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Local filmmaker Richard Bell called to exclusive TIFF program

Canadian filmmaker Richard Bell has been honoured with an invitation to a unique, insider view of the renowned Toronto International Film Festival this September. Based on his proven talents and promise in the industry, Richard was one of just 26 participants accepted to the film festival’s prestigious Talent Lab. Over 215 applicants vied for a spot at this year’s lab, which in the past has played host to some of Hollywood’s best and brightest, including Ivan Reitman, Tilda Swinton and Danny Boyle.


Bell is honoured to be chosen as deserving of this unique and highly sought-after opportunity. Now in its seventh year, the lab is an intensive four-day artistic development program that provides emerging talent with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the world's most revered filmmakers and artists. This year’s slate of governors and guests include ‘Precious’ producer-director Lee Daniels and ‘Heaven on Earth’ director Deepa Mehta.


Bell feels this opportunity is a perfect match for his position in the industry saying, “I have written and directed two movies that can be rented at video stores and air on television, so I’m not a wide-eyed kid out of college, but I am by no means established, either. At the TIFF Talent Lab, I’m looking for leverage. I’m working towards that next level.”


Richard’s last film, which he wrote and directed, was ‘Eighteen’, which featured such acting titans as Ian McKellen and Alan Cumming, and hop-scotched the world at different film festivals. No stranger to industry recognition, the accomplished writer even received critical acclaim in the form of a Genie Award for co-writing the song ‘In a Heartbeat’, with composer Bramwell Tovey, for ‘Eighteen’.

Up next for Richard, he is currently adapting the novel ‘Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet’ for Hollywood-based, Canadian-born producer Michel Shane (whose last novel-to-screen adaptation was the buoyant caper ‘Catch Me If You Can’). Bell is also currently shopping around a script he wrote called ‘Nobody’; a political drama that takes place during a turbulent 1970’s San Francisco. 

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