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How one of the hottest TIFF films isn’t a TIFF film

Tom Hardy poses during a photo call for his movie"Locke, directed by Steven Knight, during the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice, September 2, 2013.

Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

One of the most buzzed-about films at this year's TIFF isn't screening at the festival. At least not publicly.

This would be Locke, which producer IM Global brought to Toronto Friday morning for private screenings by U.S. and foreign distributors. Less than 24 hours later, New York-based A24 Films was announcing it had scored U.S. rights for the feature, starring Tom Hardy (Warrior, Lawless, The Dark Knight Rises) and written and directed by Steven Knight.

The film wasn't and isn't scheduled to officially play TIFF, having secured a much-applauded world premiere at the 70th Venice Film Festival (which ended Saturday). But all roads, it seems, now lead to TIFF, even if your film isn't one of the 288 features on the official roster.

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Indeed, not having public screenings or a big press-and-industry showcase has become something of technicality, at least from the deal-making side. Locke, described as a thriller, has garnered the interest it has, in part, because the unravelling of Hardy's character purportedly unfolds in real time (in this case 90 minutes) and all the action is set in the car he's driving.

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James More

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