The Toronto International Film Festival has announced two world premieres for its 27th outing: Peter Kosminsky's White Oleander, starring Robin Wright Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer and Renee Zellwegger, and writer-director Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile, starring Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon and Holly Hunter. Atom Egoyan's Ararat will open the festival, which runs Sept. 5-14.
A $17m female ensemble piece adapted from the best-selling novel by Janet Fitch, Oleander is the first film to reach screen from the co-financing arrangement between LA-based Pandora Cinema and Warner Bros. It tells the story of a teenage girl (Alison Lohman) who finds an surrogate parent after her mother (Pfeiffer) is sent to prison for murdering a man using the poison from oleander flowers. Warner has the film for North America while Pandora, a division of Gaylord Films, is handling international.
Moonlight Mile is the first personal feature from Silberling, who has previously directed straight-forward studio fare like City Of Angels and Caspar. He scripted and produced this mordant comedy about a bereaved fiance (Jake Glyllenhaal) who must tell his would-have-been inlaws (Hoffman and Sarandon) that he has already found a new love in his life.
Two Cannes competitors will join Egoyan's Ararat in making their North American debuts at the festival: David Cronenberg's Spider, the UK-Canadian co-production, and Chihwaseon, from South Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-taek, who shared the prize for best director at Cannes. The biopic of the 19th century artist-hero will be the centrepiece of the festival's spotlight on South Korea.