Michael Moore will hit the 2014 Toronto Intl. Film Festival for a special 25th anniversary screening of his 1989 documentary “Roger & Me,” and will participate in a keynote conversation to kick off the industry conference’s two-day doc event.
“Roger & Me” premiered in Toronto and won the People’s Choice Award in 1989. Its 25th anniversary, Moore said in a statement, is a bittersweet milestone. “On the one hand, the film has affected the millions who’ve seen it and it has strongly influenced what is a now-thriving documentary movement,” he said, adding, “the fact that ‘Roger & Me’ is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago is a travesty. Actually, it’s more than that. At least in 1989, there were still 50,000 General Motors jobs left in Flint. Today, there are but 4,000 GM jobs that remain in Flint, the birthplace of General Motors.”
TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling recalled how the film took Toronto by storm. “The irreverent, persistent and radical doc seized the attention of media, industry and audiences alike,” he said. “The premiere at once brought attention to the situation in Flint, Mich., and signaled the emergence of an original and irrepressible voice in documentary filmmaking.”
The festival also announced today the initial lineup of speakers for its industry confab, including Moore, cinema-technology pioneer Douglas Trumbull, Legendary East’s Peter Loehr, who headlines the Asian Film Summit, and confirmed speakers Stuart Ford, IM Global CEO; Silver Reel managing partner Claudia Bluemhuber; Secret Cinema founder Fabien Riggall; and Eurimages exec director Roberto Olla.
Industry Office director Justin Cutler said the confab programming, which runs Sept. 5 to 11, will connected 180 speakers with filmmakers from 80 countries. Online registration for the industry conference closes Aug. 22; a separate add-on pass is required for the Asian Summit.
The Toronto Intl. Film Festival runs Sept. 4-14.