- Title: VARIOUS: THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
- Date: 28th September 1999
- Summary: TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (SEPTEMBER 14, 1999) (REUTERS) SKYLINE SHOT OF TORONTO EXTERIOR OF ONE OF THE FESTIVAL THEATRES PUBLIC WAITING IN LINE FOR TICKETS PUBLIC ENTERING THEATER VOLUNTEER TAKING TICKETS AT THEATRE PUBLIC ENTERING THEATRE FILM FESTIVAL POSTERS SHOTS OF FILM FESTIVAL LINE-UP ON POSTER (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FESTIVAL DIRECTOR PIERS HANDLING SAYING "This is my sixth festival as director and I've seen it just blow up in the last six years. It's quite incredible, I mean, it's funny, every year, you sort of move up one notch and I think that's reflected just in terms of the films we're getting, the prestigious premieres." TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (SEPTEMBER 11, 1999) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF GALA SCREENING HALL (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DIRECTOR LAWRENCE KASDEN WALKING OUT ON STAGE AND SAYING Thank you, it's really a thrill to be back in Toronto after sixteen years. Sixteen years ago, we opened "The Big Chill" here and it was very good luck."
- Embargoed: 13th October 1999 13:00
- Location: TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: Canada
- Reuters ID: LVA6E02ZT52AO8J6AC0NUDSJDCIH
- Story Text: With 319 films from 54 countries screening for more than a quarter of a million people, the Toronto International Film Festival is taking another step toward becoming one of the most important and prestigious in the world.It kicked off with the World Premiere of director Atom Egoyan's newest effort, "Felicia's Journey."
This is the festival's 24th anniversary and for the past six years, it has been run by festival director Piers Handling.This year in particular, he's proud of the fact that more than 170 films will make their world or North American debuts in Toronto, more than at any other festival.
Unlike Cannes and Venice, the Toronto Film Festival is a non-competitive festival, with only small token awards given out at the end of the 10 day event for both audience favorites and critics' favourites.But the non-competitive nature of the festival is a big draw to both actors and directors who cite Toronto's laid-back and relaxed atmosphere as their reason for coming back year after year.
This year's event was kicked off with the World Premiere of Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan's follow-up to his Oscar nominated film "The Sweet Hereafter," called "Felicia's Journey." It stars Bob Hoskins and Irish newcomer Elaine Cassidy.
For Egoyan, the festival is like a homecoming and throughout the week, he has been treated like Toronto's favourite son, even though he hails from British Columbia in the country's western region.This year, he has noticed a lot more people paying attention to him because of the Oscar nominations he received last spring for "The Sweet Hereafter."
On Saturday, September 11, director Lawrence Kasden made a triumphant return to Toronto, 16 years after he premiered his Oscar nominated hit "The Big Chill" at the festival.This year, he brought along his quirky new comedy "Mumford," about an unorthodox therapist who becomes a star in small town.
Following the gala screening, stars and guests alike gathered at a popular Toronto nightclub for cocktails and late supper.
Another Oscar nominated director unveiled his follow-up film at a gala World Premiere on Sunday, September 12.
Australian Scott Hicks, whose film "Shine" exploded out of Toronto two years ago, came back with "Snow Falling On Cedars," a film adaptation of a hugely popular novel starring Ethan Hawke.Both star and director agree Toronto is their favourite festival in the world.
Monday, September 13 witnessed the World Premiere of Hungarian director Istvan Szabo's three hour epic "Sunshine,"
starring Ralph Fiennes and William Hurt.The story of three generations of a Jewish Hungarian family debuted at the massive Roy Thompson Hall, then cast and guests celebrated at the ornate Royal Ontario Museum long into the night.
This year was the third festival appearance for Oscar nominee Mike Figgis, whose previous films "Leaving Las Vegas"
and "One Night Stand" both had prominent placement in past years.This time, Figgis brought along his real life girlfriend Saffron Burrows, who also stars in "Miss Julie,"
Figgis' film adaptation of August Strindberg's controversial play of the same name.
On Thursday, September 16, Robin Williams dropped into town for the World Premiere of "Jakob the Liar," his latest film about a Polish Jew who uses an imaginary radio to give hope to the hopeless residents of a Jewish ghetto during the holocaust.But for Williams, the most fun came from watching the many festival press conferences being aired on local television.He was particularly impressed by one featuring a bunch of European filmmakers that rapidly devolved into a shouting match.
The 24th Toronto International Film Festival runs through Saturday, September 18, when another Ralph Fiennes film closes the event.It's called "Onegin" and it's based on Alexander Pushkin's narrative poem "Evgeny Onegin." Fiennes produced the film and it was directed by his sister Martha.
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