The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival has announced some of its major titles at this year's eventwhich runs Sept 4-14. Denys Arcand's Les Invasions Barbares (The Barbarian Invasions) which was in competition at Cannes will open thefestival, continuing the tradition of a Canadian film being the opening nightgala presentation.
Three gala presentationswere also announced today (Tuesday): Robert Altman's latest ensemble TheCompany set in the world of ballet,Lars Von Trier's Cannes sensation Dogville starring Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany and EmileGaudreault's local romantic comedy Mambo Italiano.
The Masters lineup includesthe world premiere of Casa De Los Babys directed by John Sayles and the North American premiere of JacquesRivette's latest L'Histoire De Marie Et Julien.
12 titles were confirmed forthe Contemporary World Cinema section - Sedigh Barmak's Osama, Erik Matti's Prosti, Bent Hamer's Kitchen Stories, Roger Michell's The Mother, David Mackenzie's Young Adam, Julie Bertuccelli's Depuis Qu'OtarEst Parti, Penny Woolcock's ThePrinciples Of Lust, SolveigAnspach's Stormy Weather,Naomi Kawase's Shara, DagurKari's Noi Albinoi andSiegfried's Sansa will all received their North American premieres, whileJohn Crowley's Intermissionis a Canadian premiere.
Five titles have beenconfirmed for this year's Nationa Cinema focus on Brazil includes HectorBabenco's Carandiru, Eliane Caffe's The Story Tellers, JosePadilha's Bus 174, Jose Henrique Fonseca's The Man Of The Year and Renato Falcao's Margarette'sFeast.
For the fourth consecutiveyear, Toronto spotlights a silent film with live musical accompaniment, thisyear selecting Erich Von Stroheim's 1925 classic The Merry Widow.
Speaking at a festival press conference Tuesday, festival director Piers Handling addressed the ongoing concerns about SARS and its potential impact on the festival in terms of local attendance and as a disincentive to visits from movie stars.
He pointed out that TIFF's children's film festival Sprockets and the Hot Docs documentary film festival both experienced strong box office despite occurring in the midst of the outbreak. "In terms of the directors and talent who might attend the festival, at this point we don't see a major concern."
Denys Arcand, who was present at the press conference, said that he will present the shorter version of Les Invasions Barbares which screened at Cannes as opposed to the slighter longer version which is in cinemas in Quebec.