Arts Bites: TIFF

Joaquin Phoenix imposter causes a stir

After the bizarre news broke that Joaquin Phoenix’s stint as a deranged man on the brink of complete madness was a complete hoax, another peculiar story has emerged.

A few years on from the actor’s bewildering appearance on David Letterman’s The Late Show, a Phoenix imposter was brought to public attention at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Roaming the city streets and insistently proclaiming the “other Joaquin Phoenix” to be the fake, it eventually got to the point where an official press meeting was called.

Casey Affleck, director of I’m Still Here (a mockumentary following Phoenix’s transition from Hollywood actor to rapper), also contacted the imposter.

The fake Joaquin was quoted as saying, “I resent being labeled as an impostor by the press… I’ve been performing my hip-hop now for more than three years, long before the other Phoenix announced his career change!”

Seeing double

Numerous festival attendees were at TIFF in support of more than one film.

Sam Worthington was featured in both Last Night (the festival gala closer) and The Debt.

His co-star in The Debt Helen Mirren also starred in the film adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel of the same name Brighton Rock.

Julia Roberts’ niece Emma Roberts also had two films screening at TIFF this year, It’s Kind of a Funny Story and What’s Wrong With Virginia.

Milla Jovovich was also involved with more than one feature film, starring alongside Edward Norton and Robert De Niro in Storm in addition to her role in Dirty Girl.

Finally, after finding acclaim with 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, Freida Pinto was in Toronto promoting both Miral and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

People’s choice

The annual Cadillac People’s Choice Award, as voted on by festival-goers, was presented to The King’s Speech this year.

The film, directed by Tom Hooper and starring Colin Firth as King George VI, has won rave reviews and Oscar-buzz across the board.

Former recipients of this award are films like Slumdog Millionaire and American Beauty, which both went on to snag the Oscar for Best Picture.

Last year’s winner of the People’s Choice title was Precious, which also fared well at the Academy Awards.

TIFF’s new home

Built with the intention of creating a permanent home for the festival, the TIFF Bell Lightbox opened at the corner of King St. and Reitman Sq. in Toronto’s Entertainment District on Sunday, Sept. 12 with an organized block party to celebrate the new cinema.

Featuring Canadian artists like K’Naan, The Sadies, Radio Radio and Polaris Music Prize winners Karkwa, the beautiful theatre opened just in time to be a part of film fans’ 2010 TIFF experience.