TIFF 2008 announces opening night gala

Posted by · 11:51 pm · June 18th, 2008

The first press conference of the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival was held yesterday for the announcement of the Opening Night film, traditionally given to a Canadian film.

Canadian filmmaker Paul Gross will kick off the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival with the world premiere of his World War I epic “Passchendaele.”

Set during the height of the First World War, the film tells the story of Sgt. Michael Dunne (Gross), a soldier who is brutally wounded in France and returns home to Calgary, torn apart by what he saw in combat. While in the military hospital he meets Sarah, a mysterious and beautiful nurse with whom he falls deeply in love. When Michael’s younger brother signs up for duty in the war, Michael re-enlists to protect his younger brother. They are among thousands of Canadians sent to Ypres where a third battle is being waged against impossible odds.

Co-Director of the Film Festival Cameron Bailey said, “Paul Gross is an inspiring Canadian and a leader in our industry. By paying tribute to our nation’s heroes — including his own grandfather an Alberta veteran of Passcehndaele — Gross uses the viceral charge of movies to contribute a foundation chapter to our national history.”

There are so few Canadian pictures about our histroy and heritage that I am damned excited about this one Gross has the talents and smarts to make this a truly magnificent epic.

→ 4 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

4 responses so far

  • 1 6-19-2008 at 5:38 pm

    canadian gal said...

    Kudos to Paul Gross. Looks like a wonderful story and truly Canadian.

  • 2 6-20-2008 at 2:34 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m kind of interested in this the more I hear about it.

  • 3 6-22-2008 at 5:34 am

    John Foote said...

    There are so few Canadian films that explore our heritage and history — why not a bio on Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey, or Gretzky? What about the FLQ crisis of 1979? Or good films on Dr. Norman Bethune, Mary Pickford (born in Canada), Mack Sennett (same), our first Prime Minister John A. MacDonald, who had more than a bit of Nixon in him, and countless other great stories. But again we runto the same old, same old issue with Canadian cinema. The government controls the pool of fundss, the same directors seem to get at the money (not always a bad thing), and any Canadian films are fortunate to have a budget of five million dollrs, ask Sarah Polley, the gifted actress, writer director who created Away from Her, one of the very best films of last year. I’ve got a feature coming on Canadian cinema and Oscar.