TIFF 2017: Great Films and the Famous Descend on Toronto

Megan and I covered some of the films at TIFF 2017, so you can check out the reviews on the site. The festival is usually really great at being organized and making the process of purchasing tickets not a terrible experience. That said, this year was a bit rockier than usual.

Ticketmaster was used, which was a horrible experience if you wanted to get your tickets a day earlier — and trust me, you do. There was also a good chance your digital tickets wouldn’t work if you pulled it up through the TIFF app or site; you were better off getting it directly from Ticketmaster. Hopefully, the festival can have all of this fixed before TIFF 2018.

As of the writing of this column, the awards presented at TIFF (i.e. the Grolsch People’s Choice Award and Platform Jury Prize) haven’t been announced yet, but we’ll have an update with the winners here once they’re announced.

UPDATE: TIFF announced the winners of the Festival’s awards.

THE GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

  • Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

THE GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE MIDNIGHT MADNESS AWARD

  • Joseph Kahn’s Bodied

THE GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE DOCUMENTARY AWARD

  • Agnès Varda and JR’s Faces Places

TORONTO PLATFORM PRIZE

  • Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country

THE PRIZES OF THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS (FIPRESCI PRIZES)

  • Discovery: Sadaf Foroughi’s Ava 
  • Special Presentations: Manuel Martín Cuenca’s The Motive (El Autor)

NETPAC AWARD

  • Huang Hsin-Yao’s The Great Buddha+

IWC SHORT CUTS AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM

  • Marc-Antoine Lemire’s Pre-Drink

IWC SHORT CUTS AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM

  • Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s The Burden (Min Börda)

CITY OF TORONTO AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM

  • Wayne Wapeemukwa’s Luk’ Luk’l

CANADA GOOSE AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM

  • Robin Aubert’s Les Affamés

Congrats to the winners!

Hellboy Finds Its Ben Daimio, Again

Ed Skrein made waves two weeks ago when he announced that he was stepping down from the role of Ben Daimio in the Hellboy reboot, saying, “I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage…it is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity.” Skrein’s decision was largely positively received, with thanks coming from new Hellboy actor David Harbour, as well as John Cho, Riz Ahmed, and Arden Cho, to name a few.

As a result of Skrein’s departure, this week Korean-American actor Daniel Dae Kim was officially cast in the role; Kim thanked Skrein for championing the idea that Asian actors should play Asian characters. While it feels a bit ridiculous to praise somebody for saying something that should be patently obvious, the fact that it isn’t obvious serves as further indictment of Hollywood’s un-diverse hiring practices. Notably, Kim is also Korean, not Japanese, meaning that while this is a step forward, Hollywood still tends to conflate all Asians as one culture. – Clara Mae

Women in Hollywood: One Step Forward, One Step Back

The Good: Patty Jenkins has officially closed a deal to direct the Wonder Woman sequel. Rumours suggest it was an $8 million deal to co-write (with Geoff Johns), direct, and produce the film, along with receiving a percentage of the box office dollars the film would rake in. This would make her the highest paid female director in Hollywood.

The Bad: The Writers Guild of America credit arbitration committee denied Stephany Folsom a writing credit on Thor: Ragnarok, despite Marvel Studios giving her a “Story By” credit. A WGA rule limits the “Story By” credit to only two writing teams or two writers in order to protect screenwriters on any given film. Simply put: Folsom joined the film after writing team Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost, and Eric Pearson wrote the screenplay. So it came down to the WGA thinking that if Pearson was credited for the screenplay, then it made logical sense that he’d also get the “Story By” credit. Based on those rules, Folsom can’t get credit. Is it dumb? Yeah. Hopefully, the WGA can update their rules and fix this so credit is given where it’s due.

The Emmys

The 69th Annual Emmy Awards are airing this Sunday…that’s happening.

Cool Projects by Cool People

Mic chats with Insecure’s Director of Photography, Ava Berkofsky, on how to make black skin look so good.

HBO has given a thumbs up to adapt Nnedi Okorafor’s post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, Who Fears Death, into a TV show. George R.R. Martin is producing it. Selwyn Seyfu Hinds will write the script, and co-executive produce it along with Angela Mancuso and former HBO president, Michael Lombardo.

Five horror directors (Joe Dante, Mick Garris, David Slade, Alejandro Brugués, and Ryuhei Kitamura) are teaming up to create a horror anthology film called Nightmare Cinemastarring Mickey Rourke as a mysterious projectionist.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a hot topic for TV right now. After rolling our eyes to the back of our heads when Marc Guggenheim said Arrow was planning on doing a BLM episode, AMC recently announced they are also developing a BLM drama series. However, I’m willing to give AMC a chance, given that the series will be based on journalist Wesley Lowery’s book, They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, And A New Era In America’s Racial Justice, and spearheaded by LaToya Morgan (Into The Badlands), who will also be a producer.