Steven Spielberg is continuing his year of “firsts” in 2022.
The Academy Award-winning legendary director recently helmed his first music video for Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons and now is marking his Toronto International Film Festival debut with the premiere of his semi-autobiographical film “The Fabelmans.”
The 47th edition of TIFF will take place September 8-18.
Inspired by Spielberg’s own upbringing, the film is a deeply personal portrait of 20th Century American childhood rooted in a coming-of-age story about a young man’s discovery of a shattering family secret and an exploration of the power of movies to help us see the truth about each other and ourselves, per an official synopsis. “The Fabelmans” premieres in theaters November 11.
Michelle Williams stars as the mother, with Paul Dano as the father. Gabriel LaBelle portrays Sammy Fabelman, the lead character.
Seth Rogen plays Sammy’s uncle, with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” breakout Julia Butters as Anne Fabelman. David Lynch, Jeannie Berlin, Robin Bartlett, Keeley Karsten, and Judd Hirsch also star.
Spielberg directs the film and co-wrote the script alongside Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”), collaborating once more with Kushner after their Oscar-nominated screenplays for “Lincoln” and “Munich.”
“The Fabelmans” is produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger (“West Side Story,” “The Post”), Spielberg, and Kushner.
“West Side Story” cinematographer Janusz Kaminski told Deadline earlier this year that he and Spielberg “cried often” while making “The Fabelmans.”
“What’s special about ‘The Fabelmans’ is that he’s able to, as a filmmaker and an artist…be very honest about his background, very honest about his family, not sugarcoating this stuff and revealing part of himself that nobody really knows about,” Kaminski explained. “So, that’s the most courageous thing I found about making this movie, and it’s very, very emotional.”
Actor Dano shared with The Hollywood Reporter that playing a version of Spielberg’s father made “the stakes feel really high” on set.
“You’re embodying one of the most important, influential, complicated figures in [Spielberg’s] life,” Dano explained. “It was incredible to see how much of this was in his work the whole time. He’s sharing a piece of himself that I find very moving. There’s a real gift in it, when somebody of that stature and at that level of artistry is willing to do that.”