Helmer screens 'Slacker' at Toronto fest
Could it be another election season dominated by Michael Moore?Filmmaker appears to be greasing the wheels for a hush-hush project called “The Great ’04 Slacker Uprising,” screening portions of the work for the first time at the Toronto Film Festival next month. Little is known about the pic, for which the director shot his 60-city student tour to college campuses and other venues ahead of the 2004 presidential election, documenting what fest literature calls the “the birth of a new political generation.” While there had been rumors that some of the events were filmed, there’d no word of an actual pic. Festival calls “Uprising” a work-in-progress, and a fest blog goes further and describes it as a “scrappy road trip movie.” Word of the appearance has raised the possibility that, like “Fahrenheit 9/11,” movie could be a late entry to theaters with the aim of swaying sentiment before elections. Either way, after months of quiet, the Michael Moore industry –supporters and detractors equally dependent on the filmmaker’s outspokenness — are back in business. And it’s turning out to be big business. Fest will also be the first place the public can see footage of “Sicko,” Moore’s expose of the health-care industry which aims to pick up where Hillary Clinton left off in 1994, according to Moore’s recent comments at his own film fest. Segs are likely to be shorter than those for “Uprising.” A fest announcement said they amounted only to a “teaser,” and reps for both Toronto and the Weinstein Co., which is slated to release “Sicko” next year, declined to elaborate on whether that meant it would be more than a trailer. TWC also declined comment on “Uprising.” Moore will make an appearance at the festival in conjunction with the screenings as part of the “Mavericks” series, which will also feature John Waters and John Cameron Mitchell. Toronto fest won’t release the schedule for Moore’s appearance until next week, but insiders said it’s likely to get a prominent spot, which could turn the event into a political uprising all its own.