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“Once Were Brothers,” new documentary about Robbie Robertson and The Band, to open 2019 Toronto Film Festival


Courtesy of TIFF/ Photo by Elliott LandyThe recently announced documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will get its world premiere at a gala celebrating the opening of the 44th Toronto International Film Festival, September 5 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

The movie was inspired by Robbie Robertson's 2016 memoir, Testimony, and focuses on the Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist's life and his work with the influential roots-rock group The Band.

The film will feature rare archival footage and photos, as well as new interviews with Robertson and some of his famous friends and collaborators, like Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Ronnie Hawkins and director Martin Scorsese.

"This is one of Toronto's great stories of a hometown hero," says festival's artistic director and co-head, Cameron Bailey.

"From his early years in this city, to the inspiration he took from life on the Six Nations reserve, to the impact he's had on generations of music lovers, Robertson emerges in [director Daniel] Roher's film as a truly Canadian-made superstar."

Scorsese is one of the film's executive producers, as are Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the duo behind the 2017 Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years.

Once Were Brothers is the first-ever Canadian-made movie to open the Toronto International Film Festival. The event runs through September 15.

To purchase ticket packages for the festival, visit TIFF.net/festival.

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