David Byrne's Concert Film 'American Utopia' to Open Toronto Film Fest - Rolling Stone
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David Byrne’s Spike Lee-Directed Concert Film to Open 2020 Toronto Film Festival

‘American Utopia’ will premiere on HBO following the festival

David Byrne appears on stage during the Broadway opening night curtain call of "David Byrne's American Utopia" at the Hudson Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

David Byrne's Spike Lee-directed concert film, 'American Utopia,' will open the 45th annual Toronto Film Festival in September.

Greg Allen/Invision/AP

American Utopia — David Byrne’s Spike Lee-directed concert film documenting his spectacular Broadway show — will open the 2020 Toronto Film Festival on September 10th.

The 45th annual festival will feature screenings both physical and digital, consisting of drive-ins, virtual red carpets, and press conferences. This fall, it will premiere on HBO.

“This joyful film takes audiences on a musical journey about openness, optimism, and faith in humanity,” Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head of the Toronto International Film Festival, said in a statement. “This is especially poignant at a time of great uncertainty around the world. We’re eager to share the excitement of opening night with audiences.”

American Utopia kicked off at the historic Hudson Theater in New York City last year and concluded its run in February. It featured songs throughout Byrne’s career, including Talking Heads favorites. “With Stop Making Sense, we brought everything onstage so people could see what it takes to put on a show, and with this, I’m taking everything away,” Byrne told Rolling Stone of the production. “I wondered, ‘Can we do a show where it’s just us, the musicians, and none of the other stuff?’ If you do something simple, it’s sometimes really hard. But I think audiences appreciate it when nobody’s trying to fool them.”

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