Morgan Spurlock and the Holy Chicken sandwich
The race always begins at Sundance, but the Toronto International Film Festival documentary lineup will impact the list of Oscar contenders — and this year, without clear frontrunners, TIFF’s influence will be greater than ever.
Every year, Thom Powers leads the TIFF documentary programmers through an enormous number of submissions to cull 22 selections. “It never gets any easier to make those decisions,” said Powers, who also programs influential November festival DOC NYC. “This year we’re going to see a greater range of different documentaries spread across the fall festivals, instead of a cluster of films that moves from festival to festival. More films will get more opportunities at the festivals this fall.”
1. “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!”: Morgan Spurlock’s under-the-radar sequel to his 2005 Oscar nominee focuses on the new craze of fast-food restaurants promoting healthy but bad organic food. This time Spurlock is trying to sell the food, not eat it. “Spurlock opens his own franchise restaurant focusing on chicken sandwiches,” Powers told me in a phone interview. “He learns a lot about the business and so do we. He’s taking a subject about what we eat, including its environmental impact, which comes up in a lot of films, but he has a way of doing it in a funny and populist style that has potential to reach an audience that other documentaries don’t reach.”
Micah Green and John Sloss are selling the acquisition title, with an eye toward 2018 awards contention.
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