Posted: 08/22/2006


Toronto Film Festival – 2006 – Preview!

by Paul Fischer

Exclusive: Toronto Set to Go with Major Premieres!

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Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival today announced final programming details, including the complete line-up of films for the 31st Toronto Film Festival running September 7—16, which this writer will be attending. I say it every year, but this festival is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with more stars, as they say, than lay in the heavens. According to organizers, at this year’s festival, there will be some 352 films from 61 countries screening, including 261 features, 91 percent of which are world, international or North American premieres, and 62 of which are feature directorial debuts.

Today’s announcements include eight additional Gala Presentations, including the world premiere of Michael Apted’s Amazing Grace, starring Ioan Gruffudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rufus Sewell, Youssou N’Dour, Ciaran Hinds, Romola Garai, Michael Gambon, and Albert Finney, as this year’s Closing Night Film; Ridley Scott’s A Good Year, a world premiere starring Russell Crowe, Albert Finney, and Aussie Abbie Cornish; there’s Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering, a world premiere starring Jude Law, Martin Freeman, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, and Rafi Gavron; Patrice Leconte’s Mon Meilleur Ami, a world premiere starring Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, and Julie Gayet; Douglas McGrath’s anticipated Infamous, a North American premiere starring Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Peter Bogdanovich, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Isabella Rossellini, Juliet Stevenson, Sigourney Weaver, John Benjamin Hickey, and Lee Pace; Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book, a North American premiere starring Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman and Halina Reijn; Feng Xiaogang’s The Banquet, a North American premiere starring Ziyi Zhang and Daniel Wu; and Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding, a North American premiere starring Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, and Rolf Lassgård. Gala tickets on sale Saturday, August 26 at 10 a.m.

A blockbuster Mavericks features up close and personal conversations with the likes of Michael Moore, John Waters, John Cameron Mitchell, Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherji, and Amitabh Bachchan. The festival also announces five presentations in its Dialogues: Talking with Pictures program. Presenters Bruce Weber, Albert Maysles, Perry Henzell, Costa Gavras, and Christine Vachon will showcase films that have inspired them or mark a significant period in their careers.

Thirteen titles, consisting of five world premieres and seven North American premieres, round out this year’s edition of Masters, which will include Goran Paskaljevic’s The Optimists; Volker Schlöndorff’s Strike; Alain Resnais’ Cœurs; Benoît Jacquot’s L’intouchable; Gianni Amelio’s The Missing Star; and Robert Guédiguian’s Le Voyage En Arménie.

Fifteen films have been added to Visions for a complete line-up of 31 films from 25 countries, including Gabriel Range’s D.O.A.P.; Jem Cohen’s Building a Broken Mousetrap, NYC Weights and Measures, and Blessed Are the Dreams of Men; Jay Anania’s Day on Fire; Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s Khadak; Manoel de Oliveira’s Belle Toujours; Katsuhiro Otomo’s Bugmaster; Olivier Masset-Depasse’s Cages; Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Climates; Pedro Costa’s Colossal Youth; Julia Loktev’s Day Night Day Night; Pavel Lounguine’s The Island; Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno’s Zidane: Un Portrait Du Xxième Siècle; and So Yong Kim’s In Between Days.

With eleven titles announced today, the full Special Presentations line-up features 39 films from 15 countries, including Ann Hui’s The Postmodern Life of My Aunt; Mira Nair’s The Namesake; Hong Sang-soo’s Woman on the Beach; Emanuele Crialese’s Golden Door; Todd Field’s Little Children; Johnnie To’s Exiled; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others; Joachim Lafosse’s Nue Propriété; Paris Je T’aime; Santiago Amigorena’s Quelques Jours En Septembré; and Marc Evans’ Snow Cake.

This year’s Contemporary World Cinema features 60 titles, including 19 world, 4 international and 32 North American premieres from a total of 40 countries, including today’s announcements of Alejandro Gomez Monteverde’s Bella; Mel Chionglo’s Twilight Dancers; Dror Shaul’s Sweet Mud; Cate Shortland’s The Silence; Jeffrey Jeturian’s The Bet Collector; and Chris Kraus’ Four Minutes.

The North American premiere of The Hottest State, written and directed by Ethan Hawke, joins the 12 films already announced in the new Festival program, Vanguard.

Seven titles join Real to Reel for a complete programme featuring 34 titles from 18 countries, 28 of which will see a world, international or North American premiere, including James Stern and Adam Del Deo’s …So Goes the Nation; Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater; Adrian Grenier’s Shot in the Dark; Jia Zhangke’s Dong; Ron Mann’s Tales of the Rat Fink; Amy Berg’s Deliver Us from Evil; and Sadik Ahmed’s Tanju Miah.

In addition to these titles, two previously announced films—Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel, a North American premiere starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, and Gael García Bernal; and Penelope, a world premiere starring Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon, Catherine O’Hara, Richard E. Grant, James McAvoy, and Peter Dinklage—will now screen as Gala Presentations.

It’ll be quite the Festival, that begins unspooloing next Thursday, September 7, and yours truly will be front and centre to see what he can and interview some of the stars.

Paul Fischer is originally from Australia. Now he is an interviewer and film critic living in Hollywood.

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