Barry Avrich’s David Foster Doc Tapped for TIFF

Courtesy of TIFF

By Pat Mullen

Barry Avrich’s new documentary about musical genius David Foster has been added to TIFF. David Foster: Off the Record will have its world premiere at the festival in September as a “Special Event.” The premiere will be followed by a TIFF Tribute Gala in support of TIFF’s year-round programmes. Foster’s prolific career includes nurturing Canadian talents such as Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, and Josh Groban, and amassing a trophy case to rival Meryl Streep’s that includes 16 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and three Oscar nominations.

The doc features an impressive roster of interviewees paying tribute to foster. In addition to Dion, Bublé, and Groban, the list of talking heads includes Barbra Streisand, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Cetera, Diane Warren, and Carole Bayer Sager.

“A global musical genius, David Foster has left his mark on some of the most timeless songs of today while discovering and launching the careers of the industry’s most talented artists, defining what it means to be a multi-hyphenate musician,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head of TIFF in a statement from the festival. “We are proud to celebrate his creations and collaborations with the World Premiere of David Foster: Off the Record at TIFF, honouring Foster in his native country.”

David Foster: Off the Record is the latest profile of an arts maverick in Avrich’s body of showbiz docs and portraits of cultural icons. Avrich previously directed The Last Mogul, Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World, Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story, and Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story, in addition to the duo of Harvey Weinstein docs Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project and The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secret. His profile of prosecutor Ben Ferencz, Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, debuted to great acclaim at last year’s festival. “David Foster fills a frame with his greatest-showman-on-Earth style,” said Avrich in a release. “He is a world-class combination of rule-breaker, game-changer, and complex genius.”

David Foster: Off the Record marks the second Bell Media streaming doc to get a high profile berth at the festival. Made in partnership with Bell Media, the doc, like TIFF’s opening night Robbie Robertson profile Once Were Brothers, is set for Bell’s streaming service Crave. Bell is TIFF’s lead sponsor.

The complete Canadian line-up for the Toronto International Film Festival will be announced tomorrow.