29th Toronto Fest To Open with "Being Julia"
by Eugene Hernandez
Istvan Szabo's "Being Julia" will open the 29th Toronto International Film Festival on September 9th in Canada. The film, written by Oscar winner Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist") and based on a W. Somerset Maugham's novel, stars Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons and was produced by Robert Lantos. Szabo previously directed films such as "Mephisto," "Meeting Venus," and "Sunshine."
In the film, Bening stars as a leading British stage actress, married to a successful theater producer (Irons), who is charmed by a young American actor.
"We are thrilled to open this years Festival with 'Being Julia'," said Piers Handling, CEO and director of the Toronto International Film Festival Group. "Szabó has made a tremendously playful and uplifting film, capturing the effervescence of 1930s theatrical life with graceful panache. Annette Bening gives an award-worthy performance surrounded by tremendous Canadian and international talent."
The film, the ninth Lantos production to open the Toronto festival, will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. and THINKFilm in Canada. Summit is handling international sales.
Toronto fest organizers also announced that two theaters have been added to the roster of venues in the downtown Festival Village. Joining the mix are the Famous Players Paramount Theater and the Ryseron Theater, with additional screenings to be held at the Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario. The festival uses some 21 screens and 11 hotels during the annual event. Returning venues include Roy Thomson Hall, the VISA Screening Room at the Elgin Theater, the Alliance Atlantis Cumberland Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon Cinemas/Galaxy Cinemas, The National Film Board Mediatheque, Royal Ontario Museum Theatre, and the Isabel Bader Theatre at Victoria College in the University of Toronto.