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.

Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” Named Top Film by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists

Guillermo del Toro’s latest project is resonating with the ladies…

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has selected the 53-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s The Shape of Water as its top film, with del Toro earning top director honors, and Sally Hawkins winning its bravest performance award.

Guillermo del Toro

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird was also honored with three awards that included best supporting actress for Laurie Metcalf and two awards for Gerwig for best woman director and best woman screenwriter.

The alliance awards are called the EDAs in honor of AWFJ founder Jennifer Merin’s mother, actress Eda Reiss Merin. The Florida Project won two EDA Awards for best supporting actor for Willem Dafoe and best breakthrough performance for Brooklynn Prince.

In the EDA special mention categories, documentary filmmaker Agnes Varda was voted to receive the Actress Defying Age and Ageism Award, while receiving the best documentary award for her film Faces, Places.

Kate Winslet won the organization’s Actress Most in Need of a New Agent for Wonder Wheel and The Mountain Between Us.

The alliance also honored Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd and all women who spoke out against sexual harassment with the EDA Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry. The Annual AWFJ Hall of Shame Award was bestowed upon the high-profile group of those accused of sexual abuse including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Brett Ratner.

“This past year was an important year for women to feel empowered to speak out and be heard,” said Merin. “The need for gender parity and gender diversity in the movie industry is patently clear, and the time to stop sexual harassment in all industries is now. These goals are fundamental to AWFJ’s mission and its core values.

“I am thrilled that for this year’s awards, our AWFJ members voted to honor such a diverse array of talent and to recognize those who are leading with their voices to put an end to long time misconduct, making the 2017 EDA Awards particularly relevant when art and film must be the vanguard of social progress.”

Rodriguez to Appear on NBC’s “Running Wild With Bear Grylls”

Michelle Rodriguez is running wild

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican-American actress and Fast and Furious star will appear on Season 2 of NBC’s Running Wild With Bear Grylls.

Michelle Rodriguez

Rodriguez, a self-confessed tomboy, will join famed survivalist Bear Grylls for two days for a one-on-one adventure to be filmed for the popular summer adventure series. No word yet on Rodriguez’s exploration.

Along with Rodriguez, other actors and athletes appearing in Season 2 include Kate Winslet, Kate Hudson, Drew Brees, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed Helms, James Marsden and Michael B. Jordan will also join Grylls for an episode, according to the network.

Each of the actors and athletes will partner with Grylls for two days for a one-on-one adventure, tackling everything from skydiving to repelling as they journey through some of the world’s most unforgiving wildernesses.

This season will take viewers from the jungles of Panama to the far reaches of the Italian Alps and then to the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the Red Rocks of Utah.

Open Road Films to Release Collins Jr.’s “Triple Nine” in September 2015

All heist will be on Clifton Collins Jr. next September…

Open Road Films has announced plans to release Triple Nine, starring the 44-year-old Mexican and Spanish American actor, on September 11, 2015.

Clifton Collins Jr.

In addition to Collins Jr., the John Hillcoat-directed heist thriller also stars Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot and Norman Reedus.

Triple Nine centers on a crew of dirty cops who are blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down.” Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.

Collins, Jr. to Star in John Hillcoat’s Cop Drama “Triple Nine”

Clifton Collins, Jr. is on Cloud Nine, Nine, Nine

The 43-year-old Mexican and Spanish American actor has joined the cast of John Hillcoat’s cop drama Triple Nine.

Clifton Collins Jr.

Collins, Jr., last seen on the big screen in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, joins Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Winslet in the Matt Cook-scripted drama about a crew of dirty cops who are blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down”. Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack. That triggers double-crosses, greed and revenge.

Triple Nine will begin shooting next month.

Salazar to Star Opposite Shailene Woodley and Theo James in the “Divergent” Sequel “Insurgent”

It looks like Rosa Salazar has ties to insurgent groups…

The Canadian-born Latina actress, best known for her role on NBC’s drama series Parenthood, has joined the science fictionaction film Insurgent, based on the novel of the same name by Veronica Roth.

Rosa Salazar

Salazar will portray Lynn in the sequel to the Divergent and the second installment in the Divergent film series.

Summit’s follow-up to the blockbuster hitsees the return of Shailene Woodley and Theo James as citizens in a world where people are divided into factions based on certain values.

Robert Schwentke is directing the sequel — currently shooting in Atlanta — from a script by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman.

The sequel, set for release March 20, 2015, sees most of the cast returning, including Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney and Zoe Kravitz. Among new additions are Octavia Spencer, who will play Johanna, Suki Waterhouse, Naomi Watts, Daniel Dae Kim and Jonny Weston.

The story follows Tris (Woodley) and Four (James), now fugitives on the run, who must find out what Tris’ family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them.

Lynn is one of the Dauntless-born initiates, and, in Veronica Roth‘s books, she’s described as beautiful and sporting a shaved head. She’s good friends with Uriah and Marlene (Waterhouse) in the books.

The first film based on Roth’s popular YA series, Divergent, opened in March, going on to earn $267 million worldwide.

In addition to Parenthood, Salazar also appeared on the first season of American Horror Story.

Her film credits include voicing a character in Epic and appearing in the 2014 film Jamesy Boy. She’ll next be seen in the upcoming films Search Party, Night Owls, Submerged and May the Best Man Win.

Michael to Display His Work in a Special Exhibit at the Polaroid Museum

Instagram may be all the rage… But Lucas Michael is making sure a pop culture classic isn’t forgotten…

The Argentine photographer is helping Florida-based retailer Polaroid Fotobar celebrate the opening of its flagship store inside Las Vegas’ The LINQ  this spring with four new exhibits at the Polaroid Museum, focused on Hollywood’s most celebrated stars.

Lucas Michael's Polaroids

The exhibits will feature shots by Michael, as well as fellow photographers Maurizio GalimbertiMarc Serota and Maripol.

Michael’s photos from last year’s Golden Globes will be on display, featuring candid shots of Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, Bryan Cranston, Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis and the cast of Girls.

Galimberti, who has worked with Polaroid cameras since 1983, will showcase his portraits of Kate Winslet, Benicio Del Toro and Javier Bardem.

Serota utilized a multi-step image-transfer process to create his large collection of Polaroid portrait prints (“pictorial biographies”), which include shots of Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Kenny Rogers and Gloria Estefan.

Maripol’s 75-shot exhibit will include images of a young Madonna dancing the night away, Debbie Harry in a red sailor suit, and Andy Warhol walking the streets of New York.

The works of the four artists will also join other exhibits, including Warhol’s “Capturing Celebrity,” Tim Mantoani’s “Behind Photographs,” and the world-famous 20×24 Polaroid camera at the Polaroid Museum. The museum will also feature a history on Polaroid founder Edwin Land, as well as an extensive collection of rare artifacts, art and advertising from the Polaroid Historical Collection at MIT.

The exhibits will debut at the Polaroid Museum on April 17, with Polaroid Fotobar’s flagship store opening March 31.

Peña to Star in the Heist Thriller “Triple Nine”

Michael Peña is heading back to the force…

The 36-year-old Mexican American actor, who earned a Spirit Award nomination for his performance in the police drama End of Watch, will star in the heist thriller Triple Nine.

Michael Peña

Directed by John Hillcoat, the drama centers on a crew of dirty cops that is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down.” Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie officer they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.

In addition to Peña, the film’s all-star cast includes Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Warm BodiesTeresa Palmer and Gal Gadot, 12 Years A Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck and Kate Winslet.

Open Road Films, which just completed a deal to pre-buy domestic distribution rights on Triple Nine, plans to release the film in 2015.

Cannavale Starring in “Movie 43”

He may be reportedly dating actress Rose Byrne, but Bobby Cannavale still has plans for a little speed dating later this month…

The 42-year-old half Cuban actor, nominated for two SAG Awards this year for his recurring roles on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, will appear in Movie 43,  a series of interconnected short films that follow three kids as they search the depths of the Internet to find the most banned movie in the world.

Bobby Cannavale

Cannavale appears as Fake Superman in the segment called “Super Hero Speed Dating,” opposite of Uma Thurman as Fake Lois Lane.

The cast of Movie 43 includes Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Josh Duhamel, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet.

The film’s segment directors include Steven Brill, Peter Farrelly, Griffin Dunne and Brett Ratner.

Movie 43 opens January 25.