This year’s 2017 Toronto International Film Festival In Conversation With… lineup will feature Angelina Jolie, Javier Bardem, Helen Mirren and Gael García Bernal . Through intimate, onstage discussions, the program provides audiences with the rare opportunity to get a glimpse into the careers of industry luminaries. The discussions are moderated by a journalist or industry expert, interspersed with clips of career highlights and followed by a brief Q&A.
“Through insightful and dynamic conversation, this program provides a unique platform to engage with these cinematic stars,” said Theresa Scandiffio, In Conversation With… programmer and Senior Director, TIFF Learning. “All of this year’s guests have made a huge mark in the world of film with epic onscreen roles — but we’ll also learn more about the vital work they do behind the scenes, and the stories that brought them to where and who they are today.”
The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7 to 17, 2017.
2017 Toronto International Film Festival In Conversation With…
In Conversation With… Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie has forged a boundary-pushing path as an actor, director, producer, and humanitarian. Jolie’s roles in Hackers, Gia, and her Academy Award–winning performance in Girl, Interrupted were marked by a transfixing onscreen presence and a restless, mercurial energy that earned her early recognition in the film industry. Having made a deep imprint on Hollywood through lead roles in the Lara Croft franchise as well as Salt and Maleficent, and her acclaimed performances in A Mighty Heart and Changeling, Jolie has subsequently devoted herself to humanitarianism and socially conscious projects. For over 15 years she has given her time and energy as a dedicated UNHCR Ambassador and Special Envoy. As a storyteller, Jolie routinely shakes up the status quo, her passion fuelling such poignant directorial works as In the Land of Blood and Honey and Unbroken. At this year’s Festival, TIFF presents Jolie’s most recent projects: directing, producing and co-writing First They Killed My Father; and producing Nora Twomey’s animated feature The Breadwinner.
In Conversation With… Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem is an artistically and politically minded force of nature. A household name in Hollywood, art house, and genre in both English- and Spanish-language cinema, he lives and breathes his craft. Always eager to take on diverse and challenging roles, Bardem’s long list of memorable performances include No Country for Old Men, for which he won an Academy Award, The Sea Inside, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Biutiful and Skyfall. A dedicated professional, he’s worked with an impressive roster of luminary filmmakers: Julian Schnabel, the Coen brothers, Woody Allen, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Terrence Malick, Ridley Scott… the list goes on. Equal parts charisma and compassion, his work on The Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony brought him to the UN to plead the case of the refugees of the Western Sahara. Hear from this truly galvanizing figure as he speaks candidly about his life, career, and the two films — Loving Pablo and mother! — that he brings to the Festival this year.
In Conversation With… Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren is the embodiment of a living legend. A master of both theatre and cinema, she is renowned for delivering bold performances with an air of effortlessness that belies her extreme precision. On stage, she has brought to life the visions of Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Strindberg. Her depth of classical training — particularly with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s and ’70s — has been translated brilliantly across a daring filmography including The Long Good Friday; Cal (for which she won Best Actress at Cannes in 1984); Peter Greenaway’s astonishing The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover; and the TV detective series Prime Suspect. These were star-making parts in which Mirren showed total control — and this was before her fame playing British monarchs Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George; the eponymous ruler of Elizabeth I; and her sublime, Academy Award–winning turn as Elizabeth II in The Queen. Mirren’s work always vividly illustrates a devotion to exploring a range of human experience. TIFF welcomes Mirren to this intimate onstage conversation to take a closer look at her newest film, the Festival Gala Presentation selection The Leisure Seeker.
In Conversation With… Gael García Bernal
Gael García Bernal has long been a commanding presence in world cinema. Since his breakthrough performances in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros (and later Babel) and Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También, Bernal has collaborated with such contemporary auteurs as Pedro Almodóvar (Bad Education) and Pablo Larraín (No, Neruda). Bernal’s subversive spirit continues to chart revolutionary ground, from Che Guevara (Fidel, The Motorcycle Diaries) to real-life Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari (Rosewater) to his latest role, inspired by Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, in Mozart in the Jungle. In 2005, Bernal, his longtime collaborator Diego Luna, and producer Elena Fortes launched a documentary film festival (Ambulante), screening films across Mexico (and later, the United States). Two years later, Bernal released Déficit, his directorial debut produced by Canana, a company he founded with Luna. Join us at TIFF to sit down with this artist and community builder as he presents his latest performance in Joan Chemla’s If You Saw His Heart at this year’s Festival.