Films from the Dardennes brothers, Lars von Trier, MichaelHaneke, Alexander Sokurov and Hou Hsiao Hsien were among sixteen North Americanpremieres unveiled today by the Toronto International Film Festival, as thecontinent's leading festival launched the first salvo in its annual PRoffensive.
In all, twenty titles were announced, one week before theopening TIFF press conference that signals the beginning of summer in the city.
The Dardennes' Palme d'Or winner L'Enfant (The Child), von Trier's Manderlay, Haneke's Cache (Hidden), and Hou's ThreeTimes will be joined by fellow Cannescompetitors Wim Wenders' Don't Come Knocking, Carlos Reygadas' Battle In Heaven and WangXiaoshuai's Shanghai Dreams.
This year's Cannes sidebars are also well represented atToronto. Among the Un Certain Regard entries areThe Death Of Mr. Lazarescu from Romania, the Sri Lankan film TheForsaken Land and Laïla Marrakchi's French featuredebut Marock.
They are joined by the two films that bookended this year'sDirectors Fortnight in Cannes: Be With Mefrom Singapore and the Iranian film Iron Island.
Toronto audiences will also get a taste of some of the most-highlyprized films in this year's Berlinale competition, including Sokurov's TheSun, Tsai Ming-Liang's TheWayward Cloud, Mark Dornford-May's CarmenIn Khayelitsha, and Hany Abu-Assad's ParadiseNow.
Carmen went on to winthe Golden Bear, with Assad and Tsai Ming-Liang also winning major Berlinale awards.
Rounding out the list are several Sundance titles. They are Thumbsuckerfrom Mike Mills, Waldo Salt ScreenwritingPrize-winner The Squid And The Whalefrom Noah Baumbach - both set for Special Presentation status -- and DearWendy, directed by Thomas Vinterberg from ascreenplay by von Trier.
As for industry initiatives, TIFF is expanding its TalentLab artistic development programme from three days to four days. Application islimited to Canadian filmmakers, who must have written, directed, or produced atleast one feature or two short films.
The Telefilm Canada-sponsored Pitch This! programme alsoreturns. Six finalists are given the opportunity to pitch their feature filmidea to an industry audience. Again, application is limited to Canadians,although no film experience is necessary.
The 30th edition of TIFF runs September 8-17,2005.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERES AT TORONTO (to date)
Battle In Heaven, dir.Carlos Reygadas (France/Belgium/Mexico)
Be With Me, dir. Eric Khoo (Singapore)
Cache (Hidden), dir. Michael Haneke (France/Austria/Germany/Italy)
Carmen In Khayelitsha, dir MarkDornford-May (South Africa)
The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu, dir.Cristi Puiu (Romania)
Don't Come Knocking, dir. WimWender (Germany/USA/ France/UK)
L'Enfant, dir. Jean-Pierre andLuc Dardenne (Belgium/France)
The Foresaken Land, dir. VimukthiJayasundara (Sri Lanka/France)
Iron Island, dir. MohammadRasoulof (Iran)
Manderlay, dir. Lars von Trier(Denmark/Sweden/ France/UK/Germany/Netherlands)
Marock, dir. Laila Marrakchi(France)
Paradise Now, dir. Hany Abu-Assad(The Netherlands/Germany/France)
Shanghai Dreams, dir. WangXiaoshuai (China)
The Sun, dir. Alexander Sokurov(Russia/Italy/France/Switzerland)
Three Times, dir. Hou Hsiao Hsien(Taiwan)
The Wayward Cloud, dir. TsaiMing-Liang (China/Taiwan/France)