Toronto Film Fest Sets Industry Conference Panels on Brexit, Gender Bias

Steve James - 2012 H

'Hoop Dreams' director Steve James will also headline the festival's doc conference.

The Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday offered a first look at its industry conference, as it unveiled panels on Brexit and Hollywood's gender problem and a conversation with Hoop Dreams director Steve James set for its September event.

Festival organizers said the film industry's gender gap will get an airing as TIFF screens the docuseries 4%: Film’s Gender Problem, from Alex Gibney's Jigsaw Productions. Director Caroline Suh and executive producers Laura Michalchyshyn and Stacey Offman will be in Toronto to discuss the docuseries, which explores the issues around the current gender gap in Hollywood through contributions from industry players like Judd Apatow, Jill Soloway and Kristen Wiig.

And Toronto's seven-day conference will consider the impact of Brexit with guest speakers including Euroimages executive director Roberto Olla; Isabel Davis, head of international at the British Film Institute; and Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute. Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union has left indie film and TV producers facing uncertainty over international access to subsidies for dealmaking.

TIFF also is partnering with the Casting Society of America to launch a one-day workshop for select international actors to learn about casting and the audition process in North America. And Toronto's one-day Doc Conference on Sept. 13 will feature panels on virtual reality, true crime and a conversation with Steve James.

James' Roger Ebert appreciation film Life Itself was snubbed 20 years after his movie Hoop Dreams was also left off the Oscar documentary shortlist. His other films include Stevie, The New Americans and The Interrupters.

The festival's industry conference is set to run Sept. 9-15, with the fest itself running Sept. 8-18. TIFF organizers will make additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks.