The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival has unveiled its complete line-up, which includes a raft of worldpremieres from film-makers as diverse as Richard Linklater, Jacques Rivette andMike Hodges in addition to those already announced from Robert Altman, JaneCampion and Carl Franklin.
And North American audiencesare in for their first viewing of Vincent Gallo's notorious Cannescompetitor The Brown Bunny in are-edited version which is receiving its "world premiere."
Titles making their firstappearance are Linklater's School Of Rock, starring Jack Black; Robert Lepage's LaFace Cachee De La Lune, in whichLepage stars; John Irvin's The Boys From County Clare, starring Colm Meaney; debut director Peter Webber's UK/Luxembourgcoproduction Girl With A Pearl Earring, starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson; Billy Ray's ShatteredGlass, starring Hayden Christensenas disgraced US journalist Stephen Glass; Rivette's L'HistoireDe Marie Et Julien, starringEmmanuelle Beart and Jerzy Radziwilowicz; and Anne Fontaine's Nathalie..., starring Isabelle Adjani, Gerard Depardieu andVirginie Ledoyen.
UK films were prominentamongst world premieres, with the latest from veteran Hodges, I'llSleep When I'm Dead, and debutefforts from two UK actors -Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things, based on the Evelyn Waugh novel Vile Bodies, andDavid Thewlis' Cheeky,which he wrote and stars in. Michael Winterbottom' sci-fi drama Code 46 will also screen, following its world premiere at Venice.
Also making world premieresare Kevin Macdonald's mountain climbing disaster saga Touching TheVoid, based on the book of the sametitle; and The Tesseract, basedon the novel by UK writer Alex Garland, a Thailand/UK/Japan coproductiondirected by Oxide Pang. Screening in the pulpy Midnight Madness side-bar is theworld premiere of Len Wiseman's vampire thriller Underworld which Screen Gems has domestically and LakeshoreInternational has internationally.
The Spotlight programme,which this year focuses on three Turkish filmmakers, Omer Kavur, Nurk BilgeCeylan and Zeki Demirkubuz, will feature the North American premiere ofCeylan's Cannes Grand Jury prize-winning Distant. Engaging in some nationalist nepotism, TIFF directorPiers Handling also pointed to an obscure debut in the Discovery sidebar, RhinocerosEyes, by filmmaker Aaron Woodley,who happens to be the nephew of Canadian auteur David Cronenberg.
Handling said he and fellowprogrammers had screened 3000 films for this year's selection, 2300 ofthem from outside Canada. In all the festival will screen 252 features, some 60per cent of them in a language other than English. Eighteen films will bepresented in digital video projection while a further seven will be presentedin high-definition DV projection. Six theatres have been equipped for suchscreenings.
"Barring a rain offrogs or a plague of locusts, we're set to go," said TIFF managingdirector Michele Maheux, referring to the city's SARS outbreak earlierthis year and the recent power black-out that shut down the province of Ontarioand the north-eastern US.
The festival'sIndustry Centre will present several guest speakers in master classes andconverssations, including film, theatre and opera director Julie Taymor,composer Elliot Goldenthal, and Canadian rock icon Neil Young, who makes hisfeature film debut in Bernard Shakey's Greendale. The festival's Dialogue programme, wherefilmmakers present films that are close to their hearts, will take a slightlydifferent tack: Francis Ford Coppola will present a restored version of his1982 One From The Heart, whileRidley Scott will present a new director's cut of his 1979 Alien, including footage never before seen. The IndustryCentre has thus far registered 355 companies.
For the seventh consecutiveyear, European Film Promotion will present panels devoted to its cause. TheEuropean Directors Panel, entitled Cinema in the 'New' Europe: DoesEuropean Filmmaking Have a Renewed Creative Edge and Sense of Purpose', willfeature panelists France's Solveig Anspach, whose Iceland/France/Belgiumcoproduction Stormy Weather screensin Contemporary World Cinema, Spain's Cesc Gay, whose In The City makes it world premiere, Austria's Ruth Mader,whose Struggle also features inCWC, along with Girl With The Pearl Earring director Webber. Simon Field, co-director of the RotterdamInternational Film Festival will moderate the panel.
As for The Brown Bunny, festival director Piers Handling told ScreenDaily.com: "I don't think this is a radicalover-haul. [Gallo] is doing what a lot of filmmakers do after Cannes, they changecertain things. It's not unusual. The message we want to send to thosepeople who had been in Cannes is that this isn't Brown Bunny the Cannes version, this is something slightlydifferent." Handling said he has seen neither version of the film.