Nothing Is Private (US)
Dir: Alan Ball
Eight years after American Beauty, writer Ball returns to features with his directorial debut. Aaron Eckhart and his Thank You For Smoking co-star Maria Bello headline alongside Toni Collette in a drama about a sexually obsessed Lebanese-American girl who moves next door to a bigoted Army reservist.
Int'l sales: Celluloid Dreams, (33) 1 49 70 03 70
Rails & Ties (US)
Dir: Alison Eastwood
If Clint Eastwood's daughter Alison is a chip off the old block, this directorial debut should be one of the hottest tickets in town. Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden play a married couple desperate for a child.
Int'l sales: Warner Bros Pictures International, (1) 818 954 6000
Reclaim Your Brain (Ger)
Dir: Hans Weingartner
Expectations are running high for Reclaim Your Brain, Austrian director Weingartner's first film since The Edukators was shown in competition at Cannes in 2004. Germany's Moritz Bleibtreu plays a burned-out TV producer who decides to initiate a cultural counter-revolution. Kinowelt is opening the film in Germany at the end of October.
Int'l sales: The Match Factory, (49) 221 292 10 20
Dir: Milcho Manchevski
Manchevski's mystery thriller Shadows follows on thematically from his Golden Lion-winning Before The Rain and Dust. With a cast of young Macedonian actors, the contemporary urban tale tells of a doctor who has to find his true self after a near-fatal car accident. Co-producers are from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Int'l sales: Bavaria Film International, (49) 89 64 99 26 86
Dir: Francois Girard
Silk is based on the best selling novel by Alessandro Baricco, about a 19th-century French silkworm merchant who travels to Japan and begins a forbidden romance with a mysterious woman (Keira Knightley). Picturehouse has produced the film and is distributing in North America.
Int'l sales: New Line Cinema, (1) 212 649 4900
The Take (US)
Dir: Brad Furman
Furman's heist movie stars John Leguizamo, Tyrese Gibson and Rosie Perez.
Int'l dist: Sony Pictures Releasing Int'l, (1) 310 244 4000
Then She Found Me (US)
Dir: Helen Hunt
Hunt stars in her directorial debut as a teacher who undergoes a mid-life crisis. Colin Firth, Bette Midler and Matthew Broderick round out the rom-com's cast.
Int'l sales: Odyssey Entertainment, (44) 20 7520 5610
The Visitor (US)
Dir: Thomas McCarthy
McCarthy's follow-up to The Station Agent stars a largely unknown cast in the story of a widowed college professor who discovers a young couple has been scammed into renting his vacant flat.
Int'l sales: Andrew Hurwitz, (1) 212 262 9542
Four Women (India)
Dir: Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Known as the pioneer of the Indian new wave, director Gopalakrishnan's Four Women is based on Malayalam writer Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai's short stories about four women's experiences in different social stratas.
Contact: Emil and Eric Digital Films, (91) 487 2425 239
The Past (Arg-Bra)
Dir: Hector Babenco
A veteran of the festival circuit, Babenco arrives at Toronto with The Past, backed by Twentieth Century Fox and starring Gael Garcia Bernal. Based on the novel by Alan Pauls, it tells the story of a man being hounded by his ex-partner.
Contact: Etienne Yamamoto, HB Filmes, (55) 11 30 52 20 39
The Princess Of Nebraska (US)
Dir: Wayne Wang
Wang's companion film to A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers (see below) follows a pregnant Chinese girl who travels to San Francisco for an abortion.
Contact: CAA, (1) 212 277 9000
A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers (US)
Dir: Wayne Wang
Wang returns to the low-budget film-making that made him a cornerstone of US independent cinema, with this tale of Chinese immigrants in the US.
Contact: CAA, (1) 212 277 9000
The Voyeurs (India)
Dir: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Veteran film-maker and multi-award winner Dasgupta arrives at Toronto with this story of love and our obsession with security.
Contact: BAG Films & Media, (91) 120 3911 442
CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
Battle For Haditha (UK)
Dir: Nick Broomfield
UK documentarian Broomfield follows up his immigration drama Ghosts with another reality-inspired narrative feature, this time an Iraq war project about the Haditha incident of 2005. Broomfield shot in Jordan with a cast of unknown actors including former US Marines and Iraqis. Anna Telford co-produces with Broomfield, and the project is backed by Channel 4 and Broomfield's Lafayette Film.
Int'l Sales: Hanway Films, (44) 207 290 0750
Dans La Vie (Fr)
Dir: Philippe Faucon
Writer-director Faucon follows up his 2005 Betrayal with this story of an elderly Jewish woman who meets a proud Muslim woman who is hired to care for her. Faucon, who segues between television and features, is best known for 2000's Samia.
Int'l sales: Pyramide International, (33) 1 42 96 01 01
Days And Clouds (It-Switz)
Dir: Silvio Soldini
Festival favourite Soldini's latest effort follows the breakdown of a couple's relationship after the wife (Margherita Buy) is thwarted in her efforts to return to school when her husband (Giuseppe Battiston) loses his job. Lumiere & Company produced the film and is distributing in Italy.
Int'l sales: Adrianna Chiese Enterprises, (39) 06 80 86 052
L'Ennemi Intime (Fr)
Dir: Florent Emilio Siri
After bursting on the scene in 2002 with Nid De Guepes, Siri took a turn in Hollywood directing Bruce Willis in the action film Hostage. Here he returns to the French language for a story set in war-torn Algeria in 1959.
Int'l sales: M6 DA, (33) 1 41 92 68 66
New York City Serenade (US)
Dir: Frank Whaley
Whaley's coming-of-age tale is based on his childhood experiences growing up with Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard. Freddie Prinze Jr and Chris Klein star as an aspiring film-maker, whose fiancee has just called off the engagement, and a wannabe rock star respectively.
Int'l sales: The Film Sales Co, (1) 646 274 0945
Dir: Julien Leclercq
In Leclercq's action-feature debut, a lieutenant returns to the line of duty to hunt down a dangerous smuggler behind a series of murders. Starring Albert Dupontel, Estelle Lefebure and Melanie Thierry.
Int'l sales: Gaumont, (33) 46 43 2000
The Babysitters (US)
Dir: David Ross
Sixteen-year-old Shirley (Katherine Waterston) turns her babysitting service into a call-girl ring. Ross' directorial debut stars John Leguizamo, Cynthia Nixon, Denis O'Hare and Andy Comeau.
Int'l sales: The Collective, (1) 310 288 8181
Dir: Tamar Van Den Dop
Marie (Halina Reijn), a young albino woman who is struggling with her looks, finds love with a blind man (Joren Seldeslachts). A period piece, the film is a touching portrait that proves love is truly blind.
Contact: Phanta Vision, (31) 206 260 255
The World Unseen (UK-S Afr)
Dir: Shamim Sarif
Free-spirited Amina (Sheetal Sheth) and the married Miriam (Lisa Ray) fall in love in 1950s apartheid South Africa and set in motion events that change both women forever. Based on the award-winning novel of the same title by director Shamim Sarif.
Contact: Enlightenment Productions, (44) 207 351 2423
SELECTED CANADIAN WORLD PREMIERES
Young People Fucking
Dir: Martin Gero
This smart comedy from English-speaking Canada traces five stories connected by a single sexual encounter between each couple, leading from "Foreplay" through to "Afterglow".
Int'l sales: ThinkFilm, (1) 212 444 7900
Brick Lane (UK)
Dir: Sarah Gavron
Gavron had a tough time with this shoot, due to protests from the real immigrant community in London's Brick Lane neighbourhood. But early industry feedback on this immigration drama suggests the trouble was worth it for this adaptation of Monica Ali's bestseller. Sony Pictures Classics has taken North American and South American rights.
Int'l sales: The Works International, (44) 207 612 1080
Happiness (S Kor)
Dir: Hur Jin-ho
Hur, who directed pan-Asian hits April Snow and Christmas In August, brings Happiness to Toronto. Starring Hwang Jung-min and Lim Soo-jung, the film follows a man diagnosed with a terminal illness who leaves the city for a sanitorium where he meets a young woman. Produced by Korea's Rai Film and Zip Cinema.
Int'l sales: Showbox/Mediaplex Inc, (82) 2 3218 5636.