The acquisition market has been quiet in Toronto this year, leaving a wide variety of excellent selling titles on the table for someone to pick up.
TIFF has never been as big a marketplace as Sundance or Cannes – although distributors have been known to dive in and pick up a “Still Alice” or “I, Tonya” for a last-minute Oscar run – but even on the usual By festival standards it was quiet this year on the western front.
In large part, that’s because most of the more smashing titles arrived in Toronto with distribution already in place (including Edward Berger’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which Netflix will release in October), making it extremely difficult. was to enjoy acquisition titles every moment in the spotlight; even the most bubbly of them all, Vera Drew’s beloved “The People’s Joker,” didn’t really make a splash until the filmmaker pulled it off the party in response to petty and misguided legal pressure from Warner Bros.
While Daniel Goldhaber’s nail-biting eco-thriller “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” found a high-profile forever home at NEON, that deal was something of an anomaly for a party that left most of its hidden gems unclaimed.
In that light, we’ve highlighted 10 rough diamonds that are still waiting for the right distributor to shine. Some are easier to sell than others, but all are worth seeing by audiences well beyond the festival circuit.
Jude Dry, Steph Green, Sophie Monks Kaufman, Leila Latif and Rafael Motamayor also contributed to this article.