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Bruce Springsteen-Codirected ‘Western Stars’ Film Will Premiere in Toronto

Bruce Springsteen FYSEE Opening Night with
David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

“Western Stars,” the film that Bruce Springsteen has made to accompany his recent album of the same name, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was announced Tuesday.

The feature is being listed as a co-directing project between Springsteen and his longtime filmic collaborator, Thom Zimny, who just picked up an Emmy nomination for his solo direction of Netflix’s “Springsteen on Broadway.” Springsteen taking a co-credit at the helm of the film was not known until now.

No program notes were included with Toronto’s initial slate of gala premiere titles, which also includes the documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” as the festival’s opening night film, as previously reported.

But Springsteen did already reveal that the movie is a performance film, not a narrative or music-video-style diversion, and that there will be bonus selections in addition to a run-through of the album.

“We made a film of us playing the ‘Western Stars’ album start to finish, plus some other things,” he said earlier in July, first alerting fans to its existence via a phone call to the E Street Radio channel on Sirius XM. “I knew we weren’t going to tour, so I figured this was the best way to do it. … [The film] is looking good — that will be exciting. It will be out in the calendar year.”

The singer has said he does plan to tour, but that will wait until he’s recorded a completely different set of material with the E Street Band, as opposed to the “solo” album “Western Stars,” which mostly uses other musicians as well as full orchestration.

No specific date has been announced for the “Western Stars” film unveiling, but the Toronto festival runs September 5–15.