In the history of Hollywood, not but a few significant faces beloved by the big screen and international audiences share the commonality of a single woman, who had a hand in their fame: Marion Dougherty. A legendary casting director, Dougherty was at the forefront in the establishment of New Hollywood, but — like others in her profession — played a role that was too rarely credited as a linchpin in the creative process of filmmaking. Enter Tom Donahue‘s Casting By, a documentary that shines a spotlight on the career of the late great casting director, and her critical contribution to the overarching vision of the influential films she worked on throughout her career, as well as the new direction she helped pioneer for all currently in the position of casting director.
Presented by the Mavericks programme at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Casting By features interviews with actors and directors including Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Glen Close, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Candice Bergen, Robert Redford and Danny Glover amongst many others, who speak to the principal creative role of a casting director, each one referencing their own personal experience in the movie making business.
Clockwise: Tracy Miller, Toronto Life magazine & Geoffrey Dawe, S Style & Fashion magazine :: Candice Best, Best PR Boutique & musician Chantal Kreviazuk, party guest & Amy Weinstein, Syncopated Sound :: designer Corinne Anestopoulos, Biko; FILLER editorial director, Jennifer Lee & Robin Gregory, Innis & Gunn :: producer Kate Lacey; Jennifer Lee; director Tom Donahue; Rachel Deel, Creative Chaos; Ilan Arborleda, Creative Chaos and Steven Edwards, Creative Chaos :: Chase Lye, UNION; Christie Ness, UNION; Heather Ogden, National Ballet of Canada & musician Duncan Coutts
In honour of its World Premiere at TIFF, FILLER had the pleasure of hosting an Old Hollywood themed fête for the film. Underneath the chandelier at UNION Studio, actor Danny Glover chatted with others from the Casting By crew including Donahue and producer Kate Lacey, while party guests weaved in and out of the group with glasses raised, pouring congrats. Joining the celebrations, Canadian musicians Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk, along with Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté of the National Ballet of Canada were a few familiar faces spotted mingling amongst the crowd.
Past the buzzing conversation at the entrance of UNION, following the beats of DJ Josh McGurick, guests found an exhibit showcasing the works of photographer Lance Dawes. A collection of over a dozen portraits snapped by Dawes of the iconic actors and directors featured in Casting By. This small representative of the photographer’s larger portrait series, kept guests talking about their favourite Hollywood stars while admiring Dawes stunning images.
Clockwise: Tom Donahue (centre) & party guests :: actor Danny Glover & photographer Lance Dawes :: Danny Glover; FILLER creative director Ryan Johnson, Jennifer Lee & FILLER fashion news editor/blogger Gracie Carroll
Over the evening, guests devoured Boxed Catering’s modern take on classic dishes that old studio tycoons would have munched on including Beef Tartare, Waldorf Salad and Tea Sandwiches. Spirits high on the success of the premiere, toasts came by the dozens with guests clinking glasses of Barefoot Wine, Forty Creek Whisky and bottles of Innis & Gunn well past midnight and the official party end time. The evening’s sweets went fast, with everyone including honourary guests eager to leave the event with the delicious themed mementos served up by Megan Wappel Designs.
Clockwise: party guest & stylist Jessica Albano :: DJ Josh McGurick :: Tom Donahue, Ilan Arborleda, Kate Lacey & party guest :: Janine Bartels, FILLER
Clockwise: FILLER columnist Emily Blake; director David Hyde; photographer Daniel Sahlberg :: Laura Antonik, St. Joseph’s Media :: Danny Glover :: musicians Chantal Kreviazuk & Raine Maida:: Danny Glover & Ryan Johnson :: party guest & Gracie Caroll
For those who missed its world premiere, Casting By is next slotted to screen on October 12th at the 50th New York Film Festival. Patient audiences will also have a chance to watch the documentary on television in 2013, as one of HBO’s acquisitions during TIFF.