New York Film Festival Chiefs on Moving Forward During COVID-19: ‘Nothing Was the Same’

Noble Horvath

The 58th edition of the New York Film Festival is unlike any of the previous 57 iterations. Coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings forced the festival’s organizers to overhaul their usual approach to highlighting the best of cinema. Gone are the red carpets, glitzy parties, and celebrity-packed premieres at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, a casualty of a global pandemic that has simultaneously upended awards season and forced many studios to reconsider their plans. In their place is a combination of virtual screenings, drive-in events and online talks.

a glass of water on a table in front of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

© AP

Despite the challenges facing the indie film space, this year’s New York Film Festival, which kicked off on Sept. 17 and runs through Oct. 11, has assembled an impressive lineup of  auteur-driven fare. The list of films includes new works from Sofia Coppola (“On the Rocks”), Azazel Jacobs (“French Exit”), Hong Sangsoo (“The Woman Who Ran”) and Chloe Zhao (“French

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How a Small Film Slate at Toronto Film Festival Translated Into Big Sales

Noble Horvath

“People are buying with the notion that things will get back to some level of normalcy and some level of physical engagement again,” IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco says

With a slimmed-down film slate, a delayed awards season schedule, a virtual market and uncertainty around releasing films theatrically, this year’s Toronto sales market was meant to be active, but not necessarily a moment for distributors to write big checks.

So how did that work out? Not only did we see Netflix go big on two splashy awards dramas in the form of “Pieces of a Woman” and Halle Berry’s “Bruised,” Solstice Studios made its first big play by nabbing the worldwide rights to the Mark Wahlberg drama “Good Joe Bell” for a whopping $20 million.

Though TIFF only screened 50 movies at its virtual festival, many of them have found homes, including Vertical Entertainment and Hulu buying the Chloe Grace Moretz

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TIFF 2020: Toronto film festival deserves a standing ovation, but its future is foggier than ever

Noble Horvath

Physically distanced moviegoers watch Inconvenient Indian at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sept. 17, 2020, in Toronto.

George Pimentel/Getty Images

Like any movie director worth their craft-service table Maldon Sea Salt, the organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. With TIFF’s 45th edition now in the books, co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey face the unenviable task of planning for a 2021 festival without knowing whether next September will be the same, better or much, much worse than the current season.

“We need to take some time to look at the data and do some surveys – this is the first time we’ve done this and we’re obviously learning every day. But I don’t think we would do a radically different version [if necessary],” Vicente said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “It would just be how we

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GoldenEye Celebrates Newest Bond Film With Deluxe Packages

Noble Horvath

Boutique Jamaican resort GoldenEye is offering an “Ultimate James Bond Experience” package in recognition of the latest film in the famous spy series, which features Jamaica (among other international destinations) as a setting.

a small boat in a body of water: GoldenEye Resort, Jamaica

© Jim Byers/TravelPulse Canada
GoldenEye Resort, Jamaica

Founded by Bond author Ian Fleming, the luxury resort is offering the package in conjunction with the November 20 release of No Time to Die.

The four-night packages include accommodations in a stand-alone hut, villa or cottage with a private entrance; a cocktail party at Firefly, the former hilltop home of author Noel Coward; a bottle of Bollinger champagne (featured in several Bond films and novels); a tour of the Fleming Villa (pending availability) and daily breakfast for two, plus a complimentary welcome flask of Blackwell Rum.

The resort will also screen James Bond films outdoors for guests each Thursday this fall, leading up to the release of No Time

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Final Destination Star Is Hoping to Return for New Film

Noble Horvath

Last year brought the news that the Final Destination series was coming back to the big screen. Details were further revealed this year by the series creator and producer, but thanks to the coronavirus pandemic there’s been no updates on the project’s status at the studio. One person eager to learn more about the film and potentially get involved is horror icon Tony Todd, who appears in three of the five films as the recurring character William Bludworth. In a new interview, Todd said that he hasn’t had formal talks about joining the new sequel but would like to be a part of it if it happens.

“If it was up to me and Jeffrey (Reddick, series creator), I’d be the person,” Todd told MovieWeb. “But we don’t know yet. I know they’ve had several attempts at scripts. They’re still trying to figure out the right puzzle, if that’s

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TIFF 2020: How virtual business really went down during an unprecedented Toronto film festival

Noble Horvath

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There are two sides to the Toronto International Film Festival. The first is the splashy, public-facing portion, where prestige dramas and high-wattage celebrities take over the city, in a physical or virtual fashion, for a week and a half every September. The second, and arguably more important, side is the business end of things. Increasingly, TIFF has become a market where film deals are made and artists’ futures are secured.

But while this year’s TIFF sparked its share of buzzy business headlines thanks to a handful of high-priced purchases (Netflix’s US$20-million acquisition of Halle Berry’s Bruised, Solstice Studios’ US$20-million fee for the Mark Wahlberg drama Good Joe Bell), the real action happens on the sidelines, where no cheques are signed.

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Venice Film Festival: Step inside this year’s festival

Noble Horvath

Although contemporary guests may have a more limited time frame, the hotel’s iconic Blue Bar, with a closely guarded secret spritz recipe, is unmissable, as is the red prawn carpaccio, which comes fresh from Sicily each morning.

Back across the lagoon, there’s little sign of the festival that’s forged defiantly ahead and it’s remarkable to behold the Floating City without its usual shroud of cruise ships.

Venice Aerial View, Aman Venice

Across the Rialto, a world away from any hustle and bustle that does remain, is Aman Venice. One of the very sleekest double palazzos in the city, this is a heavenly place to arrive after the masked clamour of the vaporetto, especially when heading for the serene canal-side courtyard, Arva.

Mads Mikkelson

Nadja Sayej

Here, alchemy awaits in the form of a suitably hedonistic cocktail recipe inspired by Venice’s erstwhile resident, Lord Byron. Appetite sufficiently roused, the menu is

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Nomadland wins Toronto film festival people’s choice award

Noble Horvath

Nomadland, the recession-era retirees study starring Frances McDormand, has won the Toronto film festival people’s choice award, adding the influential prize to the Venice Golden Lion it was awarded a week ago.

The Toronto award is much prized in the industry, as it counts a significant number of Oscar best picture awards and nominees among its recent winners, including Green Book (2018), Room (2015) and 12 Years a Slave (2013). Nomadland’s director Chloé Zhao is also the first woman to win the award since 2011, when Nadine Labaki’s Where Do We Go Now? triumphed. Nomadland would now appear to be a major contender for end-of-year awards, with a best picture Oscar nomination a virtual certainty

Nomadland, inspired by Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, dramatises the experiences of a generation affected by the 2008 recession who can no longer afford either to retire or

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‘Nomadland’ Wins Audience Award at Toronto Film Festival

Noble Horvath

Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” a low-key drama starring Frances McDormand as a woman who loses her house and travels around the Western United States in a van, has won the People’s Choice Award at the 2020 Toronto International film Festival, TIFF organizers announced on Sunday.

The first runner-up for the award was “One Night in Miami,” the first feature to be directed by actress Regina King. The second runner-up was “Beans,” a coming-of-age story from indigenous Canadian director Tracey Deer.

The People’s Choice Award in the documentary section went to Michelle Latimer’s “Inconvenient Indian,” while the Midnight Madness winner was Roseanne Liang’s “Shadow in the Cloud.”

Over the last eight years in a row, and nine of the last 10 years, the TIFF People’s Choice winner has gone on to be nominated for the Academy Award for

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The ups and downs of having the Toronto Film Festival at your fingertips

Noble Horvath

My screening companion ditched me about 15 minutes into Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s “Wolfwalkers,” a captivating animated feature that turned out to be one of the highlights of my 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Not hers, though. What can I say? One person’s treasure — in this case, a 17th century Irish fantasy about a plucky young girl and a pack of gorgeously shape-shifting wolves — can be another person’s terror. Here is where I should probably note that the screening venue was my living room, my companion is 4 years old and the movie — a thrilling reminder that hand-drawn animation needn’t be cute or cuddly — featured just a few too many crossbows, guns and lupine growls for her taste.

a close up of a man and a woman looking at the camera: Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby in "Pieces of a Woman." (Toronto International Film Festival)

© (Toronto International Film Festival)
Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby in “Pieces of a Woman.” (Toronto International Film Festival)

For those of us watching from afar, this

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