Writer-director Lynn Shelton makes her second Toronto Film Festival appearance with "Laggies" starring Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell. Her first time around, in with 2011 with "Your Sister's Sister," got off to a bit of a bumpy start thanks to a projector malfunction at the premiere. Come to think of it, maybe I shouldn't have brought that up.
How does it feel coming back to the festival?
Oh, I'm really excited. I've only been there once with "Your Sister's Sister" and had a really great experience. I've gone to Sundance many times, which I feel is almost a second home for me — it's very comfortable and I love it — but I really enjoyed Toronto. I loved being in a real city and having audiences filled with the denizens of the city. It just has a completely different flavor as a filmmaker, so I can't wait to go back.
Even with the nerve-wracking technical difficulties at the premiere of "Your Sister's Sister"?
Oh my god, oh my god, I totally forgot. Yeah, that was a mild heart attack. (laughs) Otherwise I have very fond memories of the experience.
When you're starting a feature project, how much are you think about the festival calendar and potential destinations?
It's definitely always in the back of your mind. I mean, you shoot the film whenever you can shoot the film — when can you get your actors and what's the best season and all that, all those practical factors — but in terms of your editing schedule and thinking about what you're aiming for, you're always looking forward to that. And you also have to think about which festival is going to be a better fit for the film, right? How can you do right by your movie in the best way, festival-wise?
As you've made more and more films, do you find actors are seeking you out more?
Yeah, it's wonderful. It's a dream come true, because that's always what I hoped would happen back in my early days as a filmmaker. I think that the performances of actors have really fared well [in my films]. And I'm just a total actor geek. I mean, I love a beautiful crane shot, don't get me wrong, I'm a complete cinephile. But I'm much less of a technically minded director. I just love rolling up my sleeves with actors who are equally excited to just dive into a scene. So it's lovely that I have people who want to work with me, and the list just keeps growing. (laughs) I'm really, really grateful for that.
Is there anything at Toronto that you're looking forward to seeing?
There's one thing in particular that I just heard is going to be there — David Gordon Green's film, "Manglehorn," with Al Pacino. That's on my list for sure. I haven't fully gone down the list, but I will. I'll be there a few days so I'm hoping I can catch something and they won't just make me do press 24/7.
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick