Toronto International Film Festival Fully Fleshed Out
Festival season is now in full force, as the organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival announced the full list of 352 films that will be gracing screens across Toronto from September 7-16. In a press conference yesterday, TIFF organizers announced the names of the movies to be screened at the festival, as well as gave the names of some of the filmmakers and actors that will be attending the festival. The full schedule of films will be available on August 29, but I strongly suggest getting your passes soon as a lot of them are selling out quickly.
Among the big announcements yesterday was the news that Michael Apted's Amazing Grace — a film British Parliamentarian who led abolitionists in their crusade to end the slave trade in late 18th century England — will be the closing night gala presentation. Other galas announced include Anthony Minghella's Breaking and Entering starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet starring Ziyi Zhang and Daniel Wu, and Ridley Scott's A Good Year, which reunites Scott and Russell Crowe in an adaptation of Peter Mayle's best-selling novel.
Minghella, Law, Binoche, Ziyi, Scott, and Crowe will all be attending the festival this year, along with a slew of other notable celebrities including my personal favorite actor Zach Braff, who will be here promoting his newest movie The Last Kiss, which was penned by Canadian Paul Haggis. Michael Moore will be showing segments from his next two projects Sicko and The Great '04 Slacker Uprising in a special Mavericks presentation. Another Mavericks presentation, The Making of a Bollywood Blockbuster, will assemble an all-star panel consisting of legendary actors Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, and Amitabh Bachchan.
Among the 37 Canadian features to be presented at this year's festival is Andrew Currie's highly anticipated Fido, starring fellow Canadian Carrie-Ann Moss in a movie about a boy and his pet zombie.
Other announcements made yesterday included the full launch of this year's avant-garde Wavelengths programme, designed to be a showcase of the convergence between film and art. The programme will feature work from noted artists and filmmakers, including one of my favorite directors, Abbas Kiarostami.
The TIFF organizers also announced 34 films from 26 countries that will round out the Contemporary World Cinema programme, including the North American premieres of Jan Hrebejk's well-received Beauty in Trouble and Jeffrey Jeturian's award-winning film The Bet Collector. Tom Hanks-produced UK film Starter for Ten and Alejandro Gomez Monteverde's wonderfully-written feature Bella will both have their world premieres at the festival as well.
The press conference also included some great statistics on the over 12,000 volunteers that help make the festival a success, and Sean Kelly is keeping a blog of his experiences as a festival volunteer this year. The festival organizers have their own blog which gives some neat information and background behind some of the happenings at the festival, and is worth checking out.
There was much more information released yesterday than can ever be summarized here, so be sure to check out the recent press releases on the TIFF website, and be sure to tune into the moviesTO podcast, as Matt will be highlighting his 'movies to watch' at this year's festival. I'll be posting my own festival picks a little later on next week as well.
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