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“Popcorn is kind of like matzo, right?”
That’s the first thought that occurred to The Orchard’s Paul Davidson when mulling how he’ll observe Rosh Hashanah amid a packed schedule of screenings and meetings at the Toronto festival.
For the first time in three years, the Jewish New Year falls on the fest’s bustling opening weekend, leaving industry Jews in a conundrum over how to honor the High Holy Day while keeping pace with dealmaking, screenings and red carpet premieres like the Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga pairing A Star Is Born, which screens multiple times during the first week of the fest.
Hacksaw Ridge producer David Permut, notorious for packing in more than 40 screenings during Toronto and Sundance, says he can’t slow down for the 48 hours from sundown Sept. 9 to sundown Sept. 11.
“I’ll be worshipping in the Temple of Scotiabank,” he jokes of the theater that hosts a significant chunk of TIFF screenings. “As for Yom Kippur [the Jewish Day of Atonement, which begins two days after Toronto ends], I’ll be in Sinai Temple repenting for my sins.”
Publicist Lon Haber says that after years of practice, he has the Rosh Hashanah-TIFF conflict down to a science, borrowing unoccupied talent cars to visit family for the blowing of the shofar before returning to Roy Thomson Hall for a gala. “Everyone is welcome at my cousin Ahava’s house,” he says. “For real, inquire within.”
Etan Vlessing contributed to this report.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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