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Canada: 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to open with filmed-version of 'American Utopia'
American Utopia

Canada: 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to open with filmed-version of 'American Utopia'

| @indiablooms | 24 Jul 2020, 11:42 pm

Toronto/IBNS:  The 45th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2020's opening night presentation will be a filmed-version of David Byrne’s hit Broadway show, “American Utopia,”  Co-heads Cameron Bailey and Joanna Vicente announced on July 21 weeks after they unveiled plans for a hybrid physical-online festival, set to run from September 10-19, TIFF reports said.

Due to coronavirus, this year's edition of the TIFF would be a mixture of physical and virtual events, unlike any of the previous 44 iterations.

Many studios have said privately that they do not hope for a big gathering because of the difficulty of traveling during the pandemic.

American Utopia hit Broadway in the fall of 2019 and played to sold-out crowds through February of 2020.

Shot by Spike Lee during its Hudson Theatre run, the concert film is scheduled to air on HBO this fall.

American Utopia” will premiere in Canada on Bell Media’s Crave on Sept 10.

“This joyful film takes audiences on a musical journey about openness, optimism, and faith in humanity,” said Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head of TIFF, in a statement. “This is especially poignant at a time of great uncertainty around the world. We’re eager to share the excitement of Opening Night with audiences.”

The concert consists of performances of songs from Byrne’s 2018 solo album of the same name as well as works from his Talking Heads years such as “Once in a Lifetime” and “Burning Down the House.”

68-year old Byrne also covered a protest song about police brutality that could not feel more timely in Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout.”

Byrne sings, plays instruments, and dances along with an 11-person troupe, all while performing high-energy choreography by Annie-B Parson.

During the summer Lee had released the acclaimed Netflix drama “Da 5 Bloods” and recently won an Oscar for co-writing 2018’s “BlacKkKlansman.” 

“Spike Lee has somehow always been exactly of his moment and ahead of his time,” said Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of TIFF, in a statement. “With David Bryne’s ‘American Utopia,’ he brings Byrne’s classic songs and joyous stagecraft to the screen just when we need it. Spike’s latest joint is a call to connect with one another, to protest injustice, and, above all, to celebrate life.” 

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

(Image Credit: TIFF Twitter Handle)










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