The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the complete line-up for Mavericks, a program of discussions with a wide range of people from both the world of film and beyond. The lineup is the festival’s largest to date and includes an inventive array of participants and moderators. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Kelly Reichardt and Phillip Seymour Hoffman will each be discussing their work; Bruce Springsteen will be interviewed by Edward Norton; Bill Gates, Geoffrey Canada, Davis Guggenheim and Lesley Chilcott will discuss the state of education; and Ken Loach and Paul Laverty will be interviewed Michael Moore on politics and cinema.
“From filmmakers to superstars from the worlds of music, professional sports and computing, this is our largest Mavericks program yet,” said Thom Powers, Toronto International Film Festival Mavericks programmer, in a statement. “TIFF Mavericks sessions present a rare opportunity for audiences to hear from remarkable international newsmakers in person, and we’re thrilled to welcome such a wide variety of talent this year.”
The complete program is below with descriptions provided by the festival. The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9-19. A complete list of announced films for the festival can be found here.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is considered a cinematic treasure by art house aficionados. To get over his intimidating Thai name, he encourages westerners to call him Joe. Director of several features and dozens of short films, his film “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives” (playing at the Festival in the Masters programme and later at TIFF Bell Lightbox as an exclusive engagement) won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year; this playful and innovative film deals with themes of memories, transformation and extinction. In this Mavericks session moderated by film critic Dennis Lim, film clips accompany Weerasethakul’s talk as he takes audiences through his career.
Bruce Springsteen Interviewed by Edward Norton
Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award®-winning musician Bruce Springsteen visits Toronto for the World Premiere of “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town” (playing separately at the Festival as a Gala). The documentary explores the creative process of Springsteen’s pivotal 1978 album where his focus shifts from youth to adulthood, capturing never-before- seen home rehearsals and recording sessions. Actor Edward Norton will moderate this Mavericks session, during which Springsteen will discuss the film as well as the relationship between his music and American filmmaking.
Steve Nash Presents Into the Wind
Steve Nash has achieved remarkable things on the basketball court – becoming an NBA All-Star and MVP as point guard for the Phoenix Suns, and playing in the Olympics for Canada’s national team. Nash was among the elite group of athletes who lit the Olympic torch at the 2010 games in Vancouver. Now he displays a new set of talents as he makes his directorial debut with a film about another Canadian icon, Terry Fox. In this Mavericks session, Nash will present the world premiere of his hour-long film, “Into the Wind,” produced by ESPN Films for its “30 for 30” series, followed by an extended conversation about sports, cinema and inspiration. Ezra Holland, co-director of the film, will also participate in this session.
Kelly Reichardt has emerged as one of the most distinctive voices in American cinema with films such as “Old Joy” and “Wendy & Lucy.” Her latest film, “Meek’s Cutoff,” is set in 1845 on the Oregon Trail and is her first departure from a contemporary setting. Reichardt will appear in this Mavericks discussion to take us behind the scenes of her process, and will be interviewed by Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum. Meek’s Cutoff will be screened at the Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema programme.
Ken Loach and Paul Laverty Interviewed by Michael Moore on Politics and Cinema
Director Ken Loach joined forces with writer Paul Laverty in the mid-1990s, and together they’ve injected their political passions into a dozen films. Their latest work, “Route Irish,” grapples with the Iraq war and the trend of using privatized soldiers who are more costly to taxpayers and less accountable to law than enlisted ranks. Filmmaker Michael Moore will moderate a conversation with Loach and Laverty as they delve deeper into the film’s subject matter and reflect on other political currents that run through their work. “Route Irish” is playing separately at the Festival as part of the Masters programme.
Waiting for “Superman” and a Panel on Education with Bill Gates, Geoffrey Canada, Davis Guggenheim and Lesley Chilcott
From “An Inconvenient Truth” director Davis Guggenheim comes “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” a provocative and cogent examination of the crisis of public education in the United States told through multiple interlocking stories – from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find real and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system. Guggenheim reveals the invisible forces that have held back true education reform for decades. Following the Mavericks screening, audiences will be treated to an on-stage panel discussion with Guggenheim, producer Lesley Chilcott, educator Geoffrey Canada, and philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
In Conversation With… Philip Seymour Hoffman
Well-known for his roles in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Doubt” and “Capote,” Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut with Jack Goes Boating, a film about two working class couples and the delicacy of relationships, adapted from a play by Bob Glaudini. This discussion will be moderated by Seamus O’Regan, co-host of Canada AM. Jack Goes Boating is screening in the Festival’s Special Presentations programme. In Conversation With… is presented in association with the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.