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Toronto 2012: Galas, Special presentations

Screen profiles the world premieres including Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet [pictured]

Galas

Argo (US)

Dir Ben Affleck

After earning acclaim for Gone Baby Gone and The Town, Affleck has taken his place among the vanguard of young US directors to watch and expectations are running high for Argo. The story follows a CIA operation to extract escapees from the 1979 US embassy siege in Tehran. Affleck stars alongside Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler.

Contact Warner Bros - info@warnerbros.com

Emperor (Jap-US)

Dir Peter Webber

Girl With A Pearl Earring and Hannibal Rising director Webber returns with a political thriller that has romantic undertones, set around the time of the Japanese surrender at the end of the Second World War. Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones and Eriko Hatsune star.

Contact Sierra/Affinity - info@sierra-affinity.com

English Vinglish (Ind)

Dir Gauri Shinde

Indian superstar Sridevi makes her film comeback after a 15-year absence as Sashi, a woman who feels insecure with her family and society because she does not speak English. Shinde, the wife of Paa film-maker R Balki (who produces), makes her directorial debut with this touching and sometimes funny story of a woman’s transformational journey. The film shot mostly in New York.

Contact Eros International - www.erosintl.com

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners (US-Fr)

Dir Shola Lynch

Audiences were treated to the razor-sharp mind of Angela Davis in 2011 doc The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, and the 1960s radical activist is back in the spotlight here. Lynch’s doc charts how the philosophy professor’s work and beliefs implicated her in the botched kidnap of a judge. Lynch directed 2004’s Chisholm ‘72: Unbought & Unbossed.

Contact Elle Driver - www.elledriver.fr

Great Expectations (UK)

Dir Mike Newell

Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes star in David Nicholls’ update of the Dickens classic about a humble orphan who becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor. Number 9 Films produces. Lionsgate handles UK distribution.

Contact HanWay Films - info@hanwayfilms.com

Hyde Park On Hudson (UK)

Dir Roger Michell

The story of the love affair between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his distant cousin Margaret Suckley, centres on the weekend in 1939 when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited upstate New York. Bill Murray plays FDR, with Laura Linney as Suckley and Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt. Mitchell’s credits include Notting Hill and Enduring Love.

Contact Focus Features Int’l - info@focusfeatures.com

Inescapable (Can-S Afr)

Dir Ruba Nadda

Nadda won the best Canadian feature prize at Toronto in 2009 with Cairo Time and returns with a thriller about a father’s desperate search for his daughter and the chaos of the Middle East he has left behind. Alexander Siddig, Marisa Tomei and Joshua Jackson star.

Contact Myriad Pictures - info@myriadpictures.com

Looper (US) (opening film)

Dir Rian Johnson

Johnson’s second collaboration with rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt after Brick is a snappy sci-fi thriller with a time-travel hook. Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels also star. US distribution is through FilmDistrict/TriStar.

Contact FilmNation - info@wearefilmnation.com

Love, Marilyn (US)

Dir Liz Garbus

The discovery of Marilyn Monroe’s private writings in the home of her acting coach offers further insight into one of the most beguiling and enigmatic US stars. Oscar nominee Garbus has employed innovative methods to bring the writings to life and her film includes reflections from Viola Davis, Lindsay Lohan, Uma Thurman and Paul Giamatti, among others.

Contact StudioCanal - harold.vanlier@studiocanal.com

Midnight’s Children (Can-UK)

Dir Deepa Mehta

Salman Rushdie wrote the screenplay for Mehta’s adaptation of his Booker Prize-winning novel about India on the cusp of independence. FilmNation Entertainment has closed territories including the UK (eOne), France (Metropolitan) and Germany (Telemünchen).

Contact FilmNation Entertainment - info@wearefilmnation.com

Silver Linings Playbook (US)

Dir David O Russell

Heat has been building on the mercurial Russell’s follow-up to The Fighter and curious minds will want to know if it will feature in Harvey Weinstein’s awards season arsenal. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are the leads in a quirky and heartfelt family tale from one of the most unpredictable directors working in the US. Robert De Niro also stars.

Contact The Weinstein Company - www.weinsteinco.com

Song For Marion (UK) (closing night)

Dir Paul Andrew Williams

This feelgood story about an old man who joins an unconventional choir marks a change of pace for Williams, whose credits include the gritty London To Brighton. Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton star.

Contact Charlotte Mickie, eOne Films International - cmickie@entonegroup.com

Twice Born (It-Sp-Croatia)

Dir Sergio Castellitto

Italy’s Castellitto re-unites with Penelope Cruz after 2004’s Don’t Move with Twice Born, a drama revolving around a pair of lovers set against the siege of Sarajevo. Emile Hirsch also stars.

Contact Wild Bunch - www.wildbunch.biz

What Maisie Knew (US)

Dir Scott McGehee, David Siegel

A contemporary adaptation of the Henry James novel, this drama from the directors of The Deep End about a child caught in a custody battle stars Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, Onata Aprile, Alexander Skarsgard and Joanna Vanderham.

Contact US: WME - gkruger@wmeentertainment.com; Int’l: Fortissimo Films - info@fortissimo.nl

Special presentations

Arthur Newman (US)

Dir Dante Ariola

With the hot pairing of Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, this feature debut from Ariola is an offbeat love story. Anne Heche also stars.

Contact US: UTA - UTAIndependentFilmGroup@unitedtalent.com, CAA - filmsales@caa.com; Int’l: Focus Features International - info@focusfeatures.com

The Attack (Leb-Fr-Qatar-Egypt-Bel)

Dir Ziad Doueiri

West Beirut and Lila Says director Doueiri returns with an adaptation of the bestseller by Yasmina Khadra about an Israeli-Palestinian surgeon confronting the people who recruited his wife after she is involved in a suicide bombing.

Contact US: Cohen Media Group - www.cohenmedia.net; Int’l: Wild Bunch - www.wildbunch.biz

Byzantium (UK-Ire)

Dir Neil Jordan

Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan and Sam Riley star in Jordan’s return to the vampire genre after 1994’s Interview With The Vampire. Number 9 Films’ second world premiere at Toronto after Great Expectations, Byzantium follows mother and daughter vampires who form a deadly pact.

Contact US: CAA - filmsales@caa.com, WME - gkruger@wmeentertainment.com; Int’l: WestEnd Films - info@westendfilms.com

Capital (Fr)

Dir Costa-Gavras

The latest from the veteran auteur is a globetrotting drama about power plays at a French financial giant. Gabriel Byrne and Gad Elmaleh star.

Contact Elle Driver - www.elledriver.fr

Cloud Atlas (Ger)

Dirs Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

A gifted trio of visual stylists take on David Mitchell’s dazzling meditation on incarnation. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant are among the ensemble cast. Warner Bros will distribute in the US.

Contact Focus Features International - info@focusfeatures.com

The Deep (Ice-Nor)

Dir Baltasar Kormakur

Kormakur, currently at work on the high-profile 2 Guns, returned to his home country, Iceland, to shoot this drama based on a true story. In 1984, a fishing boat sank off the coast of Iceland. One man survived the wreck to swim for six hours in deathly cold waters before walking across volcanic lava fields. Icelandic actor Olafur Darri Olafsson takes the lead role. Kormakur won Toronto’s Discovery Award in 2000 with his debut 101 Reykjavik and has returned with films including Jar City.

Contact Blue Eyes Productions - www.blueeyes.is

Do Not Disturb (Fr)

Dir Yvan Attal

Actor-director Attal (My Wife Is An Actress) returns with this comedy about old college friends who make a decision at a wild party that turns their lives upside down. The attractive cast includes Francois Cluzet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Asia Argento, Laetitia Casta and Attal himself.

Contact TF1 International - sales@tf1.fr

Dreams For Sale (Jap)

Dir Miwa Nishikawa

A married couple lose their business to a fire and decide to earn money by defrauding lonely women. The cast is led by Takako Matsu, Abe Sadao and Rena Tanaka. Nishikawa’s past films include Hirokazu Koreeda-produced Wild Berries, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight selection Sway and Dear Doctor.

Contact Asmik Ace Entertainment - intl@asmik-ace.co.jp

End Of Watch (US)

Dir David Ayer

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena star as hot-shot police officers on patrol in Los Angeles’ South Central district. Word is that Ayer has pulled a memorable performance from Gyllenhaal - much as his Training Day screenplay boosted Denzel Washington’s career. The US distributor is Open Road Films.

Contact Exclusive Media - awalton@exclusivemedia.com

Foxfire (Fr-Can)

Dir Laurent Cantet

Palme d’Or winner Cantet makes his English-language debut with his sixth feature, an adaptation of a Joyce Carol Oates novel about a group of rebellious girls in a 1950s town in upstate New York. The cast are mostly unknowns and the film shot in Ontario, Canada. Foxfire has already sold widely including deals to the UK (Artificial Eye), Spain (Golem) and Canada (Alliance).

Contact Memento Films International - www.memento-films.com

Frances Ha (US)

Dir Noah Baumbach

Baumbach gave US mumblecore star Greta Gerwig a breakthrough role in Greenberg and now the pair reteam for this black-and-white tale of a young dancer carving out a life in New York. Scott Rudin is one of the producers, and Gerwig and Baumbach co-wrote.

Contact UTA - UTAIndependentFilmGroup@unitedtalent.com

Ginger And Rosa (UK)

Dir Sally Potter

A coming-of-age story from auteur Potter about two teenage girls in 1960s London. Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening and Alessandro Nivola star in the film, produced by Miso Film, BBC Films and Adventure Pictures.

Contact US: Cinetic Media - sales@cineticmedia.com; Int’l: The Match Factory - michael.weber@matchfactory.de

Greetings From Tim Buckley (US)

Dir Dan Algrant

Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley stars as late musician Jeff Buckley in this film following the days leading up to the musician’s 1991 performance at a tribute concert for his father, Tim. Imogen Poots and William Sadler also star.

Contact Celluloid Dreams - info@celluloid-dreams.com

Hannah Arendt (Ger)

Dir Margarethe von Trotta

A portrait of the German-Jewish philosopher and her reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, which led to Arendt’s concept of the “banality of evil”. Barbara Sukowa stars as Arendt, returning to work with von Trotta after such films as Visions and Rosa Luxemburg. Janet McTeer also stars.

Contact The Match Factory - michael.weber@match factory.de

Imogene (US)

Dirs Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman

Kristen Wiig - a graduate of Saturday Night Live and creator of hit comedy Bridesmaids - joins the directors of American Splendor in the story of a playwright who stages her suicide to win back an ex-boyfriend. Annette Bening and Matt Dillon also star.

Contact US: UTA - UTAIndependentFilmGroup@unitedtalent.com; Int’l: Voltage Pictures - nicolas@voltagepictures.com

The Impossible (Sp-US)

Dir Juan Antonio Bayona

Bayona scored a Spanish box-office smash in 2007 with his first feature, acclaimed horror film The Orphanage. He returns with his English-language debut about a couple searching for their children in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. Starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland, The Impossible is released by Warner Bros in Spain on October 11.

Contact Summit International - www.summit-ent.com

In The House (Fr)

Dir Francois Ozon

The latest film from French director Ozon is based on Juan Mayorga’s play The Boy In The Last Row and tells the story of a high-school student whose essays start to blur the line between fiction and reality. Produced by Mandarin Cinema and FOZ, the film stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Emmanuelle Seigner.

Contact US: Cohen Media Group - www.cohenmedia.net; Int’l: Wild Bunch - www.wildbunch.biz

Inch’Allah (Can)

Dir Anais Barbeau-Lavalette

From Incendies and Monsieur Lazhar producers micro_scope, Inch’Allah follows a young Canadian doctor trying to build bridges in the West Bank. The film has been sold by eOne to Benelux (Cineart), Portugal (Lusomundo) and Spain (Golem), among others.

Contact Charlotte Mickie, eOne Films International - cmickie@entonegroup.com

The Last Supper (Chi)

Dir Lu Chuan

Lu’s City Of Life And Death received its international premiere at Toronto in 2009 and the director returns with a historical epic about the fall of the Qin Dynasty in 207bc. The film stars Liu Ye, Daniel Wu and Chang Chen.

Contact Wild Bunch - www.wildbunch.biz

A Late Quartet (US)

Dir Yaron Zilberman

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir play world-renowned musicians at a crossroads. As the group’s 25th anniversary concert approaches, one of them is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. eOne Films will release in the US.

Contact West End Films - info@westendfilms.com

A Liar’s Autobiography - The Untrue Story Of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (UK)

Dirs Ben Timlett, Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson

The animated life story of late Monty Python member Graham Chapman, adapted from Chapman’s own fictionalised comedic autobiography. London-based Bill and Ben Productions produce with fellow Pythons John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam among the voice cast.

Contact US: Brainstorm Media - brainmedia.net; Int’l: SC Films International - fumie@scfilmsinternational.com

Mr Pip (NZ)

Dir Andrew Adamson

After directing two titles in the Shrek franchise and a pair of adaptations of The Chronicles Of Narnia, New Zealand-born Adamson adapts this popular novel by Kiwi author Lloyd Jones. House star Hugh Laurie plays an unlikely teacher in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, who befriends one of his young pupils, Matilda, and uses Charles Dickens to distract her from a -violent civil war.

Contact US: UTA - UTAIndependentFilmGroup@unitedtalent.com; Int’l: Focus Features International - info@focusfeatures.com

Much Ado About Nothing (US)

Dir Joss Whedon

Whedon is on a roll, having thrilled audiences as the director of blockbuster smash hit Marvel’s The Avengers and, as writer and producer, a post-modern horror release, The Cabin In The Woods, that drew mostly admiring responses. For his next trick, Whedon tackles a contemporary telling of Shakespeare’s beloved rom-com in a film which uses the original text. It was shot in just 12 days in Santa Monica.

Contact US: CAA - filmsales@caa.com

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (US)

Dir Stephen Chbosky

Emma Watson puts Harry Potter behind her in Chbosky’s adaptation of his own bestseller, a coming-of-age story about an introverted high-school student who is coaxed out of his shell. Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd and Dylan McDermott also star. Summit Entertainment will release in the US, while eOne releases in Canada.

Contact Summit Entertainment - www.summit-ent.com

The Place Beyond The Pines (US)

Dir Derek Cianfrance

Two years after Ryan Gosling starred in Cianfrance’s striking feature debut Blue Valentine, the pair reteam for this thriller. Gosling plays a motorcycle rider who robs banks to support his newborn son. Bradley Cooper plays the cop who stands in his way.

Contact US: WME - gkruger@wmeentertainment.com, CAA - filmsales@caa.com; Int’l: Sierra/Affinity - info@sierra-affinity.com

Quartet (UK)

Dir Dustin Hoffman

Hoffman’s directorial debut, snapped up by The Weinstein Company in Cannes, follows the fortunes of four retired opera singers, played by Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins. Finola Dwyer and Headline Pictures produce with Ronald Harwood writing the script.

Contact HanWay Films - info@hanwayfilms.com

Rhino Season (Iraqi Kurdistan-Tur)

Dir Bahman Ghobadi

Shot in Turkey, the latest from the director of No One Knows About Persian Cats tells the story of a poet who is freed after 30 years in prison. He sets off to find his wife, who thinks he is dead. Iran’s Behrouz Vossoughi plays the ex-prisoner, alongside Monica Bellucci as his wife and Once Upon A Time In Anatolia’s Yilmaz Erdogan.

Contact Wild Bunch - www.wildbunch.biz

Still (Can)

Dir Michael McGowan

McGowan’s Score: A Hockey Musical opened Toronto in 2010 and the director returns with a story of an 89-year-old man who battles housing authorities to build a more suitable home for his ill wife. James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold star.

Contact Ben Weiss, Paradigm - bweiss@paradigmagency.com

Thanks For Sharing (US)

Dir Stuart Blumberg

One of two Toronto entries from Santa Monica-based Olympus Pictures - the other is Mr Pip - Thanks For Sharing is the feature directing debut of producer-screenwriter Blumberg, whose credits include Keeping The Faith and The Kids Are All Right. A comedy-drama about a support group for sex addicts, Thanks For Sharing features Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins and Joely Richardson.

Contact US: UTA - UTAIndependentFilmGroup@unitedtalent.com, WME - gkruger@wmeentertainment.com; Int’l: Voltage Pictures - nicolas@voltagepictures.com

The Time Being (US)

Dir Nenad Cicin-Sain

Frank Langella, who won plaudits at Sundance this year for his role in crowd-pleaser Robot & Frank, plays an eccentric benefactor who gives a struggling artist, played by Wes Bentley, a series of bizarre commissions in this drama from newcomer Cicin-Sain.

Contact Film Colony - info@filmcolony.com

Venus And Serena (US-UK)

Dirs Maiken Baird, Michelle Major

A rare glimpse into the lives of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Baird and Major follow the sisters and their family over the 2011 and 2012 tennis seasons, to shed light on the pair who have been winning championships for more than 10 years.

Contact US: Cinetic - sales@cineticmedia.com

Writers (US)

Dir Josh Boone

Greg Kinnear plays a successful novelist who learns about love and life in a tumultuous year with his ex-wife and teenage children. Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins and Kristen Bell also star in the comedy-drama by first-time director Boone.

Contact US: CAA - filmsales@caa.com; Int’l: The Solution Entertainment Group - lisa@thesolution.com

Yellow (US)

Dir Nick Cassavetes

The director of The Notebook, Alpha Dog and John Q returns with this inventive take on a young substitute teacher who escapes from everyday reality through a series of bizarre fantasies. The strong cast includes Heather Wahlquist, who also wrote the script, Sienna Miller, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta, David Morse, Lucy Punch, Riley Keough and Cassavetes’ mother Gena Rowlands.

Contact US: ICM - icmtalent.com

Zaytoun (UK-Isr-Fr)

Dir Eran Riklis

The story of the unlikely alliance between a young Palestinian boy and an Israeli fighter pilot (Stephen Dorff) who has been shot down over Beirut in 1982, Zaytoun also stars Abdallah El Akel. The film, by The Syrian Bride and Lemon Tree director Riklis, was the first project to take advantage of the UK-Israel co-production treaty. Gareth Unwin, whose credits include The King’s Speech, produces.

Contact Pathé International - www.patheinternational.com

Film profiles by Leon Forde, Jeremy Kay, Wendy Mitchell, Ian Sandwell and Andreas Wiseman

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