TIFF’s opening-night gala is guaranteed to bring the house down – starting From the Sky Down. Starring the forever young U2 and directed by Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim, this documentary traces the path to stardom of one of the world’s most iconic rock bands. And frankly, who can resist rock-’n’-roll royalty Bono and The Edge? Other band members Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are not confirmed, but one can always hope. Capitalizing on this year’s extremely hot ticket, TIFF organizers have put together two back-to-back galas, at 6:30 p.m. at the Elgin Theatre and 8 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall, with the stars traipsing down the red carpet. This also marks the first year the festival will open with a documentary.
Let’s just assume that even if you do go to see From the Sky Down, you still have that insatiable thirst for more U2. In that case, you want to be at TIFF’s opening night party at the Liberty Grand. Again, rumoured to be there, aside from the usual industry types, are Bono and The Edge. Oh, and if you want even more U2, start your night out even earlier at the pre-gala cocktail bash at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Since the stars have descended in Toronto, so have the shutterbugs that hound them. Entourage star Adrian Grenier’s film Teenage Paparazzo documents the true story of a relationship between a 14-year-old paparazzo and Grenier. The film screens at 4 p.m. at the Hoxton, followed by a Q&A with Grenier at 5:40 p.m. The exclusive post-film dinner party, also hosted by Grenier, takes off at 9 p.m. at the Brant House. Call ahead to make reservations.
Who doesn’t like a free screening? Iranian film This is not a Film makes its Toronto premiere at 9:45 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films for 20 years by the Iranian government, director Jafar Panahi waits for the verdict of his court appeal for months. This is not a Film promises to be a touching insider’s take on the state of Iranian cinema.
You could also check out the cheeky pop art by Thierry Guetta, a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash, who challenges conventional gallery-wisdom with his spray-painted stencils and posters of his pop-art inspired images. His latest, Mr. Brainwash in Toronto, is a significant, multiple-piece exhibition at Gallery One runs to Oct. 22.