Toronto film festival hits the streets

Wed Sep 2, 2009 1:23am EDT
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By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled plans to take it to the streets with free outdoor events, including an opening-night concert.

Aiming to bolster its reputation as a festival for the public, the September 10-19 event will beam via satellite feed the opening-night red carpet procession from Roy Thomson Hall to a giant screen at Yonge-Dundas Square, followed by a free concert by DJ Champion. Rapper Chuck D will host and perform at the festival's wrap party on September 19.

Also on closing night, Toronto will provide a free screening of the festival's audience award winner at the Elgin Theater. The 2008 winner of Toronto's People's Choice award was Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire."

Taking the festival outside darkened cinemas, Toronto organizers have invited American poet Sapphire to do a free reading in Yonge-Dundas Square, and the National Ballet of Canada to perform a preview presentation of its latest production.

Other street events include music-themed movie screenings; concerts; short-film screenings; a roller-derby exhibition to accompany the world premiere of Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, "Whip It," a roller derby drama; swing-dancing lessons; and the Toronto zombie walk, followed by a free screening of George A. Romero's 1968 classic "Night of the Living Dead."

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)

<p>Actress Rachel McAdams arrives at "The Lucky Ones" film screening during the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival, September 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>