Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Javier Bardem In Talks to Star in Disney’s Live-Action “The Little Mermaid” Remake

Javier Bardem could be heading under the sea

The 50-year-old Spanish Academy Award-winning actor is in talks to star in Disney‘s live-action remake of its animated classic, The Little Mermaid. 

Javier Bardem

He’s circling the role of King Triton, father of Ariel, who is being portrayed by Halle Bailey.

Rob Marshal lis directing the live-action/CGI feature from a script by David Magee.

One Direction’s Harry Styles is reportedly being considered for the role of Prince Eric. Previously announced cast members include Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.

Marc Platt, Marshall, Lin-Manuel Miranda and John DeLuca are producing the film for Disney. 

The original film’s composer Alan Menkenis back to write new music and will craft the lyrics with Miranda.

Bardem, who picked up a Best Actor Oscar for his role in the 2007 Coen Brothers film No Country for Old Me, will co-star in Dune, the Denis Villeneuve-directed film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s bestselling novel, which is set up at Legendary.

Oscar Isaac in Talks to Star in Denis Villeneuve’s Adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi Epic “Dune”

It could soon be a Dune dealfor Oscar Isaac… 

The 39-year-old Guatemalan-Cubanis in talks to join the cast of DuneDenis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic. 

Oscar Isaac

Isaac would play the father of Timothée Chalamet, who will star as Paul Atreides. 

Rebecca FergusonDave BautistaStellan Skarsgårdand Charlotte Ramplingare also aboard. 

Villeneuve, Eric Rothand Jon Spaihtspenned the script. 

Legendary acquired film and television rights to the Herbert novels in 2016, with the intention of making multiple films. 

Villeneuve chose that film over numerous offers as his follow-up to Blade Runner 2049.

Isaac has appeared in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as X-wing pilot Poe Dameron, and in X-Men: Apocalypse as the titular mutantsupervillain Apocalypse. 

de Armas to Star in “Blade Runner” Sequel

Ana de Armas is extending her Hollywood Run(ner)

The 27-year-old Cuban-Spanish actress has joined the cast of Alcon Entertainment’s upcoming Blade Runner sequel.

Ana de Armas

de Armas’ role has yet been revealed.

The untitled Denis Villeneuve-directed sequel to the 1982 film sees Harrison Ford returning, joined by Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright and Dave Bautista.

It hits theaters October 6, 2017.

de Armas will soon star opposite Edgar Ramirez in Hands of Stone.

del Toro to Receive Heart of Sarajevo Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival

Benicio del Toro has a little extra heart…

The 48-year-old Puerto Rican actor, an Academy Award and Golden Globe winner, will receive the Heart of Sarajevo Award for his contribution to the art of cinema at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival.

Benicio del Toro

Previous recipients for the award, which was designed by French designer, filmmaker and festival patron Agnes B, include Angelina Jolie, Gael Garcia Bernal and Steve Buscemi.

del Toro will present Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s drama A Perfect Day, in which he has a starring role alongside Tim Robbins and Olga Kurylenko, at the festival’s open-air screening venue, where del Toro will receive the award in front of a 3,000-strong crowd. The film premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.

The actor will also hold a master class for the participants of Talents Sarajevo, a networking and training platform for emerging film professionals from South-East Europe and the Southern Caucasus.

del Toro won an Academy Award for supporting actor for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, and an Oscar nomination for his work in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s 21 Grams.

Reteaming with Soderbergh to star in Che, the biography of Che Guevera, del Toro’s performance won him the best actor award at Cannes in 2008.

Del Toro can be seen next starring in Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, alongside Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin, which is scheduled for a September 18 release by Lionsgate in the U.S.

Hernandez to Star Opposite Benicio del Toro in Border Drama “Sicario”

Maximiliano Hernandez is making a run for the border.

The 41-year-old Latino actor has been cast in director Denis Villeneuve’s border film Sicario.

Maximiliano Hernandez

Starring Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin, the drama centers on a female FBI agent assigned to work with two Delta Force operators to take down a Mexican cartel boss.

Hernandez, who has starred as Jasper Sitwell in the blockbuster films Thor, Avengers, and Captain America: Winter Soldier on television in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will play Silvio, a hard-drinking drug smuggling cop in Mexico.

He currently stars on the new TNT drama series The Last Ship and recently appeared in Amazon’s pilot Hand of God, directed by Marc Forster.

del Toro In Final Talks to Star Opposite Emily Blunt in the Crime Thriller “Sicario”

Benicio del Toro may soon star in a Sic role…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican actor, who earned an Academy Award for his performance in Traffic, is in final talks to star in the crime thriller Sicario.

Benicio del Toro

del Toro would star opposite Emily Blunt in the film which centers on the hunt for a dangerous drug kingpin.

Blunt will portray a female cop from Tucson, Arizona, who travels across the border to Mexico with mercenaries to catch a notorious drug lord.

Sicario will be helmed by Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve, based on a screenplay from Sons of Anarchy actor Taylor Sheridan.

del Toro will next star as Taneleer Tivan or The Collector in James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, which will hit U.S. theaters on August 1.

He’s also among the cast of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s all-star crime comedy drama Inherent Vice along with Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon and Maya Rudolph, among others.