Music is infusing the Toronto International Film Festival with a Michael Jackson documentary from Spike Lee and a closing-night film with Vanessa Redgrave as a terminally ill choir singer.
Organizers announced Tuesday that Redgraves Song for Marion will close next months Toronto festival, which runs Sept. 6 to 16 and is one of the key cinema gatherings that kick off Hollywoods fall movie lineup and Academy Awards season.
Lees documentary Bad 25 also is playing the festival, marking the 25th anniversary of Jacksons 1987 album Bad. The film features footage shot by Jackson himself along with interviews with such stars and music producers as Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow and L.A. Reid.
Toronto planners announced dozens of other films to round out its 11-day run.
‘Voice’ coaches can steal singers
NBCs The Voice is adding a bit of thievery to its format.
Executive producer Mark Burnett said Sunday that the singing contest will let coaches steal contestants from each other during the shows battle rounds.
The show also will introduce a new knockout round to slice the number of contestants on each coachs team, Burnett told a Malibu, Calif., news conference. He was joined by coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, and host Carson Daly.
They were promoting the series third season, which begins Sept. 10 as The Voice adds a fall run to its original midseason slot.
Because the coaches have busy music careers, Burnett said, substitutes may be needed in future. But the original four have chairs for life, he said.
‘Sesame’ adding Hispanic character
So you grew up watching Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird, and now you want to be friends with Rosita, Luis and Maria.
If you are a bilingual actor or actress between the ages of 18 and 25, this may be the chance of a lifetime: Sesame Street is planning to create a new Hispanic character.
The producers of Sesame Street told The Associated Press they are holding an open casting call Monday in New York for a recurring character.
Sesame Street debuted in 1969 and has added versions in countries such as Israel, Nigeria, Germany and Mexico, where Plaza Sésamo is produced. The series has always tried to adapt to the realities of the changing American population, which has seen a sharp increase in Hispanics, and the show will focus on Hispanic heritage in its upcoming 44th season.
Maria (played by Sonia Manzano) and Luis (Emilio Delgado) debuted in 1971. The character of Rosita, the turquoise monster with enormous arms, an orange nose and pink eyebrows, debuted in 1993 with the help of Mexican puppeteer Carmen Osbahr, who also lends her voice to Ovejita.