Toronto fest beefs up sidebar

Panels, guests, sales expanded

MONTREAL — The industry sidebar at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival has been beefed up to include more panels, guests and an expanded sales office.

Symposium ’99, which is the cornerstone event of the Rogers Industry Centre at the Toronto fest, will include panels on topics such as marketing pics, composers’ rights and digital distribution. Details of this year’s Industry Centre programming were unveiled Monday by Kelley Alexander, director of the Industry Centre.

The entire film lineup for the Toronto Film Festival will be announced at a press conference today in Toronto. The festival runs Sept. 9-18, while the Symposium takes place Sept. 13-14.

Filmmakers confab

A new feature at the confab this year is “The Mavericks: Filmmakers Sessions,” informal get-togethers with filmmakers and their producers. Participants slated to appear include writer-director Paul Schrader (whose latest pic, “Forever Mine,” will have its world preem at the festival), first-time helmer Tim Roth, producer Dixie Linder, director Charles Burnett and producer Paul Heller.

Panels on the Symposium schedule include “In Perpetuity — Distribution in the Digital World,” a look at digital distribution; “New Ways to Model a Film,” a case study of the Canuck-Kenyan co-production “To Walk With Lions”; “Net Works!,” a discussion about the Internet and other new media’s impact on the film biz; “Telling the Real Story: Docs on the Cutting Edge,” a look at the state of documentary filmmaking; and “Be Savvy Baby! How to Make the Media Work for You,” a panel on marketing moderated by MPRM president Mark Pogachefsky and including John Northcott from “CBC Evening News” and Leah Rozen from People magazine.

Workshops set up

In addition, there will be workshops including “They Shoot, We Score: Anatomy of a Composer Agreement,” on music and recording agreements for film and TV; “Stories Without Borders: New Approaches to Script Development,” with writer-director Jeremy Podeswa (“The Five Senses”); and “Get Me a Star,” a panel on casting.

It was previously announced that the keynote speaker at Symposium ’99 is Bruce Davey, president and CEO of Icon Prods., which produced the Toronto opening-night pic, helmer Atom Egoyan’s “Felicia’s Journey.”

There will be more than 450 buyers and sales agents, including 60 new companies, at the fest’s sales office, which is the hub for acquisitions activity at the event.

The Telefilm Canada Micro-Meetings will also be returning for a fifth year. They are a series of intimate meetings with key industry players, including Nik Powell, president of Scala Prods.; Mary Jane Skalski, president of the film division of production company Hungry Man; Larry Meistrich, president and CEO of New York-based The Shooting Gallery; and Peter Broderick, president of Next Wave Films.

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