Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival said on Tuesday that the film version of David Byrne‘s Broadway stage play, “American Utopia,” will mark the opening of the festival’s 45th year that will run from September 10 to 19.
The film version is directed by Spike Lee. The film’s crew, including Byrne and Lee, will appear virtually at the festival.
After launching in Toronto, the film will land on HBO in the fall, and simultaneously on the Crave streaming service in Canada.
The “American Utopia” stage play, featuring the Talking Heads frontman and 11 musical artists from around the world performing songs from the 2018 album American Utopia, as well as songs from Byrne’s Talking Heads and solo catalog, ran from October 2019 to February 2020 on Broadway.
Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of TIFF, said, “Spike Lee has somehow always been exactly of his moment and ahead of his time. With David Bryne’s ‘American Utopia’, he brings Byrne’s classic songs and joyous stagecraft to the screen just when we need it. Spike’s latest joint is a call to connect with one another, to protest injustice, and, above all, to celebrate life.”
“This joyful film takes audiences on a musical journey about openness, optimism, and faith in humanity,” Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head of TIFF, said in a statement.
“David’s poignant vision paired with Spike’s impeccable direction is a visual journey. TIFF Festival attendees are certain to be captivated by this unique viewing experience during these demanding times,” Nina Rosenstein, executive vp of HBO programming, added in her own statement.
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