David Byrne and Spike Lee's 'American Utopia' to Open TIFF

David Byrne and Spike Lee's 'American Utopia' to Open TIFF
David Byrne's new Spike Lee-directed film American Utopia will be opening the 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival this year.

Due to COVID-19, TIFF will be returning this year with a mix of physical and virtual offerings, with American Utopia now officially taking the lead.

The film will screen in Toronto on September 10 — the same day it premieres on HBO.

As previously reported, American Utopia is based on Byrne's hugely successful Broadway musical of the same name. It documents Byrne's days in Talking Heads all the way up to his 2018 American Utopia album, with the artist joined by an 11-piece ensemble performing various tracks from his career.

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

Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of TIFF, added: "Spike Lee has somehow always been exactly of his moment and ahead of his time. With David Bryne'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."

TIFF runs from September 10 to 19. You can learn more about what this year's fest will look like here.