David Byrne's "American Utopia" shot by Spike Lee to open Toronto film festival

乐橙官网平台TORONTO — Spike Lee's filmed version of musician David Byrne's Broadway show "American Utopia" will help kick off this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

The documentary concert feature will be the opening night presentation for the festival on Sept. 10.

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乐橙官网平台This year's TIFF is billed as a mix of in-person and online events to reduce crowding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"American Utopia" is also the name of the 2018 album by Byrne, who is a founding member of the band Talking Heads.

乐橙官网平台Lee filmed the British-American artist and 11 other musicians in a concert that ran in New York from last October to February.

乐橙官网平台Jacquelene Acevedo of Toronto was among the performers in the show, which also included Talking Heads hits "Burning Down the House" and "Once in a Lifetime."

乐橙官网平台TIFF says the set list also includes Janelle Monae's 2015 protest song "Hell You Talmbout" and speaks to "subjects surrounding Black Americans who have been killed at the hands of law enforcement."

The HBO film is set to hit Crave this fall.

乐橙官网平台TIFF describes the film as a "transformative experience" that "raises social and political issues."

"This joyful film takes audiences on a musical journey about openness, optimism, and faith in humanity," Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head of TIFF, said in a statement.

"This is especially poignant at a time of great uncertainty around the world."

乐橙官网平台Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of TIFF, said the film is "a call to connect with one another, to protest injustice, and, above all, to celebrate life."

The 45th Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 10–19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.

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