The 2010 Toronto International Film Festival begins exactly eight weeks from tomorrow. I've attended 47 film festivals since the start of 2006, but none as prestigious or breathtaking in scope as this one. I saw over 105 films there from 2006-2009, and many of my Top Picks from all festivals over the past few years came from the Toronto lineup.

This year's event runs from September 9-19 and, in my book, it's the top film festival in the Western Hemisphere, second in the world only to Cannes. TIFF is ranked #3 among the Top 50 Film Festivals in the world by the editors of indieWIRE. Many films have their World or North American premieres there. Almost every major Academy Award-winning film of the past few years debuted in Toronto. The number of movies is expected to total over 275.
The complete film list will be revealed in mid-August on the official site at In the meantime, the festival will be rolling out some titles in advance of the complete schedule. It all starts with the announcement of the official Opening Night Film.

The 35th TIFF will kick off with the World Premiere of Michael McGowan's Score: A Hockey Musical, starring the iconic Olivia Newton-John (Grease, Glee), singer/songwriter Marc Jordan, newcomers Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald, and a bevy of Canadian musical, hockey, and sports broadcast personalities. Described by some as "Glee on ice," the film focuses on a 17-year-old's dream to play professional hockey. It's a classic coming-of-age meets A Star is Born story of inspiration.

"Score: A Hockey Musical captures key elements of Canadian identity -- our passion for our national pastime, our unique musical style and our special brand of humour," said TIFF Director and CEO Piers Handling. "We?re pleased to welcome back Michael McGowan to the Festival to help us kick off 11 days of exciting programming."

"I can't think of a better way to kick off our 35th anniversary Festival than with Score: A Hockey Musical," said Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. "It continues our tradition of launching the very best in Canadian filmmaking -- although in 35 years this is our first musical romance about hockey. Plan for a fun night on September 9."

Ticket packages are now available for purchase by cash, debit, or Visa online at, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM (Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 7 PM), or in person at the TIFF Box Office at 2 Carlton Street, West Mezzanine (Monday to Friday: 10 AM to 7 PM.


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

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