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Looper to open 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

Rian Johnson’s time-travel thriller will kick off a mouthwateringly strong line-up that includes world premieres for Cloud Atlas, Hyde Park On Hudson (pictured) and Great Expectations, plus latest work from Terrence Malick, Ben Affleck, Chuan Lu, Francois Ozon, Chen Kaige and Derek Cianfrance.

TriStar Pictures, FilmDistrict, and Endgame Entertainment’s Looper stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Bruce Willis and screens on Sept 6. FilmNation handled international sales and the film opens in the US on Sept 28.

TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey called the thriller “a new kind of opening night: an exciting, thinking-person’s action film from a person who really understands genre.”

There are world premieres for Ben Affleck’s Argo, Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet, David O Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, J A Bayona’s The Impossible and David Ayer’s End Of Watch – all of which have US distribution in place.

As usual the gala and special presentations throw several acquisition titles into the mix, some of which may turn out to be awards contenders. They include Derek Cianfrance’s second collaboration with his Blue Valentine star Ryan Gosling in crime drama The Place Beyond The Pines, Terrence Malick’s romance To The Wonder, Robert Redford’s thriller The Company You Keep and Kristen Wiig comedy Imogene.

The list continues with Deepa Mehta’s epic drama Midnight’s Children, Neil Jordan’s vampire tale Byzantium, Mike Newell’s Charles Dickens adaptation Great Expectations, Andrew Adamson’s true-life war story Mr. Pip and a modern retelling of Much Ado About Nothing from The Avengers director Joss Whedon.

The Toronto International Film Festival is scheduled to run from Sept 6-16.

GALAS

A Royal Affair (Denmark-Sweden-Czech Republic-Germany)
Dir. Nikolai Arcel
Idealists risk everything in their pursuit of freedom for the people.
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander.
North American premiere

Argo (US)
Dir. Ben Affleck
The CIA dreams up an outrageous rescue plan when six Americans escape a siege at the US embassy in 1979 Tehran.
Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler.
World premiere

The Company You Keep (US)
Dir. Robert Redford
A civil rights lawyer and single father goes on the run to clear his name when a reporter exposes his true identity as a former radical fugitive wanted for murder.
Cast: Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick, Stanley Tucci, Chris Cooper and Nick Nolte.
North American premiere

Dangerous Liaisons (China)
Dir. Hur Jin-ho
As war looms in Shanghai, a glamorous libertine runs into the playboy who’s never stopped loving her and challenges him to a dare.
North American premiere

English Vinglish (India)
Dir. Gauri Shinde
A woman ridiculed for her inability to understand English resolves to master the language and gain newfound confidence. English Vinglish marks the comeback of Indian female superstar Sridevi.
World premiere

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners
(USA-France)
Dir. Shola Lynch
A documentary about how a young philosophy professor’s social justice activism implicates her in the botched kidnapping attempt of a judge.
World premiere

Great Expectations
(UK)
Dir. Mike Newell
Orphan Pip rises from humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor in Charles Dickens’ classic tale.
Cast: Holliday Grainger, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Jeremy Irvine.
World premiere

Hyde Park On Hudson
(UK)
Dir. Roger Michell
On the eve of WWII US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor host the King and Queen of England in a politically sensitive and personally tumultuous weekend.
Cast: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Samuel West and Olivia Colman
World premiere

Inescapable (Canada)
Dir. Ruba Nadda
A Syrian with a secret past risks everything to return to Damascus to find his missing daughter.
Cast: Alexander Siddig, Marisa Tomei and Joshua Jackson.
World premiere

Jayne Mansfield’s Car (USA-Russia)
Dir. Billy Bob Thornton
The story of three generations of fathers and sons in the South during the 1960s.
Cast: Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, Billy Bob Thornton and John Hurt.
North American premiere

OPENING NIGHT FILM
Looper
(US)
Dir. Rian Johnson
An assassin employed to kill targets sent back from the future is told to kill his future self.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Bruce Willis, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels.
World premiere

Love, Marilyn (US)
Dir. Liz Garbus
Creative documentary brings Marilyn Monroe back to life through the contents of two recently discovered boxes.
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Lindsay Lohan, Evan Rachel Wood, Ben Foster, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti, Viola Davis, Jeremy Piven, Ellen Burstyn, Adrien Brody, Marisa Tomei and Glenn Close.
World premiere

Midnight’s Children
(Canada-UK)
Dir. Deepa Mehta
Based on Salman Rushdie magic realist Booker Prize winner about the birth of modern India.
Cast: Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Soha Ali Khan, Anita Majumdar, Zaib Shaikh and Darsheel Safary.
World premiere

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (US)
Dir. Mira Nair
The Venice opener is a thriller about a young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street who becomes embroiled in a hostage crisis.
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Liev Schreiber.
North American premiere

Silver Linings Playbook (US)
Dir. David O Russell
A couple make a secret pact to rebuild their broken lives.
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker.
World premiere

Thermae Romae (Japan)
Dir. Hideki Takeuchi
A bath architect from Ancient Rome travels back and forth in time betwen his home and modern-day Japan.
Cast: Hiroshi Abe and Aya Ueto
North American premiere

Twice Born (Italy-Spain-Croatia)
Dir. Sergio Castellitto
A woman embarks on a complex, emotional journey with her son back to her former home in Sarajevo.
Cast: Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch.
World premiere

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

A Few Hours Of Spring (France)
Dir. Stéphane Brizé
Forty-eight-year-old Alain Evrard is obliged to return home to live with his terminally ill mother.
North American premiere

Anna Karenina
(UK)
Dir. Joe Wright
Wright reunites with Keira Knightley in Leo Tolstoy’s classic tale of an aristocrat who begins a fateful affair..
Cast: Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
International premiere

At Any Price (UK-USA)
Dir. Ramin Bahrani
A father and his rebellious son must fight for their livelihood when the family farming empire comes under investigation.
Cast: Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron
World premiere

The Attack (France)
Dir. Ziad Doueiri
In the aftermath of a suicide bombing, an Arab surgeon living in Tel Aviv discovers a dark secret about his wife.
World premiere

Byzantium (UK)
Dir. Neil Jordan
A vampire pact is revealed at a run-down coastal resort.
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley and Saoirse Ronan.
World premiere

Capital
(France)
Dir. Costa-Gavras
Parable about a man from humble origins who rises to rule a fictitious society.
Cast: Gad Elmaleh and Gabriel Byrne.
World premiere

Caught In The Web (Japan-China)
Dir. Chen Kaige
A critique of “soundbite society” follows three women whose worlds collide.
Cast: Mark Chao, Chen Hong and Gao Yuanyuan.
International premiere

Cloud Atlas (US)
Dirs. Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Three visionary directors tackle David Mitchell’s bold tale about the migration of a soul across several centuries.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant.
World premiere

The Deep (Iceland-Norway)
Dir. Baltasar Kormákur
The survivor of a fishing boat wreck washes ashore on a deadly lava field.
Cast: Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
World premiere

Dormant Beauty
(Italy-France)
Dir. Marco Bellocchio
A diverse group of characters struggle with daily issues of life.
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Toni Servillo, Alba Rohrwacher, Michele Riondino, Maya Sansa, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Brenno Placido, Fabrizio Falco, Gian Marco Tognazzi, Roberto Herlitzka.
International premiere

Dreams For Sale (Japan)
Dir. Nishikawa Miwa
A married owners of a small business concocts a devious plan to save money.
Cast: Matsu Takako, Abe Sadavo and Tanaka Lena.
World premiere
 
End Of Watch (US)
Dir. David Ayer
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña play young Los Angeles police officers on patrol in south central’s meanest streets.
World premiere

Everybody Has A Plan (Argentina)
Dir. Ana Piterbarg
Viggo Mortensen is a man who assumes the identity of his dead twin and becomes caught up in his sibling’s shady dealings in the Tigre Delta region of Argentina.
International premiere

Foxfire
(France-Canada)
Dir. Laurent Cantet
An adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel about a small-town girl gang in the 1950s.
Cast: Ali Liebert and Tamara Hope.
World premiere

Frances Ha (US)
Dir. Noah Baumbach
An aspiring dancer moves to New York only to get caught up in a web of fair-weather friends, career setbacks and ill luck.
Cast: Greta Gerwig and Mickey Sumner
World premiere

Ginger And Rosa
(UK)
Dir. Sally Potter
London, 1962: Two teenage girls find their friendship under threat in the face of the Cold War and sexual revolution.
Cast: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening and Alessandro Nivola.
World premiere

Hannah Arendt (Germany)
Dir. Margarethe von Trotta
A portrait of the writer who shook the world with her discovery of “the banality of evil.”
Cast: Janet McTeer and Barbara Sukowa.
World premiere

The Hunt
(Denmark)
Dir. Thomas Vinterberg
Cannes hit about a man who comes under fire from a community because of one random lie.
Cast: Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp and Mads Mikkelsen.
North American Premiere

The Iceman (US)
Dir. Ariel Vromen
The true story of Richard Kuklinsk, a loving husband and devoted father who unbeknownst to his family was a hitman who is believed to have killed more than 250 people between 1954 and 1985.
Cast: Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, Michael Shannon and Ray Liotta.
North American Premiere

Imogene (US)
Dirs. Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman
A moderately successful New York playwright fakes her suicide and ends up being forced into the custody of her gambling-addicted mother.
Cast: Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss and Kristen Wiig.
World premiere

The Impossible
(Spain-US)
Dir. J A Bayona
True-life tale about a vacationing family caught up in the Thailand tsunami.
Cast: Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast and Ewan McGregor.
World premiere

In the House
(France)
Dir. François Ozon
A gifted teenager awakens a teacher’s passion for his work with dire consequences.
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas.
World premiere

Kon-Tiki (UK-Norway-Denmark)
Dirs. Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg
True story about a dangerous Pacific crossing on a fragile raft.
International premiere

The Last Supper (China)
Dir. Lu Chuan
Styled as an epic tale of war, and betrayal.
World premiere

A Late Quartet (US)
Dir. Yaron Zilberman
A squabbling group of musicians try to secure their legacy after one of their number is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir, Imogen Poots, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener.
World premiere

A Liar’s Autobiography — The Untrue Story Of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (UK)
Dirs. Ben Timlett, Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson
Chapman’s bizarre existence comes under the microscope.
Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland and Philip Bulcock.
World premiere

Lore (Australia-UK-Germany)
Dir. Cate Shortland
The daughter of imprisoned Nazis journeys across Germany and must learn to trust a Jew.
Cast: Saskia Rosendahl and Kai Malina.
North American Premiere

Mr. Pip (New Zealand)
Dir. Andrew Adamson
The fight for a copper mine war in a war-torn 1991 South Pacific island blows out of control.
Cast: Hugh Laurie, Xzannjah Matsi, Healesville Joel, Eka Darville and Kerry Fox.
World premiere

Much Ado About Nothing (US)
Dir. Joss Whedon
Riding high following the huge success of The Avengers, Whedon gives Shakespeare’s classic comedy a modern twist.
Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, Jillian Morgese, Nathan Fillion, Spencer Treat Clark and Riki Lindhome.
World premiere

No Pablo (Chile-US)
Dir. Pablo Larraín
Acclaimed Cannes selection about a hot-shot advertising executive hired by the opposition party to campaign against Chilean dictator Augustin Pinochet.
North American Premiere

Outrage Beyond (Japan)
Dir. Takeshi Kitano
A police crackdown on organised crime sparks all-out yakuza war.
North American premiere

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (US)
Dir. Stephen Chbosky
A shy freshman is taken under the wing of two worldy senior students.
Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Rudd and Dylan McDermott.
World premiere

The Place Beyond The Pines (US)
Dir. Derek Cianfrance
A professional motorcycle rider who robs banks to support his newborn son runs into an old adversary.
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes.
World premiere

Quartet (UK)
Dir. Dustin Hoffman
Hoffman’s directorial debut is a high-drama comedy about temperamental divas and old grudges, passion and pride, romance and Rigoletto.
Cast: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins as four retired opera singers.
World premiere

Reality (Italy-France)
Dir. Matteo Garrone
A Neapolitan fishmonger strives to get on to Big Brother in Garrone’s Cannes grand prix winner.
Cast: Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli, Nando Paone, Nello Iorio and Nunzia Schiano.
North American premiere

Rust And Bone (France-Belgium)
Dir. Jacques Audiard
Cannes romance about a woman who suffers a horrifying killer whale attack.
Cast: Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts.
North American premiere

The Sapphires (Australia)
Dir. Wayne Blair
Aboriginal singers plucked from obscurity travel to Vietnam to entertain the troops.
Cast: Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell.
North American premiere

The Sessions (US)
Dir. Ben Lewin
Sundance crowdpleaser originally called The Surrogate about a man in an iron lung seeking true love and his first sexual encounter.
Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H Macy.
Canadian premiere

Tai Chi 0 (China)
Dir. Stephen Fung
A young martial arts disciple travels to an imperilled village to learn the ways of Tai Chi.
North American premiere

Thanks for Sharing (US)
Dir. Stuart Blumberg
Friends discuss sex addiction as they seek proper relationhips.
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad and Joely Richardson.
World premiere

The Time Being (US)
Dir. Nenad Cicin-Sain
A young artist attracts a benefactor which raises questions about how he will proceed in his career.
Cast: Wes Bentley and Frank Langella
World premiere

To The Wonder (US)
Dir. Terrence Malick
A couple return from a pilgrimage to a holy sight in Italy and try to keep their relationship from crumbling.
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko
North American premiere

Venus & Serena (US)
Dir. Maiken BairdDocumentary traces one year in the lives of the champion tennis players.
World premiere

Writers (UA)
Dir. Josh Boone
An acclaimed writer, his ex-wife and their teenaged children come to terms with the complexities of love.
Cast: Liana Liberato, Jennifer Connelly, Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins and Kristen Bell.

Zaytoun
(UK-Israel)
Dir. Eran Riklis
An unlikely alliance forms between a 12-year-old Palestinian refugee and an Israeli fighter pilot shot down over Beirut in 1982.
Cast: Stephen Dorff
World premiere

The roster of prizes on offer at the festival include a trio of audience awards: the BlackBerry People’s Choice Award (a free screening of the winner will play on Sept 16); the BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Award; and the BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award.

Three awards will be selected by jury: The City Of Toronto + Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film with a CA $30,000 cash prize; The SKYY Vodka Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film and a CA $15,000 cash prize; and the award for Best Canadian short film with a CA $10,000 cash prize.

There will also be FIPRESCI prizes for special presentations and for the Discovery programme.

New this year is the juried NETPAC Award for the best first or second feature world or international Asian Film Premiere and the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award with a CA $10,000 cash prize.

Recipients of all awards will be announced at the festival’s awards reception on Sept 16.

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