Open Roof Festival 2018

The Open Roof Festival (ORF) has moved to the city’s newest cultural hot spot, Lower Junction in Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighborhood, where it will be just steps away from the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA), opening fall 2018. The often sold-out Festival kicks off June 20 with Wes Anderson’s Rushmore and will present screenings every Wednesday for 10 weeks. The Festival will once again take outdoor movie watching to the next level by pairing an eclectic mix of Hollywood and indie flicks with live music by local emerging acts in a variety of genres— a combination that has established ORF’s reputation as Toronto’s ultimate summer date night and meeting spot. As if that wasn’t enough, the festival will also continue to offer an ever changing food menu by the Toben Food by Design food truck and drinks by Amsterdam Brewery.

ORF has brought the best of Canadian cinema and beyond to the outdoor screen since its inception in 2010. ORF’s venue partner this year will be Castlepoint Numa, who is leading the revitalization of the approximately 8-acre site known as the Lower Junction. After a night out with ORF, you may never watch a movie inside again. Tickets are available now at, check out the upcoming line up below:

Open Roof Festival kicks off its ninth season with the genre-bending “space folk tronica” band Delta Will, led by Toronto musician Charles Tilden. The band will be followed by a 20th anniversary screening of Wes Anderson’s beloved comedy Rushmore. A student of the prestigious Rushmore Academy, Max Fisher (Jason Schwarzman) achieves more in extracurriculars than in grades and as a result is put on academic probation. In love with his teacher (Olivia Williams), he befriends rich industrialist Herman Blume (Bill Murray) and substantial complications ensue. Marking the ascent of Wes Anderson as a key American-indie pioneer, the film’s distinct visual style and singular brand of acerbic comic gold (spearheaded by Swartzman and Murray) inspired a new generation of comedy innovators. Not to mention the film’s soundtrack, featuring music from The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, and The Faces, went on to become one of the most influential of the 1990s.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27 **Rain delay, screening moved to JULY 18
Moscow Apartment, a Canadian indie rock band with folk roots based in Toronto, will enliven the ORF stage with their signature cool sounds. After that, the screening of Corey Finley’s Thoroughbreds, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim, will follow. Heathers meets American Psycho in this black comedy centred on two affluent teen girls played by breakout stars Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy, who seek out to murder a pervasively sinister stepfather. With thrilling visual style and a powerful soundtrack featuring Tanya Tagaq, Thoroughbreds is “wickedly funny and superbly unpredictable.” (A.A. Dowd, The A.V. Club)

Evening festivities kick off with The Heavyweights Brass Band, the New Orleans Jazz-inspired ensemble featured frequently at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. After that, the fast-paced raucousness continues with a screening of Darren Curtis’s Boost – a gritty and thrilling look at the lives of two teenage best friends (Nabil Rajo and Jahmil French) from Montreal, who become entangled with the mob after a car they stole is involved in a fatal accident. The Quebec-produced, English-language action thriller features raw, critically-lauded performances, with Rajo having won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor for this role. Fast paced, “Curtis freshens up the familiar premise with interesting locations, distinctive characterizations, and genuine stakes. And it moves like a shot.” (Norm Wilner, NOW)

ORF favorite Tomi Swick returns to the festival’s stage with his multi-instrumental talents and rock sensibilities. From there, the celebrations continue with the heartwarming coming-of-age comedy Love, Simon. A top notch teenage romance, Love, Simon stars Nick Robinson as Simon Spier, a high school student coming to terms with his identity as he struggles to keep his sexuality a secret from his parents (Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel) and classmates. With Love, Simon “the high school teen romcom is reborn for 2018. Funny, sentimental, and smart: John Hughes would be proud.” (Terri White, Empire)

RubēHill, Ontario-born artist Alex Stavropoulos-Laurie’s LCD-Soundsystem-inspired musical project, will have ORF audiences enthralled. From there the latest from Veep and In the Loop writer and director Armando Iannucci, The Death of Stalin takes centre stage with its darkly absurd comedy. Recounting the last days of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the film finds comedic gold in the chaos, anarchy, and outwardly zany hijinks of Stalin’s political party and hilariously inept potential successors. Starring Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, Jason Isaacs, Rupert Friend, Paddy Considine, and Andrea Riseborough, The Death of Stalin is a timely political satire, and accordingly &quote “is by turns entertaining and unsettling, with laughs that morph into gasps and uneasy gasps that erupt into queasy, choking laughs.” (Manhola Dargis, The New York Times)

Toronto artist Terrell Morris starts off the evening with his rhythm and blues musical stylings. Then the fun continues with Game Night, the dark comedy starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. A murder mystery game gets a little too real after a group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery. Unexpected twists and turns make this film as thrilling as it is funny. “With its clever, whip-smart script, and enthusiastic ensemble cast firing on all cylinders, crime comedy filmmakers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein score big.” (Amy West, Empire)

Local singer-songwriter Liam Russell once again graces the ORF stage to deliver some of the best indie music Toronto has to offer. After that, ORF delivers a film directed by one of Canada’s most celebrated and discussed independent filmmakers – Guy Maddin – who, working with co-directors Galen Johnson and Evan Johnson, produced the unique, singular psychedelic assemblage The Green Fog. Screened at the Berlinale, as well as TIFF Bell Lightbox to a packed house, it lovingly pays homage to and cheekily recreates Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Featuring a Kronos Quartet-performed score, The Green Fog sounds as good as it looks. “This ingenious gizmo will delight Maddin fans, or anyone else who enjoys games played with and about old movies.” (Dennis Harvey, Variety)
         WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15                                                                                                                                         FILM: ISLE OF DOGS                                                                              MUSIC: GOOSEBUMP                                                                                                                                               Toronto-based art-pop band Goosebump will enhance the evening’s summer vibes with their cool sounds. Following the performance, Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion masterpiece, the Japan-set, canine-infused Isle of Dogs will be screened. When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey. Featuring the voice talents of Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Edward Norton, and more, “Wes Anderson’s joyous stop-motion feature looks and sounds like nothing we’ve encountered before.” (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal                   WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22                                                                                                                            FILM: SORRY TO BOTHER YOU                                                      MUSIC: OMHOUSE                                                                                                                                                     The Festival’s closing night starts off with the guitar pop of Omhouseled by Steven Foster before wrapping up the 2018 season of movies under the stars with one of the most talked about films of the year, Sorry to Bother YouWritten and directed by Oakland soul and funk musician Boots Riley, the film pushes the boundaries of genre and reality with its surreal, punk, WTF storytelling and aesthetics. In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe. Featuring a standout soundtrack and starring Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Get Out) and Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), “Sorry to Bother You ambitiously pushes the envelope of the sci-fi and comedy genres for a wholly unique, refreshing and hilarious film.” (Molly Freeman, Screen Rant)

TICKETS: Tickets are on sale for $15 each and can be purchased through

HOW TO GET THERE: Open Roof Festival’s 2018 venue is located immediately west of Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) at 158 Sterling Road. The site is accessible by TTC (subway stops: Dundas West or Lansdowne); the GO/UP Express’s Bloor Station; the 505 Dundas West and 506 College streetcars/replacement buses; and from the West Toronto Railpath.

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