Wavelengths (avant-garde showcase)

  • Derrière moi directed by Rafael Ouellet (Canada)
  • Le Genou d'Artemide directed by Jean-Marie Straub
  • Pontypool directed by Bruce McDonald
  • RR directed by James Benning (U.S.)
  • The Secret History of the Dividing Line (part of series) directed by David Gatten
  • When It Was Blue directed by Jennifer Reeves

Contemporary world cinema

Canada first

  • Borderline directed by Lyne Charlebois

The Real to Reel (docu program)

References

External links


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