Toronto: Christopher Nolan to Screen 'Dunkirk' in Imax Birthplace

Dunkirk Still 12 - Publicity - H 2017
Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Pictures

The popcorn movie's epic battle scenes will play in pristine Imax 70mm on a six-story screen in Toronto's Ontario Place Cinesphere.

Christopher Nolan is set to show his World War II epic Dunkirk at Imax's Ontario Place Cinesphere theater during the Toronto International Film Festival.

As the Hollywood director looks to generate Oscar buzz for Dunkirk and its various craftsmen, including cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, Nolan will screen the movie in the pristine 70mm Imax format at the Cinesphere on Toronto's waterfront.

Imax had its debut at Expo 70 in Osaka, but the giant-screen pioneer a year later opened Cinesphere as its first permanent theater in Toronto.

Dunkirk, which was shot almost entirely with Imax cameras, will be introduced by TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling, and Nolan will stick around after the screening to do a Q&A led by festival artistic director Cameron Bailey. "This is a story for the times — one of resilience against all odds, ordinary people surviving amidst chaos. Christopher Nolan captures this seminal moment in history with an artist's eye," Handling said Tuesday in a statement.

Nolan has long campaigned for a revival of 70mm film exhibition, whose wide, high-resolution format was used to display Hollywood classics like Ben Hur, The Sound of Music and Lawrence of Arabia. The format has had limited use since the launch of the digital cinema era, which began in the early 2000s.

Dunkirk stars Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy and is based on Nolan's own screenplay. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros.

The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run Sept. 7-17.

August 31, 13:30 Updated with a correction on where Imax debuted as a giant screen exhibitor.