This year’s Toronto line-up features a bumper crop of new works from established directors as well as exciting directorial debuts. Screen profiles selected world premieres from the major sections.
The Art Of The Steal (Can)
Dir Jonathan Sobol
A Beginner’s Guide To Endings, Sobol’s debut feature, premiered at Toronto in 2010 and the director returns with this caper starring Jay Baruchel, Matt Dillon, Kurt Russell and Terence Stamp. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions handles international rights with Radius-TWC distributing in the US.
Contact Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, firstname.lastname@example.org
August: Osage County (US)
Dir John Wells
With a strong ensemble cast that includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Juliette Lewis, August: Osage County is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts. It tells the story of a family of strong-willed women who return to the Midwest house in which they grew up following a family crisis. ER and The West Wing creator Wells could be headed for awards season attention with the project.
Contact The Weinstein Company, email@example.com
The Fifth Estate (US)
Opening night film
Dir Bill Condon
The festival scores a must-see opening night film with Condon’s WikiLeaks thriller. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl plays colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Condon premiered his 1987 debut Sister, Sister at Toronto and was last at TIFF with 2004’s Kinsey. Partners on the film are DreamWorks, Reliance Entertainment and Participant Media.
Contact Mister Smith, mistersmithent.com
The Grand Seduction (Can)
Dir Don McKellar
The only hope for the tiny outpost of Tickle Head is a new petrochemical plant, but in order to win the bid they need to prove they have a resident doctor. When fate sends Dr Lewis their way, an unemployed fisherman mobilises the town to do all they can to convince him their home is a paradise. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Brendan Gleeson, Liane Balaban and Gordon Pinsent, the film is an English-language remake of the successful 2003 Quebecois comedy, also known as Seducing Doctor Lewis.
Contact Voltage Pictures, firstname.lastname@example.org
Life Of Crime (US)
Closing night film
Dir Daniel Schechter
Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, Life Of Crime is set in 1970s Detroit and stars John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) as kidnappers of a corrupt real-estate developer’s wife. Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher and Will Forte also star. The film was financed by Hyde Park Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi.
International contact Hyde Park International, email@example.com; US contact WME, wma.com; CAA, caa.com
The Love Punch (Fr)
Dir Joel Hopkins
Bafta-winning UK director Hopkins (Jump Tomorrow, Last Chance Harvey) offers a romance-caper starring Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan. They play a divorced couple who team up to chase a shady businessman. SND financed and co-produced in addition to handling sales.
Contact SND Films, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Railway Man (Aus-UK)
Dir Jonathan Teplitzky
Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in the epic true story - adapted from Eric Lomax’s bestselling book - of a British prisoner of war in a Japanese camp during the Second World War. Decades later he sets out to confront the Japanese interpreter whom he holds responsible for much of his mistreatment. Lionsgate has UK rights and handles international.
International contact Lionsgate International, email@example.com; US contact CAA, caa.com
The Right Kind Of Wrong (Can)
Dir Jeremiah S Chechik
Starring True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten alongside Sara Canning and Catherine O’Hara, this romantic comedy follows a failed writer turned dishwasher who risks everything for the girl of his dreams. eOne will distribute in Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Benelux.
International contact WestEnd Films, westendfilms.com; US contact Serendipity Point, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon (US)
Dir Mike Myers
This documentary marks Myers’ directorial debut and explores the life of talent manager Shep Gordon, who has worked with Alice Cooper, Blondie and Luther Vandross and invented the celebrity chef. Myers has partnered with A&E IndieFilms on Supermensch, which features interviews with Michael Douglas and Sylvester Stallone among others.
International contact A&E, aetv.com/indiefilms/; US contact WME, wma.com
Words And Pictures (US)
Dir Fred Schepisi
The latest film from the Australian director, whose credits include Six Degrees Of Separation, stars Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen in the story of an art instructor and an English teacher who let the students at a New England prep school decide whether words or pictures are more important. Their rivalry turns to attraction.
Contact Voltage Pictures, email@example.com
Beyond The Edge (NZ)
Dir Leanne Pooley
The story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s 1953 conquest of Mount Everest, Beyond The Edge combines archive footage with dramatic recreations. The documentary was filmed on location in the Southern Alps on New Zealand’s South Island, the Himalayas and Everest and has been rendered in 3D. Producer Matthew Metcalfe was last in Toronto with 2008’s Dean Spanley.
Contact Altitude Film Sales, firstname.lastname@example.org
Burt’s Buzz (Can)
Dir Jody Shapiro
A documentary portrait of Burt Shavitz, the co-founder of natural skincare products company Burt’s Bees. Shapiro’s film How To Start Your Own Country screened at Toronto in 2010.
Contact Everyday Pictures, email@example.com
The Dog (US)
Dirs Allison Berg, Frank Keraudren
A portrait of John Wojtowicz, whose attempted robbery of a Brooklyn bank inspired the character played by Al Pacino in Sidney Lumet’s 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon. Berg’s credits include Witches In Exile, which was edited by Keraudren.
Contact Submarine Entertainment, firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith Connections (Fr-India)
Dir Pan Nalin
The director of Samsara travels to the biggest gathering of people on Earth, the Kumbh Mela, to follow a diverse group of pilgrims who gather to bathe in a sacred river. Faith Connections is produced by Jungle Book Entertainment in India and Cité Films and Virginie Films in France.
Contact Cité Films, email@example.com
Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story (Can)
Dir Barry Avrich
Having previously made documentaries on other powerful entertainment figures such as Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project, Avrich tackles the life of Penthouse magazine founder and Caligula producer Bob Guccione. Produced by Melbar Entertainment Group. EPIX has US broadcast andstreaming rights in the US.
Contact WME, firstname.lastname@example.org
Finding Vivian Maier (US)
Dirs John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Finding Vivian Maier chronicles the photographic work of a Chicago nanny who died in 2009 and left behind a wealth of photographs that revealed the extent of her unpublicised gift. Seller Submarine has closed deals for the US (Sundance Selects), Canada (Films We Like) and Italy (Feltrinelli Films) among others.
Contact Submarine Entertainment, email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi-Ho Mistahey! (Can)
Dir Alanis Obomsawin
The acclaimed director of a wide range of documentaries exploring the native people of Canada, Obomsawin’s latest film chronicles the Attawapiskat First Nation’s campaign to draw global attention to the Canadian government’s neglect of aboriginal youth education.
Contact National Film Board of Canada, email@example.com
Ignasi M. (Sp)
Dir Ventura Pons
This doc from Pons, the Spanish director of Barcelona (Un Mapa) and Anita Takes A Chance, tells the story of Ignasi M, an HIV-positive museums expert. Pons’ company Els Films De La Rambla produced.
Contact Latido Films, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dir Chris Jordan
This Kickstarter-backed feature from artist and photographer Jordan focuses on the albatrosses that live on the remote Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, and the pollution that threatens their lives.
Contact WME Global, wma.com
Mission Congo (US)
Dirs David Turner, Lara Zizic
Turner and Zizac’s doc is about a US businessman’s pursuit of an irresistible opportunity during one of the worst humanitarian crises of modern times. Cinetic Media is handling US rights to the film, which is produced by C-Colony Productions.
Contact Cinetic, email@example.com
The Square (Egypt-US)
Dir Jehane Noujaim
From the director of Startup.com and Control Room, The Square (Al Midan) chronicles the harsh realities of people working to build Egypt’s new democracy. It won an audience award in Sundance as an unfinished film, and now has more footage added.
International contact Goldcrest Int’l Film Sales, firstname.lastname@example.org; US contact Cinetic, email@example.com
Tim’s Vermeer (US)
Sony Pictures Classics picked up world rights to this documentary about a Texan inventor’s inquiry into how the painter Vermeer mastered photorealism 150 years before the advent of photography. Teller is half of the magic act Penn & Teller. Penn Jillette produced with Farley Zeigler.
Contact Sony Pictures Classics, sonyclassics.com
Unstable Elements (US)
Dir Madeleine Sackler
Sackler, the director of The Lottery, goes behind the scenes of the Belarus Free Theatre - which defies Europe’s last remaining dictatorship - with smuggled footage and uncensored interviews.
Contact Great Curve Films, firstname.lastname@example.org
When Jews Were Funny (Can)
Dir Alan Zweig
The latest from the director of Vinyl and A Hard Name is a personal exploration of Jewish comedy and identity.
Contact Sudden Storm Entertainment, email@example.com