Thursday, August 18, 2016

Indiewire Critics Panel Pick Their Most Anticipated Films for Fall / The Mystery of Lion and TWC / Hidden Figures Heads to Toronto / The People's Telluride

Hello and welcome to your Thursday.  I will be arriving in Telluride, if all goes according to plan, two weeks from today.  Additionally, if all goes according to past patterns, we'll have the official release of the Telluride Film Festival #43 schedule two weeks from today.  So close and still so far.


Earlier this week the folks at Indiewire asked a panel of film critics to name some of the films they are most looking forward to as we head into the fall season.  A n umber of films that are probably headed to Telluride made a mark in their answers.  Mentioned were:

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea
Damien Chazelle's La La Land and
Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann

Among the critics queried were Indiewire's own David Ehrlich (who actually wrote the piece) and Tomris Laffly of Film Journal Int'l. both of whom will be contributing to this year's Professionals' Telluride rating of films for TFF #43 reported right here.

Check Ehrlich's complete post here:


Loyal MTFB reader Jason Osiason messaged me yesterday asking if I knew what was up with Garth Davis' Lion in Toronto.  Me: Nope.

Osiason pointed out that, "quietly" Lion has gone from a Gala to Special Presentation status and wondered if that signaled that it could be back in play as a possible addition to the Telluride lineup.

I did some due diligence and sure enough, Jason has it right.  The film was originally announced at TIFF to be a Gala but is now listed at the TIFF website as a "Special Presentation".  But it's also still listed by TIFF as a World Premiere.

My original answer to Jason was that it could have been done to move things around concerning the availability of talent.

A couple of other possibilities struck me since that original answer.  The switch may also signal something of the internal distress and possible financial status of The Weinstein Company.  A number of sources of late have mentioned that TWC is under some strain.  I don't pretend to know the veracity of those claims and I'm sure no expert in the workings of the Toronto fest but I believe that Galas and Special Presentations require that the distributor take on certain costs and that the Gala is a pricier situation.  It could be that the switch is simply a matter of dollars and cents.

Or it could be a mistake.

Or it could signal a TFF #43 play...though I think that's an unlikely scenario, I still find it difficult to believe that TWC won't have some sort of presence this year.


I've been following the increased profile of late of Theodore Melfi's Hidden Figures.  The film is about the story of African-American women who worked at NASA in its early days and their little known contributions to the American space effort.

The film has shown up lately in the press with a trailer and images and that rarely happens without a reason.  And now we know what that reason is.

The Toronto organizers announced yesterday that the film will be screened in an unfinished state during TIFF.  It's being billed as an "exclusive sneak peak" which seals its fate in as far as Telluride is concerned.  Not going to happen at TFF #43.  So be it.

The story is here from both The Hollywood Reporter and Awards Circuit:


Remember to report your ratings for the films you see at TFF #43 and be a part of MTFB's People's Telluride.  Rate films on a 1 to 5 scale (1=BAD, 5=GREAT) once the fest has concluded.  Send ratings via email to: OR

OR send via Twitter to @Gort2

You can also comment to the blog itself or to MTFB's facebook page.

Also, remember to click on the new FOLLOW button in the upper right hand corner of the Blog's page.  That'll make it easier to get the latest Telluride Film Festival news and speculation quickly.

Tomorrow:  A new "Ten (Plus) Bets", films that are still in play and a look at the rumor mill...come on back!

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