By Lori Bosworth
Want to know the top films to see at TIFF 2013 and how TIFF impacts the Hollywood film industry? We spoke to David Albert Pierce, a Hollywood movie industry expert for his thoughts on TIFF, his recommendations for the most anticipated films at TIFF 2013 and 2014 trends for Hollywood films. Pierce is the founder and managing member of Pierce Law Group LLP and represents many entertainment production companies such as Morgan Creek, Lions Gate, Nu Image, and Starz!/Encore. He was production counsel on the Academy Award winning film, The Artist, and has provided legal services on the film, The Hunger Games and presently on Hunger Games 2.
1. Obviously TIFF has increased in size and profile since its inception, but what other changes have you noticed?
The new TIFF Bell Lightbox has just been a wonderful addition to the festival. When so much of the festival is spread out through the city, it brings a greater intimacy in terms of providing a central meeting point and energetic buzz for all festival goers to gravitate to.
2. How does TIFF impact the Hollywood film industry?
TIFF remains one of the five biggest film festivals in the world and it is a place for distributors to find those sleeper films that arrive with no distribution. The great thing about TIFF is that they choose movies that are really enjoyable for movie makers AND viewers. TIFF unites artistic films with broad-based popcorn-loving audiences. They are not afraid to pick films that are fun and understand that fun films have a place in film festivals, too. For example, we represent a producer of Cabin Fever, a film that if it wasn’t for TIFF and the success it received there, might not have become the film and successful franchise that it is today (Cabin Fever 3 is in post-production).
3. Which TIFF 2013 film premieres are you anticipating the most?
Parkland, 12 Years a Slave, Bad Words, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, The Fifth Estate, Prisoners, and You Are Here, although it’s hard to choose from such a promising lineup.
4. Which “sleeper” films are you excited about seeing at TIFF this year?
5. What film trends can you identify for 2014?
Unfortunately it seems as if the major studios will continue to play it safe in drawing from the same tried and true idea well, with an emphasis on remakes and franchise tent-pole films based on cartoon characters, action heros, and other films that place more emphasis on explosions than plotlines. However as distribution sources continue to become more wide and varied, independent films should nonetheless continue to have ample opportunities to reach their own niche audiences.