16 North American Premieres Already Set for 2005 Toronto International Film Festival
by Eugene Hernandez
Organizers at the Toronto International Film Festival, considered one of world's leading international film events, issued their first press release Tuesday leading up to 30th annual festival, running September 8-17, 2005. Planners unveiled twenty of the films that will screen in various sections, including 16 North American premieres on tap for the event.
In the Masters section, offering work from acclaimed international directors, the festival will screen Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's "L'Enfant," winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Festival de Cannes. The film is described as "the story of a troubled young man who must learn to become a father to his newborn child. Also on tap is Michael Haneke's "Caché," described as "the story of a man who receives videos from an anonymous source chronicling candid moments of his family's home life"; Sony Pictures Classics acquired both films out of the festival. "Don't Come Knocking," another Sony Classics title, is also set for the section. Among the other films on tap for the Masters section are Alexander Sokurov's "The Sun," Hou Hsiao Hsien's "Three Times," and Lars von Trier's latest, "Manderlay." IFC Films acquired it recently.
"These films are our programmers' personal favourites from other major international film festivals," said Noah Cowan, Co-Director of the Festival in a statement, referring to the first 20 titles announced for the Canadian festival. "This is a wonderful opportunity for audiences to see these films for the first time in Canada, and in many instances, North America. The 20 titles out of the approximately 250 total features we'll be programming are the cream of the festival circuit, and are among the highlights of the international cinema scene."
In its Visions section, highlighting films that utilize new technologies or unconventional techniques, Toronto will present Tsai Ming-Liang's "The Wayward Cloud," described as "the story of a lonely young woman who returns to Taipei from France during an extreme water shortage," as well as Eric Khoo's "Be With Me," and Vimukthi Jayasundara's "The Forsaken Land," a winner of the Camera d'Or in Cannes this year.
Meanwhile in the Contemporary World Cinema section, nine films are set so far, seven of which are North American premieres. Carlos Reygadas acclaimed Cannes 2005 film, acquired by Tartan, is on tap. It is described as "the story of a man who struggles to come to terms with a guilty conscience after the death of a kidnapped child. Also set is Hany Abu-Assad's "Paradise Now" which was a hit at the Berlinale and later acquired by Warner Independent, it is described as the story of "two friends reunited to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv." Other films set for the section include Mohammad Rasoulof's "Iron Island" from Iran, Cristi Puiu's "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" from Romania, Laila Marrakchi's "Marock" from France, Wang Xiaoshuai's "Shanghai Dreams" from China, Thomas Vinterberg's "Dear Wendy," Rakhshan Bani-Etemad's "Gilaneh" and Mark Donfirm-May's "Carmen In Khayelitsha," winner of the top prize at this year's Berlinale, from South Africa.
Two American films are already on tap for Toronto's Special Presentations section. Mike Mills' "Thumbsucker" from Sony Classics and Noah Baumbach's "The Squid And the Whale" from Samuel Goldwyn Films are both set for the section, after debuting in January at Sundance.
[ Get the latest news and information about the Toronto International Film Festival on indieWIRE's special Toronto fest blog. ]