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Toronto Film Festival Dailies

TIFF 2022: September 8–18

The 476th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8–18, 2021. in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, it has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar.

Showcasing more than 300 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.

Past Coverage 2014 2015 - Coverage 2016 in French   English


Chaz Thorne Is Having His Toronto Moment

Just BuriedJust Buried 

Thursday, September 6--------From a cursory look at the films to be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens this evening, it can seem as if Hollywood is dominating the program schedule. This is far from the truth. The Festival is very international in its scope, with a high percentage of film auteurs and fledgling directors from Europe, Asia and Latin America. It is also a terrific place to check the pulse of the Canadian film scene and discover local talent.

One talented Canuck to be reckoned with this year is writer/director Chaz Thorne, whose feature directorial debut JUST BURIED, which he also wrote, premieres at the Festival in the Canada First! section this weekend. The dark comedy is set in a funeral home and revolves around the family who must keep the business going (sound a little like SIX FEET UNDER?). The film stars Jay Baruchel (from the summer comedy blockbuster KNOCKED UP), Rose Byrne (SUNSHINE) and Graham Greene (DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE). As if this was not enough, Thorne is being represented in the Festival's Spotlight section with the premiere of his debut feature screenplay, POOR BOY'S GAME, which he also produced. The film, a working class drama about father/son relationships and the desire to transcend one's origins, was directed by Clement Vigo and stars Danny Glover, Rossif Sutherland (son of Donald) and Flex Alexander.

Thorne began his career as an actor, with significant stage and television credits, including the founding of Jack In The Black Theater, one of Toronto's most ambitious theater companies. His first work as a writer/director were for television comedies for the Canadian Broadcasting Company. JUST BURIED took over five years from the first draft to finally getting finished, beginning its life as a broad comedy and ending up much darker and quirkier. Thorne began working on the screenplay in 2001 and shot the movie in 2006. It is having its world premiere at the Festival. The project had an earlier connection to the Festival, having been part of the annual "film pitch" event in 2002, where six finalists from across Canada are given the chance to pitch their feature scripts to a room full of industry representatives and a panel of industry judges. The successful pitch ended up getting Thorne hooked up with a manager and an agent, and they led him to some private finance sources. The film also received development monies from Telefilm Canada.


Poor Boy's GamePoor Boy's Game


POOR BOY'S GAME was shot in June of 2006 and was followed immediately by a Fall shoot for JUST BURIED. Both films were being post-produced and edited at the same time, which made for one busy year for the fledgling writer/director. Ironically, two different programmers screened the two films, both deciding individually to invite the films to this year's Festival edition. Apparently, there was no reaction from the Festival honchos when it was discovered that the two films were both invited to participate this year. 

Seville Pictures in Montreal is distributing both films in Canada and POOR BOY'S GAME will be distributed in the United States by THINKFilm. It had its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February, which was allowed the film to sell to international territories all over the world. For JUST BURIED, the exposure in Toronto will be accompanied by an aggressive campaign to snag American and international distribution as well.  Thorne wants to make the most of his "Toronto moment". 

Sandy Mandelberger, Toronto FF Dailies Editor

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The Dailies from Toronto

Contributing editors: Bruno Chatelin 

Laurie Gordon Animaze International Film Festival Le Miaff!
Leopoldo Soto Huatulco Food and Film Festival Director
Gary Lucas Guitar hero Performing artist live score to classic and horror film
Mike Rabehl Programmer and Buyer Cinequest Film Festival San Jose Tiwtter: @cqmike
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