With a special tribute to Meryl Streep, a gala line-up dedicated to female filmmakers and an inaugural prize for female talent, organizers say this week’s Toronto International Film Festival will honor the leading women in the films.
A-listers from Natalie Portman to Nicole Kidman, and Kristen Stewart to Streep, will step on the red carpet at the largest North American film festival, also known as TIFF, which opens on Thursday and runs until September 15.
The festival in the largest city in Canada is seen as a key step in the journey to the glory of the Oscars: recent winners of the Best Film, including.
Among the world premieres that generated a stir this year are the Nazi satire of Taika Waititi “Jojo Rabbit”, and the tear of the death corridor full of stars “Just Mercy”, with Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson.
They will be shown next to the heavyweights fresh from the current Venice festival, such as “Joker”.
Venice triggered the controversy by including only two films directed by women in its main awards program: a storm aggravated by the decision to invite director Roman Polanski, who admitted to having been violated by law decades ago.
Toronto organizers said it was a “priority” to correct the historical imbalance of the industry against women.
“We really chose to bring gender and gender representation to the forefront,” festival chief Cameron Bailey told AFP.
“As a concern in movies in general, there is a long history of this from the beginning … it affects movies at all stages.”
- ‘Easy peasy’ –
More than 300 films from 84 countries will be shown to critics, authors and moviegoers in Toronto, including 133 world premieres.
Nearly half of the festival’s gala films are directed by women, nine of 20, including all three on Saturday night’s programming.
The “Abominable” animation of DreamWorks, written and directed by Jill Culton, tells the story of a young Chinese woman who tries to help a magical yeti return with her family.
It is followed by the world premiere of the biographical film of television personality Fred Rogers, “A beautiful day in the neighborhood,” directed by Marielle Heller and starring Tom Hanks.
The night concludes with “Hustlers,” the true story of a group of New York strippers who cheated Wall Street entrepreneurs with large sums.
For the first time, the festival will hold a “tribute gala” that will reward in honor of outstanding careers in the cinema.
Press conference before the Toronto International Film Festival 2019.
Streep, who is currently promoting the Netflix Panama Papers thriller “The Laundromat”, will receive the actress’s inaugural award.
The festival’s co-director, Joana Vincent, said the decision to honor Streep was “obvious,” and told AFP: “She is incredibly talented, and it is this amazing and amazing performance in ‘The Laundromat’ that felt so Fresh and different.
“And she’s Meryl Streep! Who else would like to give her inaugural tribute award?”
The “Joker” star, Joaquín Phoenix, will receive the actor’s inaugural award, while Waititi will receive the director’s award.
- Rock And Roll –
TIFF will open Thursday with the documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band”, a biographical film of the musical group that formed in Toronto in the 1960s and became one of the most successful rock ensembles of all time.
The film presents interviews with a who’s who of rock’n´roll, including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton.
Martin Scorsese also appears, with whom Robertson has worked on the scores of “The Wolf of Wall Street” and the next “The Irish.”