(Toronto) Cinema and music lovers were spoiled this weekend at the largest film festival in North America, galvanized by the arrival of the phenomenon Lil Nas focused on the music industry.

Two feature films dedicated to legendary singer Paul Simon and Canadian rock band Nickelback also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

But all eyes were on Lil Nas

Combining footage from his first tour with various never-before-seen interviews, his documentary Lil Nas

Real name Montero Lamar Hill, the native of the state of Georgia, in the southern United States, also talks about his decision to openly embrace his homosexuality and the repercussions on those close to him and his music.

“Coming out seemed very important to me if I wanted to progress,” Lil Nas X says in the film.

On the red carpet, co-director Zac Manuel particularly emphasized his societal impact as a proud and outspoken gay black man, defying stereotypes through his adoption of avant-garde fashion and his presence. massive and eccentric on social networks.

“I think it’s crucial to show a different view of homosexuality, of being black, of masculinity and being comfortable with it. I think that’s something he brings to the audience,” the director told AFP.

Following the screening, Lil Nas

A few hours earlier, the premiere was disrupted for around thirty minutes by a “general threat” which was however “not directed against the film or the artist”, according to the TIFF vice-president in charge of communications, Judy Lung.

Toronto police told AFP that a passerby “made a threat to security,” while emphasizing that it was not aimed at anyone in particular.

For its part, the specialized media Variety, citing an anonymous source, maintains that it was a bomb threat specifically targeting the rapper for his skin color and sexual orientation.

Lil Nas X’s agents did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

Less than 12 hours after the screening of Lil Nas X, Toronto moviegoers gathered for the world premiere of In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, a gripping dive into the career of the 81-year-old folk-rock icon .

“I never wanted to be anything but a songwriter and singer since I was 13,” says Paul Simon in the film by Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning director behind the documentaries Taxi to the Dark Side and Going Clear.

The film compiles archival footage spanning more than six decades, ranging from his stormy collaboration with his childhood friend Art Garfunkel to his exploration of world music, notably with Graceland.

It also traces the work done on his latest album Seven Psalms, released in May, and describes how the Grammy Award winner, two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, deals with hearing loss in his left ear.

“I really fell into depression,” says the artist, who explains how his creative process was transformed by this health problem.

On another note, it was Nickelback fans who were doubly satisfied on Friday.

Alongside the premiere of the documentary Hate to Love: Nickelback, the Canadian rock band performed a free concert at the TIFF Street Festival, returning for the first time since the pandemic.

The group, best known for their 2001 number one hit How You Remind Me, have faced harsh criticism over the years for remaining too conventional. The film shows how this torrent of reproaches hit the private lives of its members head-on.

TIFF continues through Sunday, September 17.