Home Movies Film Festival Wars: NY Cold Cocks Toronto With Early Announcements of Fincher,...

It’s war! This week the New York Film Festival asserted its position in the film festival wars and announced its opening night and centerpiece films two weeks early– David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice,” respectively. Cool! Except that the New York Film Festival announcements usually come after the news from the Toronto Film Festival, which hasn’t announced its lineup yet at all.

Indeed, New York’s announcement usually come around July 29th, a week or so after Toronto’s. But not this year. And that means there’s rumbling on the horizon. Toronto has been claim jumped. Two major titles are now set for New York. Trouble?

After last year’s festival circuit, Toronto decreed that no films that had just played at the quirky and expensive Telluride Film Festival– held a week before Toronto– could come north for premieres. “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” were 2013 Telluride hits, and Toronto– aka TIFF– didn’t want to be overshadowed again.

Of course, the issue with Telluride is that they don’t reveal their list until everyone arrives there around August 29th. People come by stage coach and G4 planes over treacherous Colorado mountains, having spent thousands of dollars on a hunch. So right now, no one knows anything.

But if the Fincher and Anderson movies were announced two weeks early by New York where does that leave the suddenly squeezed TIFF? Will New York allow those films to be shown in Toronto first? Unlikely. And if TIFF grabs a bunch of other big names– like “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch,” or Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” or Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher”– a Cannes hit– where will that leave Telluride?

One film I’m looking forward to in Toronto is Shawn Levy’s “This is Where I Leave You,” with an all star cast, based on Jonathan Tropper’s novel, and set for release September 12th from Warner Bros. And another possibility is Nick Sandow’s “The Wannabe,” produced by Martin Scorsese, with no distributor yet but a lot of buzz.

Of course, the big difference between Toronto and the other fests is that they have audience and jury prizes. New York is obviously a high profile showcase–and it’s New York. Telluride is there so you can say you went to Telluride, and explain how you got there. Also, Tom Cruise lives there sometimes.

So let the games begin!

Leave a Reply

Print This Post Print This Post