Summer weather seems to have FINALLY returned to Toronto just in time for the 8th annual Open Roof Festival. ORF takes outdoor movie watching to the next level by pairing it with live music by local emerging acts in a variety of genres. As if that wasn’t enough, the festival also offers an ever changing food menu by the Toben Food by Design food truck and drinks by Amsterdam Brewery. After a night out with ORF, you may never watch a movie inside again.
TUESDAY, JUNE 27
MUSIC: STACEY RENEE
Toronto local singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Stacey Renee will open up the 2017 ORF season with her unique blend of pop-rock. From there, the fun continues with the sci-fi black comedy Colossal, which Rolling Stone called “seriously unmissable.” The film, which premiered at TIFF in 2016 and also screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, follows Gloria (Anne Hathaway) — an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in New York City and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon.
TUESDAY, JULY 4
FILM: FREE FIRE
MUSIC: TOMI SWICK
Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tomi Swick learned to play the bagpipes, military drums, piano and guitar by the age of 13 and will bring his diverse act to the ORF stage. The night continues with the action-comedy Free Fire from acclaimed filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise), winner of the Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at TIFF in 2016. Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs goes dangerously wrong as Justine (Brie Larson) finds herself caught in the crossfire, forced to navigate through a warehouse full of trigger-happy madmen who are all hanging on for dear life.
TUESDAY, JULY 11
FILM: THE BAD BATCH
MUSIC: BLONDE ELVIS
Toronto glam-pop band Blonde Elvis, led by former Young Mother front-person Jesse James Laderoute kicks off the evening followed by a screening of romantic black comedy horror-thriller film The Bad Batch. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and by the director of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour), the film is a dystopian love story set in a Texas wasteland where society’s outcasts all live together. When a young woman (Suki Waterhouse) is captured by a band of cannibals, she soon discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who you’re standing next to. The film also stars Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Jason Momoa and Giovanni Ribisi.
TUESDAY, JULY 18
FILM: GET OUT
MUSIC: PARK EDDY
On July 18th,the 4th week of the ORF will open with local Toronto band Park Eddy (featuring Chloé Watkinson, Alan Zemaitis, Giordan Postorino, Andrew Pacheco, and Lowell Whitty) and their unique style of blues, rock, and soul. Then, first teased at a secret midnight screening at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and at 99% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Get Out is what Variety describes as “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” meets “The Stepford Wives.” Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, so she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate to meet her parents. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.
TUESDAY, JULY 25
FILM: BRIMSTONE & GLORY (PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED)
LOLAA, the duo comprised of Toronto sisters Lex Valentine and Nadia Valeria King, will kick off the night with their Latin-inspired pop music, filled with drums, bass, rhythm and movement. The night will continue with the previously announced Brimstone & Glory, screening ahead of its theatrical release later this year. The documentary focuses on the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico, a 10-day celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers. More than three quarters of Tultepec’s residents work in pyrotechnics. Artisans show off their technical virtuosity; up-and-comers create their own rowdy, lo-fi combustibles; and dozens of teams build larger-than-life papier-mâché bulls to parade into the town square, adorned with fireworks that blow up in all directions.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 1
FILM: BEATRIZ AT DINNER
MUSIC: THE SINNERS CHOIR (PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED)
The Sinners Choir, announced earlier this season, is a trio comprised of three generations of seasoned Toronto sidemen: Terry Wilkins, Adam Beer-Colacino and Adam Warner. The group will kick off the evening with their unique style of Roots/Americana with a gritty approach followed by a screening of Beatriz at Dinner, which Vanity Fair called “the perfect film for the Trump era.”
Drawing on her innate kindness, Beatriz (Salma Hayek) has built herself a career in Los Angeles as a holistic medicine practitioner. When she finds herself at a dinner party thrown by one of her wealthy clients (Connie Britton) after her car breaks down, she meets the cutthroat, smug billionaire Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) and this chance meeting between two opposites makes for a night not to be forgotten.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 8
FILM: KEDI (IN CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL CAT DAY)
MUSIC: ALTERED BY MOM
A brand new rock band with a 20-year old soul, Altered By Mom will get the party started with their 90’s-inspired alternative music, guaranteed to have the crowd singing along with their clever lyrics. Next up, in celebration of International Cat Day, the night will surely get cozy with the heart-warming cat documentary Kedi. Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats freely roam the metropolis of Istanbul. For thousands of years they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, the cats of Istanbul live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame — and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. Kedi is the story of seven of them. Called “splendidly graceful and quietly magical” by Variety and sitting at 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Kedi will charm its way into your heart.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 15
FILM: RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD
MUSIC: LIAM TITCOMB
Local singer-songwriter Liam Titcomb received his first music deal with Sony Music at age 15. Since then, he has gone on tour across Canada dozens of times and has opened for Great Big Sea, David Usher, Tom Cochrane, Colin James, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Jann Arden and Joni Mitchell. The night continues with a screening of the feature documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, which won the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary as well as the Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The film tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, and others, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World will show how these talented musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 22
FILM: IT COMES AT NIGHT
MUSIC: LANGUAGE ARTS
The evening starts off with music from Language Arts, which ranges from beckoning choruses with bright hooks to meandering, lyrical sagas. Next up is a screening of mystery horror thriller It Comes at Night from award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults that Paste Magazine calls “heart-wrenching, paced to perfection, a masterclass in visual storytelling and genuinely terrifying.” Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man (Joel Edgerton) has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29
MUSIC: LUKE LALONDE (OF BORN RUFFIANS)
The closing night of the 2017 ORF season kicks off with a bang — a solo set by Born Ruffians singer and guitarist Luke Lalonde. From there, Lalonde makes his acting debut in Sundowners, the latest feature from Toronto-based filmmaker, Pavan Moondi who also wrote and directed Diamond Tongues, which screened at ORF in 2015. Filming weddings is a thankless job, so when Alex (Phil Hanley) and Justin (Luke Lalonde) get the chance to shoot a destination wedding in Mexico, they take the opportunity to escape their sheltered lives – but with their boss Tom (Tim Heidecker) playing fast and loose with the details, they’ll be lucky to even find it. The film boasts a strong supporting cast primarily consisting of comedians and musicians, including Diamond Tongues’ star and July Talk singer Leah Fay Goldstein and Islands’ frontman Nick Thorburn, who also scored the picture.
Tickets on sale now for $15 each and can be purchased through www.OpenRoofFestival.com