The Toronto International Film Festival is bringing more documentary to the masses, with its inaugural, full-day Doc Conference. Along with the returning Doc Roundtables, the fest has also announced more non-fiction films.
The Doc Conference, scheduled for September 13, will delve into the ins and outs of documentary financing, distribution and ethics. The event features a keynote address from Liesl Copland, part of William Morris Endeavor’s global finance & distribution group, on the strengths and weaknesses of new distribution models. Other highlights include guest speakers Peter Broderick, a distribution strategist; the Center for Social Media’s Patricia Aufderheide and a panel on finding financing with Impact Partner’s Dan Cogan, ITVS’ Lois Vossen and director Franny Armstrong (the helmer of the crowd-funded Age of Stupid).
The Doc Roundtables return from September 14 to 16, and give filmmakers a chance to have informal meetings with influential industry members. Participants include Sony Pictures Classics, HBO, Films Transit, SnagFilms, Zeitgeist Films and Oscilloscope Laboratories.
TIFF has also announced the addition of five new docs to the Real to Reel programming schedule. The fest will see the world premiere of Ahead of Time, the directorial debut from cinematographer Bob Richman, whose work can be seen in The September Issue and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. The film is a portrait of journalist, photographer and humanitarian Ruth Gruber.
Other films added to the Real to Reel sked include Once Upon a Time Proletarian: 12 Tales of a Country, from director Guo Xiaolu, which explores contemporary China in the post-Marxist era. Stolen, from filmmakers Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw, is a controversial doc touching upon the issue of modern slavery in Algeria. Another world premiere, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s The Sunshine Boy, explores autism from a global perspective, and Don Hahn’s Waking Sleeping Beauty gives an insider’s look at Disney’s successful decade-long resurgence from Who Framed Roger Rabbit to The Lion King and more.
Additionally, TIFF has announced the full lineup of its Mavericks component, which puts filmmakers in front of TIFF audiences to discuss their latest projects. Barry Levinson will be on hand for the world premiere of The Band That Wouldn’t Die, a doc for ESPN Film’s 30 for 30 project which follows a Baltimore football team’s marching band. Fellow ‘mavericks’ include Chris Rock, presenting the doc Good Hair; doc master Frederick Wiseman with La Danse – Le Ballet de l’Opera de Paris and Peter Berg, presenting Kings Ransom, which analyzes how Wayne Gretzky’s move from Canada to L.A. changed hockey.
The Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 10 to 19.