Janis Joplin, Arcade Fire, Aretha Docs Lead Toronto Film Fest

11 Aug Janis Joplin, Arcade Fire, Aretha Docs Lead Toronto Film Fest

September event also features Sharon Jones doc, Laurie Anderson’s personal essay film and new features from Gaspar Noé and Wim Wenders

August 11, 2015


High-profile music documentaries on Janis Joplin, Arcade Fire, Aretha Franklin and Sharon Jones will be included as part of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which commences September 10th.

Janis: Little Girl Blue, directed by Academy Award-nominated Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil), will make its North American premiere at the fest. The film chronicles Joplin’s “short, turbulent, epic existence,” with Chan Marshall (Cat Power) reading the rock legend’s personal letters.

The Arcade Fire documentary, The Reflektor Tapes, will make its world premiere at the fest. Director Kahlil Joseph followed the Canadian art-rock outfit as they created their acclaimed 2013 LP, Reflektor, blending performance footage with band member interviews and “exclusive unseen footage, filmed only for cinema audiences.”

The Aretha Franklin concert-documentary Amazing Grace features the renowned singer recording the titular live LP during January 1972 church services in Los Angeles. Late Oscar winner Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa, Tootsie) directed the project, which remained in studio vaults for decades and is now making its international premiere at the fest.

Miss Sharon Jones!, from Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA) follows the R&B singer as she battles cancer and pushes forward with her backing band, the Dap-Kings. The film will make its world premiere.

Other music-related premieres include Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog, a personal essay film that “explores themes of love, death and language,” and The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a profile of the revered cellist and his international music collective.

The TIFF’s Masters program includes several notable selections, including the North American premiere of German director Wim Wenders’ new drama, Every Thing Will Be Fine, starring James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Rachel McAdams.

On the more risqué side, French filmmaker Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void, Irreversible) will see the North American premiere of his graphically sexual 3D title Love.