Photos: TIFF 2019 opens with Robbie Robertson and Indigenous horror

Canadian rock legends walked the red carpet with big American directors while Jeff Barnaby's zombie movie Blood Quantum kicked off Midnight Madness


The Toronto International Film Festival’s big opening was more about rocker dudes than glitzy celebs as Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson And The Band became the first Canadian documentary to get the 10-day event started. The film’s titular subject walked the red carpet amid an entourage of big-name American film types, including producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who directed the landmark 1978 music doc on The Band, The Last Waltz. The film’s Toronto-based director Daniel Roher and Ronnie “The Hawk” Hawkins were also there.

Meanwhile, the Ryerson Theatre hosted two big Canadian premieres: Albert Shin’s Niagara Falls-set noir Clifton Hill, starring Tuppence Middleton and Hannah Gross, and Jeff Barnaby’s grisly zombie flick Blood Quantum. During the former screening, a mystery unfolded in the cinema as security guards and ushers with flashlights searched for a missing patron. The film was briefly interrupted so the non-emergency situation could be resolved.

Much of Blood Quantum’s cast turned up to attend the world premiere in the plum slot of Midnight Madness opening night, including Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Forrest Goodluck, Kiowa Gordon and Stonehorse Lone Goeman – some of whom also appear in illustrated form on the cover of NOW this week. Check out pics from the red carpets and TIFF’s Festival Street below.

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer

Samuel Engelking

Ron Howard (left) and Brian Grazer

Martin Scorrsese

Samuel Engelking

Martin Scorsese

Ronnie Hawkins

Samuel Engelking

Ronnie Hawkins

TIFF 2019 Festival Street

Samuel Engelking

TIFF 2019 Festival Street

Samuel Engelking

Blood Quantum cast

Samuel Engelking

The cast and producers of Blood Quantum with director Jeff Barnaby (centre, in red).

Elle-Maija Tailfeathers

Samuel Engelking

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Michael Greyeyes

Samuel Engelking

Michael Greyeyes

Jeff Barnaby

Samuel Engelking

Jeff Barnaby

TIFF 2019 Festival Street

Samuel Engelking

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