Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hollywood Strike Will Upend Toronto, Telluride, Venice, New York Film Festivals with No Stars Promoting Films

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I was smart to buy the airline insurance for my Air Canada ticket to Toronto on September 7th.

If the SAG strike goes through today — and it looks certain — the Toronto Film Festival may be toast. So, too, Telluride and Venice (as pointed out by Variety).

The three festivals run back to back from the end of August through mid September. But with no stars able to promote films. the festivals are all in trouble.

There’s only a two week gap between the end of the Toronto Fest — we call it TIFF — and New York’s Film Festival in Lincoln Center.

The bookers for these festivals must be losing their minds. They’ve spent all year competing for titles, trying to get North American or US “debuts” or better still, worldwide.

Venice has already set up a lot of its offerings including Luca Guadgnino’s “Challengers” and Woody Allen’s “Coup de Chance.”

Toronto has booked the World Premiere of Ladj Ly’s new “Les Ind├ęsirables,” the filmmaker’s follow up to his extraordinary “Les Miserables.”

Telluride doesn’t announce its choices until everyone who’s spent $5,000 is on the road to the remote location can’t turn back.

New York Film Festival should definitely include Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Ethan Coen’s “Drive Away Dolls.”

But none of this can happen if SAG is still on strike. It may even be problematic if SAG settles but the Writers Guild doesn’t. It won’t be possible, with hotels and flights, to just rebook all the festivals. And yet the AMPTP doesn’t care. They’re willing to squeeze the unions, thinking they’ll win. But everyone is going to lose

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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