9 Toronto Film Festival Documentaries That Could Shake Up the Oscars

The documentary awards race always begins at Sundance, where “Flee” (Neon) and “Summer of Soul” (Searchlight) broke out as Oscar frontrunners; Tribeca debuted high-profile “The Lost Leonardo” (Sony Pictures Classics) and “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” (Focus), while Todd Haynes’ “Velvet Underground” (AppleTV+) and “Val” (A24/Amazon) played well at Cannes.Every September, the Toronto International Film Festival documentary lineup introduces more top non-fiction titles to the list of Oscar contenders — and this year, without many clear frontrunners, TIFF’s influence will be greater than ever.

In the good old days when the TIFF selection was a sprawling smorgasbord, Thom Powers lead the TIFF documentary programmers through an enormous number of submissions to cull 22 selections.

In the slimmed-down pandemic era, his team had to winnow TIFF Docs down to 13 features (announced so far)..“Every year it’s a painful part of the process,” Powers told IndieWire, who is able

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