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.

Quibi to Stream All-Star Remake of “The Princess Bride” Featuring Jenna Ortega

It’s a royal moment for Jenna Ortega

Starting Monday, Quibi will stream an all-star remake of The Princess Bride filmed by actors at home while in quarantine, including the 17-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress.

Jenna Ortega

In addition to Ortega, the re-creation will feature an A-list cast that includes couples Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner,Common and Tiffany HaddishNeil Patrick Harris and David Burtka and Chris Pine and Annabelle Wallis, along with Hugh JackmanJennifer GarnerElijah Wood, Jon HammBeanie FeldsteinLucas HedgesJack BlackDavid OyelowoKeegan-Michael KeyPatton OswaltJosh GadAndy SerkisDiego LunaTaika Waititi and Zazie Beetz and more.

Directed by Jason Reitman, the project will see Common playing the heroic Westley (originated by Cary Elwes), Haddish as Princess Buttercup (first played by Robin Wright), and Jackman as the villainous Humperdinck, to name a few.

The Princess Bride’s director, Rob Reiner, will also appear in the remake, along with Fred Savage, who reprises his role as the grandson in the film.

Beginning June 29, Quibi will release chapters of the made-at-home movie daily for two weeks.

The remake also is aiding a good cause. As part of the project, Quibi has donated $1 million to chef José Andrés’ charity World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to those who have been most affected by the coronaviruspandemic.

The remake of The Princess Bridewas first reported by Vanity Fair.

FX Renews Harvey Guillén’s “What We Do In The Shadows” for a Third Season

Harvey Guillén will be seeing his shadow(s) for longer…

FX has ordered a third season of What We Do In The Shadows, starringthe 30-year-old Latino actor, producer and writer.

Harvey Guillen

The cable network ordered a third run of the show ahead of the  June 10 finale of its second season. FX said that the second season, which is averaging 3.2M total viewers across linear and digital platforms, including FX on Hulu, through its first six episodes, was up 25% on season one.

In addition to Guillen, the mockumentary series, which is based on Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s 2014 feature film, stars Matt BerryKayvan NovakNatasia Demetriou and Mark Proksch.

It follows the lives of four vampires who’ve “lived” together for hundreds of years in the New York borough of Staten Island.

This group includes Nandor The Relentless (Novak), a great warrior and conqueror from the Ottoman Empire, British vampire Laszlo (Berry), a bit of a rogue and a dandy and a fop and Nadja (Demetriou), his lover, a wise seductress. Then there’s Guillermo (Guillén), Nandor’s familiar, who wants nothing more than to be made a real vampire just like his master, Colin Robinson (Proksch), an energy vampire and day-walker of sorts – he feasts on humans, but not on their blood.

The second season also featured a guest spot from Star Wars Mark Hamill as a vampire searching for Laszlo, who owed him money.

“We’re incredibly happy that critics and audiences are all in on Shadows,”Nick Grad, President, Original Programming, FX Entertainment said. “Week in and week out, the producers, writers and our amazing cast continue to make one of the funniest and best comedy series on TV.”

Guillen previously appeared on television in Huge, Eye CandyThe Magicians and The Good Place.

Pedro Pascal to Star in Disney+’s Live-Action Star Wars Series “The Mandalorian”

May the Force be with Pedro Pascal

The 43-year-old Chilean actor is joining the Jedi universe, portraying the title character in The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars series that will be a flagship program for Disney+, the ambitious streaming service launching in 2019.

Pedro Pascal

Pascal is in final negotiations to star in the series, which chronicles the lone-wolf odyssey of a character who hails from the planet Mandalore, which Star Wars fans know as the homeworld of the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett and Jango Fett.

Pascal memorably portrayed the passionate warrior Oberyn Martell, aka the Red Viper, on the fourth season of the HBO series Game of ThronesHe also played DEA agent Javier Peña on three seasons of Narcos, when the Netflix series centered on the cocaine cartels of Colombia. Pascal also played Agent Whiskey in the Foxfeature film Kingsmen: The Golden Circle in 2017.

The Mandalorian is written and executive produced by Jon Favreau, the director of Jungle BookIron Man as well as the upcoming reinterpretation of The Lion King. Favreau’s official description of the show: “After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.”

The events depicted in the series are set after the events of Return of the Jedi, which concluded with the fiery funeral of Darth Vader on the forest moon of Endor.

The first episode of the series will be directed by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars). Also on board to direct early episodes are Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones) and actress Bryce Dallas Howard, whose previous directorial work has been limited to short films.