Toronto: Louis C.K. Didn't Tell Personal Publicist About "Secret" Film

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Louis C.K.

"I forget sometimes that I haven't told him anything," C.K. said as he premiered 'I Love You, Daddy' at TIFF.

Louis C.K.'s I Love You, Daddy made a splashy debut Saturday at the Toronto Film International Festival and quickly nabbed a U.S. distribution deal with The Orchard.

But the black-and-white film was shot in secret this summer in New York City. Not even C.K.'s personal publicist knew he'd made the movie, the film and TV comic and star said Wednesday at the fest.

"I forget sometimes that I haven't told him anything," C.K. said of his publicist.

Written by C.K. from a story he wrote with Vernon Chatman, the film centers on a successful TV writer-producer (C.K.) who tries to prevent his 17-year-old daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) from falling for a lecherous 68-year-old filmmaker (John Malkovich). Charlie Day, Edie Falco, Rose Byrne, Pamela Adlon, Ebonee Noel and Helen Hunt round out the cast.

C.K. recalled ringing his publicist to let him know I Love You, Daddy had gotten into the fest.

"You made a movie?" C.K. remembered hearing on the other end of the phone line. He was similarly unconventional getting I Love You, Daddy into TIFF. 

C.K. said he's done his stand-up act on so many Toronto stages over the years, and liked the crowds and reception, so he'd always wanted to bring his first auteur film to the city. So in late summer he rang the office of Cameron Bailey, TIFF's artistic director, and got Bailey's assistant on the line.

"I don't think she knew who I was, which is fine. It's refreshing. I knew he [Bailey] was never going to call me back," he said. C.K. then wrote an email to the fest programmer, who expressed instant surprise when the two were finally on the phone.

Bailey and his TIFF team had done a production search that revealed no mention anywhere of C.K. shooting his own film. The director added he'd made I Love You, Daddy with his own money.

Was there any room for his pic at the event? At first, Bailey said no, as his lineup had been finalized. But after he had a chance to screen I Love You, Daddy, a slot opened up.

"He found some space for us. We shouldn't be here. It's not fair to real filmmakers," C.K. insisted.