The world premiere of writer/director Michael McGowan’s “Score: A Hockey Musical” will open the Toronto International Film Festival September 9th, kicking off the 11-day event. The film stars Olivia Newton-John (“Grease,” “Glee”), singer/songwriter Marc Jordan, newcomers Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald, and features cameos from a lineup of Canadian music, broadcast and hockey stars.
“Score” centers on seventeen-year old Farley who has led a sheltered life. Much to his parents’ chagrin (Newton-John, Jordan), Farley loves to play shinny with the local rink rats. To their even greater dismay, Farley is signed to a hockey league, where he achieves instant stardom, throwing him into a world of hype. Farley soon finds that hockey fame comes with a price.
The film co-stars Stephen McHattie (“The Rocket”), John Pyper-Ferguson (“Brothers & Sisters”) and Brandon Firla (“Billable Hours”), and features cameos by music artists Nelly Furtado, Hawksley Workman and John McDermott, journalists George Stroumboulopoulos and Evan Solomon, sports anchor Steve Kouleas, hockey dad Walter Gretzky and hockey star Theo Fleury.
The film features 19 original songs with lyrics written by McGowan, and featuring music from Barenaked Ladies, Olivia Newton-John, Amy Sky and Marc Jordan, and five songs on which Hawksley Workman contributed.
“‘Score: A Hockey Musical’ captures key elements of Canadian identity – our passion for our national pastime, our unique musical style and our special brand of humour,” commented Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF in a statement. “We’re pleased to welcome back Michael McGowan to the Festival to help us kick off 11 days of exciting programming.”
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off our 35th anniversary festival than with ‘Score: A Hockey Musical,'” added Cameron Bailey, co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “It continues our tradition of launching the very best in Canadian filmmaking — although in 35 years this is our first musical romance about hockey. Plan for a fun night on September 9.”
McGowan’s previous credits include “One Week” and “Saint Ralph.” The film is a Mulmur Feed Co. Production, produced by McGowan and Avi Federgreen, and executive produced by Richard Hanet (One Week) and Jody Colero, Telefilm Canada and other agencies.
The festival will unveil further details of its lineup throughout the Summer, leading up to the 35th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs September 9th – 19th.