2008 Toronto International Film Festival

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2008 Toronto International Film Festival
2008 Toronto International Film Festival poster.jpg
Festival poster
Opening filmPasschendaele
LocationToronto, Canada
Hosted byToronto International Film Festival Group
No. of films312 films
Festival dateSeptember 4, 2008 (2008-09-04)–September 13, 2008 (2008-09-13)

The 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, (TIFF) was held in Toronto, Ontario, 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[edit]

The 2008 festival was heavy on Canadian fare as well as featuring prominent indie films and worldwide as well as 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 bête 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 (US$35,000 in summer 2008).


Award[10] 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 (Le Jour avant le lendemain) Madeline Ivalu & Marie-Hélène Cousineau
Best Canadian First Feature Film – Special Jury Citation Borderline Lyne Charlebois
Best Canadian Short Film Block B Chris Chong Chan Fui
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[edit]

Special presentations[edit]

Other films to be screened[edit]

Masters program[edit]

Vanguard and visions[edit]

Midnight Madness[edit]


Sprockets (family fare)[edit]

Wavelengths (avant-garde showcase)[edit]

Contemporary world cinema[edit]

Canada First[edit]

Short Cuts Canada[edit]

The Real to Reel (docu program)[edit]

Canada's Top Ten[edit]

TIFF's annual Canada's Top Ten list, its national critics and festival programmers poll of the ten best feature and short films of the year, was released in December 2008.[12]

Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]


  1. ^ "2008 Toronto International Film Festival Annual report" (PDF). 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". Archived from the original on September 22, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  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. ^ "History of the Toronto International Film Festival's MIDNIGHT MADNESS Programme". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "TIFF's Top Ten". Vancouver Sun, December 17, 2008.

External links[edit]