Schenectady will take to the silver screen in Toronto today.
After a year of production, the first screening of Derek Cianfrance’s “The Place Beyond the Pines” will debut before a sold-out audience during the Toronto International Film Festival this evening. The movie, filmed entirely in the Schenectady area in the summer of 2011, is one of the roughly 300 feature-length films being shown at the prestigious two-week festival, which typically draws more than a quarter million people each year.
And after another round of screenings Saturday, Cianfrance’s much-anticipated film could bring images from the Electric City to theaters around the globe. The producers of the film are reportedly being courted by a number of big-name distribution companies that are already holding it in high esteem.
“There are a lot of other films that think they have the goods,” Lia Buman, head of acquisitions for FilmDistrict, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. “But most buyers believe [‘Pines’] really has the goods.”
The Daily Gazette is planning to attend the debut today, with reports from the premiere.
Ryan Gosling stars as a professional motorcycle stunt rider who turns to a life of crime to support a newborn child. He is doggedly pursued by Avery Cross, a rookie cop portrayed by Bradley Cooper, spurring a generational feud that extends from his career in law enforcement through his election as state attorney general.
Cianfrance specifically chose Schenectady because he was searching for a place that would capture an honest image of an American city. Crews worked throughout Schenectady and the surrounding area, including action scenes that were shot on busy downtown streets and in the heart of the village of Scotia.
The movie will also prominently feature notable locations throughout the area, including the Schenectady Police Department, City Hall, and St. John the Evangelist Church. And it will also feature plenty of local residents — Cianfrance relied on more than 2,000 extras and even gave about four dozen locals prominent speaking roles in the film.
The buzz about the movie even has some of its actors excited. Actor Dane DeHaan spoke glowingly of Cianfrance’s latest film, which follows “Blue Valentine,” a gritty drama that won acclaim for the producer.
“I can’t go into too much detail about that, but I can say that I’ve never been more proud to be a part of anything in my life than ‘The Place Beyond the Pines,’ ” he told the blog, “The Daily Rotation” this week. “I think the movie is amazing. It’s going to Toronto and I can’t wait until it’s shown to the world.”