Jon Stewart will bring ‘Rosewater’ footage to Toronto Film Festival’s market

Early tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be on a plane on my way to Toronto for Toronto International Film Festival, the fifth time since joining HitFix. One of the things I love most about this job is being able to attend festivals I’ve been hearing about and reading about for years, and one of the festivals I love most is the one that happens in the first part of September each year.

Sundance is all about the weather. South By Southwest is all about the crowds. Cannes is all about the mystique. Fantastic Fest is all about the social side of being a film fan. And then there’s Toronto… and honestly, for me, Toronto is the one that is all about the movies. So many movies. Hundreds more than anyone could even begin to see in the nine days that the festival runs.

It’s easy for me to forget that Toronto also has an international film market that is part of the festival. At Cannes, the commerce is right up front, and you can’t visit the festival without taking at least one stroll around the insane carnival atmosphere of the marketplace. I have never even considered attending the one at Toronto, but I may see just how far my press badge will let me go in trying to catch a glimpse when Jon Stewart shows footage to international buyers for the first time.

I can’t believe he’s done shooting already. It seemed like John Oliver’s time as a guest-anchor for “The Daily Show” flew by, and now Stewart is ready to show people material already. I loved the script for the film, and i think it’s a beautiful, captivating way into a larger social conversation. It is not a political movie except for the fact that simply being a journalist in Iran is a political act, no matter what side you favor. It’s a great role for Gael Garcia Bernal, one of the best he’s ever been offered.

I’m guessing there’s no way they have a finished film to show anyone before Sundance of 2014, and maybe not even by that point. But I’m excited, and based on how quickly Stewart turns material around on “The Daily Show,” I doubt this is going to be some protracted Terrence Malick-style post-production process.

We’ll know soon enough, but for now, I’m just excited that the film seems to be flying through production.