Sunday, September 20, 2020

People's Choice Award makes TIFF-winning 'Nomadland' a reel contender

Once again, the people have spoken, and “Nomadland” -- another stirring movie from the studio formerly known as Fox Searchlight -- likely finds itself in the midst of the end-of-season awards race, whenever that might be. (Disney changed the name of the studio to Searchlight Pictures after its acqusition.)

McDormand stars in the award-winning "Nomadland."
Writer/director Chloe Zhao’s moving saga of transient types making deeply personal choices has been named the 45th Toronto International Film Festival’s 43rd “People’s Choice” winner. This year, votes came not only from viewers watching movies at indoor and outdoor venues in Toronto, but also from those enjoying digital screenings at home.


So, if history repeats itself, the win certainly puts “Nomadland,” starring Frances McDormand and a couple of fascinatingly real American “nomads,” in line for several nomination possibilities.


Two years ago, top TIFF honoree “Green Book” won the Best Picture Oscar, joining six other “People’s” movies to turn the same trick, including two from Searchlight, “Slumdog Millionaire” and “12 Years a Slave.”


“Jojo Rabbit,” ironically another Searchlight product and last year’s festival “Choice,” was nominated for six Oscars, but won only the Best Adapted Screenplay Award for writer/director Taika Waititi.


We shall see what happens, if and when, but here are some personal nods to the just concluded TIFF 45 showcase:


Favorite film(s): A tie between “TheTruffle Hunters,” a delightful documentary saluting skillful old Italians and their dogs, and “Another Round,” a mostly entertaining – and occasionally dark -- dramedy from writer/director Thomas Vinterberg about a quartet of Danish school teachers testing the limits of alcohol and the people around them.


History teach Mikkelsen drinks "Another Round" with grads.

A convincing trio: The aforementioned “Nomadland”; “Spring Blossom,” which 20-year-old mademoiselle Suzanne Lindon wrote, directed and starred in as a 16-year-old Parisian finding her first taste of sprightly and controversial love; and “76 Days,” the stunningly urgent pandemic documentary from Wuhan, China.


Two more powerful ones: “Quo Vadis, Aida” and “Violation,” a couple of occasionally hard-to-watch movies about strong women during stressful times.


Wish I’d seen 'em: “Ammonite,” “I Care a Lot,” “Nottorno” and festival Fipresci Award-winner “Beginning,” all of which were kept away from most American press, reportedly for various contractual reasons.


Acting accolades: Jasna Duricic (“Quo Vadis, Aida”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”), Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”), McDormand (“Nomadland”), Mads Mikkelsen (“Another Round”), and Leslie Odom Jr. (People’s Choice runner-up “One Night in Miami”).


Kids are alright, too: Youngsters shone brightly in a few films, including Caleb McLaughlin ("Concrete Cowboy”), Kiawentiiu (“Beans”), and Lonnie Chavis (“The Water Man”).


Ohio surprise
: “Holler,” a film shot in the small town of Jackson in Athens County, features a strong performance by English actress Jessica Barden, as a smart and loyal local teen agreeing to some shady work to get out of town. Though not an official entry, the movie was exhibited in a special section, “TIFF Industry Selects,” to allow potential buyers and distributors to take a look. Director and writer Nicole Riegel grew up in Jackson and surely will be heard from again.


Movie magic moment: The way Chloe Grace Moretz gets back into a rickety old WWII plane during the FX-heavy, “Midnight Madness” thriller “Shadow in the Cloud,” another “People’s Choice” winner.


Fine film talk: A genuine highlight of the festival’s popular “In Conversation With” series -- this year featuring the likes of Halle Berry, Saoirse Ronan, Ava DuVernay, Claire Denis and Barry Jenkins -- occurred when Denzel Washington turned the tables on moderator Scott Feinberg (The Hollywood Reporter).


It came when the Oscar-winning actor (for “Training Day” and “Glory”) stopped the terrific proceedings to ask co-interviewee Barry Levinson, himself a directing winner for “Rain Man,” to recommend some movies to watch about love and loss.


Instead of offering a quick response, Levinson was caught off guard and talked about the “delicate” balances of doing a romantic film. That’s when cinephile Feinberg stepped in to suggest “Wuthering Heights” and “Camille” to a pleased and smiling Washington, who explained that he’s preparing to direct a ”kind of love story.” The unnamed project will start, though, well after Denzel the Actor stars in the cop thriller, “Little Things,” due this December.

Anyway, it’s typical of the kind of engaging discussion that always takes place on and offscreen at TIFF – and this year mostly from remote locations. I mean, hip crowds totally embracing film conversation around every street corner for 10 days every September is a legitimate Toronto trademark.


Of course, in 2020, neither on-location talk, nor the annual full slate of close to 300 films was not easy to deliver in an uneasy world that includes the novel coronavirus pandemic.

So, festival co-heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente worked on proper solutions. In fact, back in July, when they announced their full list of 50 titles for TIFF 45, they promised “quality films from around the globe to reflect first-rate international cinema, documentaries and Canadian creativity (with) strong representation of women, Black people, Indigenous people and people of color in a selection showing the organization’s continuing commitment to normalizing gender parity and racial equality for future generations.”


Consider it a movie mission accomplished. And that really leads to a virtual wrap from somewhere on a cloud between here and Toronto. About 354 days from now, may we all meet live and alive again in that big city up north.


For a complete list of festival winners and more info on all the titles listed above, please visit

Friday, September 4, 2020

Blue-collar blues: 'Working Man,' 'Shooting Heroin,' and 'Northwood Pie'

Some familiar-looking faces, serious societal issues, and just a very few laughs dot America's smalltown landcapes in a trio of films currently streaming far and wide.

Brown (left), Gerety, and Shire all serve up some grand "Working" moments.
The great Peter Gerety, most recently seen as a very bad guy on the last season of Showtime's always audacious "Ray Donovan," plays the titular "Working Man" in a wonderful little indie about layoffs, mental illness and camaraderie at the local workplace. 

In fact, if there's any justice, veteran character actor Gerety, Talia Shire (Connie Corleone from "The Godfather" saga, not to mention the franchise-long wife of "Rocky"), and Billy Brown (ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder") all might be in serious contention for acting honors whenever the next awards season actually rolls around. They are simply that good here in what likely could be called a story for our times.

When the plastics factory where Gerety's Allery Parkes has worked forever shuts down for good somewhere in the middle of Illinois, not only is our sadly quiet hero the last man out the door on closing day, but he's also the first guy back on the job the next. 

Huh? How can this be? And, it's not only Shire, as good and devoted wife Iola, who's wondering if her longtime hubby finally has lost his troubled mind. Neighbors and former co-workers watching Allery walk past their homes with lunch pail in hand each morning and late afternoon remain puzzled, too. Then, Brown's Walter, a relative newcomer to the New Liberty Plastics assembly line, joins Allery in staying on the job, and his loud and positive demeanor really gets the joint jumping again, at least the way screenwriter Robert Jury tells it.

By the way, Jury is a 50-year-old Iowa native whose movie plays as if the first-time director/scripter may have experienced some of its mildly extraordinary twists and turns himself along the way. No surprise if he gets a second filmmaking assignment very soon.  

Not rated by MPAA (with some language but not enough to seriously offend); 1:38; $ $ $ $ out of $5

Our next smalltown entry takes place in Whispering Pines, Pa., where "Shooting Heroin" becomes much more than a way of life for the opium-addicted citizenry. Some even attempt to end the menace and thus arrives the dark and double-edged meaning of the title.

A hard-drinking ex-veteran and single dad -- named Adam (Tim Powell) in this more rugged than usual faith-based film -- teams up with a few neighbors to rain hell on dealers he blames for his sister's death by drugs. His foremost sidekick is a mother (Sherilyn Fenn of "Twin Peaks" fame), who lost two young sons to heroin in a 12-hour span, while a committed correctional officer (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, still likely best known from his work on "Welcome Back Kotter") also fights back after getting the blessing of his rival, the local police chief (a fine Garry Pastore).

Speaking of recognizable faces, one belongs to Nicholas Turturro ("NYPD Blue"), as the warm-hearted Reverend John. Another, Oscar-nominated Cathy Moriarty ("Raging Bull"), might be responsible for the most important scene in the movie as Adam's well-worn mom.

Like the two other offerings reviewed in this piece, theatrical release plans for "Shooting Heroin" were foiled by the Covid-19 pandemic, which some could argue pales in comparison to the more potentially fatal consequence of an opium epidemic often fueled by professionals who should know better. Regardless, writer/director Spencer T. Folman's message-filled story did pick up three major awards at the Hell's Kitchen movie gathering in New York during its extensive film festival run.

Rated "R" by MPAA: drug content, and language throughout; 1:31; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

Finally, and also streaming on Amazon, among other platforms, comes "Northwood Pie," a millenials' coming-of-age tale, dressing itself up as a teen comedy, at least in the early going.

Actually, any solid laughs are few and far between in this suburban Irvine (California) vehicle, which finally coughs out its strength during conversations between so many of its mostly unknown principal players. Leading the way in this "micro-budgeted" quickie are the eager-to-mature Crispin (co-writer Todd Knaack) and the mostly already there Sierra (Annika Foster).

The potentially cute couple become co-workers in a busy pizza joint operated by the harried manager (Aj Hamilton), who hires Crispin after a 20-second interview, a funny bit that sets the stage for the workplace as low-rent comedy club.

Fortunately, discussions and sequences heat up more seriously away from the pizza ovens, until a party scene that you expect might turn mindlessly juvenile unveils at least one heartbreaking moment among its surprises. 

Credit young director and co-writer Jay Salahi for finding where the real truths lie in his feature film debut instead of peppering a "Pie" with ingredients an audience might think taste better brainless.

Not rated by MPAA (but rarely as sexually motivated as one might expect); 1:15; $ $ $ out of $5

Friday, August 28, 2020

Maybe it's game over for 'Bill & Ted' after watching them meet Death again

Daughters Weaving and Lundy-Paine face Dads Winter and Reeves.
So, some familiar faces return today, 29 years after their "Bogus Journey" and a full 31 beyond the "Excellent Journey" that introduced the acquired-taste foolishness starting it all. Yep, "Bill & Ted Face the Music" brings back the crazy pair of slacker time travelers, played once more by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves.

Certainly the boys now look much older, even if they never act any wiser (although the sanity of anyone paying top dollar -- at least $20 on most streaming sites for this dreck -- might need to be checked at the door, too).

Let's start on a positive note with the only truly funny bits in the 90-minute film. Those would be exactly two: A lunacy-laced wedding toast from the title characters to start the proceedings after Ted's ex-stepmom (Amy Stoch) marries Bill's younger brother (Beck Bennett from "SNL") and, much later, a few exchanges with a whiny Death itself (the returning William Sandler), still hurting over perceived music-related snubs decades ago.

Otherwise, we can also only make particularly fresh mention of casting Samara Weaving, as Thea, and Brigettte Lundy-Paine, as Billie, the bright and personable daughters of fathers Bill and Ted, who smartly look just like them. The fact that Weaving herself already has accumulated a fine list of credits speaks volumes about her own talents. However, neither she nor the breezy Lundy-Paine are ever rewarded with anything remotely humorous to say by original "B&T" screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon.

Instead, the girls simply get salvation duty for their still-dopey dads by showing up in a number of odd places to help them save the world, or some such convoluted nonsense. That includes what should have been at least a few hilarious moments in putting together a word-class band featuring rocker Jimi Hendrix (DazMan Still), jazzy Louis Armstrong (Jeremiah Craft), flautist Ling Lun (Sharon Gee) and a guy named Mozart (Daniel Dart).

Maybe there really is a fun film here somewhere, although a couple of noticeably bizarre editing moments pop up occasionally as well. Regardless, the mindlessness of it all never rings more true than during the remarkably dull and disappointing sequence at the very end of the lengthy final credits. Just rest in peace, dudes! I guess.

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: some strong language; 1:31; $ and 1/2 out of $5

Friday, August 21, 2020

Perfect timing? Heavy road rage, teen schizophrenia, and hostage crisis

As if we're looking for more anxiety in our lives while in a hurry to see the unforgettable summer of 2020 finally come to an end, three high energy films arrive today with the re-opening of all theaters in northeastern Ohio.

A rare moment of Crowe calm in "Unhinged."
On an abundance of screens is the incredibly unnerving "Unhinged," which opens with an unnecessary recap of anger all around us, but only after we witness an urgently violent house break-in, raging fire and big-time explosion. Welcome back to the movies, folks! 

Menacing and intimidating both in talent and girth, Russell Crowe plays the descriptive title to the hilt as an extremely troubled divorce' whose road rage knows no bounds after a highway run-in with a single mom (Caren Pistorius). Of course, the young-looking woman carries her own carload of woes, with maybe the persistent disregard for punctuality her most aggravating sin of all.

Meanwhile, the hard-flying Crowe character also has this thing about lawyers, so too bad for Jimmi Simpson (from HBO's "Westworld"), whose legal eagle may both be representing and loving the wrong woman when it comes to bad timing on this particular day.

As is usual when reviewing thrillers, that's all you'll get plotwise right here. Just know that there are a few major holes, some slow-to-react cops, and a lot of exceptionally creepy moments in this latest from screenwriter Carl Ellsworth ("Disturbia," and remakes of "Red Dawn" and "The Last House on the Left").

Rated "R" by MPAA: strong violent content, and language throughout; 1:31; $ $ $ out of $5

Not nearly as disturbing but with some tense moments of its own, "Words on Bathroom Walls" also opens today in surprisingly wide release, especially considering its touchy subject matter of a high school senior with a severe mental disorder.

Charlie Plummer, again starring as a good kid, only this time with schizophrenia, and Taylor Russell, who was so brilliant in last year's underseen "Waves," are the likable young lovers meeting at a Catholic high school. 

Plummer's Adam arrives there after his illness, bullies and a lab explosion have gotten him expelled, and his devoted Mom (Molly Parker) fights hard to convince a strict nun/principal (always solid character actress Beth Grant) to give him one last chance at her exclusive academy. Of course, Russell's stunning Maya is already there as class president, valedictorian and tough cookie/tutor with secrets and gimmicks of her own.

So is Andy Garcia, as a smartly understanding priest, and the trio of terrific voices and personalities (played by AnnaSophia Robb, Devon Bostick, and Lobo Sebastian) who set this kid-in-peril movie apart from other teen-age explorations of mental illness. That's because only Adam (and us) can see these walking-talking influences on his life, as introduced by director Thor Freudenthal and screenwriter Nick Naveda from the 2017 Julia Walton novel of the same name.

The production, which involves a number of cast and crew from the TV side of the aisle, also includes a nicely quiet turn from Walton Goggins, as a kind of father figure for Adam, only with potential shades of both good and evil that the gifted actor from such series as "Justified" and "Vice Principals" can play so well.

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: mature thematic content involving mental illness, some sexual references, strong language and smoking; 1:51; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

Finally this week, there's the historical documentary, "Desert One." It comes from from twice Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple, and includes more than a few sympathy-generating words from former President Jimmy Carter.

First viewed at last fall's Toronto International Film Festival, this complete and total dissection of all that went wrong with the infamous Iranian hostage crisis, which began in late 1979 and ended on the eve of President Ronald Reagan's inauguration in 1981, centers around Carter's inability to free 52 Americans from the hands of militant students. Certainly, it was the key reason he lost the 1980 election to Reagan, though Kopple's doc features more talking heads and survivors discussing a courageous, if ill-fated rescue attempt (nicknamed Operation Eagle Claw) than pure politics. 

Her still-impressive effort also mixes in significant newsreel clips, some animated reenactments, and the constant voice of Ted Koppel, the ABC "Nightline" host whose career was made during the 444 days of hostage captivity.

Maybe nothing shines through more emphatically, however, than the gentle humanity of Jimmy Carter, whose legacy since he left the Presidency still grows by the day.

"Desert One," which eventually can be seen on the History Channel, is now playing at the Cedar Lee Theater in Cleveland Heights. For those preferring to stay home, it is now showing as well in the Cleveland Cinemas virtual screening room.

Not rated by MPAA (but with images of the dead); 1:47; $ $ $ $ out of $5

Thursday, August 13, 2020

'River City' recognizes requirements for a community's positive drumbeats

Much arrives unexpectedly in the movie "River City Drumbeat," despite what the title probably suggests. Sure, it's a documentary, with everything that word entails, including an uplifting look at a group of likable kids from an impoverished community coming out of the woodwork to sparkle and shine.

Now, nothing's unusual about something as profound as that in most docs, but the story of the River City Drum Corps from the poor side of Louisville, Ky., becomes so much more in the hands of co-directors Marlon Johnson and Anne Flatte and, of course, the major contributions from their inspirational subjects.

Johnson is a 10-time Emmy winner, while PBS veteran Flatte calls Louisville home, a likely reason for the film's intimate insights into the lives of so many significant players contributing to the success of both the group and the film.

Most surprising is how the joyful, rat-a-tat-tatting noise of the drummers actually takes a backseat to the heartbeats of those same contributors, starting with "Corps" founder Ed "Nardie" Smith.

Smith, himself discouraged as a youth to lean toward the arts, "Cuz it wasn't something a black kid did," found his own inspiration to teach music from a soulmate named Zambia, now buried in the same cemetery as Muhammad Ali and KFC founder Colonel Sanders. The rest, as they say, is history, not to mention an exceptionally moving story as relevant to our times as anything else you'll likely see on any screen this year. 

Not rated by MPAA (but with nothing to offend); 1:35; $ $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

(The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque opens "River City Drumbeat" Friday on its virtual cinema site, where it will play through Sept. 3.)

Friday, August 7, 2020

Movie theaters reopen with some stylish 'Heresy' among the first in line

It's a tall order to be among the first films playing at theaters opening now during a months-old pandemic, but "The Burnt Orange Heresy" mostly fits the bill. I mean, its lean, lanky cast, led by a trio of six-footers, Claes Bang (6-4), Elizabeth Debicki (6-3) and Donald Sutherland (still close to 6-4 himself at a just-turned 85), occasionally tower over material based on a 50-year-old novel of the same name.

That leaves a rather diminutive-looking Mick Jagger (usually an active 5-10), at least opposite the other members of this sophisticated quartet, looking up as a wealthy art collector always trying to find some extensive satisfaction. In fact, the latest venture for his tricky Joseph Cassidy is a doozy that involves the pill-popping critic (Bang) and the introverted artist (Sutherland).

The scene-stealing Debicki, coming off what should have been a nominated supporting turn in "Widows," doesn't just tag along, either. She gets rather heavily embroiled as, believe it or not, a school teacher from Duluth named Berenice, who just drops in on a fascinating, Milan-based lecture given by Bang's James Figueras. It's titled "The Power of the Critic" and, believe me, we haven't seen or heard anything yet.

Berenice and James, as played by the Danish Bang with the same attraction he has shown off in both 2017's "The Square" and "Dracula" (on Netflix), follow up with more than just art talk. When they get to Cassidy's "summer cottage" estate on Lake Como, Sutherland's mysteriously eccentric old painter joins the fray, and so do a few twists and turns.  

The one slight problem with this stylish collaboration from director Giuseppe Capatondi and screenwriter Scott B. Smith ("A Simple Plan") is that you likely won't have much sympathy for any of their devilish characters. Just play along for what seems like a quick-moving 100 minutes and enjoy being back in a movie theater.

"The Burnt Orange Heresy" opens today at Atlas Cinemas in Mayfield Heights and Mentor.

Rated "R" by MPAA: sexual content/nudity, language, drug use and violence; 1:38; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Complete Toronto festival slate includes 50 films of 'diversity, quality'

TORONTO — TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente today announced the lineup of titles selected for the 45th Toronto International Film Festival. This year’s features "represent a diverse selection of the highest-quality films from around the globe and will reflect first-rate international cinema, documentaries, and Canadian creativity. The strong representation of women, Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color among TIFF’s selection reflects the organization’s continuing commitment to normalizing gender parity and racial equality for future generations."

“We began this year planning for a 45th Festival much like our previous editions,” said Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head of TIFF, “but along the way we had to rethink just about everything. This year’s lineup reflects that tumult. The names you already know are doing brand new things this year, and there’s a whole crop of exciting new names to discover. We’re thankful to every filmmaker and company that joined us on this adventure, and we can’t wait to share these brilliant films with our audiences.”
“TIFF 2020 is a special edition and symbolizes what is possible when collaboration, ingenuity, and passion take center stage,” said Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “It’s also a time for us to celebrate and affirm some of the founding values of TIFF, including the power film has to propel us forward as a society and present a diversity of voices.  I’m proud and excited to share these films with audiences.”

The 45th Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 10–19. Here is a complete list of
feature, directors and countries:

180 Degree Rule Farnoosh Samadi | Iran
76 Days Hao Wu, Anonymous, Weixi Chen | USA
Ammonite Francis Lee | United Kingdom
Another Round (Druk) Thomas Vinterberg | Denmark
Bandar Band Manijeh Hekmat | Iran/Germany
Beans Tracey Deer | Canada
Beginning (Dasatskisi) Dea Kulumbegashvili | Georgia/France
The Best is Yet to Come (Bu Zhi Bu Xiu) Wang Jing | China
Bruised Halle Berry | USA
City Hall Frederick Wiseman | USA
Concrete Cowboy Ricky Staub | USA
David Byrne’s American Utopia Spike Lee | USA (Opening Night Film)
The Disciple Chaitanya Tamhane | India
Enemies of the State Sonia Kennebeck | USA
Falling Viggo Mortensen | Canada/United Kingdom
The Father Florian Zeller | United Kingdom/France
Fauna Nicolás Pereda | Mexico/Canada
Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer | United Kingdom/USA
Gaza mon amour Tarzan Nasser, Arab Nasser | Palestine/France/Germany/Portugal/Qatar
Get the Hell Out (Tao Chu Li Fa Yuan) I-Fan Wang | Taiwan
Good Joe Bell Reinaldo Marcus Green | USA
I Care A Lot J Blakeson | United Kingdom
Inconvenient Indian Michelle Latimer | Canada
The Inheritance Ephraim Asili | USA
Lift Like a Girl (Ash Ya Captain) Mayye Zayed | Egypt/Germany/Denmark
Limbo Ben Sharrock | United Kingdom
Memory House (Casa de Antiguidades) João Paulo Miranda Maria | Brazil/France
MLK/FBI Sam Pollard | USA
The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott | Canada
New Order (Nuevo orden) Michel Franco | Mexico
Night of the Kings (La Nuit des Rois) Philippe Lacôte | Côte d’Ivoire/France/Canada/Senegal
Nomadland Chloé Zhao | USA
No Ordinary Man Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt | Canada
Notturno Gianfranco Rosi | Italy/France/Germany
One Night in Miami Regina King | USA
Penguin Bloom Glendyn Ivin | Australia
Pieces of a Woman Kornél Mundruczó | USA/Canada/Hungary
Preparations to Be Together For an Unknown Period of Time (Felkészülés meghatározatlan ideig tartó együttlétre) Lili Horvát | Hungary
Quo Vadis, Aïda? Jasmila Žbanić | Bosnia and Herzegovina/Norway/The Netherlands/Austria/Romania/France/Germany/Poland/Turkey
Shadow In The Cloud Roseanne Liang | USA/New Zealand
Shiva Baby Emma Seligman | USA/Canada
Spring Blossom Suzanne Lindon | France
A Suitable Boy Mira Nair | United Kingdom/India (Closing Night Presentation)
Summer of 85 (Été 85) François Ozon | France
The Third Day Felix Barrett, Dennis Kelly | United Kingdom
Trickster Michelle Latimer | Canada
True Mothers (Asa Ga Kuru) Naomi Kawase | Japan
Under the Open Sky (Subarashiki Sekai) Miwa Nishikawa | Japan
Violation Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli | Canada
Wildfire Cathy Brady | United Kingdom/Ireland
For more information, please see TIFF’s public screening venues and ticket on-sale dates will be announced in early August. 

The festival continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the Festival, with its number-one priority being the health and well-being of both Festival filmgoers and the residents of the entire community. Additionally, TIFF has partnered with Medcan, a global health care leader providing medical expertise, consultation, and health inspiration to achieve its mission of helping people “Live Well for Life.”