25th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Eight
The Toronto International Film Festival is the perfect film destination. It has something for everyone. For the film lover it provides you access to and information about hundreds of films from around the world. It covers everything from documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters and every frame of film in between. If you’re a stargazer, the Festival is not a disappointment either. Day 8 was a perfect example of both of those aspects.
We started off the day with a press conference for Joel Schumacher’s Vietnam-era film Tigerland. Here’s a film with a difficult subject, a relatively unknown cast featuring an Irish actor named Colin Farrell and a maverick director who has left the world of big budgets behind to shoot a gritty film on 16mm. Not a recipe that easy for a publicist to sell. The Toronto festival is the perfect launching ground for it though. The Tororonto festival has never shied away from films that take chances. It craves directors exploring new territories. So Tigerland was right at home here. Stripped of his usual big budgets, Schumacher proved that a film’s worth is really based on the story it tells and the actors it tells it with.
Men of Honor was at the star-gazing end of the spectrum. The Festival was already graced with one acting god, Al Pacino, but you can’t have too much of a good thing so the appearance of Robert De Niro was enough to send most into a frenzy. Add another Academy Award®-winner, Cuba Gooding Jr., into the mix and the press flooded into the room to cover the press conference. Men of Honor is the story of Carl Brashear, the US Navy’s first African-American deep sea diver. His story is a touching one full of honor and courage in the face of adversity and Cuba seemed moved and honored to have a chance to portray him. The premiere for the film was just as crazy as the press conference but with the added factor of screaming fans wanting to catch a glimpse of the elusive De Niro.
Finally, the Festival is also a place where deals are made and the last premiere of the night, Dancing at the Blue Iguana with Darryl Hannah and Jennifer Tilly, was an example of a film looking for a distributor.