It's starting. With only two months until the festival kicks off, TIFF -- otherwise known as the Toronto International Film Festival -- is starting to release their cinematic slate. Exactly one year ago, the fest surprised moviegoers by ignoring their tradition of starting the festivities off with a Canadian film. Instead, they picked Jon Amiel's not-so-hot, Darwin-centric Creation. But they seemed to have learned from last year, and are going back to the Maple Leaf fare. But not just a film that's made by a Canadian, made in Canada, or featuring Canadian actors.

It's a musical about hockey.
TIFF has announced that the opening night film will be Canadian director Michael McGowan's (Saint Ralph) hockey homage, Score: A Hockey Musical. The film focuses on a "teenage hockey phenomenon whose intellectual mother, played by Olivia Newton-John, is dismayed by his ascent to fame." Newcomer Noah Reid plays the teen hero. Meanwhile, Nelly Furtado is playing an obsessed hockey fan, and there are a number of Canadian names to look out for, including: Stephen McHattie (from the excellent Pontypool), George Stroumboulopoulos, Hawksley Workman, John Pyper-Ferguson (Hard Core Logo), and even Margaret Atwood.

Methinks they're really trying to make up for last year. But it's also a logical choice. It's very Canadian, but it's also coming in the aftermath of a killer Olympic showdown, and a media environment where Glee is all the rage (not to mention the fact that Newton-John was on Glee as well). It'll be one heck of an opening night.

Stay tuned as TIFF buzz heats up and more films are announced.