The industry programming lineup that will run during the 38th Toronto International Film Festival was announced today. Events include Moguls sessions with Plan B Entertainment's Dede Gardner, Focus Features' Alison Thompson and IMAX’s Greg Foster and Rich Gelfond; a keynote address by Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Jim Berk; plus panels featuring a range of filmmakers, industry experts and more including Half of a Yellow Sun author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, casting director Kerry Barden, e2b Capital’s Cassian Elwes and trailer guru Mark Woollen.
“We're incredibly excited about this year’s seven-day slate of programming,” said Justin Cutler, Senior Manager, TIFF Industry Office. “The diverse group of creators, innovators and experts will provide a truly unique professional development experience for delegates attending the Festival.”
Running from September 6 to 12, the Industry Conference is an expansive professional development opportunity for registered delegates. The seven-day Conference will focus on a wide array of topics relevant to the industry, split into daily themes: Emerging Filmmakers, Financing, Co-production, Marketing, Creative Process, Distribution and Transmedia.
Also announced today was the fifth annual TIFF Doc Conference, an intensive showcase of thought leaders on the creative and business sides of documentary filmmaking. The Conference, comprising panels, case studies, keynotes and end-of-day networking receptions, takes place September 10 and 11. This year’s event features filmmakers including Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney ("The Armstrong Lie"), Gary Hustwit ("Helvetica") and Andrew Jarecki ("Capturing the Friedmans"); and key industry players such as Liesl Copland (WME), Peter Broderick (Paradigm Consulting) and Nusrat Durrani (MTV World).
“This is the Doc Conference’s most robust lineup in five years, and amplifies its reputation for major announcements and headline-grabbing presentations,” said Thom Powers, lead documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival. “We curate a roomful of visionary thinkers -- spanning creativity, financing and distribution -- that shouldn't be missed by anyone in the doc world.”
Full program for both industry and the doc conference below:
The Filmmakers’ Lounge is a meeting space for Festival filmmakers and industry professionals and the site for panels and industry sessions, as well as a place to meet, work or take a break. The Lounge features free WiFi and a variety of meeting spaces. Filmmakers’ Lounge is available to all Festival delegates and is open from September 5 to 13, from 9am to 7pm and on September 14 from 9am to noon. The Lounge is located in the TIFF Industry Centre at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 370 King St. West, Toronto.
This series of intimate, one-on-one sessions with some of the most powerful and influential movers and shakers of the film world offers a rare opportunity to gain insights into the inner workings of the creative and business minds that help shape the industry.
Greg Foster and Rich Gelfond
IMAX works closely with top filmmakers to help them present their movies at their very best, from production to presentation. IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. This session offers an in-depth conversation with IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond and Greg Foster, CEO IMAX Entertainment and Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp., who will discuss the Canadian company’s strategy for global success.
TIFF Industry proudly presents a conversation with Academy-Award nominee Dede Gardner, President of Plan B Entertainment, the production company helmed by Brad Pitt. Gardner has produced box-office hits such as Eat, Pray, Love and World War Z, as well as art-house favourites like The Tree of Life and Killing Them Softly, and is currently at the Festival with Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated 12 Years A Slave.
This conversation features one of the leading executives in independent film sales, Alison Thompson, Co-President of Focus Features International. Overseeing sales, distribution, marketing, publicity and aspects of European production and acquisitions, she has represented such prominent titles as Blue Jasmine, Brokeback Mountain, Cloud Atlas, Into the Wild, Moonrise Kingdom, Somewhere and Volver – among many others – during her illustrious career.
Industry Dialogues is a speaker series examining the current and future state of the film industry and the craft of filmmaking.
Engaging Filmmakers and Audiences: A Keynote Conversation with Participant Media
Since its inception 10 years ago, Participant Media has made a significant impact in the industry by developing socially relevant and commercially viable feature films, documentaries and television. Against the backdrop of the highly anticipated world premiere of The Fifth Estate and North American premiere of The Unknown Known at the Festival, Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll and CEO Jim Berk hit the stage for a conversation about their vision and the day-to-day realities of the film business in North America and around the world. They will be joined by a number of key industry figures as they discuss their successes and lessons learned from the company’s expansion into new territories: the recently-launched TV channel Pivot, and digital site TakePart.com
Whether you’re a Festival first-timer or veteran; a filmmaker or industry delegate, this TIFF Industry breakfast will be an invaluable resource. In addition to offering an insider’s look at maximizing time and taking advantage of resources available, it’s also a great way to meet colleagues and TIFF decision-makers in an informal environment. TIFF 101 features TIFF staffers Justin Cutler (Senior Manager, TIFF Industry Office), Christoph Straub (Manager, Industry Programming) and Hayet Benkara (Industry Project Manager, STUDIO).
Nurturing Emerging Talent
Meet the influencers, advocates and new talent leading the way in creative production. Panellists will share their experiences in the global film industry as they develop opportunities for emerging filmmakers. Panellists:
Steven Markovitz, Suka! Productions
Josh Penn, Producer, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Neerja Narayanan, Fox Star Studios India
Moderator: Wendy Mitchell, Screen International
Alternate Financing: The Road Less Travelled
Expert speakers discuss the advantages and limitations of different types of financing structures available to those who choose a non-traditional route to project-funding. Panellists:
Elisabeth Holm, Kickstarter
Vida Rizq, Aflamnah
Catalina Briceno, Canada Media Fund
Moderator: John Galway, The Harold Greenberg Fund
As producers and content creators are increasingly expected to do more with less, this panel will deconstruct what it takes for micro-budget ($100,000 and under) success via a case study. Panellists:
Katriel Schory, Israeli Film Fund
Enrique Lopez, Producer, Gente in Sitios
Big Money: Private and Equity Financing
Insiders provide a window on how financing decisions are made in order to help demystify the role of private capital and its relationship with the film industry, and point producers to methods of unlocking these resources. Panellists:
Kerry Barden, Casting Director
Yewande Sadiku, Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited
Moderator: Cassian Elwes, e2b Capital
Meet the EU Film Funders For the first time, a selection of Europe’s biggest funding agencies will attend the Festival in official capacities. This panel introduces delegates to some of the major players and offers tips on how to access their various funding streams. Panellists:
Cornelia Hammelmann, DFF (Germany)
Roberto Olla, Eurimages (Italy)
Isabel Davies, British Film Institute (UK)
Moderator: Valerie Mouroux, Cinémas du Monde
Spotlight: Nigeria beyond Nollywood
Half of a Yellow Sun, a Festival Special Presentation, has been touted as the highest-budget film in the history of Nollywood, and was funded almost entirely by Nigerian investors. Delegates will learn about the new modes of production being explored in Nigerian cinema, and of the nation’s cinematic past, present and future. Panellists:
Andrea Calderwood, Producer
Biyi Bandele, Director and Screenwriter
Kisha Cameron Dingle, Completion Films
Moderator: Aboubakar Sanogo, Carlton University
Co-Production Case Studies
First-hand lessons in the dos and don’ts of co-production through a closer examination of official Festival selections produced across borders. Panellists:
Sarika Hemi Lakhani, One Fine Day Films
Moderator, John Hadity, Entertainment Partners
The Right Marketing Strategy for the Right Film
Filmmakers are increasingly required to balance business and creativity, making marketing and business strategies something with which they must become familiar. This panel offers a primer on reaching and engaging audiences and potential partners through research, brand integration and social metrics. Panellists:
Marc Schiller, Bond 360
Jamie Wilkinson, VHX
Engaging Your Audience
From content sourcing the next big thing and mobilizing for screen-time in theatres to generating the ‘buy-in’ for financial involvement, experts explore innovations in engaging a savvy digital audience. Panellists:
J Joly, Cinecoup
Nicolas Gonda, Tugg
John Trigonis, IndieGogo
Cinematography and Technology – 4K: Beyond RED With the advent of 4K and new forms of media and technology, this panel provides a state of the union on the latest large-sensor cinematography. The discussion will give an overview of the latest gear and techniques, and looks at the impact of the technology from both creative and business perspectives. Panellists:
Nick De Pencier, Cinematographer
Moderator: David Leitner, Filmmaker Magazine
Story: From Page to Screen
A discussion of the shift from story to screenplay, and from screenplay to screen, with the expertise of high-profile authors and screenwriters associated with a range of official Festival film selections. Panellists:
Franklin Leonard, Blcklst
Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, Author, Half of a Yellow Sun
Anatomy of a Trailer
Trailer guru Mark Woollen offers an intimate presentation on the anatomy of the trailer, giving insights into how the auteur-driven cutting process can captivate and engage audiences.
Global State of VoD
Change is the only constant in the global Video on Demand marketplace. This panel will provide a look at the evolution of VoD in multiple territories including Mexico, Kenya, France and China. Panellists:
Elizabeth Louise Hopkins, Cinepolis Klic
Pierre Alexandre-Labelle, Under the Milky Way
Allen Zhu, Youku Inc
Marie Lora-Mungai, BuniTV
Moderator: Wendy Bernfeld, Rights Stuff
New Tools of Direct Distribution
Innovators and thought-leaders in the direct-distribution world share their perspectives on the evolution of the industry and how new platforms can be used to aggregate, self-distribute, market and mobilize. The panel will discuss the state of the industry and the trends and challenges of online engagement for content creators and audiences. Panellists:
Scott Glosserman, gathr
Lee Waterworth, Yekra
Greg Rubidge, Syndicado
Jeremy Boxer, Vimeo
Moderator: Brad Pelman, Pelman Corp
Releasing Strategies: Collapse of the Window
The collapse of the traditional windows for release creates both challenges and opportunities for content creators and distributors. This panel will discuss the new reality and various release strategies. Panellists:
Philipp Hoffmann, VOD-consulting
Sue Bruce-Smith, Film 4.0
The Business of Transmedia
A deconstruction of the decision-making process behind various business models from across the transmedia landscape, touching on budgetary issues, wire-models, deliverables, release schedules, and cross-platform operation. Panellists:
William Mainguy, Reelhouse
Ben Grass, Puregrass Films
Andy Merkin, Mirada
Moderator: Siobhann O Flynn, Transmedia 101 and CFC Media Lab
ADDITIONAL INDUSTRY PROGRAMMING AND INITIATIVES
indieWIRE @ Filmmakers' Lounge September 7 to 10
indieWIRE’s popular Q&A sessions with some of the most notable actors and directors at the Toronto International Film Festival return to Filmmakers’ Lounge.
Telefilm Canada's Talent to Watch Telefilm Canada's Talent to Watch series of panel sessions is designed to spotlight the creative talents of the country's emerging and established filmmakers. This year’s lineup will feature sessions on Friday, September 6; Monday, September 9; and Tuesday, September 10.
Tuesday, September 10
Keynote Conversation: Andrew Jarecki, New Revelations Ten Years After Capturing the Friedmans
Ten years ago, the Oscar-nominated doc Capturing the Friedmans reopened the case of Jesse Friedman who maintains he was wrongfully convicted of shocking crimes. Since then, the film’s director Andrew Jarecki has championed Friedman’s innocence. This summer, the district attorney issued a report upholding the conviction. But Jarecki has filmed participants – including alleged victims – telling a very different story. In this conversation, he shares never before seen footage and reflects on the role of the filmmaker embroiled in controversy.
The Fight for Fair Use: Alex Gibney
The U.S. Tennis Association has sued the makers of Venus and Serena, executive-produced by Alex Gibney, over the use of footage. In this conversation, Gibney, who also directs The Armstrong Lie, which has its North American premiere at the Festival, talks about what this case, and others, mean for the future of fair use.
Seeking Doc Makers: Al Jazeera America
Al Jazeera America offers exciting new opportunities for documentary makers. Its Documentary Unit is co-producing and acquiring one-offs and series, including a Sunday night primetime doc slot. Additionally, the weekly series Fault Lines showcases 25-minute correspondent-driven documentaries and will annually commission 12 to 15 films. Fault Lines senior producer Carrie Lozano and commissioning producer Lucy Kennedy will be joined by a representative from the Al Jazeera America Documentary Unit to discuss the new initiatives.
Case Study: MTV World’s Rebel Music
Rebel Music is a new MTV World documentary series looking into the lives of young people who are using art and music to ignite change in their countries. The series, which premieres this fall, travels to selected regions including Egypt, Afghanistan, Mali, India, Israel/Palestine, and will include a spin-off feature-documentary project. Nusrat Durrani, SVP/General Manager of MTV World, will discuss the ambitious project and its innovative efforts to engage new audiences.
Digital on Demand: Show Us the Numbers
Though Video on Demand is a fast-growing mode of film distribution, its non-traditional viewership reporting leaves filmmakers and producers in the dark about where and how audiences are engaging with their content. Liesl Copland of WME's Global Finance & Distribution Group discusses the future of Big Data and the need to change the system.
Case Study: Midway, the Art of Collaboration
In bringing the ambitious project Midway, which makes its world premiere at the Festival, to the big screen, the visual artist and first-time director Chris Jordan worked with highly-skilled collaborators. Producer Stephanie Levy, editor and writer Sabine Emiliani (March of the Penguins), composer and Oscar-nominated sound designer Erik Aadahl (Argo, Tree of Life), and Oscar-winning sound designer Ethan Van der Ryn (The Lord of the Rings, Argo) discuss the making of this unique film.
How to Build Long-Term Relationships with your Investors
As the co-founder and executive director of the equity fund Impact Partners, Dan Cogan has supported a distinguished slate of films including How to Survive a Plague, Hell and Back Again, The Cove, Detropia, The Island President and Midway. He'll share frank lessons on how filmmakers can best manage their relationships with the investors who make their work possible.
Sneak Preview: Tell Me Something What can you learn from the world’s best documentary filmmakers? In her new book, Tell Me Something, which is being previewed at Doc Conference, Jessica Edwards solicits advice from over 50 acclaimed directors including Alex Gibney, Fred Wiseman, Errol Morris, and Jennifer Baichwal (all of whom have new films at the Festival). Edwards is joined by filmmaker and contributor Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Urbanized) to discuss the wisdom gleaned from the project.
Wednesday, September 11
Keynote: Peter Broderick: Becoming Truly Independent – The Best New Strategies
Leading distribution strategist Peter Broderick will share cutting-edge strategies filmmakers are using to succeed on the frontiers of documentary distribution. At the first Doc Conference in 2009, he gave the seminal presentation: Declaration of Independence: The Ten Principles of Hybrid Distribution. Since then, he has helped more than 300 filmmakers around the world maximize their distribution and revenues. He will reveal the latest on what is working, what to avoid, and how to build a sustainable career.
The “360 Equation”: The One Business Model Every Filmmaker Needs To Know
As distribution models continue to evolve in the digital age, savvy filmmakers are using their entrepreneurial skills and social media to sell both digital and physical goods directly to fans. Building upon acclaimed marketing campaigns for such films as Exit Through the Gift Shop and Senna, Marc Schiller, CEO and Founder of BOND Strategy and Influence, will share how filmmakers and distributors can fully leverage new direct-distribution channels.
Crowd-funding Case Study: Hondros: A Life in Frames
Greg Campbell (author of Blood Diamonds) was full of cautions about crowd-funding his first documentary about the photojournalist Chris Hondros. But this past summer, he set a Kickstarter goal of $30,000 and wound up raising close to $90,000. He talks about the lessons he learned raising money and building a community of supporters.
The Art of the Deal: Josh Braun
The Festival is an active marketplace for selling documentaries to distributors. Sales agent Josh Braun (Submarine Entertainment) has represented many prominent titles in recent years including Food, Inc; Cave of Forgotten Dreams; First Position and Casting By. This year, he's involved with The Unknown Known, The Dog and Dangerous Acts. He shares his insights on what makes a good or bad deal for filmmakers, and on new developments in splitting rights.
Distribution Case Study: The Act of Killing
Since its Festival premiere in 2012, The Act of Killing has become one of this year’s most critically-acclaimed films. Despite its tough subject matter – mass killings in Indonesia – the film had the strongest per-theater box office debut of any doc this year. Tim League, founder of the new distribution company Drafthouse Films, talks about the film’s success, festival strategy, director-involvement, social media tactics and press engagement.