The HBO, Spike Lee-directed filmed version of the Broadway-acclaimed David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ is the Opening Night Presentation of the 45th Toronto International Film Festival® on Thursday, September 10.

David Byrne’s, who is best known for being the frontman of Talking Heads, ‘American Utopia’ documents Broadway show, where he performs songs on stage and shares the spotlight with 11 musicians from around the world, including Toronto’s own Jacquelene Acevedo. Lee directs a transformative experience, as the show raises social and political issues, revealing how audiences can come together during challenging times through the power of entertainment.

“Spike Lee has somehow always been exactly of his moment and ahead of his time,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “With David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’, he brings Byrne’s classic songs and joyous stagecraft to the screen just when we need it. Spike’s latest joint is a call to connect with one another, to protest injustice, and, above all, to celebrate life.”

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Taking place between September 10 – 19 the festival’s schedule will jump from 2019’s offering of 300 films, down to 50 new feature films and five short film programs. The program will also be made up of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences, and industry talks.

TIFF will also launch its very first digital platform to host digital screenings, as well as numerous talks and special events for those who are unable to travel to attend. The platform is currently in development.

The 45th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10–19, 2020.