September 30, 2020

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Producers make stand in Toronto

Danny Schur will hold the première of the movie Stand! in Toronto on Sept. 9. (Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press files)</p></p>

Danny Schur will hold the première of the movie Stand! in Toronto on Sept. 9. (Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/7/2019 (440 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Danny Schur, the co-author of Strike: the Musical, fought for years to get a film made of the historic drama he co-authored with Rick Chafe, memorializing the events of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919.

Now that the film, renamed Stand!, is completed, Schur will be premièring the film in Toronto in September during the Toronto International Film Festival.

The pesky fact that the film wasn’t accepted by TIFF programmers for a berth at the fest isn’t going to stand in Schur’s way.

"I have to respect the artistic decision of TIFF," Schur says. "They choose what they choose. There’s only so many films that can be shown.

"Our perspective is: It’s the biggest film festival in the world and we’ve got to be there. We know we have an audience for it."

To that end, Schur and the film’s producers have booked a repertory cinema in downtown Toronto to screen the film. The Royal Cinema on College Street will screen Stand! on Sept. 9 for its world première, and for the next two days after that. On opening night, they will have the film’s stars, including Gregg Henry (who plays the doomed Mike Sokolowski) and director Robert Adetuyi, fly in from Los Angeles to represent the movie.

Stand! shot in Winnipeg's Exchange District in the summer of 2018.</p>

Stand! shot in Winnipeg's Exchange District in the summer of 2018.

"Air Canada is going to make a lot of money from us, that’s for sure," Schur says.

While a few blocks from TIFF’s epicentre on King Street, the Royal is located in Toronto’s Little Italy and that ethnic colour suits Schur just fine.

"There’s also a Ukrainian community in that area too, and a Ukrainian constituency is just really handy," he says. "We’ll be going after all the ethnic communities that are represented in the film, and all the screenings will be open to the public."

Schur said the fact TIFF is a magnet for the film industry was simply too big an opportunity to pass up.

"Our goal is distribution, so we need to have as many opportunities as possible to get the industry to see it at the biggest film festival in the world," he says.

"We’ve got a big fat story to tell, and we’re just coming to tell it. For us, it’s opportunity knocking very loudly, so you don’t want to miss the biggest and most important film festival — arguably — in the world."

Schur says Stand! will premiere in Winnipeg on Sept. 24 with a gala screening at the Centennial Concert Hall followed by a theatrical run soon after.

Twitter: @FreepKing

Randall King

Randall King

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

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Updated on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 11:47 AM CDT: Corrects date of Winnipeg premiere.

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