Spike Lee's Film of David Byrne's American Utopia to Open Toronto Film Festival
Spike Lee's film version of David Byrne's American Utopia, which is set to air on HBO later this year, will serve as the opening-night screening of this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
American Utopia began as an album that Byrne released on Nonesuch Records in March 2018. The recording was his first to reach No. 1 on the Album Chart and was also his first to reach the Top Five on the Billboard 200 chart. The concert, which includes songs from American Utopia along with songs from Talking Heads and his solo career, played more than 150 dates in 27 countries over nine months in 2018. The Broadway production ran in 2019-20 at the Hudson Theatre.
American Utopia features Byrne with Jacquelene Acevedo, Gustavo Di Dalva, Daniel Freedman, Chris Giarmo, Tim Keiper, Tendayi Kuumba, Karl Mansfield, Mauro Refosco, Stephane San Juan, Angie Swan, and Bobby Wooten III. Choreography and musical staging is by Annie-B Parson. Alex Timbers serves as production consultant.
The design team includes Rob Sinclair (lighting) and Pete Keppler (sound). Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco are musical directors. Adam Gough is editor and Ellen Kuras is director of photography.
Participant, River Road Entertainment and Warner Music Entertainment are executive producing and financing the project, with Participant as lead. The film is produced by David Byrne's Todomundo and Lee's Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks production companies, and executive produced by RadicalMedia. Byrne and Lee serve as producers. Participant's Jeff Skoll, David Linde, and Diane Weyermann executive-produce; along with Warner Music Group's Len Blavatnik, David Bither, Charlie Cohen, and Kurt Deutsch; Bill Pohlad and Christa Zofcin Workman of River Road; and RadicalMedia's Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick and Meredith Bennett. Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson and Patrick Catullo, who lead produced the Broadway production, also serve as executive producers.