Toronto: Natalie Portman's 'Vox Lux,' Chloe Grace Moretz's 'Greta' Join Festival Lineup
"I'm leaving in a moment of great disruption," festival director Piers Handling said as Netflix brings eight titles to TIFF after skipping Cannes.
The Toronto Film Festival on Tuesday added the Natalie Portman-starrer Vox Lux, by director Brady Corbet, and Neil Jordan's Greta, starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert, as it unveiled the final lineup for its upcoming 43rd edition.
This year's slate includes eight titles from Netflix, including the opener Outlaw King, as Toronto goes all in with the U.S video streaming giant, however much it impacts the traditional theatrical experience.
"I'm leaving in a moment of great disruption and it's hard to know what's going to happen in the future," TIFF festival director Piers Handling told the Hollywood Reporter as he gets set to step down as festival topper after the upcoming Sept. 6-16 festival. "I don't think the big-screen experience will disappear, maybe modify, but it's not going away. If it goes away, it will take decades for that to vanish," he added.
TIFF's embrace of Netflix contrasts with that of Cannes, which saw the streaming giant pull out of its festival over a rule banning movies from the official competition that did not have theatrical distribution in France. Netflix is instead bringing to Toronto Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA after it bows in Venice, Hold the Dark, from director Jeremy Saulnier, Paul Greengrass' 22 July and Sara Colangelo's Sundance title The Kindergarten Teacher, among others.
Handling said movies will always have some big-screen experience, even as emerging and top filmmakers turn to Netflix, Amazon and other Internet platforms. "Even the younger generation are not making their films just for tablets and for cellphones. A lot of Internet filmmakers want to go theatrical. The younger generation is not as disruptive as one would imagine. They want the big-screen experience," Handling argued.
That stance was echoed by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey, who told The Hollywood Reporter that both his festival and Netflix are pursuing top filmmaking talent. "We are always following the best filmmakers and we want to present their films to audiences whenever we can," Bailey said.
As part of its upcoming lineup, Toronto on Tuesday added the Natalie Portman-starring music drama Vox Lux, which also stars Jude Law. And it has booked Greta, from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, a New York-set thriller about a young woman named Frances (Moretz) who strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older widow named Greta (Huppert).
The additions finalize the TIFF lineup, with all 255 features and 138 world premieres to screen in Toronto next month, compared with 256 features and 147 world premieres in 2017. Toronto also announced Tuesday that the Chinese film, Bai Xue’s The Crossing, will open its Discovery sidebar, with additional slots for the Kate Beckinsale-starring coming-of-ager Farming, by director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adina Pintilie’s Touch Me Not, which earned Berlin's Golden Bear prize, Soudade Kaadan’s The Day I Lost My Shadow, and Lila Aviles’ The Chambermaid.
And Monsoon Wedding director Mira Nair will replace Margarethe von Trotta on the jury for the platform competition in Toronto, alongside Bela Tarr and Lee Chang-dong. Von Trotta pulled out of the platform jury duty as she will be in Frankfurt on Sept. 11 to receive Germany's Theodor Adorno prize.