TIFF 2015 is just over two weeks away, and the festival is still releasing a steady stream of announcements. Earlier today, the fest revealed the lineup for the In Conversations With… program, which invites audiences to intimate and in-depth interview sessions with big-name stars from the film and television industries.
Moore — who, fun fact, is a best-selling author of children’s books — will be premiering “Freeheld” at the fest, a lesbian drama based on the true story of Laurel Hester, a terminally ill police lieutenant who fought for the right to have her pension benefits transferred to her domestic partner Stacie Andree. TIFF will also mark the world premiere of “Maggie’s Plan,” which sees Moore playing a critical theorist in a love triangle with her academic husband (Ethan Hawke) and a young woman who wants to have a child (Greta Gerwig).
Hayek stars in the festival selection “Septembers of Shiraz,” a drama set in post-revolution Iran. Hayek stole our hearts when she dropped epic truth bombs at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including gems such as “Women don’t have enough voice and we can’t express who we are. We need to see ourselves,” and “[Female stars] don’t get any credit when the film is successful.” We expect that Hayek will continue to fight the good fight for women onscreen and behind the scenes at In Conversation.
Silverman is already getting a lot of excellent buzz for her starring role in “I Smile Back,” which will make its Canadian debut at TIFF. While she’s best best known for her comic chops, Silverman will play a drug-addicted and self-destructive housewife in the drama, an adaptation of Amy Koppelman’s novel of the same name. The Emmy winner has been open about her own struggles with depression, so it’s possible that she will touch on this topic while discussing the film.
Another recent female-focused TIFF development is the exciting news that the festival’s Industry Conference will include a series of “no-holds-barred” conversations about gender in the media. Topics such as “Financing Female-Led Films” and “Uncovering Unconscious Bias” will be addressed. Guests include Women and Hollywood’s founder and editor Melissa Silverstein, “Empire” writer and producer Wendy Calhoun, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Niija Kuykendall and Cine Mosaic’s Lydia Dean Pilcher.