Director Barry Avrich’s new documentary David Foster: Off the Record will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by a special tribute to Foster.
For the film, Avrich (The Last Mogul, Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz) mixes rare archival footage, interviews, and unprecedented access to the Victoria, BC–born musician, producer, songwriter, and composer, charting Foster’s career to date and sharing what is next. Foster has helped sell more than a half-billion records. He has collaborated with such artists as Chicago, Barbra Streisand, and Andrea Bocelli and been credited with discovering and working with Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, and Josh Groban.
“A global musical genius, David Foster has left his mark on some of the most timeless songs of today while discovering and launching the careers of the industry’s most talented artists, defining what it means to be a multi-hyphenate musician,” said Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head, TIFF. “We are proud to celebrate his creations and collaborations with the World Premiere of David Foster: Off the Record at TIFF, honoring Foster in his native country.”
In addition to Streisand, Bublé, Dion, and Groban, the film features Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Cetera, Diane Warren, Carole Bayer Sager, wife Katharine McPhee, and daughters Erin and Sara Foster. The film is produced by Lennox, Caitlin Cheddie, and Avrich, with Bell Media president Randy Lennox, Avrich, Jeffrey Latimer, and Marc Johnston as executive producers.
“David Foster fills a frame with his greatest-showman-on-Earth style,” said Avrich. “He is a world-class combination of rule-breaker, game-changer, and complex genius.”
Throughout his career, Foster has won 16 Grammy Awards--including three for Producer of the Year--an Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe, and has been nominated for three Oscars for Best Original Song. His resume includes soundtracks for films such as Urban Cowboy (1980), St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), and The Bodyguard (1992). He is also avidly involved in charitable work; he started the David Foster Foundation in 1986 to provide financial support to Canadian families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants.
TIFF previously announced that three-time Academy Award–winning actor Meryl Streep will receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award and Participant Media will receive the TIFF Impact Award at the Gala, the latter being accepted by founder and chairman Jeff Skoll and CEO David Linde. In addition, the inaugural Mary Pickford Award, in celebration of United Artists’ 100th anniversary and honoring a female emerging talent in the industry, will be given to a recipient to be announced. Additional honorees for the TIFF Tribute Gala will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.