TIFF 2012 Announcements

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Guests and programming announced for TIFF Asian Film Summit

Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist screens at TIFF 2012; Nair will appear on a panel called India: Bollywood & the Independents

TIFF has confirmed the programming (and guests) for its Asian Film Summit, which will be held on September 10 at the Shangri-La. In addition to the previously announced guest of honour, the triple-threat actor, producer and director Jackie Chan, and former U.S. senator Chris Dodd, festival regular Harvey Weinstein was announced in the role of Master of Ceremonies for the closing banquet. In the press release, Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF, explains that the summit aims to “foster deeper relationships and generate new business opportunities between key film players in the East and West,” something that federal finance minister Jim Flaherty congratulated them on (also in the press release).

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TIFF 2012: secrets, celebrity viruses and a teenage badass in this year’s lineup of Canadian features

The Canadian films to earn spots at TIFF this year include a range of comedies, dramas and thrillers, but also some that aren’t so easily defined—for instance, Sarah Polley will screen her follow-up to Take This Waltz, the genre-bending Stories We Tell, and David Cronenberg’s son Brandon will show his first film, a horror-thriller called Antiviral that premiered at Cannes. Here’s the rest of the Canadian talent:

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TIFF 2012: sexual abuse in the Catholic church, how to sell drugs and more subjects in this year’s Documentaries programme

The Documentaries programme at TIFF this year is packed full of interesting subject matter, from Ben Johnson’s record-breaking run at the 1988 Seoul Olympics (and the reality that he took steroids to achieve that feat) to Tomi Ungerer and his subversive art to moon worshippers. For those who want to step away from genre films and works of fiction, these 30 docs are a pretty safe bet.

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TIFF 2012: these 14 films are expected to defy conventions in this year’s Vanguard programme

There are films at TIFF with Hollywood polish, and then there are the Vanguard entries, which are meant to be cutting edge and genre-defying. This year, TIFF will host films by singer Peaches, directors  Soi Cheang and Michel Gondry, musician Ben Drew and more. According to TIFF, these entries are darker than the Midnight Madness selections and they have a “confrontational and transgressive core.” That does not sound like a very pleasant core at all.

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TIFF 2012: Meat monsters, lewd Catholic priests and more in this year’s Midnight Madness programme

At midnight during TIFF, Ryerson Theatre is the space where all of the darkest, most twisted films get shown. This year, Nicolás López’s feature Aftershock premieres, about six tourists trying to survive an earthquake in Chile; and Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem will be screened, a film about a 300-year-old coven of witches that returns to Salem (how awesome does that sound?). TIFF promises “horror comedies, mock-doc eco-apocalypse thrillers, trans-dimensional bugs, lewd Catholic priests, meat monsters and dog-napping psychopaths,” so there are going to be many opportunities to scare a date into burying their face into your shoulder.

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TIFF 2012: Alfred Hitchcock and Roberto Rossellini among directors in this year’s Cinematheque programme

TIFF isn’t just about bright, shiny and new blockbusters. Sure, it requires celebrities and world premieres to get international attention, but the festival’s emphasis continues to be on showing great films from around the world. This year’s Cinematheque programme features restored classics like Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder, Roberto Rossellini’s Stromboli and Roman Polanski’s Tess. Tickets to all TIFF Cinematheque screenings during the festival are complimentary and will be distributed at TIFF Bell Lightbox on a first come, first served basis two hours before each film screening

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TIFF 2012: Finding Nemo 3D and more to premiere in this year’s TIFF Kids programme

TIFF isn’t just for adults, which is why there are always a few choice children’s films to check out during the festival. This year’s big gets are American films Finding Nemo 3D (apparently, it wasn’t visually compelling enough as-is and needs to be shown in 3D) and Hotel Transylvania, but Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey have also picked some great films from around the world to show the kids in the city there’s more out there than just Dreamworks, Disney and Pixar.

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TIFF 2012: 10 films from India will premiere in this year’s City to City programme

Every year, one city is selected to participate in TIFF’s City to City programme, which highlights films from a specific region. This year, TIFF CEO Piers Handling and TIFF Creative Director Cameron Bailey have chosen Mumbai, which was selected because Bailey believes filmmakers of the region are “probing into previously taboo subjects and adopted styles that were earlier unpalatable to the Indian audience.”

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TIFF 2012: 111 celebrities who might be in town for the festival

We can’t confirm that certain celebrities will be in town for TIFF 2012 just yet (the film announcements were only made this morning!), but we went through the list of special presentations and galas to come up with a list of 111 celebrities who might be here to celebrate their film’s premiere. It’s a long list to be sure, and it’s going to be keep growing, but so far there are names like Glee star Darren Criss, Bollywood megastar Siddharth, A-List hotties Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams and Eva Mendes, and Hollywood royalty Bill Murray, Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks.

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TIFF 2012: 17 galas, 45 special presentations and a lot of star power at this year’s festival

This morning, TIFF CEO Piers Handling and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey announced TIFF 2012’s opening night gala, galas and special presentations. The big surprise? Genre film Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, is opening the festival, and not Midnight’s Children as some had hoped. It appears that TIFF is continuing to have fun by “mixing things up,” evidenced by the fact that in the last two years, TIFF has opened with hockey musical Score: The Musical (2010) and U2 rock doc From The Sky Down (2011). But besides the surprising opening night gala, there’s a lot to be excited about, including the star power that could be coming through Toronto this September.

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