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2008 Toronto International Film Festival

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Title: 2008 Toronto International Film Festival  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lymelife, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Treeless Mountain, Before Tomorrow, Genova (2008 film)
Collection: 2008 Film Festivals, 2008 in Canadian Cinema, 2008 in Ontario, 21St Century in Toronto, Toronto International Film Festival
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

2008 Toronto International Film Festival

2008 Toronto International Film Festival
Festival poster
Opening film Passchendaele
Location Toronto, Canada
Hosted by Toronto International Film Festival Group
Number of films 312 films
Festival date September 4, 2008 (2008-09-04)–September 13, 2008 (2008-09-13)
Language English

The 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, (TIFF) was held in Toronto, Canada. This 33rd annual festival was from September 4 to September 13, 2008. The opening night gala was the World War I romantic epic Passchendaele from Canadian director Paul Gross.[1][2]


  • About the 2008 Festival 1
  • Awards 2
  • North American premieres 3
  • Special presentations 4
  • Other films to be screened 5
  • Masters program 6
  • Vanguard and visions 7
  • Midnight Madness 8
  • Sprockets (family fare) 9
  • Wavelengths (avant-garde showcase) 10
  • Contemporary world cinema 11
  • Canada first 12
  • The Real to Reel (docu program) 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15

About the 2008 Festival

Festival is heavy on Canadian fare as well as featuring prominent indie films and worldwide and/or North American debuts including: Adoration directed by Canada's own Atom Egoyan, Appaloosa the second film from Ed Harris (who directed Pollock), Blindness from screenwriter-director, Fernando Meirelles, Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and veteran filmmaker Barbet Schroeder's Inju, la bete dans l'ombre.[3][4][5] Scheduled is The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (directed by Jodie Markell), based on a "rediscovered" Tennessee Williams screenplay. TIFF screened 312 films from 64 countries. These include 249 features, most of which were North American and/or world premieres.[6]

Neil Burger (director of The Illusionist) world premiered The Lucky Ones a character study of U.S. soldiers on an unplanned road trip, starring Tim Robbins.[6][7]

Also featured was Me and Orson Welles helmed by American "slacker" Richard Linklater, the Spike Lee-directed World War II film, Miracle at St. Anna as well as the Jonathan Demme directed film Rachel Getting Married. Other festival highlights are screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's first film, Synecdoche, New York, a slice of experimental filmmaker James Benning's Americana RR was featured in the "Wavelengths" avant-garde showcase, the four-hour-long Steven Soderbergh epic Che (playing in two parts), as well as The Wrestler lensed by Darren Aronofsky. The Brits are also well represented with Happy-Go-Lucky directed by Mike Leigh and Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle.[3][4][5]

Despite showing fewer films than last year, among the 249 features, 116 are premieres and 61 are first features.[6][8] Films from as many as 64 countries were screened, with more than 340,000 admissions expected.[8]

"Canadian Open Vault", which always highlights a restored Canadian film, focused on Quebec filmmaker François Girard's 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould made in 1993.[2]

Actors Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Benicio del Toro, Ethan Hawke, Laura Linney and film directors Julian Schnabel, Kathryn Bigelow and Steven Soderbergh are among the celebs the festival has invited on its 500-plus guest list, thus completing its lineup.[7]

The festival closed on September 13, 2008 with the North American premiere of Stone of Destiny written and directed by Charles Martin Smith, the true story of four Glasgow university students who try to restore the 300-pound Stone of Scone to its rightful Scottish home.[9]

With the film Fifty Dead Men Walking, Rose McGowan expressed support for the cause of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), with the reports of her comments being released into the media on September 11, 2008. After starring in Fifty Dead Men Walking, she was quoted as saying "I imagine had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100% have been in the IRA. My heart just broke for the cause. Violence is not to be played out daily and provide an answer to problems, but I understand it." Her comments were attacked by the original author Martin McCartlend. McCartland had general objections against the film, but approved of an out of court settlement, believed to be in the region of £20.000 (35.000 USD in summer 2008).


Award[10][11] Film Director
People's Choice Award Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle
People's Choice Award First Runner Up More Than a Game Kristopher Belman
People's Choice Award Second Runner Up The Stoning of Soraya M. Cyrus Nowrasteh
Discovery Award Hunger Steve McQueen
Best Canadian Feature Film Lost Song Rodrigue Jean
Best Canadian Feature Film - Special Jury Citation Adoration Atom Egoyan
Best Canadian First Feature Film Before Tomorrow Madeline Ivalu & Marie-Hélène Cousineau
Best Canadian First Feature Film - Special Jury Citation Borderline Lyne Charlebois
Best Canadian Short Film Block B Chris Chan Fui Chong
Best Canadian Short Film - Special Jury Citation Next Floor Denis Villeneuve
FIPRESCI Discovery Lymelife Derick Martini
FIPRESCI Special Presentations Disgrace Steve Jacobs

North American premieres

Special presentations

Other films to be screened

Masters program

Vanguard and visions

Midnight Madness[12]

Sprockets (family fare)

Wavelengths (avant-garde showcase)

Contemporary world cinema

Canada first

The Real to Reel (docu program)


  1. ^ "2008 Toronto International Film Festival Annual report". Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Brendan Kelly, Variety: "Toronto unveils Canadian selection" (July 15, 2008) Retrieved 2012-07-11
  3. ^ a b "Toronto believes in Lee's 'Miracle'" Variety, by Jennie Punter, Jul. 2, 2008
  4. ^ a b "Toronto film festival finds its Destiny" Aug 14, 2008 Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
  5. ^ a b "Toronto Adds Premieres for 'Che', 'Porno', 'Bloom', 'Synecdoche', Others" Cinematical, by William Goss, Aug 13th 2008
  6. ^ a b c "Toronto's dance card complete Sept. 4-13 festival includes 249 features" By Etan Vlessing, Hollywood Reporter, Aug 19, 2008
  7. ^ a b Variety "Toronto Film Festival unveils lineup Event boasts 500-plus guest list", by Jennie Punter, Aug. 19, 2008
  8. ^ a b "Toronto film festival promises lighter touch" Reuters, Aug 19, 2008
  9. ^ "Toronto fest adds 20 films to lineup" Variety, by Anne Thompson, Aug. 13, 2008
  10. ^ "Awards put the wrap on Toronto Film Festival". post-gazette, October 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "2008 TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL"., October 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "History of the Toronto International Film Festival's MIDNIGHT MADNESS Programme". Retrieved October 19, 2013. 

External links

  • Full List of TIFF 08 Films & Schedules
  • - coverage of TIFF '08 with news, reviews, blogs, photos and videos
  • Variety, Jul. 23, 2008, "Van Damme's JCVD to hit Toronto", (wavelengths, midnight madness, family fare)
  • "TIFF slots 'Appaloosa,' 'Other Man'", Variety, By Michael Jones, July 17, 2008
  • "Toronto Unveils Canadian selection" Variety, By Brendan Kelly July 15, 2008
  • "Secret Life of Bees' stings Toronto" Variety, Jul. 10, 2008
  • "Cannes winners trot to Toronto: Fest unveils first pics in slate" Variety, by Jennie Punter, Jun. 26, 2008
  • 2008 Toronto International Film Festival at IMDB
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