Springsteen Doc ‘Western Stars’ Reps Docs in TIFF Galas Announcement

Western Stars
Courtesy of TIFF

By Pat Mullen

Another music doc is getting the red carpet treatment! The Bruce Springsteen documentary Western Stars was announced for a world premiere slot in TIFF’s Gala selections this morning. The concert doc marks Springsteen’s first feature film as a director and he shares the credit with Thom Zimny, who has directed and edited numerous shot docs about “The Boss” and his work. Zimny also directed the Springsteen doc features The Ties That Bind (2015) and last year’s Springsteen on Broadway as well as The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash, which debuted earlier this year.

Western Stars joins the Robbie Robertson documentary Once Were Brothers in representing non-fiction in the high profile Galas line-up. Once Were Brothers was announced last week as TIFF’s Opening Night Gala – the first ever for a Canadian documentary. Additional documentaries will be announced in the Canadian programming announcement next week and the TIFF Docs and Wavelengths slates to come.

Today’s announcement for Galas and Special Presentations features a star-studded line-up including a number of Canadian films. François Girard’s The Song of Names will also world premiere in the Gala line-up, while Semi Challas’s American Woman offers a fictionalized reimagining of the Patty Hearst affair. Atom Egoyan’s Guest of Honour will have its North American premiere in the Special Presentations programme.

The big names at the festival include Meryl Streep, who headlines Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers drama The Laundromat, Renee Zellweger in the Judy Garland biopic Judy, and Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in the biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Other notables include Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, John Crowley’s adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch, and The Friend, a new dramatic offering from Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite.

TIFF runs Sept. 5 to 15.