Dont just film in Toronto, hire local talent, new billboards say on eve of TIFF – CBC News

Don\t just film in Toronto, hire local talent, new billboards say on eve of TIFF - CBC News
Torontos restaurants get creative to lure film festival celebrities
Big names are already arriving in the city for the Toronto International Film Festival, and one of the first things they'll likely see when they land are billboards promoting the hiring of local talent. 

But all those white movie trailers you see parked in the city are often filled with foreign stars. The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) wants to change that so it's launched a campaign to remind the who's who of Hollywood that Ontario has 5,000 professionals able to work both behind and in front of the camera. 

The most wonderful time of year is upon us: There are finally new IKEA catalogues. But on top of that, the Toronto International Film Festival will start soon. And its siren-song will deliver the revelation that, for 10 glorious days, you can (and will) mingle with Hollywoods best and brightest. Which brings us to why were all here. In the spirit of tradition and great conversation starters, Ive got your 2019 guide to making conversation with famous faces. You dont know them, they dont know you, but if you play by my rules I can promise that they will never, ever forget you. As hard as they may try.

Currently a lot of those key creative slots, like producers, actors and designers are being flown in from California, says Alan Goluboff, chair of the DGC Ontario executive board. 

As youre waiting in line for the bathroom, a serious Joaquin Phoenix approaches to ask who you think is the best Joker of all time. Knowing hell call you out for even a hint of dishonesty, you gently place your hands on his shoulders and tell him what he already knows: Jim Carrey in The Mask. He begins walking away, and then turns around. Somebody stop me, he says, knowing no other performance in history has ever been so cartoonish or so frightening. Out of eyeshot, Jared Leto lingers, vowing to make the night get twisted.

This Toronto Bar Created The Most Unbelievable Joker Cocktail For TIFF This Year

"Our whole M.O. here is to get key players to look at our people before they make their final decisions," said Goluboff. "Especially if they're going to be shooting here."

Its that time of year when Toronto rolls out the red carpet to celebrate celebrities, filmmakers, and movies. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the citys most highly anticipated events and with an incredible line-up this year, film fans wont be disappointed. You can now celebrate this massive movie event with a special themed drink. The Toronto Joker cocktail at District Eatery is so good youll want its autograph. 

The electric signs in Terminal 1 and 3 at Pearson Airport say things like: "Hey, MGM. Not sure if you should make your next picture with Toronto editors? Just ask Fox. And Shape of Water's 4 Oscars."

The District Eatery, known as Torontos healthiest cocktail bar, released the drink in celebration of the festival. While it is the only TIFF related item on the menu, there are loads of apps and entrees to pair it with. Relax on the rooftop patio while enjoying this specialty drink and heavenly food.

TIFF 2019: How the Festival Spread Black Voices Across This Years Lineup

There are also two signs over the Gardiner Expressway that say: "Hey, Hollywood. Make more with Toronto."  

Gregg Goldstein @GCGoldstein FOLLOW Gregg's Most Recent Stories Why Toronto Matters as Awards Season Moves Onto Fast Track Charles Cohen’s CMG Continues to Wave the Flag for French Cinema Indie Film Producers Fight Series in Battle for Talent, Learn to Adapt View All Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Show more sharing options LinkedIn WhatsApp Print Pin It Tumblr CREDIT: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox/Merrick Morton The Toronto Intl. Film Festival is no longer just one of the biggest fests in the world. As sequels, reboots and franchises dominate the 2019 box office, TIFF now represents a cross-section of the industry’s few remaining attempts at original feature filmmaking. And given numerous specialty film B.O. disappointments, few if any award contenders so far and a fourth quarter that seems more back-loaded with highbrow releases than most years in recent memory, the 2019 edition seems especially pivotal.

"It is a bit tongue in cheek," said Goluboff. "We're not trying to tell people, you know, 'Don't hire the people you're comfortable with' … we never want to break up that creative relationship. Our view is there's lots of other people that are not being considered because they're not living in California." 

TIFF’s offerings include big-budget studio films that aspire to be more than tentpoles (Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari,” Warner Bros.’ “Joker”); award-season bait (A24’s “Waves,” Netflix’s “Marriage Story,” Roadside Attractions/LD Entertainment’s “Judy”); acquisition hopefuls (“Jungleland,” “How to Build a Girl,” “Bad Education,” “The Burnt Orange Heresy”); docs; and foreign films.

The hit TV show The Handmaid's Tale has an extensive Canadian staff and it's shot in Cambridge, Hamilton and Toronto. The Oscar winner for Best Picture, The Shape of Water, used a crew that was almost entirely Canadian or Mexican, says the film's producer J. Miles Dale.    

"There's just a degree of recognition, I think that gives gives us credibility," said Dale. "I also think having more training programs is critical … People who might not have access but who might have talent, let there be sort of a fertile training ground for them so that they can find their way."

One of two African films (a rare occurrence) that screened in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and won awards, Ly’s explosive feature debut is based on his powerful 2017 short film of the same name. The searing drama involves what happens when power ends up in the hands of people who don’t know how to control it. Ly’s story was inspired by the violent 2005 Paris riots which involved primarily youth of African descent. The three-week long uprising was rooted in rising unemployment among the youth, who were mostly confined to poor housing estates, and the harassment they routinely experienced at the hands of the police. At the center of the film are three members of an anti-crime brigade who are overrun while trying to make an arrest. The title is a play on that of Victor Hugo’s 1862 classic novel — itself the basis for numerous film, TV and stage adaptations. Starring Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti and Djibril Zonga, “Les Misérables” will be released by Amazon Studios this fall.

Along with training, actor Andy McQueen says casting directors should be looking at more talent in the city they're shooting in. 

"I think agents are just hiring safe," said McQueen. "I do believe that the opportunity and the risks that are being taken on actors in the States is much bigger than it is here."

This years TIFF runs September 5 – 15 in Toronto, Canada and will open with Daniel Roher’s documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” and close with Marjane Satrapi’s “Radioactive,” with plenty of major picks running in between. Heres what were most excited to see in Canada.

The campaign runs the entire length of TIFF from Sept. 5 to 15 and Dale hopes its catches Hollywood's eye. 

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"It's great that the industry has been able to come together as a unified voice and I think that's a sign of the maturation of our business here."

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From “Late Night” to “Blinded by the Light,” many of the big sales at this year’s Sundance ended in financial failure. As the movie business gears up for the Toronto Film Festival, studios may be more wary of cutting big checks. Will an all-too-familiar narrative of frenzy resulting in flops change once Hollywood touches down in Canada?

TIFF 2019: Toronto International Film Festival news and movie reviews

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TIFF 2019: What Were Looking Forward To

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Several sales agents and buyers said the marketplace heading into Toronto is “healthy” and “robust,” because every company is looking for prime content for 2020. But although distributors will be vying for the same titles, many insiders don’t expect the hefty price tags seen at Sundance earlier this year — where four titles sold for between $13 million and $15 million.