The Directors

SANDY NICHOLSON FOR TIME

REEL POWER: Handling, left, and Cowan, in the TIFF's film vault

You know your film festival is a hit when people nearly kill each other to get into the screening of a movie they couldn't be paid to see elsewhere. At last year's Toronto International Film Festival, that film was the British docudrama Death of a President, which imagined the assassination of George W. Bush and the tracking of his killer. Outside the theater, people begged to get in as if it were the one and only Beatles reunion. Yet when the film opened in North America a month later, it earned just $519,086. No matter, at least to festival junkies. Toronto...

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