Canadian producers are hoping that the strike-affected TIFF would increase interest in independent films

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ATLANTA — At a Toronto World Film Festival that has been affected by Hollywood’s actor and writer strikes, Canadian producers are attempting to capture all of the attention.

ATLANTA — At a Toronto Global Film Festival that has been affected by Hollywood’s actor and writer strikes, Canadian directors are looking to capture some of the attention.

Writer-director Chloé Robichaud, who is based in Montreal, claims that her francophone feature, “Days of Happiness,” has received more interest and attention than any of her other TIFF-screened films.

She believes it’s because fewer Hollywood celebrities are visiting the area to advertise their upcoming movies.

Devery Jacobs, an actor and producer, claims that her gay cheering film “Backspot” is selling out on every one of its screenings, and she speculates that the labor unrest may be a factor.

The Mohawk-born actor, a part of the US Federation for Radio and Television Artists and the Screen Actors Guild, says she backs the strikes but is glad to be in Toronto to advertise a film she co-wrote and starring in.

Despite seeing it as a benefit for smaller artists, Jacobs claims that the festival this year feels different from prior ones.

She added on the carpet before Friday’s premiere, “I hope this sparks a renaissance for film, and a demand for indie features.

The director of the orchestral drama Sophie Desmarais, who plays a young maestro at a turning point in her career, Robichaud expressed optimism on Saturday that her film will find foreign distribution.

Since fewer celebrities are in Toronto this season, in my opinion, viewers are paying greater attention to Canadian movies.

It’s challenging to stand out at TIFF because there are many films to choose from. But you need to believe the movie, and that’s what I’m attempting right now. You must have faith in the process if the movie is good because the audience will be there and positive word-of-mouth will spread.

Because many celebrities are restricted from promoting bigger productions as a result of the SAG-AFTRA members’ protest, Jacobs credits “Backspot,” which will be rescreened on Monday and September 15, with some of its popularity.

Jacobs avoided queries about her other endeavors while expressing sympathy for the strike as an actor herself.

Hollywood’s writers’ and actors’ unions are requesting more pay and job security under collective bargaining agreements agreed upon by the Coalition of Pictures and Tv Production.

Due to the two strikes, American productions that use thousands of Canadians both on-screen and behind the camera are no longer taking place in Canada.

While the employment losses in Ontario and British Columbia have received a lot of attention, Robichaud said that Quebec has also been severely impacted by the strikes.

In Montreal, there is frequently a significant amount of American filming and filming. Many of my acquaintances who work as technologists lack a lot of employment as they formerly had, she remarked.

The local community is also highly (significantly) supportive of what is happening in the United States. We keep a careful eye on that. I believe some reforms ought to be made in Quebec’s unions as well, therefore I believe this is motivating people to speak out louder and discuss the issues more.

As the festival began its third day on Saturday, attendees were still coming despite the paucity of celebrities on the red carpets.

Gia and Lia Ui, two sisters, paid $177 for premium seats to attend Anna Kendrick’s “Woman of the Year.”

Neither of them was astonished. Despite not going, Kendrick claimed that the opportunity to be of the first to see the movie was worth the cost on its own.

This article from The Canadian Press originally appeared on September 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press’s Cassandra Szklarski & Brittany Hobson

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