Alanis Morissette, Dionne Warwick docs among first TIFF ’21 selections

Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner’s Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over and Jagged, Alison Klayman’s HBO film about iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, are two of the feature documentaries set ...
June 23, 2021

Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner’s Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over and Jagged, Alison Klayman’s HBO film about iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, are two of the feature documentaries set to screen at the 46th Toronto International Film Festival this fall.

The in-person and digital festival runs Sept. 9 to 18, with more than 100 films forming its official selection. The industry conference takes place Sept. 10 to 14.

Further programming announcements — including TIFF Docs — are expected to be announced in July and August.

In-person screenings will take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre and Festival Village at Ontario Place, which comprises the Cinesphere IMAX Theatre, Visa Skyline Drive-in, RBC Lakeside Drive-In and the West Island Open Air Cinema.

Organizers say they are continuing to work closely with the Province of Ontario, City of Toronto and public health officials to execute the event.

Based on the provincial government’s recently announced reopening plan, TIFF is planning to operate at a higher capacity for indoor theatres by September, likely with mandatory mask usage for festival-goers.

TIFF 2021 highlights also include “Coast-to-Coast Screenings” across Canada. Film Circuit, TIFF’s film-outreach program, will host in-cinema screenings in select locations across the country for one evening in each location.

This year’s festival will also see the return of the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox and TIFF Bell Digital Talks platforms.

Film screenings on the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox will be available across Canada. “In Conversation With…” talks and Q&A sessions will be hosted on TIFF Bell Digital Talks, available worldwide.

All films screened digitally will be closed captioned.

Award-winning Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s prolific body of work will be highlighted at TIFF 2021 with a retrospective entitled Celebrating Alanis, co-presented with the National Film Board of Canada. Obomsawin’s 53rd film, Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, bowed at TIFF 2019.

“Alanis is one of the most important figures in Canadian film, documentary film and Indigenous film,” Cameron Bailey, TIFF artistic director and co-head, said in a statement. “Curated by Jason Ryle, one of the world’s leading Indigenous curators, this retrospective captures a national moment when Canadians are looking for ways to better understand and access how central Indigenous history and culture are to this nation.”

TIFF emphasized its continued committed to “making space for Black, Indigenous, people of  color, women and LGBTQ+ creators and other underrepresented talent.”

The festival will host the fourth year of its Media Inclusion Initiative (MII), a mentorship program designed to grow the diversity of the press corps covering the festival. This year, TIFF welcomes 45 new critics and writers who will offer greater representation in the areas of race, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards will be co-produced by Bell Media Studios and broadcast nationally by CTV and streamed internationally by Variety.

More information on the TIFF 2021 Tribute Awards event and this year’s honourees are expected to follow in the coming weeks.

“We are so proud of the calibre of the films and the diversity of the stories we will be presenting this year,” Joana Vicente, TIFF executive director and co-head, said in a statement. “It is so powerful to be able to share these films with festival-goers in theatres. And while the world is definitely moving towards a degree of normalcy, many of our industry and press colleagues may not be able to travel across international borders. In response, we have brought back the TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform that will host Press & Industry screenings, the Industry Conference, press conferences, as well as the TIFF Industry Selects market. We believe that digital access is an important part of providing accessibility to audiences and will be vital to the future of film festivals. This inclusivity across all our offerings helps to ensure that, no matter where you are located, you can participate in the Festival.”

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