The Toronto International Film Festival has added 11 worldpremieres to its September line up, including The Duelist from Korea's Lee Myung-se, Iberia from Spanish auteur Carlos Saura and a Galapresentation of German filmmaker Hermine Huntgeburth's White Masai.
Deflecting criticism that it's a Hollywood-centred event,TIFF packaged its latest 21- title announcement as a foreign-language extravaganza- although the White Masai is in Germanand English.
TIFF's Sales Office offered a similarly internationalmessage, announcing that its roster of confirmed film buyers has increased by 40%from the previous year.
In all, there will be 1000 sales delegates representing over530 companies from 47 countries; of those 1000, 80% say they will be stayingseven days or longer. Certainly, there will be many films to see and buy.
The Duelist, a periodaction drama that pre-sold in Berlin to Japan's Comstock for $4m, stars Ha JiWon, as a female detective in the Korea's Choson Kingdom.
Saura's Iberia isanother dance-inspired film, this time uniting the work of composer IsaacAlbeniz with Flamenco, ballet and contemporary dance.
The White Masai is a story of a young German woman whofalls in love with a Masai tribesman and exchanges her Western life for one inthe Kenyan bush.Produced by Gunter Rohrbach for Constantin Film and basedon the autobiographical book by Corinne Hoffmann, the film stars Nina Hoss,Jacky Ido, Janek Rieke, and Katja Flint.
Other world premieres are:
* Montxo Armendariz's Obaba from Spain, about a young woman investigating the mystery of afictional Basque village;
* French filmmaker Anne Fontaine's Entre Ses Mains, about a married woman's relationship with amysterious and potentially dangerous man;
* Korean title April Snow fromHur Jin-ho, a story of a man and woman who discover they are being cheated onby their respective partners;
* Alain Tasma's October 17, 1961,about the arrest of 11,000 Algerians in France during the Algerian struggle forindependence;
* Marcelo Pineyro's The Gronholm Method (Spain-Argentina-Italy) is the story of seven job candidates competingfor an executive position at a giant company; from Germany,
* Andreas Dresnen's Summer In Berlin,tells of two women struggling in their private lives and jobs;
* Bohdan Slama's Something Like Happiness from the Czech Republic and Germany, tells of three childhood friendscomparing notes as adults;
* Emmanuelle Bercot's Backstage, fromFrance, is a be-careful-what-you-wish-for story about a young girl gainingaccess to the inner circle of her pop idol.
Among the North American premieres are:
* Takeshi Kitano's Takeshis, wherein the Japanese master plays himself confronting a look-alike;
* France-Canada coproduction Vers Le Sud from Time Out directorLaurent Cantet, about three tourists thrust into the dangerous world of 1980sHaiti. The film will play first in the main competition at Venice.
* Hong Kong master Tsui Hark's Seven Swords, the story of seven men who defend a village frommassacre in 1600s China;
* Stanley Kwan's China-Hong Kong production Everlasting Regret, the story of a Shanghai beauty and betrayal sheendures and another Venice competition title;
* Patrice Chereau's Gabrielle (France/Italy),an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's The Return, starring Isabelle Huppert, which will also competefor the Golden Lion at Venice;
* Thai film Citizen Dog fromWisit Sasanatieng, a magical realist story of the only man in Bangkok without atail;
* Anne Villaceque's Riviera,about a mother and daughter in the original French playground of the rich,
* and another French film, Sophie Fillieres' Gentille, about a woman who finds herself proposed to by theman she's lived with for 10 years.
International premieres include Iranian filmmaker MajidMajidi's The Willow Tree, about a blinduniversity professor who must seek medical treatment in France; AndruchaWaddington's House Of Sand fromBrazil, about a life spent in the remote desert; Antonio Capuano's Mario'sWar, the story oftrouble foster child and the turmoil he brings to the family who take him in.