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George Christy Talks About David Foster, Tom Hanks, Mr. Rogers, The Toronto International Film Festival and more!

Music maker David Foster's extraordinary career has led him to work with many popular artists, including Celine Dion. His documentary, David Foster: Off the Record, is premiered next month at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
David Foster has won 16 Grammys.
Tom Hanks with his director Marielle Heller on the set of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom as the inimitable Mister Rogers. The TriStar Pictures’ film previews at the Toronto International Film Festival that opens next month.

Posted Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 4:37 pm

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Autumn in Canada.

September’s cloudless blue skies.

The taste of ripe farmstand peaches everywhere.

We are recalling our annual visits to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). A not-to-be-missed event for movie fans who arrive to meet the new and exciting talents that descend upon this sophisticated city.

For 30 years we’ve hosted the opening weekend with a kickoff luncheon at The Four Seasons Hotel. Ninety guests that included Prime Ministers, studio executives, celebrities of local and international stature, captains of industry, authors and restauranteurs. Dining on our famous recipe for chicken pot pie.

Opening on Sept. 5, the Festival brings in its customary major revenues to the city for 10 days.

Arriving from all continents, to preview the anticipated best of the filmmakers’ art for the forthcoming season.

Now that the 2019 schedule of films is confirmed, the gossipists begin chattering about which of the 104 movies will break out and make it big.

Last year, Peter Farley’s Green Book, won the Oscar’s Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.

Insiders are discussing Tom Hanks’ portrayal of the popular Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood as one of the hot tickets.

Also, the car culture’s Ford v Ferrari starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. Plus the shocking Civil Rights Trial in Just Mercy starring Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan. Let’s not forget the Joaquin Phoenix crime thriller in Joker that’s destined to make waves.

A standout among the documentaries is David Foster: Off the Record. A long overdue overview about the Victoria, B.C. genius.

“Undeniably complex,” says producer/director Barry Avrich about the record producer, musician, arranger, composer, songwriter and entertainer.

“This documentary literally became a two-year process of talk and figuring out what were going to be the rules.

“The reason being, I didn’t want to just make a tribute video. I wanted something with a real sense of who David Foster is. To really get the story straight in terms of what drives him,” informs Barry in a Billboard interview.

In truth, David’s a ‘Man Mountain Dean’ of Music, whose talents have embraced Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Chicago and others.

David’s won 16 Grammy Awards and 47 nominations.

Canada’s peripatetic Barry Avrich is Montreal-born. Having created successes such as Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz; The Last Mogul; Glitter Palace; Guilty Pleasure, etc. Barry’s raised millions with his Toronto events hosted by celebrities for the Special Olympics founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Festival regular Phyllis Melhado assesses, “wonderfully convenient that we Americans speak the same language as our Canadian friends, and barter with the same currency. Not so easy with the Cannes Film Festival.”

A former Estee Lauder cosmetics executive, New Yorker Phyllis is publishing her hyped novel, The Spa at Lavender Lane (which early readers find movie or TV series-worthy).

She agrees that Toronto’s a cosmopolitan city with it’s multi-ethnic and multi-cultural population. Good food and shopping and kind, courteous people.

May we add that Canada has its share of most beautiful women.

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