TORONTO | Marjane Satrapi’s The Voices premieres

The Marjane Satrapi-directed “The Voices,” starring Anna Kendrick and Ryan Reynolds, opened last night at Toronto. Film is getting mitigated returns from the press, Jason Gorber of TWITCH writing in his review that, “The Voices is a silly, schizoid film, but for some it may be profound, reveling in its collision of ideas and tone.”

Celluloidz, a French online publication on the horror genre wrote, “The Voices” is an excellent surprise in the fantastic genre by a filmmaker you’d have never imagined in such an exercise.”

BIZ: It was just announced that UK’s purveyor of cult and horror fare (among others, their catalog is meaty) just picked up the UK rights. The film was produced by 1984 Private Defense Contractors, Mandalay Vision, Studio Babelsberg and Vertigo Entertainment. Stateside, Lionsgate will be distributing the film in a deal that was struck this past March. Panorama Media handles international sales.

QUOTE: “People can be beautiful AND smart” (Satrapi on her lead Ryan Reynolds during last night’s Q&A following the screening)

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TIFF2014 | A very special selfie

At left, Elen Degeneres and friends at the last Academy Awards. At right, Gael Garcia Bernal, Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari earlier this week at the Toronto premiere of Stewart’s film “Rosewater,” with Bahari snapping the photo (um, was that selfie taken with the new iPhone 6, Mr. Bahari?”)

TIFF 2014 | “99 Homes press conference”

“I’m fucking mad, man, I’m sick of this. How in the world can 1% of the population own 50% of the world’s wealth? It’s absolutely insane” (“99 Homes” director Ramin Bahrani)

Fresh from the Venice world premiere of their film “99 Homes” (Noruz Films, released August 30th, 2014) Bahrani and his cast (Michael Shannon and Laura Dern among them) sailed in to Toronto and gave a press conference (video starts at 12:24) 

TIFF 2014 | Jon Stewart lights up fest with politically-charged docudrama

jon-stewart-tiff2014-iranianfilmdailyAin’t no shame in his game. Jon Stewart and his lead actor Gael Garcia Bernal accompanied by Maziar Bahari are making the rounds of TIFF2014 in support of “Rosewater,” Stewart’s adaptation of Bahari’s book (Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity, And Survival) in which he describes his arrest, torture and hundred-day confinement in a Tehran prison.

Here’s what Stewart, who makes his directorial debut with “Rosewater,” said as the film premiered (“Rosewater” already got its world premiere at Telluride) last night in the Princess of Wales theater.

“Truthfully that’s the whole game, [it] is to try and tell the story that does the story justice, that does it with integrity, and, obviously it’s an interpretation of an interpretation of a reality but hopefully underneath that there’s some sort of inherent, universal aspect to it that will affect people.”

Stewart’s own tastes in movies run toward the downright popular and mainstream, apparently. During a Q&Alast night a festival-goer asked Stewart which films inspired him to direct. “I’m a big “Ghostbusters” guy,” he cracked.

Shohreh Aghdashloo and Golshifteh Farahani also have starring roles in the film.

Production company /producers: Oddlot’s Gigi Pritzker, Scott Rudin and Stewart.
Executive Producers: Lila Yacoub, Eli Bush and Chris McShane
U.S. Distributor: Sierra / Affinity

TIFF 2014 | REZA Mirkarimi’s film “Today” premieres tonight

emrooz_today_iranianfilmdaily“Today” (“Emrooz”), directed by Reza Mirkarimi (a.k.a. Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi), will be shown tonight at Toronto as part of its official world-premiere presentation (several press screenings will also be held, check listings for details).

Forty seven year-old Mirkarimi is a veteran of the festival circuit, having picked up numerous accolades in the last twelve years from Moscow to Montreal. In 2001 he won the Critics’ Week Grand Prize at Cannes for “Under the Moonlight” (2001).

The screening will be introduced by the filmmaker and will be followed by a Q&A.

WORLD PREMIERE: Saturday, Sept 6th at 10pm at Jackman Hall

FULL TIFF 2014 screenings info and updates at the festival’s site