Canadian filmmaker Bruce Sweeney's Last Wedding will open the 26th Toronto International Film Festival, making its world premiere on September 6. Described as a "human drama", it features Benjamin Ratner, Frida Betrani, Tom Scholte, Nancy Sivak, Vincent Gale and Molly Parker. Sweeney, whose feature Live Bait was voted best Canadian film the 1995 festival, wrote the screenplay. Stephen Hegyes produced.
According to a release, the film follows Noah (Ratner), a waterproofing specialist, as he falls in love with Zipporah (Betrani), a country singer whose dreams exceed her talent. Despite the skepticism of Noah's friends Peter and Shane, and the fact that Noah has only known Zipporah for six months, the two are determined to marry. When Zipporah's career is humiliatingly stalled, however, their domestic life begins to flounder.
The announcement continues the Toronto festival tradition -- with some exceptions -- of opening with a Canadian film or the work of a Canadian director. There had been speculation that Bruce McDonald's Picturing Claire (formerly Claire's Hat) would be the opener but producer Robert Lantos did not offer the film, presumably over concerns that international buyers, who generally arrive after opening day, would miss a large public screening.