Film Cincinnati Wraps Up Big Week at TIFF

By Jackie Reau, publisher

As the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) comes to a close this weekend, Film Cincinnati is celebrating another important week on the world cinema stage with three films shot in Cincinnati being screened at TIFF this year. 

The movies include “the public,” written and directed by Emilio Estevez; “The Old Man and The Gun,” starring Robert Redford in what he has announced will be his final acting appearance, and “Donnybrook,” the fourth film by writer-director Tim Sutton starring Jamie Bell and Frank Grillo. “Donnybrook” is making its world premiere at TIFF, while “The Old Man and The Gun” and “the public” are having their international premieres. 

After the international premiere Sunday, September 9, of “the public,” the second screening Monday of the Cincinnati-based movie played to a full house at the Winter Garden Theatre at TIFF with a standing ovation for the cast that joined the audience afterwards for a Q&A session. 

The film, which was shot primarily in the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s downtown branch, deals with the moral dilemmas the library staff, police and prosecutors face when homeless men refuse to leave the building during a bitterly cold Cincinnati night. 

Later Monday night the Robert Redford heist flick, “The Old Man and The Gun,” also shot in and around Cincinnati, was screened to a full house with stars Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek joining cast members and director David Lowery after the showing for a panel discussion on the film.

The movie is based on the real-life story of Forrest Tucker, whose tale of robberies and jail breakouts first was told in an article in “The New Yorker.” The film, being shown as a special presentation this week at TIFF, also stars Danny Glover and Casey Affleck.  While Greater Cincinnati was transformed for the movie into Texas, Oklahoma and other locations out west, Cincinnati residents will recognize one particular landmark right away—in one scene Carew Tower’s concourse plays a prominent role. 

Redford earlier announced this would be his final movie as an actor, something that Kristen Schlotman, executive director of Film Cincinnati, says makes this film special. “Old Man and The Gun is an incredibly moving motion picture experience,” she said. “Knowing it is Redford's final time on screen, and knowing he spent that time in Cincinnati, is something you won't want to miss.”

The third Cincinnati-made film at TIFF, “Donneybrook,” which screens this Friday, tells the story of two men — an ex-marine who struggles to provide for his family and a violent drug dealer with an undefeated fighting record — who are determined to compete in the Donnybrook, a legendary, bare-knuckle brawl with a cash prize of $100,000. 

 (from left) Director David Lowery, Casey Affleck, Tika Sumpter, Danny Glover, Sissy Spacek and Robert Redford discuss “The Old Man and The Gun” after its screening Monday night at the Toronto International Film Festival.

(from left) Director David Lowery, Casey Affleck, Tika Sumpter, Danny Glover, Sissy Spacek and Robert Redford discuss “The Old Man and The Gun” after its screening Monday night at the Toronto International Film Festival.

 Long lines are the norm at Toronto International Film Festival screenings, scattered throughout the downtown area. The Festival is estimated to contribute some $189 million to the area’s economy with nearly 400 films shown during the 10 days.

Long lines are the norm at Toronto International Film Festival screenings, scattered throughout the downtown area. The Festival is estimated to contribute some $189 million to the area’s economy with nearly 400 films shown during the 10 days.

Alex ReillyCULTURE