Producer Says TIFF Turned Down 'Birdman'

Producer Says TIFF Turned Down 'Birdman'
While pundits study each fall film festival lineup, gauge the reactions, and endlessly alter their awards season charts, what often goes unappreciated is the burden of expectation programmers face when choosing the movies to debut. Not only do they have to tussle with competing fests for the big premieres, they also see early cuts of movies, and then have to determine in that unfinished form if the project is one they can afford passing up, or if it's worth taking the risk. And last year, it looks like Toronto International Film Festival lost a gamble on an Oscar winner. In a piece today about major purchases from distributors at TIFF, "Birdman" producer John Lesher noted that Toronto passed over the Best Picture winner. "We didn't go to Toronto because we didn't get into Toronto," he said. "We showed it to them as an early cut. Let's just say folks at
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