TIFF

Toronto International Film Festival Favorites for the Fall

A cool, crisp breeze is in the air. Leaves are turning colors and drifting down to the pavement. It must be fall, which means the kickoff of the fall film awards season, which in turn means the world will now focus on catching all the critically acclaimed, award winning, and audience favorite movies from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which ended this week. For the full list of winners, visit TIFF’s official website.

Here are a few key films from TIFF that you won’t want to miss this year.

“The Shape of Water

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, this Cold War-era fantasy thriller sets a tone akin to the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Sally Hawkins plays a government laboratory employee who accidentally discovers a creature in a forgotten water tank. Lonely and mute, she befriends the animal until her secret is uncovered.

Set for release in the United States in early December, “The Shape of Water” also premiered at the Venice International Film Festival earlier this year, where it won the Golden Lion for best picture.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

This comedy-drama from Martin McDonagh features a knockout cast: Frances McDormand, Peter Dinklage, and Sam Rockwell. An excellent script paired with fantastic performances from the entire ensemble makes this a can’t-miss film for movie enthusiasts.

A local mother (McDormand) attempts to galvanize the local police into action by purchasing billboard space accusing the police department of a shoddy job serving justice. It’s the type of movie that swirls around in one’s head for days.

“The Disaster Artist”

Remember “The Room,” Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult film, considered one of the worst movies ever made? “The Disaster Artist” chronicles the making of the film as well as the friendship between Wiseau and actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco).Wiseau is, as always, a commanding presence who captures the subtleties of Wiseau’s character: an ambitious, ultimately lonely figure. It’s fun seeing the two brothers work off of each other, and makes for terrific entertainment.

“The Current War”

Every schoolchild knows that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, but did they know that it was a race to the finish line? The perpetually brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch plays Edison against Michael Shannon’s George Westinghouse as the two geniuses compete to harness electricity. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” fame, it also features snappy dialogue from writer Michael Mitnick. This is also an excellent film for anyone interested in American history and how electricity conquered the country.

“Thelma”

This Norwegian psychological horror film from Joachim Trier showcases an eerie performance by lead actress Eili Harboe. For the upcoming Academy Awards, it was selected as the Norwegian entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Harboe plays a student who moves to Oslo and falls in love with another girl; she then discovers that her crush has triggered certain inexplicable powers within her.

“I, Tonya”

This black comedy-drama centers around the life of figure skater Tonya Harding, who famously smashed her opponent Nancy Kerrigan’s kneecaps with a baseball bat in 1994. Nominated as runner-up for the People’s Choice award, this film features Margot Robbie as a young Tonya Harding.

Interested in learning more about film? Check out our filmmaking programs.

Everything That Makes the 2016 Toronto Film Festival Great

2013_Toronto_Film_Festival_August_42_(9737708544)

Aspiring filmmakers and movie enthusiasts are always looking forward to September. The Toronto Film Festival never fails to inspire, providing us with a look at promising movies, rising stars, and the veteran actors and actresses we love to see on the big screen. This year’s Toronto Film Festival is full of all the reasons reasons why each year we count down the days until this legendary event begins — plus a few extra reasons for the NYFA community to get excited.

NYFA Alum and Instructor Screening Films

This year, the Academy is especially proud of two of our own who debuted new work at Toronto: alumnus Eric Janvier and editing instructor Bob Eisenhardt both screened original films. Their two movies are:

“Gods Acre” – directed by Kelton Stepanowich and produced by NYFA alumnus Eric Janvier.

“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” – directed by Matt Tyrnauer and edited by NYFA instructor Bob Eisenhardt.

Congratulations! This is truly an accomplishment worth celebrating. And there is plenty more at the festival to get excited about…

The Oscar Buzz

oscars

While many films are shown during the 10-day event, only so many of them are considered great — and of those great films, even less receive Oscar buzz. It just wouldn’t be the Toronto Film Festival without a handful of movies already receiving enough acclaim and positive reviews to be considered worthy of an Oscar nomination.

One of these films is “The Finest,” directed by Lone Scherfig and starring Sam Claflin, Gemma Arterton, and Bill Nighy. And “Moonlight,” a coming-of-age story adapted from a biographical play and co-produced by Brad Pitt, is also making waves at TIFF 2016 — enough that the word masterpiece is already being thrown around.

After being a hit at the Venice Film Festival, “Jackie” continued its bid for Oscar contender by being well-received at this year’s event as well. Directed by Pablo Larrain and written by Noah Oppenheim, this film stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy and is set during the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

The Rising Stars

One of the best things about the Toronto Film Festival is that you can expect to see some of your favorite actors and actresses. Of course, it’s also exciting seeing up-and-coming stars begin their ascent to fame  by featuring in a project shown at the anticipated event.

Sophie Nélisse is a 16-year-old Canadian actress doing just that as part of the Rising Stars program. Mylène Mackay, Jared Abrahamson, and Grace Glowicki are other young talents to keep an eye on at this year’s festival and beyond.

The Premieres

movie-theater

There’s no shortage of things to check out at every Toronto Film Festival, and this year’s event is no exception. Of course, the reason this renowned film festival remains influential after 40 years is because it gives people a first look at the next films to hit theaters across the globe.

The show kicked off with the premier of “The Magnificent Seven,” a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Seven Samurai” starring Denzel Washington. Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental documentary “Before the Flood” also saw its first showing at the event. The film features DiCaprio himself as he campaigns to bring awareness about the threat of climate change.

Other notable premieres include “Nocturnal Animals” starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, sci-fi film “Colossal” starring Anne Hathaway, and Ben Wheatley’s “Free Fire.” 3D musical comedy “Sing” was another anticipated premiere with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, and John C. Reilly being only a handful of the many big stars offering their voices for the film.

The Best Dressed Stars

Each day gets off to a stylish start as beautiful ladies and gents hit the red carpet. While some Hollywood people attract the wrong kind of attention with their attire, this year we are seeing plenty of fashionable stars making their presence known the right way. Among these include Reese Witherspoon and her trendy off-the-shoulder floral brocade dress made by Ulyana Sergeenko Couture.

Other A-listers who wowed us with their wardrobe choice include Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Camila Alves. On the men’s side, guys like Matthew Mcconaughey, Gerard Butler, Armie Hammer, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Christian Bale.

What were your favorite moments of TIFF 2016? Let us know in the comments below!