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Glenn Close, Larry Wilmore, Morgan Spurlock at 2017 TIFF Industry Conference
Glenn Close, Larry Wilmore, Morgan Spurlock

The Toronto International Film Festival continued today to roll out its bold and ambitious 2017 TIFF Industry Conference program.  The six-day conference, which runs September 8–13, will feature more than 150 guest speakers taking the stage including Tim Bevan, Timothée Chalamet, Glenn Close, Denis Côté, Cassian Elwes, Heidi Ewing, Eric Fellner, Rachel Grady, Luca Guadagnino, Armie Hammer, Mary Harron, Armando Iannucci, Franklin Leonard, Brett Morgen, Sam Pollard, Anna Serner, Morgan Spurlock, Syrinthia Studer, Graham Taylor and Larry Wilmore.

The Conference features a range of curated programmes, which brings emphasis to different elements of industry debate.


Storytelling, satire, authenticity and equality are at the forefront of this year’s Master Class conversations, lead by some of the industry’s creative luminaries: Emmy and Peabody Award–winning producer, actor, comedian and writer Larry Wilmore (Black on the Air, Black-ish) keeps it “100” with Jesse Wente, Director of TIFF Cinematheque and Armando Iannucci director, writer, creator (The Death Of Stalin, VEEP) on the Art of Political Satire. The Conference closes with renowned homegrown director and writer Mary Harron (Alias Grace, I Shot Andy Warhol) on her distinguished career in film and television, interviewed by celebrated Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema (I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing). Moguls previously announced: Anna Serner (CEO of the Swedish Film Institute) and veteran producer Cassian Elwes (Mudbound, Dallas Buyers’ Club), joined by Indiewire’s Editor-in-Chief, Dana Harris.


Three intimate onstage talks and Q&As will be hosted by Benjamin Lee and Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian: Luca Guadagnino, Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet discuss one of the year’s most acclaimed films, Call Me by My Name; Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner discuss decades of remarkable Working Title Films productions include their fast-paced indie hit Baby Driver, and upcoming Festival films Darkest Hour and Victoria and Abdul. Legendary actor of stage and screen Glenn Close talks about her career, notable for challenging performances and iconic roles, and about her latest Festival film, The Wife.


TIFF’s Dialogues presents innovative and informative discussions on business and creative topics with notable industry experts. At the Table, presented in collaboration with the African American Film Critics Association, unpacks a film’s journey through candid examination of the importance of bringing more diverse perspectives to key decision-making roles, where objectivity is professed but subjectivity practiced.

Graham Taylor Partner and Head of WME Global,
Syrinthia Studer Worldwide Acquisitions, EVP, Paramount Pictures,
Franklin Leonard, CEO & Founder, The Black List,
Tre’vell Anderson Film Reporter, LA Times,
Gaylene Gould Head of Cinemas and Events, BFI Southbank,
and chaired by Gil Robertson Co-Founder & President, AAFCA.

Building Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, featuring Marcia Nickerson, Chair of imagineNATIVE, Valerie Creighton, President & CEO Canada Media Fund, and Danis Goulet, filmmaker, unveils the unique and vertical approach employed to create Canada’s newest film sector designed to support the wealth of Indigenous talent.

Eve of Disruption features venture capitalists and industry disruptors discussing emerging trends and technologies that will shape the future of the entertainment industry.

3 For 30 – From Words to Screen, hosted by The Black List’s Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen, this session illuminates the creative process and the choices filmmakers have to make to transform an ordinary script into a masterpiece.

2001: An Immersive Odyssey explores how science fiction films and immersive technologies inform how we consume the stories we love.


Now in its ninth edition, the Doc Conference is back to showcase a dynamic slate of filmmakers and industry experts. Featured filmmakers include directing duo Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, One of Us), Brett Morgen (Cobain: Montage of Heck, Jane), Sam Pollard (Slavery by Another Name, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me), and Denis Côté (Curling, Ta peau si lisse). Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!) and Brent Hodge will present Culture Shock, a new comedy series, previewing its first episode, Freaks & Geeks.

Geralyn Dreyfous, co-founder of Impact Partners Film Fund and Gamechanger Films, will talk about private investment; director Anjali Nayar (Gun Runners, Silas) will speak on cultural appropriation and access in the Global South; and Peter Broderick will provide sustainable career strategies for filmmakers.


TIFF’s Connections provides networking opportunities by bringing together leading international film professionals and experts. Connections networking strands: Co-Productions, Documentary, Primetime (TV), Shorts and New Technologies & Immersive Storytelling. Executives include: Mo Abudu, Julie Goldman, Katriel Schory, Steven Markovitz, Jennifer Jonas, Landon Zakheim, Brad Pelman and Sarah Lash. Signups will open late August.


TIFF Short Cuts programming includes Directing Actors and Actors Directing focusing on excellence in directing performance, with Yassmina Karajah (Rupture), TIFF Rising Stars Alumnus Connor Jessup (Lira’s Forest); while Maximizing Your Short’s Impact provides strategies and tips to get short films seen and heard.


TIFF’s Foundations programme explores cinematography, editing, story development, music licensing, US/Canadian legal coventures and collaborative teams. The 2017 lineup features: Pat Mills, Tiffany Beaudin (Don’t Talk To Irene); Caroline Habib, Mongrel International; Kisha Imani Cameron, Ghetto Film School; Lorraine D’Alessio, D’Alessio Law Group; Evelyn Ackah, Ackah Business Immigration Law; Elliott Anderson (ACTRA); Michael Perlmutter, President of CDN Guild of Music Supervisors; and script consultant Corey Mandell.


The Industry Lounge is the business and networking centre for industry professionals with free WiFi. It will be open on September 8 to 13, from 9:00am to 6:30pm, and is located in the Glenn Gould Studio Lobby at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. West.


Connect with filmmakers, producers, and potential business partners from around the globe. Industry Happy Hours are held in the Glenn Gould Studio Lobby at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. West, September 8–12 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. The Industry Cocktail, on September 13 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, will celebrate another year of ambitious industry events.


CMPA Feature Film Producer’s Award recognizes the entrepreneurship, vision, and passion of Canadian independent producers. The event will take place on Thursday, September 7, 3:30pm–5:30pm.

Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch
Presented by Telefilm Canada, this series highlights the hottest homegrown directors who are the buzz of 2017. Topics include:
∙ In the Director’s Chair: Lady Boss
∙ Going International: What to Know Before You Go!
∙ Canada’s Class of 2017: Powered by Creativity

Additional companies presenting at the Conference include Amazon Video Direct, and Micro Sessions: Adobe Systems®, and Ontario College of Trades. Telefilm Canada’s


Six filmmaking teams have six minutes to pitch their feature film idea to an international industry audience and jury. The winning team will take home $15,000 to help bring their film project to life.

∙ 12 Days – Tracey Deer, Jennifer Mesich
∙ Boring Girls – Coral Aiken, Hannah Cheesman
∙ Fall from the sky – Deragh Campbell, Dan Montgomery, Kaz Radwanski
∙ Imposter – Adam Goldhammer, Evan Landry, Katie McMillan
∙ Nadia, Butterfly – Dominique Dussault, Pascal Plante
∙ We Will Not Be Defeated – Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith, Dylan Reibling, Brian Robertson


TIFF will present curated networking opportunities via an expanded Breakfast at TIFF series, with events hosted by agencies from around the world, including Telefilm Canada, South Africa’s NFVF, German Films, New Zealand Film Commission, Finnish Films, Caribbean Tales and CinemaChile. Access will be determined by the focus of each event. Signups open late August.

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