Girish Mahajan (Editor)

2008 Toronto International Film Festival

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Opening film  Passchendaele
Number of films  312 films
Location  Toronto, Canada
Language  English

Hosted by  Toronto International Film Festival Group
Festival date  September 4, 2008 (2008-09-04)–September 13, 2008 (2008-09-13)

The 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, (TIFF) was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This 33rd annual festival was from September 4 to September 13, 2008. The opening night gala was the World War I romantic epic Passchendaele from Canadian director Paul Gross.


About the 2008 Festival

Festival is heavy on Canadian fare as well as featuring prominent indie films and worldwide and/or North American debuts including: Adoration directed by Canada's own Atom Egoyan, Appaloosa the second film from Ed Harris (who directed Pollock), Blindness from screenwriter-director, Fernando Meirelles, Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and veteran filmmaker Barbet Schroeder's Inju, la bête dans l'ombre. Scheduled is The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (directed by Jodie Markell), based on a "rediscovered" Tennessee Williams screenplay. TIFF screened 312 films from 64 countries. These include 249 features, most of which were North American and/or world premieres.

Neil Burger (director of The Illusionist) world premiered The Lucky Ones a character study of U.S. soldiers on an unplanned road trip, starring Tim Robbins.

Also featured was Me and Orson Welles helmed by American "slacker" Richard Linklater, the Spike Lee-directed World War II film, Miracle at St. Anna as well as the Jonathan Demme directed film Rachel Getting Married. Other festival highlights are screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's first film, Synecdoche, New York, a slice of experimental filmmaker James Benning's Americana RR was featured in the "Wavelengths" avant-garde showcase, the four-hour-long Steven Soderbergh epic Che (playing in two parts), as well as The Wrestler lensed by Darren Aronofsky. The Brits are also well represented with Happy-Go-Lucky directed by Mike Leigh and Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle.

Despite showing fewer films than last year, among the 249 features, 116 are premieres and 61 are first features. Films from as many as 64 countries were screened, with more than 340,000 admissions expected.

"Canadian Open Vault", which always highlights a restored Canadian film, focused on Quebec filmmaker François Girard's 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould made in 1993.

Actors Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Benicio del Toro, Ethan Hawke, Laura Linney and film directors Julian Schnabel, Kathryn Bigelow and Steven Soderbergh are among the celebs the festival has invited on its 500-plus guest list, thus completing its lineup.

The festival closed on September 13, 2008 with the North American premiere of Stone of Destiny written and directed by Charles Martin Smith, the true story of four Glasgow university students who try to restore the 300-pound Stone of Scone to its rightful Scottish home.

With the film Fifty Dead Men Walking, Rose McGowan expressed support for the cause of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), with the reports of her comments being released into the media on September 11, 2008. After starring in Fifty Dead Men Walking, she was quoted as saying "I imagine had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100% have been in the IRA. My heart just broke for the cause. Violence is not to be played out daily and provide an answer to problems, but I understand it." Her comments were attacked by the original author Martin McCartlend. McCartland had general objections against the film, but approved of an out of court settlement, believed to be in the region of £20.000 (35.000 USD in summer 2008).

North American premieres

  • Aide-toi et le ciel t'aidera by François Dupeyron
  • Adoration by Atom Egoyan
  • Appaloosa by Ed Harris
  • Un Barrage center le pacifique by Rithy Panh
  • Blindness by Fernando Meirelles
  • The Brothers Bloom by Rian Johnson
  • Un conte de Noël by Arnaud Desplechin
  • Disgrace by Steve Jacobs
  • Il Divo by Paolo Sorrentino
  • The Duchess by Saul Dibb
  • Easy Virtue by Stephen Elliott
  • Fifty Dead Men Walking by Kari Skogland
  • Food, Inc. by Robert Kenner
  • Genova by Michael Winterbottom
  • Gomorrah by Matteo Garrone
  • Good by Vincente Amorim
  • The Good, the Bad, the Weird by Kim Jee-woon
  • Heaven on Earth by Deepa Mehta
  • The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow
  • Is There Anybody There? by John Crowley
  • It's Not Me by Philippe Falardeau
  • The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond by Jodie Markell
  • The Lucky Ones by Neil Burger
  • Management by Stephen Belber
  • Me and Orson Welles by Richard Linklater
  • Miracle at St. Anna by Spike Lee
  • Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Peter Sollett
  • O' Horten by Bent Hamer
  • One Week by Michael McGowan
  • The Other Man by Richard Eyre
  • Pedro by Nicholas Oceano
  • Pride and Glory by Gavin O'Connor
  • Rachel Getting Married by Jonathan Demme
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Gina Prince-Bythewood
  • Stone of Destiny by Charles Martin Smith
  • Synecdoche, New York by Charlie Kaufman
  • The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno by Kevin Smith
  • Special presentations

  • Ashes of Time Redux by Wong Kar-wai
  • Empty Nest by Daniel Burman
  • Every Little Step by James Stern and Adam Del Deo
  • La Fille de Monaco by Anne Fontaine
  • Kanchivaram by Priyadarshan
  • Ghost Town by David Koepp
  • Happy-Go-Lucky by Mike Leigh
  • I've Loved You So Long by Philippe Claudel
  • New York, I Love You
  • Religulous by Larry Charles
  • RocknRolla by Guy Ritchie
  • Unspoken by Fien Troch
  • Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman
  • Other films to be screened

  • $9.99 by Tatia Rosenthal
  • Before Tomorrow by Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Ivalu
  • Burn After Reading by Coen brothers
  • Che by Steven Soderbergh
  • The Class by Laurent Cantet
  • Cooper's Camera by Warren Sonada
  • Daytime Drinking by Young-seok Noh
  • Dean Spanley by Toa Fraser
  • Edison and Leo by Neil Burns
  • Gigantic by Matt Aselton
  • Hunger by Steve McQueen
  • Inju, la bête dans l'ombre by Barbet Schroeder
  • Last Stop 174 by Bruno Barreto
  • Lovely, Still by Nik Fackler
  • Lymelife by Derick Martini and Steve Martini
  • Nothing But the Truth by Rod Lurie
  • Public Enemy No. One by Jean-François Richet
  • Real Time by Randall Cole
  • Singh Is Kinng by Anees Bazmee
  • Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle
  • Snow by Aida Begić
  • The Stoning of Soraya M. by Cyrus Nowrasteh
  • Tulpan by Sergey Dvortsevoy
  • Who Do You Love? by Jerry Zaks
  • What Doesn't Kill You by Brian Goodman
  • Anonyma – Eine Frau in Berlin by Max Färberböck
  • A Year in Winter by Caroline Link
  • Masters program

  • 24 City by Jia Zhangke
  • Adam Resurrected by Paul Schrader
  • Everlasting Moments by Jan Troell
  • Four Nights With Anna by Jerzy Skolimowski
  • Of Time and the City by Terence Davies
  • Lorna's Silence by Dardenne brothers
  • Three Monkeys by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Tokyo Sonata by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Vanguard and visions

  • Afterwards by Gilles Bourdos
  • Uncertainty by Scott McGehee and David Siegel
  • Universalove by Thomas Woschitz
  • Tears For Sale by Uroš Stojanović
  • Vinyan by Fabrice du Welz
  • Midnight Madness

  • Acolytes by Jon Hewitt
  • The Burrowers by J. T. Petty
  • Chocolate by Prachya Pinkaew
  • Deadgirl by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel
  • Detroit Metal City by Toshio Lee
  • Eden Log by Franck Vestiel
  • JCVD by Mabrouk El Mechri
  • Martyrs by Pascal Laugier
  • Not Quite Hollywood by Mark Hartley
  • Sexykiller by Miguel Marti
  • Sprockets (family fare)

  • Bridge to Terabithia by Gábor Csupó
  • Krabat by Marco Kreuzpaintner
  • Mia et le Migou by Remy Girerd
  • The Secret of Moonacre by Gábor Csupó
  • Sunshine Barry & the Disco Worms by Thomas Borch Nielsen
  • Wavelengths (avant-garde showcase)

  • Derrière moi by Rafael Ouellet
  • Le Genou d'Artemide by Jean-Marie Straub
  • Pontypool by Bruce McDonald
  • RR by James Benning
  • The Secret History of the Dividing Line by David Gatten
  • When It Was Blue by Jennifer Reeves
  • Winter by Nathaniel Dorsky
  • Sarabande by Nathaniel Dorsky
  • Horizontal Boundaries by Pat O' Neill
  • Dig by Robert Todd
  • Garden/ing by Eriko Sonoda
  • Black and White Trypps Number Three by Ben Russell
  • Public Domain by Jim Jennings
  • Optra Field III-VI by T. Marie
  • Refraction Series by Chris Gehman
  • Suspension by Vanessa O' Neill
  • Contemporary world cinema

  • 33 Scenes From Life by Małgorzata Szumowska
  • Five Dollars a Day by Nigel Cole
  • Acné by Federico Veiroj
  • The Country Teacher by Bohdan Sláma
  • Delta by Kornél Mundruczó
  • Un ete sans point ni coup sur by Francis Leclerc
  • Fear Me Not by Kristian Levring
  • Flame & Citron by Ole Christian Madsen
  • El Greco by Yannis Smaragdis
  • L'Heure d'été by Olivier Assayas
  • Knitting by Yin Lichuan
  • Linha de Passe by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas
  • Lion's Den by Pablo Trapero
  • Lost Song by Rodrigue Jean
  • Mommy Is at the Hairdresser's (Maman est chez le coiffeur) by Léa Pool
  • Middle of Nowhere by John Stockwell
  • Mothers & Daughters by Carl Bessai
  • My Mother, My Bride and I by Hans Steinbichler
  • The Narrows by François Velle
  • Patrik, Age 1.5 by Ella Lemhagen
  • Pandora's Box by Yeşim Ustaoğlu
  • Restless by Amos Kollek
  • Revanche by Götz Spielmann
  • Skin by Anthony Fabian
  • Teza by Haile Gerima
  • Three Wise Men by Mika Kaurismäki
  • Toronto Stories by David Weaver, Sudz Sutherland, Aaron Woodley and Sook-Yin Lee
  • Two-Legged Horse by Samira Makhmalbaf
  • White Night Wedding by Baltasar Kormákur
  • Canada first

  • Borderline by Lyne Charlebois
  • The Real to Reel (docu program)

  • Blind Loves by Juraj Lehotsky
  • Examined Life by Astra Taylor
  • La memoire des anges by Luc Bourdon
  • Paris, Not France by Adria Petty
  • The Real Shaolin by Alexander Sebastien Lee
  • Under Rich Earth by Malcolm Rogge
  • 7915 KM by Nikolaus Geyrhalter
  • References

    2008 Toronto International Film Festival Wikipedia