Toronto film fest returning to more theatres; Alanis Morissette doc, ‘Dune’ in lineup


TORONTO - An Alanis Morissette documentary and a special IMAX event for Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune”are heading to theToronto International Film Festival, billed as more of a “big theatrical experience” than last year’s pandemic-tailoredshowcase.

The 46th edition runs Sept. 9 to 18 with more than 100 films screening digitally and in-person at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre and the Cinesphere Theatre at Ontario Place.

Outdoor screenings will also run at three downtown drive-in and open air venues.

For the first time, TIFF’s Film Circuit outreach program will host indoorfestival screenings for one night at venues across the country, with details yet to be announced.

Organizers say Ontario and Canada’s accelerating COVID-19 vaccinations should permit more in-person events and a bigger lineup than last year, when a hybrid model offered just 60 features.

“For us there are two big themes this festival: one is just how excited we are about bringing people back to the cinemas, and afterwards we’ll be reopening the TIFF Bell Lightbox,” TIFF co-head and executive director Joana Vicente said in an interview.

“The other is really leading the conversation around the necessity of representation. Diversity, equity and inclusion will be part of (the whole festival), whether it’s our industry activities, our talks, and also be reflected in the selection as well.”

U.S. filmmaker Alison Klayman directs HBO’s Morissette documentary “Jagged,” which details the Ottawa-raised singer-songwriter’s rise from teenage pop star to international rock chart-topper.

The festival will also screen the highly anticipated sci-fi epic “Dune,” co-written and directed by Quebec’s Villeneuve, as a world exclusive IMAX special event at the Cinesphere Theatre at Ontario Place. TIFF will also screen “Dune” at theatres in Toronto and Montreal.

The big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel heads toTIFF after a world premiere Sept. 3 at the Venice Film Festival, where organizers plan a completely in-person festival.

“This film is meant to be seen on the largest screen possible, so I’m deeply happy that TIFF will get to enjoy this ultimate viewing experience first,” Villeneuve said in a video posted on TIFF’s Twitter account Wednesday.

Other TIFF films include: the documentary “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over” by Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner; the family drama “Belfast,” directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Judi Dench; the star-packed thriller “Last Night in Soho,” directed by Edgar Wright and starring Anya Taylor-Joy; and Phillip Noyce’s Canadian-shot “Lakewood” starring Naomi Watts.

Canadian co-productions include: Saskatchewan-born Cree/Metis filmmaker Danis Goulet’s Indigenous sci-fi thriller “Night Raiders,” which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in March; and the animated “Charlotte,” directed by Eric Warin and Tahir Rana and set during the Nazi occupation of France.

After not submitting any films to last year’s festival, Netflix returns with Theodore Melfi’s dramedy “The Starling” starring Melissa McCarthy, and Antoine Fuqua’s crime thriller “The Guilty” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard and Riley Keough.