The world premiere of Jon Amiel’s Charles Darwin biopic Creation starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly will open the 34th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 10.

Organisers also unveiled four Gala screenings and 18 special presentations. The Gala roster features the world premiere of Aaron Schneider’s drama Get Low starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek and the world premiere of comedy The Invention Of Lying from Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson.

Rounding out the Galas are the Canadian Premiere of Lee Daniels’ Sundance sensation Precious: Based On The Novel “Push” By Sapphire, and the North American Premiere of Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg’s world war two Resistance story Max Manus.

Jeremy Thomas produced Creation, an amalgam of ghost story, psychological thriller and love story about the pioneering thinker and author of The Origin Of The Species born 200 years ago, who was torn between the love for his wife and his growing belief in science.

John Collee adapted the screenplay from Randal Keynes’ biography Annie’s Box, Creation was co-developed by Recorded Picture Company with BBC Films and the UK Film Council.

“The tension between faith and reason is prominent in contemporary culture and this intimate look at Darwin puts a human face on a man whose theory remains controversial to this day,” TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling said.

“By telling a story on many levels, weaving scenes from past and present, this depiction of Darwin promises to deeply move audiences by drawing them into the conflicted mind of a man who presented a concept that changed the world,” TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey said.

Special presentations include the world premieres of Bruno Dumont’s drama Hadewijch, Niki Caro’s 19th century fantasy drama The Vintner’s Luck, Neil Jordan’s fantasy drama Ondine, and Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves Of Grass; as well as the North American premieres of Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! and Jane Campion’s Bright Star.

The special presentations line-up features the world premieres of Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s Solitary Man starring Michael Douglas, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Viking romp Valhalla Rising, Scott Hicks’ poignant family drama The Boys Are Back with Clive Owen, Bruce Beresford’s story of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin in Mao’s Last Dancer, Raoul Peck’s Haitian drama Moloch Tropical, and Joran Scott’s girls boarding school drama Cracks.

There are North American premieres for Rachid Bouchareb’s July 2005 London bombings drama London River, Yousry Nasrallah’s Scheherazade Tell Me a Story, and two from Cannes – Bong Joon-ho’s Mother and Johnnie To’s Vengeance.

Organisers also selected the international premieres of Lu Chuan’s City Of Life And Death, and Catherine Corsini’s Partir.

TIFF is scheduled to run from September 10-19.