TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival is doubling down on its celebration of hometown rock star Robbie Robertson with a free screening of “The Last Waltz” — to be introduced by Robertson and director Martin Scorsese.
Festival organizers say the longtime friends will introduce the classic 1978 concert film, which documents the star-studded farewell of Robertson’s legendary group, the Band.
The Canadian roots rockers were joined by a who’s who of musical greats including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young for a legendary show Nov. 25, 1976 at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom.
Robertson is also the subject of the TIFF’s opening night gala, “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” which Scorsese executive produced. Meanwhile, Scorsese is also set to receive a retrospective at TIFF Bell Lightbox later this year.
“The Last Waltz” marked Robertson’s decision to quit the Band after 16 years, with the remaining members — drummer and singer Levon Helm, organist Garth Hudson, bassist and singer Rick Danko and pianist Richard Manuel — famously opposed.
The concert film will screen as part of the festival’s free Cinematheque program. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis two hours before each screening.