Over its 36-year history, the Toronto International Film Festival has emerged as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, in league with Cannes, Sundance and Berlin. This year’s Festival, running from September 6th to the 16th, will screen more than 300 films from 60+ countries. Not surprisingly, many of them feature music written by ASCAP members and ASCAP-licensed composers from around the world. Here is but a small selection of the ASCAP members and global affiliates whose new films will be presented at Toronto. If you’re heading to the Festival this year, consider this your “don’t miss” guide!
Angelo Badalamenti - A Late Quartet
ASCAP Henry Mancini Award-winning composer Angelo Badalamenti scored Yaron Zilberman's engrossing drama about an illustrious string quartet, whose quarter-century anniversary precipitates a tempestuous (and potentially explosive) release of repressed feelings, long-held resentments and painful betrayals. Starring the powerhouse cast of Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir.
Michael Brook - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
In this witty and affecting coming-of-age story (adapted by writer-director Stephen Chbosky from his own novel), a shy teenager (Logan Lerman) with a dark family secret is coaxed out of his shell by a sympathetic teacher (Paul Rudd) and two wild, carefree new friends (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller). Grammy-nominated composer/producer/guitarist wrote the score.
Eduardo Cruz - Twice Born
Actor-director Sergio Castellitto (Don't Move) directs Penélope Cruz and Emile Hirsch in this vivid, full-throttle melodrama about an ill-starred romance set against the backdrop of the siege of Sarajevo. Composer Eduardo Cruz (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) provided the score.
Lucio Godoy (SGAE) / Federico Jusid (SGAE) - Everybody Has a Plan
In this dazzling thriller from first-time feature filmmaker Ana Piterbarg, Viggo Mortensen (in his third Spanish-language film) is twice the badass as twin brothers whose deadly pact plunges them into the sordid depths of the Argentinean underworld. The score was co-composed by Award-winning Argentinean composers Lucio Godoy and Federico Jusid.
John Greswell (PRS) / Christopher Murphy Taylor (PRS) - A Liar’s Autobiography
John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam pay tribute to their late Monty Python colleague Graham Chapman in this hilarious, 3-D animated adaptation of Chapman's brazenly fictionalized life story. British composers John Greswell (director of the firm MPM London) and Christopher Murphy wrote the score.
Reinhold Heil / Johnny Klimek / Tom Tykwer - Cloud Atlas
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving head a stellar international cast in this visionary, time-tripping science-fiction epic from directors Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix). Tykwer co-composed the score with Reinhold Heil and Johnny Kilmek. The trio has collaborated on seven films, including Run Lola Run and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.
Andrew Hewitt (PRS) - The Brass Teapot
An impoverished young couple (Juno Temple and Michael Angarano) stumble upon an antique teapot that magically dispenses cash whenever either of them feels pain, inspiring them to ever-greater extremes, as they ascend the ranks of the nouveau riche. Director Ramaa Mosley eschews violence for a more whimsical, Tim Burton–esque treatment in this offbeat, darkly funny satire. British composer Andrew Hewitt, whose credits include a wide variety of feature films, TV series, commercials and shorts, provided the score.
Dickon Hinchliffe - At Any Price
Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham star in this drama from acclaimed director Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo), about a rebellious son whose dreams of becoming a professional race-car driver are derailed when his father's farming empire becomes the target of a high-stakes investigation. Composer, arranger and songwriter Dickon Hinchliffe, a founding member of the Tindersticks, wrote the score.
Ilan Isakov - Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
This essential new documentary offers an intimate portrait of Ai Weiwei, China's most famous international artist and most outspoken domestic critic, as he pursues his art and activism against a backdrop of strict censorship and state oppression. The film won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance this January. Philadelphia composer Ilan Isakov, who has written music for theatre, video and contemporary dance, wrote his first feature-length score for the film.
Nathan Johnson - Looper
A mob hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is assigned to kill his own future self (Bruce Willis) in this mind-bending futuristic thriller, scored by The Cinematic Underground member Nathan Johnson.
Dario Marianelli (PRS) - Anna Karenina
Keira Knightley re-teams with director Joe Wright (Atonement) for this visionary adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel about a society woman torn between loyalty to her husband and the desires of her heart. Italian composer Dario Marianelli, who won an Oscar for his music to Atonement, wrote the sweeping score. This marks his fourth collaboration with Wright.
Dario Marianelli (PRS) - Quartet
Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with this tale of four aging opera singers (Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins). Here’s another one scored by Oscar winner Dario Marianelli.
Cyril Morin - Zaytoun
An Israeli fighter pilot (Stephen Dorff) is shot down over Lebanon and must make his way across the war-torn country with the aid of an angry young Palestinian boy, in this gritty, moving drama from director Eran Riklis (The Syrian Bride). Internationally beloved composer Cyril Morin provided the score for the film, his fourth collaboration with Riklis.
John Piscitello - No Place on Earth
This extraordinary testament to survival from Emmy-winning producer/director Janet Tobias brings to light a story that remained untold for decades: that of thirty-eight Ukrainian Jews who survived World War II by living in caves for eighteen months. Composer John Piscitello, a recent graduate of USC's prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program, recorded nearly 70 minutes of orchestral music in a single day for the score.
Jeremy Sams (PRS) - Hyde Park on Hudson
Bill Murray and Laura Linney star in the true story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's relationship with his distant cousin and soon-to-be mistress Margaret Suckley, over a weekend at the president's country estate with the visiting King and Queen of England in 1939. BAFTA-winning British composer Jeremy Sams (Persuasion, Enduring Love) wrote the score.
Nitin Sawhney (PRS) - Midnight’s Children
Spanning decades and generations, celebrated Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta's highly anticipated adaptation of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize–winning novel is an engrossing allegorical fantasy in which children born on the cusp of India's independence from Britain are endowed with strange, magical abilities. British Indian composer/producer/musician wrote the score.
Keiichi Suzuki (JASRAC) - Outrage Beyond
Hard-boiled Japanese auteur Takeshi Kitano returns with the sequel to his 2010 yakuza thriller, Outrage. Keiichi Suzuki, a Japanese composer known for his music for the Super Nintendo game EarthBound and his association with the rock band Moonriders, wrote the film’s gritty score.
Amit Trivedi (PRS) - English Vinglish
Legendary Indian actress Sridevi returns to the screen after a fifteen-year absence in this funny and touching story about an Indian woman who struggles to learn the English language in order to overcome her insecurities. Award-winning Indian composer Ami Trivedi (Dev.D) wrote the score.
Nate Walcott - Writers
Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Kristen Bell and Logan Lerman star in this touching comedy-drama about a successful novelist whose obsession with his ex-wife has sent his perplexed family into a tailspin. The score was written by Nate Walcott, a composer/arranger/musician who is also a permanent member of Bright Eyes.
Gabriel Yared (SACEM) - A Royal Affair
Oscar winner Gabriel Yared (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain) scored this sumptuous historical drama from writer-director Nikolaj Arcel, which chronicles the scandalous love triangle between a queen (Alicia Vikander), her German doctor (Mads Mikkelsen) and the mad King of Denmark (Mikkel Følsgaard).
Benh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild
The staggeringly ambitious and stylistically bold first feature by Benh Zeitlin took Sundance by storm with its magical realist tale of a young girl who embarks on an increasingly bizarre odyssey through a flooded, post-apocalyptic American South. Beasts won the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at Sundance this year, and took home the Caméra d'Or award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Read our interview with Zeitlin about the film’s unconventional score.
Find out more about the Toronto International Film Fesitval www.tiff.net.