TIFF 2010

TIFF 2010 first look

TIFF 2010 is just around the corner and today the festival confirmed Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, Julian Schnabel's Miral, and Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful (trailer embedded below) as films that will screen at this year's film festival in Toronto. In 2010, the Toronto International Film Festival moves south and this morning at TIFF's new host hotel, the Hyatt Regency on King West, they unveiled a partial lineup for this year's galas and special presentations. I was on the scene at the press conference to gather all the details first hand from TIFF Co-Directors Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey. And to snack on fruit and scones, natch.

Handling got the ball rolling by announcing that 2010 will be a "watershed year" for TIFF. This year, the festival celebrates its 35th anniversary, the TIFF Cinematheque turns 20, and doors will finally open at the Bell Lightbox. "It fells like the timing couldn't be more significant," he noted, "as we acknowledge and celebrate our past, our present, and our future."

While we wait for the official guest list to surface, who can we speculate about seeing on the red carpet? Black Swan, a thriller set in the ballet world, for one, stars Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder. James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, and Evan Rachel Wood are all in Robert Redford's latest, The Conspirator, which centers on a mother accused of aiding her son in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. French cinema royalty Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu are in the latest Ozon flick Potiche, Clive Owen and Catherine Keener are in David Schwimmer's Trust, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are in something called Blue Valentine, Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, and Woody Allen has assembled Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, and Naomi Watts for his You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger about a group of Londoners in bad marriages.

As for me, I'll be swooning over Michael Winterbottom, like I do every year. He's back with the World Premiere of something called The Trip, which seems to be a road trip comedy with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Oh, and Mike Leigh, of course, who could be here to introduce Another Year.

50 titles announced, another 250 to go. In the coming weeks, we'll be getting the rundown on, among others, the Canadian picks and the very popular Midnight Madness program. We'll also find out if we'll get to see Bruce LaBruce's banned-in-Australia and media blitzed LA Zombie get a red carpet rollout in Toronto (please, please!). Or Mel Gibson's latest, anyone?

But possibly the biggest reveal at TIFF 2010 will take place during the festival, when doors finally open at the Bell Lightbox on September 12th, 2010. A TIFF for Free program has been announced and it will include free screenings of films that have been significant in TIFF's history - to showcase the new and (I can vouch from a recent visit) very slick space.

The 2010 edition of The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 9th to 19th. Ticket packages (as well as a handy new tool to help you pick the right package) are available online.

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